The University of Southampton
Southampton Law SchoolPostgraduate study

LLM General (1 year)

Explore topics that inspire you and learn from world-leading academics on our research-led LLM programme. With the freedom to create a bespoke degree, you’ll develop a distinctive professional profile that will help you achieve your career ambitions.

Introducing your degree

On this rigorous but exciting LLM programme you’ll gain the knowledge and professional skills required to advise, litigate and negotiate, based on a sound knowledge of the legal frameworks in areas that interest you. The course is completely flexible, enabling you to study subjects you are passionate about and that reflect your career aspirations. You’ll choose from a broad range of modules, including some that are unique to Southampton Law School. The options reflect our world-leading expertise in areas such as maritime, corporate and commercial, international business, information technology and insurance law. You’ll be taught by world-renowned academics who are at the forefront of cutting-edge research and high-profile law reform and advisory work, and who bring the latest legal developments to your learning. A close-knit and diverse learning community, we offer an exceptional academic experience, with small-group teaching that allows you to explore topics in depth and plenty of support to ensure you achieve your potential. In addition, our strong links with the legal profession and extensive career support will enable you to grow your networks and enhance your employability in preparation for a successful legal career.


We welcome applications from recent law graduates who want to gain more in-depth legal knowledge, and those with some professional experience who are looking to advance their career or take it in a new direction. If you choose to study here you’ll be welcomed into a diverse, international postgraduate community; you’ll develop a global network of contacts that will prove invaluable as your career progresses.

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

Course structure and content

This course is offered full time (one year) or part time (two years). You’ll be required to complete a dissertation and take four modules (or the equivalent in modules and half modules), which you can choose from an extensive range.  

Introduction to common law

You’ll begin by taking an intensive, one-week introductory course on common law. The course is designed to ensure that students from different jurisdictions and countries understand the workings of this important legal system.

Personalised learning

There are no compulsory taught modules on this programme. Instead you’ll choose from a range of optional modules, building a tailored course that enables you to pursue your academic interests and achieve your career goals. The modules cover a broad spectrum of legal topics, including:

  • international trade law
  • international law of the sea
  • global copyright and trademark law and policy
  • corporate governance
  • insurance law
  • marine insurance
  • international commercial arbitration
  • principles of secured transactions
  • online intellectual property enforcement

You’ll also have the option to study topics not taught at any other UK university at masters level, covering:

  • carriage by air
  • ship finance
  • the law of ship sale and purchase 

In-depth research

The dissertation is another opportunity to personalise your course, as you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a topic that interests you and develop a specialism that will boost your prospects in a particular sector or field of law. You’ll undertake independent research to inform your dissertation, with guidance and support throughout from an academic supervisor.

Outstanding academics

Our academics are active researchers who have unrivalled knowledge of current legal frameworks and, through law reform work and consultancy, are active in shaping the laws of the future. They ensure you are up to date with the latest legal developments.

The academic team includes:

Professor Brenda Hannigan, a renowned specialist in company law and author of Company Law, a leading text book on the subject. She contributes to company law reform initiatives as a guest member of the Company Law Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales.

Professor James Davey, who specialises in insurance and maritime law. He is widely published in leading law journals and has contributed to several books on maritime, consumer and corporate insurance law. His current research focuses on the shape of insurance regulation in the UK and US, in light of the lessons from behavioural economics.

Professor Filippo Lorenzon, an expert in maritime and international trade law, who is currently involved in drafting the 2020 edition of the Incoterms® Rules, the international commercial sales terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce. He is the author, with colleague Professor Yvonne Baatz, of CIF and FOB Contracts, a key text for legal practitioners in international trade.

Dr Eleanora Rosati, a specialist in copyright, trademark, intellectual property (IP) and internet law issues. She is an editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, and a Door Tenant at a specialist IP set in London. Before joining academia she worked in the London and Milan IP departments of international law firm Bird & Bird LLP.

Dr Johanna Hjalmarsson, whose areas of expertise include insurance law, maritime and commercial law, and dispute resolution. Before coming to Southampton, Johanna specialised in law reform, spending several years with the United Nations and the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She contributes to and edits numerous law publications, including co-editing Lloyd’s Law Reporter.

Professor Yvonne Baatz, who has published numerous papers on topics such as arbitration in multimodal transport and law applicable to contracts for the carriage of goods. She is the editor of Maritime Law, a text book written by 11 Southampton academics including herself. Yvonne leads a sub-group of the Institute of Maritime Law focusing on conflict and dispute resolution.

Research-led learning

Southampton Law School is an internationally renowned centre for law research. Our research, which directly informs our academics’ teaching, is conducted within a number of prestigious research centres and institutes:

You’ll benefit from talks and seminars organised by these centres, where you can find about the latest research being conducted within the Law School and at other institutions, and hear about industry perspectives on current legal issues.

Industry links 

Our academics are extremely well connected; their links with international and local law firms, the judiciary, businesses and government agencies will broaden your education and provide crucial networking and career opportunities.

  • Guest speakers will give you insights into current and emerging legal issues. Across our modules, recent speakers have included representatives from top law firms, global corporations, major banks and insurance companies, P&I (protection and indemnity) clubs, ship brokers, classification societies, and the UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • Our reputation enables us to attract eminent figures in the legal profession, such as Lord Neuberger, President of the UK Supreme Court, to speak at special events.
  • We are regularly approached by companies and law firms who are interested in recruiting our students for internships or graduate roles.
  • We offer prizes, sponsored by businesses and law firms, for high-performing LLM students on some modules. These can take the form of monetary awards or work placements, which are a great opportunity to gain professional experience and make new contacts. Recently students have undertaken placements with law firms such as Campbell Johnston Clark and Clyde & Co.

Key Facts

Design your own degree by selecting modules from a wide range and choosing a topic that interests you for in-depth dissertation research.

Learn from world-leading academics, many of whom are authors of key law text books.

Modules are informed by the latest studies being undertaken in our prestigious research centres, in areas including maritime, commercial, internet, health and insurance law.

Options include modules that are unique in the UK, on ship finance, ship sale and purchase and carriage by air.

An intensive introductory course on common law provides the essential foundations for your studies.

You’ll develop a global network of contacts that will be invaluable during your career.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 rated 100 per cent of our research as world leading or internationally excellent for the research environment we provide to staff and students.

Our alumni are enjoying career success all over the world, in law firms and companies such as Ince and Co, Hogan Lovells, Campbell Johnston Clark Ltd, Holman Fenwick & Willan, PSP Law, Linklaters LLP, Interport Maritime Ltd and Van Traa.

Did you know?

The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria but meet the minimum entry criteria for the pre-Masters. You will be guaranteed a place on your chosen masters degree programme subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programme to find out more about these degree programmes.

At Southampton Law School we are proud of our worldwide reputation for research excellence in many fields. Research is of key importance within the School and is embedded in everything that we do, including our teaching. Please click here for more information about our Centres of Research

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

An Upper Second Class Bachelors Degree in Law (or a degree with a substantial legal component) is normally required, but account may also be taken of practical work experience or professional qualifications within the relevant field of study. We welcome applications from international students. Mature applicants without formal qualifications but relevant work experience are also encouraged to apply. Access to the internet, Word Processor (MS Word compatible) and an email address are also required; webcams desirable.

Progression to this MSc programme

You are able to progress to this MSC programme via the University's Pre-Masters programme.

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning.

English language requirements

In accordance with University regulations, applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of competency in English by offering one of the recognised tests in English. Alternatively, you should supply evidence that you have undertaken formal study in English at an institution that teaches award-bearing programmes in English.

The following test scores are accepted for direct entry:

IELTS 7.0 with 6.0 in each component

For a full list of English language tests accepted please see here

A score of IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in each component together with satisfactory completion of the six week LLM Pre-sessional programme on English legal language and skills will be accepted.

Please see here for more information about the LLM Pre-sessional.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Students are required to complete 180 CATS. 60 CATS is awarded for the LLM dissertation. Students are therefore free to choose modules in total completing 120 CATS. For instance, a student who selects 4 modules of 30 CATS will complete the required taught modules.

Year 1

Semester One
LAWS6082Credit: 60
LAWS6062Credit: 30
LAWS6064Credit: 30
LAWS6065Credit: 30
LAWS6075Credit: 30
LAWS6076Credit: 30
LAWS6088Credit: 30
LAWS6099Credit: 30
Semester Two
LAWS6082Credit: 60
LAWS6140Credit: 15
LAWS6062Credit: 30
LAWS6064Credit: 30
LAWS6065Credit: 30
LAWS6075Credit: 30
LAWS6076Credit: 30
LAWS6088Credit: 30
LAWS6099Credit: 30

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

You’ll be able to take advantage of a range of careers events and workshops organised by the Law School’s dedicated careers coordinator and by student-run law societies. These include:

  • the annual Law Careers Fair, which attracts more than 50 law firms and other companies
  • industry seminars presented by major law firms
  • bespoke CV writing and job application workshops

Whatever your chosen modules, you’ll graduate with specialist legal knowledge and exceptional critical, analytical and communication skills – a package that will impress employers as you take your next career steps. 

You could choose to become a solicitor or barrister, or, depending on your module choice, use your legal knowledge in the insurance, financial, banking or commercial sector, or within a commodity house, shipping company, P&I (protection and indemnity) club, or government body.

Our graduates work all over the world in top law firms and businesses, including:

  • Ince and Co
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Campbell Johnston Clark Ltd
  • Holman Fenwick Willan
  • PSP Law
  • Linklaters LLP
  • Interport Maritime Ltd 
  • Van Traa  

This degree is also excellent preparation for further study at PhD level.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

Southampton Law School

Southampton Law School, Highfield Campus

Situated on the Highfield Campus; occupying building 4, Southampton La...Find out more

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