Commercial Law (LLM)
Commerce and trade exert some of the most powerful influences on human activity and commercial relationships reflect a constantly evolving world.
The ingenuity of traders and the complexity of modern commerce is truly breathtaking. The study of Commercial Law provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in this important and fascinating area of law. This programme enables you to develop expertise in a range of commercial law subjects.
Birmingham Law School has an international reputation for its research and teaching across several broad areas of commercial law. This programme enables you to develop expertise in a wide range of commercial law subjects providing you with a strong foundation for your future career. The LLM in Commercial Law is ideally suited to those students wishing to specialise in English commercial law. The School has a leading reputation for excellence in its research and teaching in this area and the modules available on the LLM in Commercial Law draw on these strengths.
- Research-led teaching – 72% of our research is classed as ‘World Leading’ or ‘Internationall Excellent’
- Module choice – One of the widest ranges of LLM modules available in the UK
- Employability – Birmingham is one of the top universities in the UK for graduate employment
- Professional links – annual law fair, visits to and from leading firms
You follow a modular programme (180 credits in total), which comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) and a dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits); the latter to be submitted at the end of the year of study. Students following the Commercial Law programme study a minimum of four of their six modules from the list below:
- Agency, Law of
- Banking Law
- Commercial Conflict of Laws
- Company Law
- Domestic Sale of Goods, Law of
- Financing of International Trade
- Intellectual Property Law
- Marine Insurance
- Maritime Law
- Personal Insolvency Law
Students can also choose to study up to two of their six modules from those available on the General LLM:
- Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
- Environmental Energy Law
- EU Competition Law
- European Human Rights Law
- Global Crime Problems
- Human Rights and Criminal Justice
- International and Comparative Oil and Gas Law (Upstream)
- International and European Legal Responses to Terrorism
- International Criminal Law and Justice
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Human Rights Law
- International Trade Law and Policy – Advanced Issues
- International Trade Law and Policy – Foundations
- Law of International Organisations
- Public International Law
- Public Procurement in EU and International Trade Law
- Restorative Justice
- Sentencing: Prison Studies
- Socio-Legal Method
- Socio-Legal Theory
- Theory of Criminal Law
- Transnational Criminal Law
Students are also allowed to choose one of their six modules from those offered by the Political Science and International Studies department. Students may chose from the following list:
- Civil War, Conflict and International Intervention
- Democracy, Power and Citizenship
- Ethical Dimension on Terrorism, Political Violence and War
- Gender and Global Governance
- Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and International Order
- Sex, Death, Gender and (In) Security
- Terrorism and Contemporary Conflict
- Totalitarianism And The State
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2017-18 are as follows:
- Home / EU: £7,290 full-time; £3,645 part-time
- Overseas: £16,380 full-time
For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University’s Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
For 2016 entry, Birmingham Law School is offering a range of scholarships to applicants for the taught LLM programmes.
Applicants should have a good Honours degree in law, or a degree in another discipline augmented with a pass in the Common Professional Examination.
International qualifications which are equivalent to a UK honours degree in Law will be considered. Learn more about international entry requirements
If your first language is not English you must provide an English language qualification. Recognised qualifications include:
- IELTS: 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band
Birmingham’s LLM programmes have been designed to allow in-depth analysis of important legal topics. Modules are all 20 credits in length, comprising 10 two-hour seminars, to enable students to develop significant expertise which will enhance their career prospects.
Birmingham is able to offer small-group teaching on the LLM and students following popular modules with large numbers of students will receive (where possible) additional teaching time. For these additional hours large classes will be split in to two separate seminar groups in order to provide an equal opportunity for class interaction compared to those in smaller groups.
The LLM programmes last 12 months, running from September to September. All LLM programmes follow the same basic structure.
- In part I of the programmes, you take six 20 credit modules: the range of choice depends on the programme you decide to follow. Assessment in those modules, by essay or formal examination, is in May and June.
- In part II of the programmes, you research and write a 15,000-word dissertation on a selected topic of law under the supervision of a member of staff.
The LLM programmes enable you to develop expertise in a range of subjects. You will acquire a systematic understanding of these along with a critical appreciation of the problems that arise these fields. You will be encouraged to demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge together with a practical understanding of how established research techniques are used to create and interpret knowledge.
Law School induction
At the start of the course there is a two-day induction designed to help you settle in and gain an understanding of the LLM programme.
Students do not register for modules before arrival as we feel it is important that you are able to make an informed choice. As part of the induction process module leaders will give a detailed description of what their subject entails and you will have the option to attend any areas which you are interested in for the first two weeks of the course before having to submit a final decision.
All the LLM programmes may be taken part-time and completed over a period of two years. This mode of study is particularly suitable for barristers and solicitors who wish to combine professional practice with university-level study, gaining CPD points in the process.
Classes for part-time students on the LLM will be scheduled between 9am-6pm and students will typically have between 2-4 hours of teaching each week. Fees are the same as for full-time study but are split over two years.
International students are invited to participate in an orientation course run by the university’s International Office before the start of the academic session. For students from outside the UK, there are also lectures on the British constitution, sources of English law and the working methods of the common law system. The English for International Students Unit provides a range of support in reading and writing academic English.
In 2014/15, 93% of Law postgraduate students were in employment or further study within six months of graduating, with 90% of those employed in graduate level employment or further study. Our graduates move onto a diverse range of careers, with many going on to work in top law schools and law firms. Some examples of where our recent graduates have gone on to work include; the Criminal Justice Alliance, the Home Office, Pinsent Masons LLP, Shoosmiths LLP and Equity Chambers. A number of our postgraduate students go directly from Birmingham to complete the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Professional Training Course.
Links to the Legal Profession
The Law School maintains strong links with the professional world, through our network of alumni and contacts in the barristers’ and solicitors’ professions. These links allow us to put on a series of law careers events throughout the academic year.
Each autumn, the University hosts the Law Fair, in which we welcome over 50 law firms, including some of the largest law firms in the world, to the University’s Great Hall. The attendees represent law firms of all sizes and most areas of practice.
Each year, the Law School hosts an “Employability Fortnight”. The events which run in this fortnight have included an Applications Process Panel Session, a Midlands Circuit Court Visit followed by an Inner Temple Drinks Reception in the evening, an Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop by Herbert Smith, and dedicated Careers Advice Drop-in Sessions.
The Careers Network
The Careers Network organises regular events including presentations by top law firms and the annual Law Fair. It also runs workshops to help students prepare effective applications and to prepare for their next move. Its events on non-law careers, including journalism, marketing and working with charities, can be of interest to law students.
The Law School organises a range of mooting opportunities and students have the opportunity to participate (a moot is a mock trial of a legal issue). The Moot Room is a state-of-the-art court room, complete with audio-visual equipment for recording moots. The Law School operates four mooting competitions, and students regularly represent the University at regional and national competitions, with notable success.