Programme Specification for the 2015/6 academic year

LLM LLM International Commercial Law

1. Programme Details

Programme nameLLM LLM International Commercial Law Programme codePTL1LAWLAW10
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2015/6
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
Programme start date


NQF Level7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

This programme gives an in-depth understanding of the legal problems that arise in the conduct of business across national frontiers, and of the characteristic types of legal solutions adopted. Through the wide choice of modules you will be able to construct a programme appropriate to private practice, corporate or public employment in the fields of international business transactions and international trade. An additional feature is the possibility of taking modules available for other Masters degrees in the School of Law and the School of Business and Economics.

As part of the LLM programme you will have the opportunity to visit the institutions of the EU in Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels for a week, usually during the Spring Term. Although not obligatory, this accompanied tour is regarded as an important part of the educational activity of LLM students who are encouraged to participate, as it is an invaluable chance to see at first hand the workings of these institutions. The cost of the tour in 2010 was £365.

The method of teaching is by small seminar groups. You will be expected to prepare papers in advance on a given topic which you will then present at the following seminar, under the guidance of the appropriate module supervisor.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To provide students with a thorough knowledge of key issues of commercial transactions across national andjurisdictional borders.
2. To enable students to extend, both in level and in substance, their undergraduate legal knowledge in the broadfield of commercial law so that it includes transnational and international material and to apply this in a transnational context.
3. To enable students to identify, locate and critically appraise legal materials from a multi-jurisdictional perspective and connect these to problems arising in the field of international commercial law.
4. To enable students to assimilate extensive documentary legal and non-legal materials; to extract from them the material points, and to make judgments autonomously as to their relevance.
5. To enable a student to apply principles and legal rules in the field of national and international commercial law to solve and analyse practical problems in an international context
6. To encourage students to reason logically, supporting the process with authority.
7. To provide students with the necessary intellectual and practical legal skills, such as analysis, problem-solving and legal reasoning, to enable them independently to achieve an understanding of any branch of international commercial law even if they had not previously studied it.
8. To provide students with the opportunity to enhance and develop their writing skills by completing a dissertation, and their oral skills by presenting seminar papers.
9. To prepare students for employment in private practice, corporate or public employment with a large international commercial law component by developing their transferable and problem-based learning skills.

4. Programme Structure

The programme is studied over one year, in 3 terms, and is University-based throughout that time; in addition to the 3 terms, students have a 4 month period in which to complete a dissertation. The programme is divided into units of study called modules. Modules have a credit rating of 15, 30 or 60 credits (15 for half-modules over 1 term, 30 for full modules over 2 terms, 60 for the final dissertation) and 180 are required for this programme. The taught modules are delivered in terms 1 and 2 of the academic year.

Part time Study:

Part-time study is possible only if you live in the Exeter area as attendance at seminars is compulsory.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take option modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site.


Tour of the European Union and European Community Institutions

3rd - 9th February 2013


This one week tour, offered by the School of Law, presents a fantastic opportunity to see at first hand the workings of the institutions of the European Union and European Community in Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels.

Places are limited to 40 and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

See our photo slideshow of previous tours

Tour programme

We aim to try and visit most of the following institutions in addition to allowing you free time to explore the cities.


  • The Council of Europe
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • European Parliament


  • Court of Justice of the European Communities
  • European Investment Bank


  • European Commission
  • Committee of the Regions
  • European Economic and Social Committee
  • Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers)


Approximately £370 per person which includes:

  • Outward travel: Eurostar from London - Strasbourg
  • Return travel: Eurostar from Brussels - London
  • Six nights bed and breakfast accommodation sharing twin bedded rooms (two nights in Strasbourg, one night in Luxembourg, three nights in Brussels)
  • Transport by coach between Strasbourg - Luxembourg - Brussels
  • At least two group lunches
  • Travel insurance

Please note: transport to and from London, transport in Strasbourg, drink and meals en route, plus lunches and dinner during the tour are excluded from the price, with the exception of two or three lunches.

Stage 1

The LLM in International Commercial Law is delivered over three terms and is University-based throughout this time.  The taught components of the degree are delivered over the first and second terms leaving the third term and most of the summer to research, write and submit your dissertation. 

During the programme you will be required to study taught modules and write a dissertation in total 180 credits.  The dissertation is worth 60 credits and you must write this in the area of International Commercial Law, but on a topic of your choice. The remaining credits are to be obtained from a combination of the taught modules listed below. Subject to approval, you may take up to 60 credits from other modules offered by the Law School, by the College of Social Sciences and International Studies or by any of the other Colleges in the University.

Please note that programme structure and options are subject to timetabling and student demand, and may change.

Compulsory Modules

LAWM640 Dissertation (compulsory) (60 credits)

AND 60 credits from a selection of modules that will be available each year and which the Programme Director deems core modules for the LLM in International Business Law. In addition a further 60 credits will need to be taken from any of (a) the core modules selected by the Programme Director; (b) any modules available at postgraduate level in the Law School; (c) any modules available within SSIS or beyond, with the approval of the Programme Director.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
LAWM640 Dissertation 60Yes

Optional Modules


You will choose a number of either 30 or 15 credit optional modules, to a total of 120 credits, from a regularly updated selection. Recent modules are shown below.



International Trade Terms 1 & 2 30
Carriage of Goods by Sea Terms 1 & 2 30
Admiralty Law Terms 1 & 2 30
Marine Insurance Terms 1 & 2 30
International Banking Law Terms 1 & 2  30 
Company Law Terms 1 & 2 30 
Competition Law Terms 1 & 2 30
Environmental Law and Policy Terms 1 & 2 30
Energy Law and Policy Terms 1 & 2 30
International Investment Law Terms 1 & 2 30
International Arbitration Term 1 15
Copyright Law and Policy Term 1  30 
Transnational Corporate Governance  Term 1  15 
World Trade Law Term 1  15 
Approaches to Research in Law (ESRC) Term 1 15
Patent Law and Policy Term 1 15
Conflict of Laws Term 2 15
International Intellectual Property Law Term 2 15
Mergers and Acquisitions  Term 2 15
International Securities and Finance Term 2 15
Consumer Protection Term 2  15
Human Rights and International Business Policy Term 2 15
European Law in Practice: Visit to Brussels  Term 2 15
Corporate Insolvency Law Term 2  15 
CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
LAWM696 Patent Law and Policy 15No
LAWM673 Copyright Law and Policy 30No
LAWM053 Corporate Social Responsibility, Globalisation and Law 15No
LAWM710 Corporate Insolvency Law 15No
LAWM043 International Banking Law 15No
LAWM645 EC Consumer Protection 15No
LAWM072 International Trade 30No
LAWM067 Carriage of Goods by Sea 30No
LAWM066 Admiralty Law 30No
LAWM079 Marine Insurance 30No
LAWM074 Company Law 30No
LAWM078 Environmental Law and Policy 30No
LAWM077 Energy Law and Policy 30No
LAWM669 Transnational Corporate Governance 15No
LAWM073 World Trade Law 15No
LAWM686 Approaches to Research in Law 15No
LAWM068 Conflict of Laws 15No
LAWM668 International Intellectual Property Law 15No
LAWM071 International Securities and Finance 15No
LAWM069 Consumer Protection 15No
LAWM631 Human Rights and International Business Policy (MRes in Socio-Legal Research programme) 15No
LAWM708 European Law in Practice: Visit to Brussels 15No
LAWM036 Mergers and Acquisitions 15No
Total Credits for Stage 1


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of key elements of English, EU and international law regarding transfrontier business.
2. Follow and understand current developments in English, EU and international law regarding transfrontier business.
3. Know and practise the principles and techniques of advanced and autonomous research.
4. Apply the principles of law and legal rules to solve and analyse practical problems in an international context.
5. Understand and explain the interaction between different subject areas in international business law as well as the interaction between English, European and international law.
6. Understand some of the relevant social, economic, political, historical, philosophical, ethical and cultural contexts within which

Seminars, library tuition, essays, dissertation.

Assessed essays: dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

7. Identify, locate, retrieve and evaluate legal and other information in paper, electronic and on-line form.
8. Apply national and supra-national legal knowledge to a practical situation of limited complexity and draw reasoned and arguable conclusions from it.
9. Synthesise information from a number of primary and secondary legal and other sources; appreciate its relative value; separate the relevant from the peripheral: understand the interaction between 2 or 3 levels of regulation.
10. Analyse, evaluate and interpret the principal source materials of English, EU and international law relevant to international business.
11. Make a critical judgement of the merits of particular arguments and make a reasoned choice between alternative solutions or arguments.
12. Independently to achieve an understanding of any branch of international business law even though they may not have studied it.
13. Conduct autonomous research.
14. Develop as independent, autonomous and reflective individuals and generally as developing professionals

Seminar papers: presentations: essays: word processing and other IT.

Coursework and presentation (formative assessment):
assessed essays and dissertation, providing evidence in writing of a student's skills, knowledge and capacity to evaluate critically and independently.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

15. Manage time effectively and prioritise tasks by working to strict deadlines.
16. Take responsibility for one's own learning by planning and managing tasks with limited guidance.
17. Identify one's resources and abilities, and seek and use feedback.
18. Perform assigned academic tasks and co-ordinate them with other students'.
19. Communicate effectively to others in seminars.
20. Use some electronic information management tools, such as word processing, email, the internet and other electronic retrieval tools.
21. Utilise problem-solving skills in theoretical or practical contexts.
22. Work in a group.
23. Work independently.
24. Communicate clear and reasoned arguments in both oral and written form.
25. Evaluate and assess their abilities, and where necessary to seek advice and feedback.
26. To use some electronic information management tools, such as word processing, email, the internet and some other electronic information retrieval systems.
27. Be aware of key career opportunities and the need for forward planning
28. Solve practical problems.

Transferable skills, particularly word processing and other IT skills, are developed in seminars. Additional teaching in research methodology is provided for in the context of the dissertation.

A distinctive feature of the programme is its emphasis on research-based assessment methods (essays and dissertations) rather than formal written exams. The programme involves participants in both independent study and group work in the form of seminar discussions and presentations. As the students originate from widely disparate jurisdictions, they learn in a comparative perspective.

7. Programme Regulations

University Regulations on the number of credits to be taken and at what level for each stage of the programme can be found in the Credit and Qualifications Framework.


Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit. Regulations on condonement can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Assessment and Awards

For undergraduate degrees assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. Details of the weightings for each year of all programme lengths can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.


Full details of assessment regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes and the classification of awards can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

You can also read details of Generic Marking Criteria.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic Tutoring

It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you with individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support fo the duration of your programme, and this support extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information on the College Personal Tutoring system, library provision, ELE resources and access to College support services can be found on the College webpages for current students.

Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLCs enable students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions.

IT Services

A wide range of IT services are provided throughout the Exeter campuses, including open-access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Student Support Services

The University provides many support services including health and wellbeing, multifaith chaplaincy, family support, the Students' Guild and international student support.

10. Admissions Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates for undergraduate programmes must satisfy the undergraduate admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of education provision. The College documents the performance in each of its tuaght programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER).

Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

LLM LLM International Commercial Law

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision