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Law - International Commercial Law & Alternative Dispute Resolution ADR

This course is relevant to both aspiring and current legal and business professionals wishing to gain specialisation and enhance career opportunities in Commercial Law and ADR. It has been developed in consultation with industry experts and in response to their employment needs.

This unique LLM programme will enable you to develop practical skills in negotiation and provides the opportunity to become a fully accredited mediator, presenting a wealth of opportunities for career progression in this area of professional practice.

You will gain an understanding of the core principles of commercial law in areas such as financial markets and derivatives, commercial property law and international intellectual property law. The modules concentrate on practical skills and are led b experts from the relevant industry sectors.

Incorporated within the LLM is a compulsory module delivered by Mediation Northern Ireland accredited by the Open College Network equating to an NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Diploma. This is a recognised qualification for mediators in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. You have the option of applying for professional accreditation upon completion of this course and satisfaction of the professional requirements.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class lower degree (2.2) in law or relevant cognate degree with an element of law or other relevant modules.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants

The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Will be considered on a case by case basis.



Attendance at lectures and seminar sessions is compulsory.

Careers or further progression

Career options

• Commercial Law Practice

• Dispute Resolution Practioner

• Finance & Banking

• Intellectual Property Law

• International Trade Law

• Accredited mediator

Further enquiries



T: +44 (0)28 9536 7890


John Keers

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7075


Subjects taught

Year one

Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution

This module introduces students to the nature of conflict and disputes; considers the various options for dispute resolution including, in particular, adjudication, arbitration and mediation; and will provide students with a foundational knowledge of ADR which can then be developed in their professional practice. Specifically, this module provides a foundation for the subsequent Mediation module.

International Commercial Law

This module will provide a solid basis for acquiring knowledge and understanding and developing analyses of the key concepts, problems and issues in the area of commercial law. The theories, principles and rules of commercial law will be examined with reference to European and international developments. It will examine and evaluate the key features of commercial law from both a theoretical and practical perspective.


This module, offered in partnership between Ulster University and Mediation Northern Ireland will allow students to consider the nature of conflict, to explore the process of mediation and experience the role of mediator. As well as constituting a module of study assessed by the University this module, when fully completed, also covers the content of "Mediation Theory & Practice" - a Mediation Northern Ireland training course accredited by the Open College Network Northern Ireland as a Level 3 course earning 9 credit points. "Mediation Theory & Practice" equates to an NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Diploma and is one of the recognized qualifications for mediators in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Successful completion of this module will (subject to particular criteria specified by Mediation Northern Ireland and formally agreed between the student and Mediation Northern Ireland) entitle students to also apply, via submission of an additional learning portfolio, to Mediation Northern Ireland for this recognised professional qualification.

Commercial Property Law

This module guides students through the key areas of acquisition, development and letting of land for business purposes. Students will consider, in particular, site acquisition both by means of conveyance and through the application of compulsory purchase powers by public authorities, commercial development in the context of the planning system and the law relating to business tenancies. This module not only equips students with underpinning knowledge of relevant aspects of the law but also provides key opportunities to directly engage in case studies based on the type of practical work undertaken by an experienced commercial practice.

Derivatives and Financial Markets

This module, offered in association between Ulster University and Fieldfisher LLP's Belfast and London offices, guides students through the key areas of financial markets trading and regulation with a specific emphasis on derivatives and securities financing. Students will consider, in particular, master agreements used for a variety of transactions in cross border markets. This module not only equips students with underpinning knowledge of relevant aspects of the law but also provides key opportunities to directly engage in case studies based on the type of practical work undertaken by an experienced financial services practice.


The dissertation module is designed to enable students to develop and apply the demonstrable research skills in the form of independent research leading to 12,000 words dissertation on a topic of choice in commercial-law related fields. Students would be advised to choose their research topics in areas for which there are supervision expertise within the school of law.

Small Businesses and Franchising Law

This module is optional

The effective and efficient running of small businesses (and their establishment) requires students to understand a number of concepts, principles and rules of law in such areas as contract, tort, employment, intellectual property and franchising, as well as close familiarity with the nature, structure and key characteristics of the legal system in which such businesses operate. In addition, students will also need to acquire certain skills, such as those of instant recall, critical analysis, argumentation and articulation, and the ability to apply legal concepts and principles to practical problems or to refer such problems to appropriate dispute resolution methods. This module provides the necessary information, knowledge and intellectual equipment to acquire such knowledge and skills.

International Intellectual Property Law

This module is optional

In the new knowledge-dependent economy, intellectual property is the critical mass that drives innovations and technologies. Students will understand the extent to which international intellectual property law has been harmonised via international trade agreement signed in Marrakesh in 1994 (TRIPS Agreement); and the extent to which international intellectual property law has impacted national intellectual property laws in the United Kingdom, European Union and the United States.

Application date

Application is through the University's online application system.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2020/21

Postgraduate Information Session 5 March 2020

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