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Why choose the School of Accounting, Finance and Law
Our BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Association of International Accountants (AIA)
You benefit from our links with finance and accounting’s ‘big four’ Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte as well as professional bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
Our Law courses are in the UK top 10 for graduate prospects - outcomes (CUG 2024)
About the course
Globalisation and the increase in cross-border business activities have created even more demand for legal experts with specialisation in various aspects of international business law. This LLM is designed for graduates who wish to gain a deep understanding of the complexities of transnational business transactions or who intend to pursue a legal career in global business.
The course focuses on various aspects of international business law and examines the procedural mechanisms available to businesses to resolve transnational commercial disputes including international arbitration and litigation. The course enables you to develop knowledge of the legal rules and policies regulating a variety of business activities across the world and provides you with the tools to apply this knowledge to a range of transnational business scenarios.
In line with our practice-oriented approach to learning you approach business problems from a legal perspective examining the applicable rules and policies effectively evaluating business solutions and providing suitable legal advice.
Intermediate qualifications available:
- Postgraduate certificate – 60 credits at Master’s level
- Postgraduate diploma – 120 credits at Master’s level
Why choose this course?
- Acquire a solid foundation in international business law while developing your knowledge and skills of the legal rules regulating a variety of business activity across the world
- Develop the legal analysis and research skills required to provide effective evaluations of the legal options that apply in international business contexts
- Learn from internationally recognised lecturers with an outstanding reputation in their field
- Take advantage of our vibrant programme of guest speakers featuring practising City lawyers and renowned academics
What will you study?
International Commercial Litigation
When business is transacted across national boundaries, special kinds of legal problems are likely to arise. If a dispute arises between the parties, it cannot be assumed that English courts will decided a case which has a foreign element in the same way it would decide a case which is connected only with England. In cases with foreign connections, three questions arise: first, does the English court have jurisdiction to hear the case; second, which law should an English court apply to the dispute between the parties; and third if a dispute is resolved abroad can one of the parties have the decision of the foreign tribunal recognised and enforced in England?
The aim of this unit is to give you a thorough grounding in both traditional common law rules and rules derived from International Conventions to which the UK is a party that relate to International Commercial Ligation. On completing this unit, you will be able to identify and fully understand the factors which may justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the English court; the elements which may help determine whether the English court should apply its own law or the law of a foreign country; and the considerations which may justify an English court in giving effect to a foreign judgment in England. Through a combination of teaching, case studies and critical appraisal, you will be kept abreast of current developments in this dynamic area of law.
An increasingly relevant area for International Commercial Litigation is the energy law, with the rise of contentious matters in the in the past years as a result of the increased liberalisation of markets. Large projects in the energy field usually generate disputes related to costs, warranties or performance or termination of contracts, as well as environmental related claims (see the oil pollution liability in offshore petroleum industry after the Macondo spill).
Investment Treaty Arbitration
The legal environment for foreign investment has changed dramatically over the last twenty-five years, especially after the international investment agreement (IIAs), and especially the bilateral investment treaties (BITs), flourished in the ‘90s. Investment protection, be it substantive or procedural, is now on the negotiation table of all countries. In particular, investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is at the core of such protection and, not surprisingly, greatly challenged in the last five years.
This unit covers the key components of investment law with focus on the protection of investments through arbitration (be it under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID Convention) or under ad hoc or other institutional arbitration). However, this procedural remedy cannot be fully understood without a look into the substantive standards of protection of investments and investors. Reference is made to relevant international and municipal law, as well as to customary international law.
International Corporate Governance And Company Law
The central aim of this unit is to provide you with a thorough understanding of global Corporate Governance and the relationship with Company Law. In order to achieve this, you will be encouraged to identify issues involved in the creation and management/governance of modern corporations.
The unit is highly relevant to today’s business, with many global companies pronouncing on their own interpretation of governance. Given the recent scandals at companies such as VW group, the importance and impact of good governance practice and bad practice will be assessed. In addition to the development of UK company law, consideration will be given to the impact of EU law both internally and externally. The social implications of classic stakeholder-ship versus shareholder-ship are central to the unit, along with an understanding of corporate protection and corporate crime.
Intellectual Property Law
The aim of the unit is to examine the various aspects of contemporary intellectual property law (IP law) and to provide students with a sound knowledge and understanding of the substantive principles and their application to a wide variety of situations involving the protection and commercial exploitation of intellectual property. The unit also aims to enable students to critically assess the main legal implications for intellectual property law on an international level, having particular regard to Information Society issues. The unit will provide an examination of the key principles governing major IP law category with attention to their modern application on the Internet. Thus, the unit will introduce students to contemporary legal issues concerning the direction of IP rights and whether the current protection can be described as “fit for purpose”.
· To bring theory and practice together to formulate a hypothesis and conduct a major piece of research on a topic of your choice relevant to your field of study;
· To stimulate you to reflect on issues critically and to identify aspects that need further research;
· To provide you with the opportunity to explore a topic in considerable depth, including carrying out a major literature review;
· To train you to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of other people’s research and also your own;
· To enhance skills in time-management, research management, project organisation and decision-making.
An important aim of a Master’s degree is to train you to use your knowledge and skills independently so that you can successfully carry out a major piece of research. This dissertation provides you with the opportunity for sustained independent study that builds on your research proposal and represents the culmination of your LLM studies.
Law Live Project
The live project aims to bring you into contact with one or more aspects of the reality of professional legal practice. The central aim of this unit is to provide you with a thorough understanding of the way in which law professionals operate in practice. By engaging within a live project, you will have opportunity to apply your existing knowledge to real-life cases involving critical evaluation and reflection to propose appropriate courses of action to a client.
In so doing, you will gain the opportunity to develop the qualities and transferrable skills required for continued employment and/or continued research. Through the theoretical and practical challenges inherent within a unit of this nature you will directly enhance your awareness or the professional, social and behavioural practices of the legal environment.
How will you be assessed?
The assessment strategy for the LLM International Business Law is designed to ensure your full participation in the learning process. A number of different assessment methods will contribute to your development and will enhance your employability. The LLM Course Team considers it essential that comprehensive feedback is provided in due time so it is integrated in your learning process. In some cases different kinds of assessment may be used in combination making sure however that there are no hidden tasks.
The intensive character of this course's delivery as outlined in its Teaching and Learning philosophy is consistent with the needs of todays world for graduates who accumulate knowledge fast and are able to express the outcome of this process in a way that is meaningful and comprehensive. All units have two assessment points containing different types of assessment which are intended to enable you to demonstrate both breadth and depth of subject knowledge.
For each unit a week of intensive direct contact time followed by your own contribution through individual learning will take you to your first assessment point in week 3 of the teaching block. Your final assessment will be due at the end of the 6-week block. The types of assessment which you will encounter in this course include:
- Individual Written Report or Research Essay: These assessments will enable you to develop your knowledge legal research and critical analysis skills. The whole process will contribute to your development when it comes to conducting postgraduate level research and developing your enterprise. You will be required to perform literature informed research to review and evaluate the relevant sources and to use an appropriate methodology in order to analyse and evaluate the relevant concepts. Your close adherence to the principles of academic integrity will also be assessed.
- Case Study: This will require you to apply your subject-specific knowledge in the context of a specific factual scenario.
- Oral Presentation: By presenting your research and arguments in a formal setting you will develop a number of transferable skills including in particular the ability to present your ideas and findings in a professional clear and concise manner.
- Mooting: This will develop your legal research writing and advocacy skill by requiring you to develop legally-sound and effective legal arguments in support of your (fictional) clients position and articulate and defend those arguments during a simulated trial / arbitration.
- Dissertation / Live Project: Regardless of which Master capstone experience you opt for you will have to produce an individual independent piece of work. You will be asked to identify the research question or problem under investigation review the relevant literature develop a sound methodology in order to explore the problem proceed with the analysis discuss your findings and make recommendations. This project is the capstone of the LLM and builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in all taught units.
- Academic integrity: The notions of accountability and academic integrity will be an integral part of your course. The ability to use of a wide range of sources both academic and non-academic is a requirement for a postgraduate degree. All coursework assignments will require a thorough evaluation of the sources you have used and appropriate references. References should follow the Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). During the Welcome week at the beginning of the course you will receive training on how to reference your sources properly so at to avoid plagiarism; you will also be introduced to the University regulations on academic misconduct. Throughout the course you will then receive detailed guidance on referencing and proper academic practice in the context of each individual unit. The Course Team and the University adopt a zero-tolerance approach to plagiarism and academic misconduct. Turnitin will be used for all submissions. In addition for individual projects you will be asked to present to your tutor/supervisor the various stages of your work as the project is developing or to present your work in its entirety upon completion.
- Marking criteria: All assessments will be given a percentage mark. The pass mark is 40%; commendations and distinctions will be applied to achievement within prescribed bands. Full details of assessment and relevant marking criteria will be provided in the Unit Handbooks. The notions of accountability and academic integrity will be an integral part of this course; plagiarism and any other attempt to deceive in the context of assessments will not be tolerated. Students will be given extensive training on how to evaluate and appropriately reference sources and how to avoid plagiarism both during the welcome week at the beginning of the course and in the context of each unit. Turnitin will be used for all submissions; in addition for individual projects students will be asked to show the different stages of their work as it progresses or to present it in its entirety upon completion.
The course will equip you with the perspective and skills necessary for a wide range of legal careers including within international law firms - many of which have departments specialised in business law - or as in-house counsel within international corporations.
Other potential careers include working as legal advisor to governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as international and intergovernmental organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA); the World Trade Organisation (WTO); the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The course also provides an excellent pathway for further studies including postgraduate research at MPhil or PhD level.