LLM/PgDip/PgCert International Commercial Law

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: LLM: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
    LLM with field dissertation: 15 months full-time; 30 months part-time
    PgDip: 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time
    PgCert: 8 months full-time
  • Placement: opportunity to apply for the Challenges Worldwide field dissertation

Study with us

  • explore how international commercial law deals with real-world challenges
  • opportunity to undertake a research placement with an international focus - available on a competitive basis
  • introduction to the legal and normative concepts underpinning international commercial law as well as the challenges this area of law will face in the coming years
  • formerly known as LLM International Economic Law
  • our graduates from this programme come from all round the world including; Thailand, Mexico, China, Nigeria, Russia, Spain, Oman, Germany, India, Vietnam, Portugal and Bangladesh
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Why this course?

This course was formerly known as LLM International Economic Law and launched in 2009. A key aim of the programme is to provide the knowledge base and intellectual and practical skills necessary to develop a career in the area of international commercial law. You'll have the opportunity to pursue your own interests along with the flexibility to tailor your degree according to your career path. You'll also have the opportunity to attend seminars, guest lectures and other events relevant to your study throughout your LLM studies.

Strathclyde Law School

The Law School at Strathclyde is renowned for its academic research in commercial law. Our experts working in the broad area of commercial law include:

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THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

This programme is available full-time and part-time, with three potential exit points. Assuming satisfactory performance, it's possible to change between these exit points:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
  • Masters degree (LLM)

You'll undertake a combination of core/compulsory and optional classes. In addition, those continuing to the LLM stage, undertake a dissertation over the summer.

Field dissertation

An innovative feature of this programme is the opportunity to undertake a field dissertation. This opportunity is offered on a competitive basis and typically lasts for up to 12 weeks. It's delivered through our partnership with Challenges Worldwide, an organisation with extensive international experience in volunteer work placements.

Work completed for the placement will focus on a specific area of law and will form the subject of your dissertation.

Selected students undertake a field dissertation within a governmental or non-governmental organisation with an international focus (currently our focus is on providing placements in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia).

Student projects

Examples of previous projects undertaken by our students include:

  • assessing the extent to which Indian environmental and energy laws promote the development of micro-renewables
  • an analysis of whether Tanzanian land law discriminates against women and what reforms would be needed to address the discrimination
  • an exploration of the low take-up of Clean Development Mechanism [CDM] in Sub-Saharan Africa and how the situation could be improved
  • an assessment of environmental justice in Nigeria and South Africa
  • market access barriers in respect of honey produced in Mozambique
  • a comparative analysis of shea production in Ghana and Uganda

The University of Strathclyde provides comprehensive travel and health insurance for all participants in the field dissertation. We also pay for the costs of your placement. You're responsible for the costs of flights, visas, and accommodation and living expenses while overseas. Such costs have tended to be in the region of £1,500 to £2,500 per student.

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Course content

The Law of the World Trade Organisation

This class will provide you with advanced instruction in the law of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

You'll explore the core rules of non-discrimination and most-favoured nation treatment which underpin many of the legal agreements comprising the WTO. You’ll also look in detail at the operation of the WTO dispute settlement system.

The analysis will then move on to more specialised WTO agreements such the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, the Antidumping Agreement and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. You'll also look at how the WTO disciplines the grant of governmental subsidies to domestic industries.

International Business Law

This class will introduce students to the concepts underpinning the regulation of businesses. It will explain the different types of business entities and introduce students to company and corporate law concepts.

Legal Research

This class is compulsory for LLM/PgDip students. It's offered by online distance learning across both semesters.

The aim of the module is to help you enhance your research abilities and skills with a view to improving your performance in course. 

In addition to the core/ompulsory modules, you'll have the opportunity to choose from optional classes, which will enable you them to pursue your personal interests and tailor their degree. Please note that optional classes on offer may change from year to year.

You could also consider taking one of the following classes, if it's relevant to your future career path:

  • International Environmental Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • European Human Rights Law
  • Climate Change & International Law
Business & Human Rights

This class will examine the relationship between business and human rights and will include an introduction to:

  • the international human rights framework
  • the role of business entities as global actors
  • the identification of the legal challenges that business presents for the international legal system
Intellectual Property Law

This class aims to give students a broad introduction to intellectual property law in the UK, the EU and internationally. The class will look at patents and trade secrets, trademarks, copyright law, and software and databases.


This class focuses on legal developments in electronic contracting, from current legal problems with contract formation and e-signatures, to consumer protection, e-commerce regulation and jurisdiction, and applicable law for online contracts.

International Investment Law

This class will introduce students to the concepts, sources and principle of international investment law. It will also consider the balance between the rights and duties of investors, residents and the host states as well as dispute resolution in international investment.

Financial Crime and Sanctions

This class seeks to examine a variety of difficulties and subject matters in the area of financial crime, such as money laundering, insider trading, and fraud.

International Banking Law

This course will examine the law and practice of international banking. It will introduce students to general banking law concepts and principles, such as:

  • the banker-customer relationship, confidentiality and money laundering
  • the structure of loans, asset finance, and secured financing
  • bond issues
  • derivatives
  • securitisations
Financial Regulation & Compliance

This course will examine select topics in capital markets regulation and economic theories underpinning them, including:

  • the law and economics of disclosure
  • regulation of market abuse (insider dealing and market manipulation)
  • the function and regulation of the market for corporate control
Comparative Law of Obligations

This class will consider obligations law in the context of different constitutional arrangements around the world. It will include material on delict/torts, contract and restitution in countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, the EU, the USA and China and also some material on the law of obligations in the Islamic tradition.

Competition Law of the UK & EU

This class will focus on developing an understanding of the rationale for EU competition law and policy, the substantive rules and the processes of enforcement.

Learning & teaching

Classes will be taught weekly by way of two to three-hour face-to-face seminars. This seminar style of teaching requires you to undertake reading in advance of attendance at class with each session allowing you to discuss your readings and develop your thinking and ideas in discussion with the class leader.

A seminar is different from the traditional lecture style of undergraduate teaching. It enables students to build key employability skills such as time management, independent research and public speaking.


The majority of your assessments will consist of exams and/or coursework.

In order to gain the award of a Masters degree (LLM) you'll need to complete a 15,000-word dissertation. You'll start work on this independently researched essay on successful completion of the required taught classes. The dissertation is submitted over the summer or, in the case of students who embark on the field dissertation, three months after the completion of their field research.


You'll benefit from the wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs available in our library. In addition, there are duplicate sets of key law report series and extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.

The range of electronic information sources, which can be accessed from anywhere, includes all the major legal databases.



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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally a first class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent). Entry may be possible with other qualifications, especially where your work experience is relevant to the course. Please note you do not need to hold a law degree to apply to this programme.

Please note: a Law degree is not a prerequisite for entry to this course

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (with no score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding


All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.



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Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Strathclyde Alumni

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Alumni Discount

10% tuition fee discount is offered to all Strathclyde alumni completing a full-time postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Find out more about our alumni discount
Stephanie Switzer 500x500
Profound and ongoing changes in the global economy make this a really exciting time to study international commercial law. Whether you are interested in the impact of Brexit or on how Trump's ongoing 'trade war' with China will play out in practice, this course will give you the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the legal implications of world economic affairs.
Stephanie Switzer
Programme leader

Dean's International Excellence Awards: Humanities and Social Science

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of £3,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters, EdD Education or 1 year MRes programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

To apply for a Dean’s International Excellence Awards: Humanities & Social Sciences, candidates must:

  • Be available to commence their academic studies in the UK by the start of the academic year in September/October 2020.

Some scholarships have restrictions on other funding you can accept. This means that you have to decide which scholarship to accept.  For any University of Strathclyde award you are successful in applying for, you will receive the higher value award only.

Find out more
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We work closely our award-winning Careers Service to provide information about relevant training, internship and job opportunities. Please note that while this degree develops strong employability skills, it does qualify graduates to enter the legal profession.

Positions which graduates of similar postgraduate programmes offered by the Law School have gone on to take include:            

  • Company Director
  • HR Consultant
  • Trainee, Legal Services, Council of the European Union
  • Researcher, World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • Trainee Chartered Accountant
  • Legal Advisor, Law Centre
  • Executive Assistant
  • Intern, European Patent Office, UNCITRAL, WTO
  • PhD Researcher
  • University Lecturer
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International Commercial Law

Qualification: LLM
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: part-time

International Commercial Law

Qualification: PG Diploma
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: full-time

International Commercial Law

Qualification: PG Diploma
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: part-time

International Commercial Law

Qualification: PG Certificate
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: part-time

International Commercial Law

Qualification: LLM
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: full-time

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Contact us

Postgraduate Enquiries

Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm (GMT)

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8600

Email: hass-pg-enquiries@strath.ac.uk