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Gain specialist knowledge and skills in the legal implications of financing and payment in international trade.

Develop sought-after professional skills, learning from experts combining extensive experience in international law and the world of finance and banking.

Grow your career opportunities as a lawyer, businessman, trader, or banker – with all the advantages of distance learning wherever you are located.


Economic globalisation and recent world events have thrown a spotlight on the issues, challenges and complexities of international trade. This online short course focuses on payment and finance mechanisms for buyer and seller located in different countries and jurisdictions.

Almost all trade transactions involve an exchange of goods for money – and the money too must cross a border. This is likely to be a substantial sum, so risks can be high.

This course focuses on the financing of international trade and examines the common methods of international payment and finance in the context of international sale of goods. You’ll study trade risks and risk assessments, the need for finance options in the context of international sale of goods, and specific financing mechanisms including bills of exchange, documentary letters of credit, demand guarantees, and other methods. You’ll also look at the issues of private international law surrounding international payments and finance.

Opportunities are growing for legal specialists in this area, and this course is ideal for you as a practising lawyer, as a professional in international business and trade, or as a banker involved in international transactions and keen to grow your knowledge of the legal aspects.

A key strength of this course is the teaching team, comprising highly-experienced academic lawyers with much international experience, and senior practitioners from the world of international finance and banking.
You can take this credit-bearing course standalone, add a further short course in International Sale of Goods and use your credits to work towards our full LLM in International Trade Law or alternative from our popular and topical portfolio across the spectrum of law.

Why Aberdeen for this course?

The combination of track record, strong international outlook, breadth and depth of expertise in teaching, research, and in influencing public policy, makes Aberdeen the obvious provider of first-class education in all areas of national and international law.

Our international School of Law is one the UK's elite training grounds for lawyers, ranked 5th in the UK for Law (The Complete University Guide and The Time Good University Guide 2019), joint 1st for Graduate Prospects (The Complete University Guide 2019) and highly rated for teaching, research and student care with 94% student satisfaction rating (NSS 2018).

We boast one of the largest and most internationally-experienced teams of legal experts in any European law school, with huge experience and connections in all areas of international law. You will also have access to the wonderful online resources of the award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Law Library, with a first-class collection of reference works in law and related subjects.

Previous graduates have gone on to enjoy highly successful careers, including senior positions in legal firms, in industry, NGOs, and with government organisations across the world.

You can study this credit-bearing online short course standalone, or use these credits to continue your professional development, progressing to a full online Masters programme in our popular and topical portfolio across the spectrum of law.

What you'll study

You’ll focus on the financing of international trade and examine the most common methods of international payment and finance in the context of international sale of goods.

This is a very topical course and we will select issues and examples relevant to current developments in the field. However, the indicative topics covered by the course are these:

  • trade risks and the need for finance options in the context of international sale of goods
  • bills of exchange, documentary letters of credit, demand guarantees, and other financing methods
  • private international law issues surrounding international payments and finance

How you'll study

This online, 12-week distance-learning short course offers all the flexibility and convenience to study when, where and how you choose, and to fit your learning around your location, employment and personal commitments.

Our online courses are delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as self-contained units of learning taught and assessed to the same quality as our degree programmes, and developed specifically for an online audience using a range of learning materials and assessment activities.

We aim to create an online classroom experience and student community which enables you to enjoy the same learning experience as students on our full degree programmes, including access to a suite of learning resources and support.

We expect you to spend 10-15 hours a week on your course. You’ll be guided through your programme with video lectures, tutorials, projects and reading list. Our first-class support structure will ensure that you are not alone in your study, and you’ll enjoy plenty of interaction with your tutors and your virtual classmates on discussion boards.

Wherever you are in the world, as you enjoy the career advantage of this course combined with the convenience of online distance study, you will still feel part of our very special Aberdeen family and learning community.


Your learning will be assessed throughout your course through two exercises using the online discussion board, which together will account for 50% of your final mark.

An end-of-course written exercise and quiz will contribute to the other 50% of your final grade.

Entry Requirements

Normally, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law will be required to be accepted onto this course. Relevant practical experience in a related field will also be beneficial.

All students entering the University, including online courses, must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study our programmes effectively. Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. For details of our pre-sessional English courses see our Language Centre website.