Postgraduate Course

LLM Corporate Responsibility

LLM Corporate Responsibility

Overview

The details
Corporate Responsibility
October 2020
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus
Law (School of)

What l responsibilities do businesses owe to society? How do national law and international law interact and what is their role in Corporate Responsibility? How do companies ensure they operate ethically? How well do organisations understand and address the urgency of sustainable development? Corporate Responsibility is a key global concern and these are all questions of necessity for businesses all over the world.

Corporate Responsibility and Corporate Social Responsibility are concepts which businesses – no matter their size or purpose – must value and adhere to. Our course gives you the tools to identify, analyse and evaluate the main legal rules, principles, models and dimensions of Corporate Responsibility and issues relating to ethical business, corporate and business law, corporate governance, sustainability and human rights.

You’ll study topics including but not limited to:

  • Legal Aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Environmental law and policy
  • Human rights within business
  • Ethically oriented-practices such as consumer protection and labour standards
  • Responsibility in global value chains and institutionally challenging environments

Not only will you understand Corporate Responsibility, you’ll be able to develop suitable responses and create action plans to tackle complex issues around this. Graduates will be suited to a broad range of corporate, legal, business and environmental protection roles across national and transnational non-profit and public organisations.

Our School of Law has an international reputation for teaching law that matters. We specialise in commercial law, public law and human rights law and our research is valued across the globe. Many of our academics also hold positions advising and working with the UN, the UK government and with EU and foreign governments.

Why we're great.
  • We’re ranked 51st for law in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019.
  • Gain experience working in our Essex Law Clinic and our Human Rights Clinic.
  • Join an alumni network spanning the globe, who are at the heart of the theory and practice of law and human rights.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

You’ll be taught by international experts in the field, teaching specialised modules which will develop your skills in research, litigation and negotiating. 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.

Dr Onyeka Osuji previously practised in corporate and commercial law before a career change into academia. He is currently a Reader in Law and his research interests lie within Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility, Consumer Protection, Development and Corporate Regulation. Dr Osuji is also qualified as a barrister and solicitor of Nigeria and a (non-practising) solicitor of England and Wales and has advised individuals, corporations, and national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Professor Christopher Willett has taught, researched, published and advised in the areas of UK, EU and global consumer and contract law; commercial law; sales law; food law; digital content law; services of general interest; financial law; and unfair terms and practices law for 30 years. He also regularly conducts studies and research reports and advise on law reform for the UK government, the EU and other bodies.

Dr Stephen Turner is a Senior Lecturer in our School of Law and has research interests in international environmental law, climate change, global environmental governance and corporate responsibility.

Dr Anil Yilmaz Vastardis is a Lecturer in our School of Law. Her main research interests lie within international investment law and business and human rights.

Dr Tara Van Ho is a Lecturer in our School of Law. She is one of the leaders of our Essex Business and Human Rights Project, through which she advises states, intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, and businesses on issues of business, investment, and human rights. Her main research interests are business and human rights, investment law and human rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and transitional justice.

Dr Marios Koutsias is a qualified lawyer and member of the Thessaloniki Bar Association, Greece. He is also a lecturer in our School of Law, specialising in EU Commercial Law. His main research interests lie within Company Law; Corporate Governance; Comparative Company Law; European Union Law and Privacy and Data Protection.

Dr Eugenio Vaccari is a qualified Italian lawyer specialising in corporate insolvency law. He is also a lecturer in our School of Law. His main research interests are the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of corporate insolvency law and the impact of artificial intelligence on insolvency practice.

Specialist facilities

  • Volunteer at the Essex Law Clinic where you can work alongside practicing solicitors to offer legal advice to clients.
  • 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, , 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 Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2. Degree in Law or a joint honours Degree with Law. Applicants who do not hold a Law Degree but who have additional relevant professional experience and/or traineeships or professional qualifications/certifications issued by professional bodies such as Bar Associations can apply and will be considered.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language 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.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

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.

The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years

Banking Law (optional)

You’ll cover the legal aspects of banking transactions, banking regulation and the bank-customer relationship. You’ll be introduced to the concept as banks as economic and social institutions and their regulation in a domestic and global context. You’ll analyse the bank-customer relationship including the important issues of contractual fairness, the banks duty of confidentiality, and the potential for transactional and advisory liability.

View Banking Law (optional) on our Module Directory

European Union Law and Human Rights (optional)

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.

View European Union Law and Human Rights (optional) on our Module Directory

Legal Research and the English Legal System (optional)

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.

View Legal Research and the English Legal System (optional) on our Module Directory

International Trade Finance Law (optional)

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.

View International Trade Finance Law (optional) on our Module Directory

International Sale of Goods (optional)

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.

View International Sale of Goods (optional) on our Module Directory

Carriage of Goods By Sea (optional)

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.

View Carriage of Goods By Sea (optional) on our Module Directory

International Commercial Dispute Resolution I (optional)

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.

View International Commercial Dispute Resolution I (optional) on our Module Directory

Public International Trade Law (optional)

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.

View Public International Trade Law (optional) on our Module Directory

Marine Insurance I (optional)

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.

View Marine Insurance I (optional) on our Module Directory

Maritime Law and Wet Shipping (optional)

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.

View Maritime Law and Wet Shipping (optional) on our Module Directory

International Financial Law (optional)

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.

View International Financial Law (optional) on our Module Directory

Admiralty Law (optional)

This module is delivered by 9 two-hourly interactive workshops and takes a practical perspective into maritime law matters developed by the Admiralty Court in England. It considers the jurisdiction of the admiralty court and the enforcement of maritime claims including arrest and freezing injunctions, maritime and statutory liens and limitation of liability.

View Admiralty Law (optional) on our Module Directory

International Trade and Maritime Law (optional)

This module delves into core concepts concerning common law, the role of public versus private international law and how Trade and Maritime law fit into Commercial Law. You’ll also focus on some current developments in Shipping including Brexit and Shipping, Maritime Labour Law, Piracy and Restructuring/refinancing of shipping corporations.

View International Trade and Maritime Law (optional) on our Module Directory

Islamic Finance and Banking Law (optional)

The module aims to familiarise students with principles, methods and practices of Islamic finance and banking. It will acquaint students with the key differences and similarities with the principles and concepts of conventional finance and banking. Some of the focus will be on the prohibition of interest (Riba) as a key principle in Islamic finance and banking system.

View Islamic Finance and Banking Law (optional) on our Module Directory

Contemporary Issues in Commercial and Business Law (optional)
Competition Law (optional)

Ensuring effective competition and maintaining a competitive market structure are the two key elements of EU competition policy. In this module you’ll examine the legal rules of EU Competition Law, taking into account the underlying economic principles and wider policy issues. Gain an understanding of the rationale behind competition law and policy, and its importance in the regulation of a free market economy, and develop an in-depth knowledge of the general principles of EU competition law and its application.

View Competition Law (optional) on our Module Directory

European Union Company Law (optional)

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.

View European Union Company Law (optional) on our Module Directory

International Law of Armed Conflict (optional)

How can international law protect vulnerable groups during times of armed conflict? And can it be improved? Build knowledge of international law by examining the rules and legal classifications of armed conflict. Evaluate how international law tries to prevent and punish violations. Gain practical experience by studying real-life examples.

View International Law of Armed Conflict (optional) on our Module Directory

Current Challenges in the Law of Armed Conflict (optional)

How do you protect the environment during armed conflict? What role does the media play in conflict situations? What are the implications of asymmetric warfare? Undertake in-depth analysis of problems associated with armed conflict. Examine real-life issues that interest you, to see how different laws, institutions and competing interests combine.

View Current Challenges in the Law of Armed Conflict (optional) on our Module Directory

International Criminal Law (optional)

How does international criminal law deal with terrorism? Or with genocide and crimes against humanity? What role does the International Criminal Court play? Study international criminal law and the principles of jurisdiction. Analyse the idea of state criminal responsibility. Build knowledge of human rights in relation to international criminal law.

View International Criminal Law (optional) on our Module Directory

Conflict and the UN: Law Relating to the Use of Force, Peacekeeping, Sanctions & Counter Terrorism (optional)

How does public international law apply to peace and field operations? What about international human rights law? Or the international law of armed conflict? Understand the institutional law of the United Nations. Examine foundational legal aspects of peace operations, as well as key unresolved legal issues.

View Conflict and the UN: Law Relating to the Use of Force, Peacekeeping, Sanctions & Counter Terrorism (optional) on our Module Directory

Acute Crises and Displacement (optional)

Most displaced persons in the world are part of a mass displacement that may or may not cross an international border which has important consequences for the legal framework of protection. In this module you will look at the protection offered by international law to those displaced in time of acute crisis.

View Acute Crises and Displacement (optional) on our Module Directory

Public International Law (optional)

What does it mean to be an international lawyer? Understand the founding principles of international laws. Apply the tools and techniques of legal reasoning to the international system. Understand how the system of international law works and form your own views through discussion of contemporary issues.

View Public International Law (optional) on our Module Directory

The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law (optional)

What protection does international law offer refugees and internally displaced persons? Examine legal definitions of refugee status. Understand the guarantees provided for such groups by international human rights law. Evaluate the limitations of such laws by states in Europe and North America.

View The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law (optional) on our Module Directory

European Convention on Human Rights I (optional)

What are the achievements of the European Convention on Human Rights? What are the challenges that it now faces? And the constraints? Examine the history of the Convention. Explore how the focus and methodology of the Court is now changing. Address the key states of the litigation of a case.

View European Convention on Human Rights I (optional) on our Module Directory

The Protection of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in International Law (optional)

You’ll look at how minorities and indigenous peoples are protected in international human rights law by considering the rights that have been established, the jurisprudence that has been developed and the mechanisms for implementation. You’ll receive the opportunity to reflect on the contrasting regimes that focus on the individual rights accorded members of minorities and the collective rights recognised for indigenous peoples. You’ll study the contemporary challenges relating to political participation, conflict, development, climate change and other matters that affect minorities and indigenous peoples.

View The Protection of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in International Law (optional) on our Module Directory

Human Rights and Development (optional)

What does right to development mean? How does it relate to human rights treaties? What is a human rights-based approach to development? Study international human rights law, exploring theoretical and practical implications of linking human rights and development. Analyse specific human rights themes. Evaluate the role of governments and organisations.

View Human Rights and Development (optional) on our Module Directory

International Trade, Investment and Human Rights. (optional)

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.

View International Trade, Investment and Human Rights. (optional) on our Module Directory

Human Rights and Women (optional)

You’ll receive an introduction to the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ human rights under international law. Your focus will be on the universal human rights mechanisms, with some analysis of regional human rights mechanisms, especially relating to violence against women. You’ll consider sexual and reproductive rights, economic, social and cultural rights, administration of justice, women’s rights in conflict and post-conflict, and violence against women. You’ll also look at the persistence of gender stereotyping, theories of equality and discrimination, and the efforts of human rights defenders.

View Human Rights and Women (optional) on our Module Directory

Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Africa (optional)

In this module you’ll critically examine the promotion and protection of human rights from the perspective of African political and human rights institutions. Topics you’ll cover include: human rights in Africa; the Organisation of African Unity and African Union; the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights; other African human rights treaties; African states within the UN; domestic protection of human rights; and women's rights.

View Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Africa (optional) on our Module Directory

The Inter-American System of Human Rights (optional)

In this module you’ll study the work carried out by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court, which are usually referred to as the two bodies of the Inter-American System. In particular you’ll study the rights to life, humane treatment, personal liberty, fair trial, judicial guarantees, indigenous rights, violence against women, non-discrimination and equality, socio-economic rights, and the right to reparation. Films and guest speakers will enhance your understanding of the achievements, challenges and impact of the System.

View The Inter-American System of Human Rights (optional) on our Module Directory

Business and Human Rights (optional)

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.

View Business and Human Rights (optional) on our Module Directory

Transitional Justice (optional)

Broadly speaking transitional justice refers to the belief that any State where mass atrocities have taken place should engage with a set of judicial and non-judicial processes in order to achieve a successful transition from conflict to peace or repression to democracy. You’ll receive an overview of the history, theory, legal background and dilemmas of transitional justice, followed by in-depth discussions of the four pillars of transitional justice – truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, and of their interrelatedness.

View Transitional Justice (optional) on our Module Directory

Human Rights Clinic (optional)

Want to work as a human rights professional? Using the UN human rights mechanisms, learn the essential skills to become a human rights practitioner. Apply this knowledge practically through engagement with projects by our Human Rights Centre Clinic.

View Human Rights Clinic (optional) on our Module Directory

Contemporary Issues in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (optional)

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.

View Contemporary Issues in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (optional) on our Module Directory

Religion and Human Rights (optional)

How do Islamic legal traditions impact on international human rights discourse? And on Muslim state practice? Study the debates surrounding Islam and universal human rights. Examine the diversity of perspectives surrounding human rights in Islamic thought and practice. Develop the tools for cross-cultural understanding and engagement.

View Religion and Human Rights (optional) on our Module Directory

Human Rights, International Relations and Diplomacy (optional)

How does the international system enhance the advancement of human rights? And how does it constrain it? Study the international system and its influence on human rights. Examine the role of foreign policy instruments in promoting human rights. Analyse how human rights can advance foreign policy goals by states.

View Human Rights, International Relations and Diplomacy (optional) on our Module Directory

The Morality and Politics of International Human Rights (optional)
Language Rights (optional)

From a human rights perspective, what kinds of conflicts occur around languages? Are there linguistic human rights? What are they? How do governments, lawmakers, schools, courts and international organisations identify and treat language problems? Can language planners and policymakers address conflicts involving indigenous peoples, national minorities, ethnic or racial groups?

View Language Rights (optional) on our Module Directory

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

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£8,340

International fee

£17,900

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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.

2020 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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.

If you are applying to one of our taught courses in the School of Law, you will need to provide a copy of your CV with your application.

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