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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

You’re joining a global network of peers and colleagues

Legal education and research with global impact

Our LLM offers you the opportunity to build on your undergraduate education and your work experience in order to deepen your skills and expand your horizons. Whatever modules you choose to study, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the common law as you look to expand your career choices for the future.

Of course, postgraduate study is not just about the educational programme, but about the opportunity to enjoy a diverse student body in a dynamic University in a new city. The University has a thriving student environment and offers a rich tapestry of extra-curricular activities from sport to drama to music and beyond. Here, in the Law School, you will join a welcoming, open, and active community of undergraduate and postgraduate students from around the world, taught by staff who are active researchers at the forefront of their subjects.

Postgraduate study at Southampton Law School

International Arbitration Law

"Southampton is world-famous for maritime law, and has run its successful Maritime Law LLM for over 40 years.

Professor Todd

We offer the full range of core maritime law modules, and by taking these, you’ll gain a complete and cohesive knowledge of English maritime law and English legal skills. We also offer a range of other modules of value to a maritime lawyer.

English maritime law has driven the development of much of the law of contract, tort and bailment, and an LLM in Southampton will give you an insight into not only maritime law, but the foundations of English law generally. You will also acquire expertise in the international liability conventions used in the area, and in their interpretation by English judges, when they are incorporated into our domestic law.

English maritime law is chosen by commercial parties and carriers throughout the world, and your career prospects are truly international. You may enhance your career in your home country, or if you choose to remain in the UK, in addition to the  possibilities of practising as a solicitor or barrister, there are opportunities in freight forwarding, insurance including P&I Clubs, maritime safety, or working as an in-house lawyer in one of the large commercial trading or maritime companies.

The maritime law modules are each of 30 credits, running for the full teaching year. This enables us fully to develop these modules, and for you to really enhance your skills in them. The modules interlink, in many cases you are reviewing the same transaction, but from a different viewpoint in each of the core modules, offering a complete and comprehensive overview of maritime law."

Intellectual Property Law

"The understanding and protection of IP is central to today’s businesses and economies

Meet Dr Rosati

"I am the module convenor for the intellectual property (IP)-focused modules ‘Global Trends in Copyright and Trademark Laws’ and ‘Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights over the Internet’.

Policy - and law-makers around the world have been discussing how to shape competitive and effective legislative frameworks, while courts have been increasingly tasked with deciding extremely valuable and sensitive IP disputes.

At Southampton you will have the opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing IP law today, you’ll apply your knowledge to real-life scenarios and build your own professional network by attending conferences and discussing policy and developments directly with IP professionals, academics, and Government representatives.

I look forward to welcoming you to Southampton and guiding you through the study of the most controversial issues facing this area of the law."

Related Staff Member

"I completed the LLM at Southampton in 2003-2004 and started working here shortly after, and every year I get to know so many LLM students. After graduating, they keep in touch and tell me when they find their first job, when they move on to a new role or even about significant family events. I also see them asking each other questions like 'Does anyone know a good ship surveyor in Japan?' or 'Can you recommend a lawyer in Morocco?'. This has all been made easier by social media, which means it's easy to keep in touch with classmates and meet up when travelling for business or pleasure.

This incredible network has been building for over 40 years, since the LLM first started, and it includes people all over the world, in all industries and at all levels. This helps open doors for our students; our alumni know first-hand how good the education is that they have received here and often ask for good new candidates and send information about vacancies for us to disseminate to students.

While in the midst of the course, many LLMs find the course challenging and hard work, but when I later meet them, the very same students often say it was the best year of their life. They've learnt a lot, fast, and made some great friends for life in the process."

Marine Insurance Law at Southampton

"One of the great advantages of an LLM is the chance to look at issues in a holistic fashion.

Meet Professor Davey

I’m delighted that you are thinking about studying for an LLM and wanted to share with you some of my experiences of teaching postgraduate students over the past two decades. One of the great advantages of an LLM is the chance to look at issues in a holistic fashion. My own LLM - in International Commercial Law- allowed me to think about the risks inherent in international trade from the perspective of buyer and seller; insurer and insured; finance house and borrower; cargo carrier and cargo owner. From this range of viewpoints, I grew to appreciate the role of contract in shifting information from party to party, in allocating risk, and the limits of law in doing so effectively.

It also challenged me to think beyond the familiar models I had used in Law School. I was studying alongside civil lawyers and non-UK common lawyers who often brought a fundamentally different approach to the contract issues I thought I knew. It is fair to say that it changed the way I thought about law, and markets. I remember being told to re-read Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 to help me understand ‘string’ contracts and commodities trading. One of the cases that was decided that year- Pan Atlantic v Pine Top- remains one of the most important cases in English insurance law, and I am as convinced today as I was as a student reading it for the first time that the majority in the House of Lords was wrong. An LLM is not only about understanding these complex rules, but about developing sufficient expertise to be able to evaluate the principles in play. The dissertation, which is a fundamental part of your LLM, is a great opportunity for you to develop a genuine expertise in an area that fascinates you.

For some, this hunger to understand legal principles in depth is not satisfied by completing the LLM dissertation and can provide a useful springboard to further postgraduate study, by PhD. My most recent (completed) doctoral supervision was of a PhD on the nature of fraud in Trade Finance and Marine Insurance, and began as a discussion in an LLM seminar. The research question- whether fraud rules deter- was written up initially as an LLM dissertation, and successfully passed as a PhD in March 2018, without corrections.

You never know where your journey will take you. An LLM often makes the route more interesting"

Exploring future marine policy

Students at Southampton will be uniquely placed not only to prepare themselves for the shipping industry of tomorrow but also to influence the future

Meet Robert Veal

As far as maritime law is concerned, Southampton offers a range of modules that is truly unparalleled. Of course, it covers the core maritime areas – wet and dry shipping, marine insurance and international trade, but this is really only the tip of the iceberg, to coin a phrase. One of the real strengths of the Maritime LLM is its depth. Away from the beaten track, students can explore public and private international maritime law, transactional aspects such as ship sale and finance as well as litigation-driven areas such as commercial arbitration. Students can also explore the impact marine operations have on our environment and what the law is (or is not) doing about it! It can, thus, provide students with all the knowledge and skills that today’s maritime professional require and also equip them for more general legal practice anywhere in the world.

But, understand that the marine and maritime sector is changing, before our very eyes. New technology and digitisation is changing the sector from top to bottom. Ships themselves are becoming smarter and more interconnected with other ships and port facilities. Indeed, we are on the cusp of a new revolution, with cyber security, data protection, e-commerce and autonomous navigation forming the new frontier for the shipping industry. Through the multi-disciplinary expertise both at Southampton University and that provided by its collaborating industry partners based within the city, students at Southampton will be uniquely placed not only to prepare themselves for the shipping industry of tomorrow but also to influence the future marine policy that will drive it.

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