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LLM International Commercial and Business Law

Why we're great

  • Investigate the fast-paced regulation of businesses in the UK, Europe and across the world
  • Challenge convention and debate governance of commercial and consumer markets
  • Develop the critical, analytical and research skills needed for an international law career

Course options2017-18

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Law (School of)
Fee (Home/EU): £7,200
Fee (International): £15,450
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

Learn to think globally, tackling the complex and ever-changing regulation of businesses in the UK, Europe, and across the world.

Our LLM International Commercial and Business Law is a specialist course covering contemporary developments and debates related to the traditional and emerging forms of legal governance of domestic, European and international commercial and consumer markets. You will improve your knowledge of the key theoretical and practical issues in this field; as well as your skills of analysis, evaluation and problem solving.

The course covers the ways in which good corporate governance and competitive markets are promoted, as well as how legal and soft law rules and codes regulate:

  • Goods and services
  • Internet activities
  • Data protection
  • Consumer protection
  • The environment

At Essex we specialise in commercial law, public law, and human rights law. We are top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014), and we are ranked among the top 200 departments on the planet according to the QS World [University] Rankings [2016] for law.

Our law course will develop your intellectual and critical faculties, encourage you to think independently and teach you to present rational, coherent and accurate arguments orally and in writing. It will provide you with an excellent foundation for any career.

Our expert staff

Our internationally diverse community of staff and students gives us a breadth of cross-cultural perspectives and insights into law and justice around the world.

This community, combined with opportunities to study abroad during your time with us, ensures you graduate with a genuine worldview and a network of international contacts.

Specialist facilities

  • Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can work alongside practicing solicitors to offer legal advice to clients
  • Gain commercial awareness at our Business and Legal Advice Clinic
  • Work on key human rights projects at our Human Rights Clinic
  • Participate in mooting competitions to develop your skills, particularly important if you hope to become a barrister
  • Test your mediation and negotiation skills in our Client Interviewing Competition (sponsored by Birkett Long Solicitors)
  • Join our Model United Nations society, which can improve your skills of argumentation, oral presentation and research
  • Network at our student-run Law Society, Human Rights Society, and Bar Society, which provides legal advice to the Commonwealth Students’ Association (CSA)
  • Our Essex Street Law project is one of the first of its kind and is the primary pro-bono project provided by our Law Society
  • Take advantage of networking opportunities throughout the year with visiting law firms

Your future

Our School of Law graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers in international and intergovernmental organisations or employment with governments across the world, in commerce and banking, in non-governmental organisations and, as might be expected, in the legal profession and the judiciary.

During the year, we hold a careers session for our students in which we reflect upon our own careers and how they have been built as well as those from former students. We are always available to discuss career options and if you are interested in a particular area of the law, we can link you up with the relevant alumni to offer advice.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

In this module you’ll receive an overview of core business concerns, such as setting up in business, competing in the market, marketing and distributing products and services nationally and internationally. You’ll also study the relationship between businesses and consumers, and between businesses and other businesses.

What impact does EU law have on human rights? What are the human rights aspects of EU rules for asylum and immigration? Examine the agreement on EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. Understand the scope and content of the EU’s own Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Want to undertake legal research at postgraduate level? Interested in studying the principal sources of law operating within the UK system? Understand the essential techniques required for working with judicial decisions and statutes. Build research skills for reading legal materials, and develop your interpretative and critical evaluation abilities.

In this module you’ll be introduced to legal theory, including the philosophy of law and jurisprudence. You’ll develop a working knowledge of the main schools of jurisprudence and will be able to deal with theoretical materials. By the end of the module you’ll be able to write a lucid, coherent account, using appropriate language, of a jurisprudential problem. Please note this module is not suitable for you if your main research topic is in legal theory.

In this module you’ll develop detailed knowledge of the techniques and legal context of the financing of international trade. You’ll focus on international trade finance products and methods; namely documentary collections, documentary letters of credit, standby letters of credit and bonds/guarantees, international factoring, forfaiting, international leasing, and export credit agency financing. No previous knowledge is required.

In this module you study the second most important contract in international trade, the carriage contract. You’ll develop substantial knowledge of the carriage contract and will be able to place that within the matrix of international shipment sales, including the insurance and finance of international trade. You’ll also interpret domestic and international legislation relating to the international carriage of goods by sea.

In this module you study the second most important contract in international trade, the carriage contract. You’ll develop substantial knowledge of the carriage contract and will be able to place that within the matrix of international shipment sales, including the insurance and finance of international trade. You’ll also interpret domestic and international legislation relating to the international carriage of goods by sea.

The vast increase in international trade has led to a proportionate increase in the use of arbitration as a means of resolving international commercial disputes. You’ll consider the whole range of dispute resolution procedures as well as looking at international commercial arbitration. You’ll review all aspects of arbitration, but particular regard will be paid to the practice of arbitration with a view to identifying best practice in the working of the arbitral tribunals.

This module provides you with a detailed analysis of the law governing the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which is the main international framework for regulating trade between countries.

You’ll explore the legal background against which electronic commercial transactions are conducted, and will examine how electronic transactions fit within the pre-existing legal framework. You’ll also focus on the rapidly growing body of domestic laws and international legal instruments that are being tailored specifically towards the legal governance and regulation of electronic activity.

This module gives you an early opportunity to engage in legal analysis and writing.

Marine insurance is one of the backbone contracts to an international sale and carriage transaction and this module introduces you to the structure and formation of that contract. It includes the protection of ships, cargoes and energy interests. 2015 brought the biggest change in insurance law for over 100 years with the Insurance Act 2015 receiving Royal Assent, coming into force in 2016. You’ll benefit from learning the foundations of the law from the Marine Insurance Act 1906 and the new law of the Insurance Act 2015.

You’ll study the law of marine insurance in the wider context of international trade law, with emphasis on the impact of the London markets on the practice of insurance and reinsurance across the globe. You’ll focus on the key relationships and legal obligations that underpin the modern law and practice of marine insurance.

You’ll gain an understanding of the range of financing options available to a large corporation and their individual contribution to the financial industry. You’ll also analyse the key legal issues and risks, and will advise a hypothetical lender/investor on how to address the issues and how to mitigate and avoid the risks.

You’ll analyse how new information technologies influence the traditional legal approach to crime prevention and criminal prosecution. You’ll study the complexity of the challenges facing the legal profession. You’re encouraged to build on your knowledge of substantive criminal law to assess to what extent existing criminal law principles and tools can be used to solve new problems. As the challenges are not unique to the UK, where appropriate a comparative approach will be adopted with the US and Europe.

In this module you’ll gain a detailed understanding of the law governing data protection, and in particular European Union law on this subject.

You’ll look at freedom of expression and privacy and their impact on mass communications media ranging from the press through broadcasting to telecommunications and the Internet. Some material from national jurisdictions will be introduced (the US, the UK, and Germany) to highlight differences in approach. The impact of new technologies will be noted, as we see how rules relating to more traditional mechanisms of communication apply to these technologies.

You’ll initially focus on the analysis of the EU institutional framework as well as the legal instruments employed at the EU level. During the module you’ll study: the Free Movement of Goods; the Free Movement of People; the EU Human Rights Law; the Economic and Monetary Union; EU Administrative Law; and the European Economic Constitution.

You’ll examine the economic foundations of the European Union. You’ll also scrutinise economic terms in the context of their deployment within specific areas of EC law and policy, such as market integration and the CAP. You’ll also critically explore the economic presuppositions and controversies surrounding EMU, EU regional policy and EU enlargement.

In this module you’ll take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of EU enlargement. You’ll examine the legal mechanisms of accession, alongside related constitutional changes, and will discuss and analyse the economic, social and cultural dimensions which accompany and form the sub-text of the legal process, whilst focusing on the fifth enlargement.

This module provides you with an early opportunity to engage in legal analysis and writing.

You’ll gain substantive knowledge of European Union law related to corporate structures and regulation, will develop a critical and contextual analysis of ideological and legal factors determinant upon the structures of corporate governance, and will be introduced to the problems arising from the implementation of EU legislation in the area of company law. A thorough analysis, not only of the current legislation but also of the cultural, ideological and political conflicts that have led to the shaping of the current framework, is provided.

What are the global standards set by the GATT/World Trade Organisation? And by World Bank policies? Examine relationships between human rights, international trade and foreign investment. Study legal issues, plus ethical, political and economic arguments on current topics. Evaluate cases to see the practical effect of linking trade and rights.

What are the human rights responsibilities of private companies? And what about public or private institutions financing projects aimed at world development? Evaluate principles regulating human rights and examine how they contrast with principles regulating multinational commercial interests. Consider real-life cases from both national and international courts.

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake an extended work-based placement at an employer. During this placement you’ll work on a project defined by the employer as a priority for their organisation. You’ll receive the opportunity to utilise and develop the knowledge and skills developed in your course, applying them in a work-based environment and leading to the production of a substantive project report.

What are the founding principles of human rights? What perspectives and methodologies can you apply to human rights? And what are the important contemporary debates in the theory and practice of human rights? Gain answers to these questions, while acquiring methodological skills for future independent research.

Teaching

  • Mainly taught through seminars, supplemented by lectures where appropriate
  • Small group teaching
  • Postgraduates are welcome to participate in and present their work at our popular School Seminar Series

Assessment

  • Virtually all your modules are assessed by a combination of essays, take-home examinations or 100% coursework

Dissertation

  • Your dissertation is normally between 15,000-20,000 words in length
  • A compulsory component of our LLM courses
  • Supervision and guidance is given

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A degree with an high 2:2.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.0 in writing

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

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Although great care is taken in compiling our course details, they are intended for the general guidance of prospective students only. The University reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University.

The full procedures, rules and regulations of the University are set out in the Charter, Statues and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.