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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law SchoolPostgraduate study

LLM International Business Law (1 year)

Taught by leading experts, this LLM will enable you to apply business law in an international context – a specialism that is highly sought after by a range of public and private sector organisations.

Introducing your course

With more companies seeking to operate across international boundaries and transnational trade agreements coming under increasing scrutiny, specialists in international business law are highly sought after. The LLM International Business Law offers the freedom to design your own course by choosing from a range of optional modules, which cover topics relating to both private commercial trade and country-to-country agreements – an area that has become a hot topic in the context of recent events such as Brexit. Whatever path you choose, you’ll be taught by renowned, research-active academics who are engaged with key international law and commerce organisations, exposing you to new developments long before they reach the text books.

While our students are typically law graduates, this programme will also be of interest to business and legal professionals working in the national and international commercial sector.

Our postgraduate community includes high-calibre students from around the world. As well as developing your understanding of legal and business practice in other countries and cultures, this will enable you to build up a global network of contacts that will be invaluable as your career progresses.

View the programme specification for this course for 2018/19 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

Programme Structure

The LLM International Business Law can be taken full time over one year or part time over two years. You’ll be required to complete a number of optional modules and a dissertation.

At the start of the programme we offer an intensive, week-long introductory course on common law. This is of particular benefit for students from different jurisdictions and countries, giving them a thorough grounding in the workings of this important legal system.

There are no compulsory taught modules on this programme; instead you can build a course that will help you to achieve your career goals. You can choose from a range of optional modules that focus on private commercial trade and also country-level international trade agreements – a particularly pertinent area of study in the light of current world events.

The modules capitalise on our academics’ expertise in areas such as secured transactions, arbitration and shipping finance and law, as well as contracts, internet trade and intellectual property law, World Trade Organization rules, corporate governance and insurance law.

You can also choose a dissertation topic that will further your interests and career prospects. You’ll be matched with an academic supervisor with relevant expertise, who will support you in formulating your thesis, conducting independent research and writing up your findings.

Education informed by research and industry

Southampton Law School is a hub for world-class research. You’ll benefit from our academics’ direct involvement in projects undertaken within prestigious centres such as the Institute of Maritime Law and Institute for Law and the Web. In addition, academics are engaged with key international organisations such as the United Nations, European Union, International Chamber of Commerce and International Maritime Organization. Their knowledge of the latest sector developments and research findings will feed directly into your learning. 

Regular talks by industry speakers, within your modules and at extra-curricular seminars and events, will also enrich your learning and ensure you stay abreast of current issues. Past speakers have included a senior research fellow who talked about virtual commodities, representatives from major banks and insurance companies, and legal practitioners from firms such as Holman Fenwick Willan and Roose & Partners.

Our industry partners also offer prizes for exceptional performance, which can take the form of monetary awards or work placements. For example, Campbell Johnson Clark offers a placement to the student with the highest combined mark in International Trade Law and Carriage of Goods by Sea.

Outstanding academics

Our academics are inspiring teachers who are active in research and advisory capacities. They bring the latest developments in international business law to your learning.

Key Facts

Take your career to the next level by gaining specialist knowledge in international business law.

Covers both private commercial activity and nation-to-nation trade agreements.

Taught by renowned academics with expertise in areas such as secure financial transactions, arbitration and shipping finance, as well as contracts, internet trade and intellectual property law, corporate governance and insurance law.

Our diverse, close-knit postgraduate community will enable you to develop a global network of contacts that will be invaluable in your future career.

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.

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

An Upper Second Class Bachelor's 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.

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. 

Progression to this LLM 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.

Pre-sessional courses

Our pre-sessional English language courses are the best way to prepare for study at the University of Southampton. The courses will improve your capability and confidence in using English language in your studies.

Pre-Masters (LLM) course

If you do not meet our entry requirements for direct entry to one of our MSc programmes, you could progress to one of them via the University's Pre-masters course

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

Typical course content

The Law School will offer a selection of the optional modules listed below.

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
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

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).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
International Business LawLLM 2019Full-time£9,250£18,104
International Business LawLLM 2019Part-time£4,625£9,052
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

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as independent study. Our academics use a small-group teaching approach, enabling you to explore your chosen subjects in depth. Seminars and tutorials are often structured around a particular case or a relevant piece of research, which you’ll be encouraged to explore and debate. You may be asked to prepare presentations or argue a case in a moot. Some modules may incorporate preparing a response to a public consultation, or examining the legal implications raised by a new convention and drafting a clause to tackle potential problems.

As well as enhancing your legal skills and understanding, these activities will help you to develop transferable skills such as team working, communication, critical appraisal and logical reasoning. You’ll also gain an insight into other cultures and professional practices by working with a diverse group of students.

In-class feedback will enable you to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Formal assessment methods will vary depending on which modules you take, but will include exams and coursework as well as your dissertation.

Specialist facilities and resources

Our excellent library service holds an extensive range of books, specialist journals and online databases. For your dissertation research you’ll also have access to the Philippa Kaye Library in Maritime Law located within the Institute of Maritime Law. Group study rooms are available for work and discussion with your peers outside class, and the Law School’s facilities include a purpose-built moot room.

LLM Challenge

Taking part in the LLM Challenge offers an additional learning experience that will help to develop your collaborative working and leadership skills. It involves students across all our LLM pathways; they are assigned to a team and given a current topic to debate, competing for a small monetary prize.

Student support

You’ll become part of a friendly, informal learning community with a relatively small postgraduate intake. This not only enables you to get to know your fellow students well, but enables us to offer plenty of support to help you succeed. Every student is allocated a personal academic tutor who can advise on course-related matters, and you’ll be able to talk to your module tutors about any subject-specific queries. In addition, you’ll have access to the University’s wide range of language, academic and welfare support services.

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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