Law - International Commercial & Business Law
The LLM International Commercial and Business Law is designed as a research-led programme for graduates from law and related disciplines who aim to specialise in commercial law, international trade and cross-border business transactions from a socio-legal perspective. It will help you understand and master the highly dynamic and complex legal and regulatory regimes governing international business and the global economy. If you aim for a career in corporate, financial or commercial law, our programme will equip you with solid knowledge and an advanced understanding of the key principles, rules and practices in areas such as corporate governance, corporate law, competition law, financial law, and trade law. With support from leading academics throughout this LLM, you will be able to develop a broad set of relevant skills that will allow you to contribute to legal problem solving in key areas of commercial and business law.
Thanks to our diverse staff and student body you will have a unique opportunity to meet lecturers and peers with different experiences and backgrounds, enabling you to expand your own perspective and understanding further. In previous years students have joined the programme from both the UK and around the world, significantly contributing to the discussions in class and group work.
The School's world-leading academics specialise in a range of relevant areas, including:
- International and Transnational Commercial Law, including international commercial and financial transactions, Conflicts of Law/Public International Law, harmonisation and regionalisation of commercial law, and commercial litigation and arbitration.
- International Competition Law, including European and Comparative Competition Law
- International Trade Law, including World Trade Organisation Law, international economic law, dispute settlement, and regional and national trade laws and policies.
- Legal Aspects of Innovation and New Technologies, including blockchain and smart contracts.
- Corporate Governance and Compliance, including comparative corporate governance and corporate social responsibility.
- International Financial Regulation, including regulatory changes in the aftermaths of the East-Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis, regulating finance in key jurisdictions and in global financial centres and tax havens, deepening financial integration and financial fragmentation, the role of law and technology in finance, and the transition to sustainable and digital finance.
A Connected and Engaged Law School
The Law School and its academic staff are highly connected with institutions outside the higher education sector, enabling us to provide a programme that is vastly relevant for real-world problem solving. We have had cooperation with and inputs to our programme from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, competition authorities across multiple jurisdictions, the international competition network, local and national business law firms, the European Commission, the NI Department for the Economy, and the Bank of England. Law School staff members have been involved in advising various departments on trade laws and policies over recent years. We have also been providing legal training on finance law for the Department for the Economy under its Assured Skills Programme. Some of those cooperations have led to guest lectures in modules, where those external experts shared valuable insights with our students.
Small Group Teaching
The majority of the LLM modules use small group teaching to enhance your engagement with staff and peers in the classroom. This setting also maximises cross-cultural exchanges and learning reflecting many of the complexities and varieties in contemporary international business.
Building on the unique research experience and knowledge of staff allows you to gain state-of-the-art insights into the key issues and discussions about socio-legal challenges and solutions related to international business and commerce. We also encourage LLM students to come along to research events at Queen's and our Law School and we have usually several talks from world-leading experts on commercial and business law topics.
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities associated with the course are outlined below:
The Law School at Queen's is ranked as one of the top 10 Law Schools in the UK (Complete University Guide 2023). During your study with us you will be supported in various ways. For example, each Programme has its own Programme Co-Ordinator—a dedicated member of academic staff who is there to guide and support you throughout your time with us, together with the School's experienced and helpful administrative staff.
Moreover, all our LLM students are able to avail of mentoring and pastoral support of academic staff. We place considerable emphasis on facilitating good communication between staff and students. To this end, a Student Voice Committee, comprised of elected student representatives, the Director of Graduate Studies and other members of academic staff, meet at regular intervals throughout the academic year. This Committee provides students with a forum in which to raise matters of concern to them and also enables the School to keep students informed about matters affecting the School and wider university.
At Queen's, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
We do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enables our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, life-long learners.
Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) basis. Students must complete four core modules (80 CATS points), two optional modules (40 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).
The Masters is awarded to students who successfully complete all taught modules (120 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).
The programme is delivered through a series of taught modules and culminates in the submission of a dissertation on an original topic.
Issues in International Commercial Law
Comparative Competition Law
World Trade Law
Dissertation (Maximum 15,000 words)
(Students who secure a summer work placement of at least 8 weeks can complete a Dissertation in Practice Module including 12,000 word dissertation and 3,000 word reflective journal of the learning experience).
Approaches to Legal Research
Leadership and Innovation Skills
Data, Privacy and the Law
Regulating Digital Communications
Governing the Firm
Business and Human Rights
Copyright in the Digital Environment
International Financial Law
UK Trade Law and Policy
Corporate Environmental Law
Artificial Intelligence and the Law
Crimes of the Powerful
Please note this is not an exclusive list of the optional modules available. Optional modules are reviewed each year and subject to staff availability
*Note: students who take the module Business and Human Rights may graduate with the award of LLM in International Corporate Governance.
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Law, Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline.
Exemption from these requirements may be considered for those applicants who hold a Master's degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) OR for those applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) along with a minimum of 2 years relevant experience.
Admission under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) may be considered for this course. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 11th August 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Postgraduate Applications Portal for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes.
New applicants will need to register via the Portal to create an application account. If you are already a Queen's student with an active Qsis account, you can log in using your student number and Qsis password. Guidance on how to complete an application is provided within the Portal and it is possible to save application data and return to complete it at a later date, if you wish. After core details about yourself and your academic background have been provided, you can submit an application, or multiple applications, if required.
If you applied in a previous cycle through the Portal and are re-applying, you should use your previous log in details. Please review and update your personal and contact details, academic and professional qualifications before submitting a new application.
Important – please ensure that the email address you provide is correct and active, as this will be used by us to communicate the progress of your application to you.
1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.
Entry year 2020
Post Course Info
Our LLM programme will prepare you for a career in law with specialisation in international commerce and business. It also enables students to develop research skills that will prepare you for pursuing a PhD and an academic career in international business law. Students are actively supported by our School's Employability and Placement Officer and by the University's dedicated Careers Service which provide students with opportunities to engage with employers and help them to boost their employability:
Graduate plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university; you will have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.