The University of Southampton
Southampton Law SchoolPostgraduate study

LLM Information Technology and Commerce (1 year)

With digital technology continuing to revolutionise the way companies do business, the study of IT, intellectual property (IP), and commercial law has never been more relevant. Drawing on Southampton’s world-class expertise in law, computer science and Web science, this LLM provides specialist knowledge that will be invaluable in today’s e-commerce sector.

Introducing your course

This masters programme is designed to meet the growing need for specialists who understand – and can anticipate – the legal issues that arise when the worlds of IT and commerce meet. Tackling topics such as IP, e-commerce, data protection, and intermediary liability, it offers a thorough grounding in the current legal frameworks and emerging debates that impact on today’s digital and data-driven economy. Interdisciplinary in nature, the course draws on Southampton’s world-renowned expertise in law, computer science and Web science, exposing you to cutting-edge developments in all three fields. Part of a supportive and dynamic law school community, you’ll learn from academics who are at the forefront of their specialist areas. They bring insights from their practice and research to their teaching; you’ll also learn from guest lecturers from major corporations. You’ll graduate with a sound understanding of this important and ever-evolving area of law, advanced critical thinking skills and the ability to apply your knowledge commercially, ensuring you are highly sought after by businesses and law firms.

Overview

We welcome applications from recent law graduates or graduates from disciplines with a strong legal component who are keen to specialise in this fascinating field of law, as well as those with professional experience who are seeking to advance their career or take it in a new direction. We attract high-calibre students from around the world, enabling you to build a network of friends and contacts that will prove invaluable as you progress in this global sector.

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

Course structure and content 

This course is offered on a full-time basis (one year) or part-time basis (two years). You’ll choose four modules, or the equivalent in modules and half modules, from an extensive range. You’ll also complete a dissertation.

Introduction to common law 

You’ll begin by taking an intensive, week-long introductory course on common law, which ensures that students from different jurisdictions and countries understand the workings of this important legal system.

Personalise your course 

The course offers the flexibility to choose from a range of modules, so you can create a programme that suits your interests and career ambitions. The range includes modules that cover the main principles and current debates relating to IT and commercial law:  

  • Global Copyright and Trademark Law and Policy. In this module you’ll learn about the fast-changing field of copyright and trademark laws – both areas that are currently subject to review and reform in numerous countries worldwide. The module provides a critical overview of recent legislative, policy and judicial developments relevant to copyright and trademark law, adopting a comparative perspective that takes into account a number of jurisdictions around the world. 
  • Online IP Enforcement. Highly relevant at a time when creative works are increasingly produced and distributed in digital format, and when more and more goods are sold in virtual marketplaces, this module looks at the issue of online copyright and trademark infringements. You will investigate issues and possible solutions relating to online enforcement of IP rights, looking at policy debate, legislative initiatives and case law developments across the world, particularly in the EU, UK and US.

You can also choose from options in other areas of law, enabling you to gain additional specialisms and put your IT and commercial law studies into context.

  • The topics on offer reflect the Law School’s expertise in areas such as international trade law, corporate governance, international commercial arbitration, maritime law and secured transactions.
  • The range includes modules that are unique in the UK, on the subjects of ship finance, carriage by air and the law of ship sale and purchase.

In-depth research

Over the summer you’ll undertake your own research for the dissertation, with support and guidance throughout from an academic supervisor. This is another opportunity to personalise your course, as you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a topic that interests you and that will help you to advance in a particular sector or field of law.

Topics chosen by past graduates include aspects of copyright, data protection, the right to be forgotten, surveillance, database rights, trademarks and anonymisation.

A hub for research excellence

The University of Southampton is a world-renowned centre for law, computer science and Web science research, and therefore offers outstanding opportunities for those interested in IT and commercial law.

Outstanding academics 

You’ll learn from academics who are not only experts in law as it is applied today, but are active in shaping its development. They are involved in cutting-edge research and are invited to contribute to law reform initiatives and advise on the impact of new legislation, enabling them to bring the latest thinking to your course.

  • Dr Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon is author of legal articles, book chapters and books on intermediary liability, data protection and privacy, information security, and intellectual property. Her latest research explores areas including the liability of internet intermediaries such as internet service providers, Web 2.0 platforms and search engines, the role of hosting providers in relation to malicious web pages, and anonymisation practices. Her advisory roles include membership of an expert group formed by the Council of Europe on intermediary liability.
  • Dr Eleanora Rosati’s research interests include copyright, trademark, IP and internet law issues, looking at these topics mainly from an EU and UK perspective. She is also 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 IP departments of international law firm Bird & Bird LLP, in Milan and London.

Industry links 

You’ll benefit from your tutors’ link with international and local law firms and with commercial organisations.

  • Guest speakers will give you insights into current and emerging issues in IT and commercial law; recent speakers have included representatives from Google, Vodafone and Sanoma.
  • We are regularly approached by companies and law firms interested in recruiting graduates with the specialist knowledge that this course provides.
  • The Law School offers prizes sponsored by businesses for high-performing LLM students in some modules. These can take the form of monetary awards or work placements, which are a great opportunity to gain professional experience and build networks. Recently students have undertaken placements with law firms such as Campbell Johnston Clark and Clyde & Co.

Key Facts

Explore two exciting and interrelated legal fields and gain an advantage in the world of business and commerce.

The University of Southampton has a global reputation for excellence in law, computer science and Web science.

A high degree of flexibility, enabling you to tailor the course to serve your academic and career interests.

Includes two specialist modules: Global Copyright and Trademark Law and Policy, and Online IP Enforcement, as well as a variety of guest lectures from leading professionals and companies facing issues at the forefront of technological advancement.

Modules are taught by world-leading specialists, many of whom are the authors of key text books in their areas of expertise.

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

Our strong industry links and extensive career support will help you build professional networks and achieve your ambitions.

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

Key facts

Explore two exciting and interrelated legal fields and gain an advantage in the world of business and commerce.

The University of Southampton has a global reputation for excellence in law, computer science and Web science.

 

A high degree of flexibility, enabling you to tailor the course to serve your academic and career interests.

Includes two specialist modules: Global Copyright and Trademark Law and Policy, and Online IP Enforcement, as well as a variety of guest lectures from leading professionals and companies facing issues at the forefront of technological advancement.

Modules are taught by world-leading specialists, many of whom are the authors of key text books in their areas of expertise.

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

Our strong industry links and extensive career support will help you build professional networks and achieve your ambitions.

With digital technology continuing to revolutionise the way companies do business, the study of IT, intellectual property (IP), and commercial law has never been more relevant. Drawing on Southampton’s world-class expertise in law, computer science and Web science, this LLM provides specialist knowledge that will be invaluable in today’s e-commerce sector.

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.

Modules

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.

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

Funding

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:

TypeDescription
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. https://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing

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 www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Career Opportunities

Our numerous careers events and workshops, run by the Law School’s dedicated careers coordinator and the student-run law societies, will give you a head start when you enter the job market. Careers activities 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

In addition, your tutors on the LLM IT and Commerce will circulate relevant vacancies and use their knowledge of the sector to offer tailored careers advice. You can also take advantage of external professional networking events in London, which is just over an hour from Southampton by train.

Your specialist knowledge, professional skills and ability to think critically will ensure you have a competitive advantage when applying for roles that require expertise in the various aspects of IT and commercial law. This degree is excellent preparation if you are interested in becoming a specialist advisor within a law firm, joining an in-house law team within a global corporation or EU and international institutions as a legal or policy officer, working as a public affairs professional or within the constantly expanding e-commerce and data-driven business sector.

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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