The first of its kind, the LLM in International Trade Law with Professional Skills programme at the University of Aberdeen equips the next generation of lawyers and civil servants with both the legal expertise and the practical skills to position themselves for employment in the burgeoning field of international trade negotiation.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 1 Year / 2 Years
- Study Mode
- Full Time or Part Time
- Start Month
- September or January
What You'll Study
The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning LLM programme which runs in September and January. You will find information about other ways to study this programme in the next section on this page.
- Semester 1
The information listed below is for September start students. Information for January starts can be found under "Other Ways to Study".
Students must take:
- Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS501T)
This compulsory course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which would be required to excel in LLM-Taught courses. It commences with a few lectures and progresses to working within smaller groups in a workshop environment and finally to the submission of an individual assignment. It also incorporates elements such as library workshops to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.
- World Trade Organisation: Gatt (LS5098) - Credits: 30
The course aims to provide a thorough and critical understanding of fundamental concepts, principles and institutions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with emphasis on trade in goods (GATT). The main topics covered include relevant historical and institutional developments, WTO dispute resolution, core principles such as the non-discrimination, most-favour-nation (MFN) and the prohibition of quantitative restrictions on international trade. The security, environment, human rights, labour standards, economic emergencies and free trade areas and customs unions based exceptions and their challenges are also analytically explored. These are studied in light of relevant WTO panel and Appellate Body cases and recommendations.
- International Intellectual Property Law (LS5092) - Credits: 30
Students will explore the diverse elements of law which constitute international intellectual property law. We will consider the framework of international conventions, copyright and moral rights (with a particular focus on new developments and the digital age), patents, designs, the work of the World Health Organisation and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Throughout the challenge is to identify conflicts and synergies, and areas for future development, through regard to cases, scholarship, and the activities of policy makers and activists. Assessment is by an essay, an exam and an individual presentation.
- Energy, Innovation and Law (LS501F) - Credits: 30
Students will explore the law and regulation which is relevant to innovation across the energy sector (taken in its widest sense). We will consider intellectual property, UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, government initiatives, competition, human rights, and oil and gas licensing. We will focus on the impact of these fields on business, reward, sharing, sustainable growth, energy security, and the relationship between private rights, raw materials and the wider public interest. Sessions will be interactive and you need not have studied any of these fields before – although we will move quickly. Assessment is by essay, exam and group presentation.
- Comparative and International Perspectives on Company Law (LS501G) - Credits: 30
This course is a selective and critical examination of company laws. A theoretical approach shall be taken based upon the general theory of comparative law developed by Zweigert and Kötz and the Wilsonian theory of legal transplants. Key issues in comparative company law shall be examined using the theoretical framework of Hansmann and Kraakman with its particular focus on the agency problem. Specific topics shall include directors’ duties; the protection of minority shareholders and the limits of limited liability. The course is assessed by a three hour examination and a coursework essay.
- International Commercial Arbitration (on Campus) (LS5083) - Credits: 30
The demand for international commercial arbitration has increased significantly over the last 20 years. Empirical surveys conducted consistently report figures that suggest around 60% of businesses prefer arbitration over other dispute resolution methods. This course provides students with a solid understanding of how arbitration works both in principle and in practice. Topics covered include; the arbitration agreement, arbitral jurisdiction, the arbitral tribunal, challenging and enforcing awards. This course is taught together with International Commercial Arbitration in the Asia Pacific.
- Oil and Gas Law (LS5076) - Credits: 30
The petroleum industry brings together the most powerful public and private actors in the form of states and trans-national corporations. Oil and gas law has the task of arranging the resultant relationships and of ensuring that the legitimate interests of each side are protected. Following a series of introductory lectures, students will participate in interactive seminars considering topics drawn from the state control, contracting and regulatory aspects of oil and gas law. This course is available to LLM students on programmes other than the specialist LLM Oil and Gas Law programmes.
- International Commercial Arbitration In the Asia Pacific (on Campus) (LS5085) - Credits: 30
The demand for international commercial arbitration has increased significantly over the last 20 years. Empirical surveys consistently report figures that suggest around 60% of businesses prefer arbitration over other dispute resolution methods. This course provides students with a solid understanding of how arbitration works in principle and in practice. Topics covered include; arbitration agreement, arbitral jurisdiction, arbitral tribunal, challenging and enforcing awards. This course is taught together with the International Commercial Arbitration course. This course allows a greater focus on the Asia Pacific region and is particularly relevant to those who foresee themselves working in that part of the world.
- Private International Law: Jurisdiction in Business Transactions (LS5089) - Credits: 30
We examine the question of jurisdiction in relation to commercial matters involving private international law. We examine the general and special jurisdictional aspects of the Brussels I Regulation and the Recast Brussels I Regulation; choice of court agreements; and, international commercial arbitration.
- Competition Law (LS5094) - Credits: 30
This course addresses the problems of establishing an effective legal regulation of competitive conditions in the EU. We examine: the economic theory of competition and the difficulties of translating this into effective legal regulation; the operation of Art 101 TFEU in multi-level and other complex markets; the operation of the vertical block exemption; developments within Art 102 TFEU; the Merger Regulation; public and private enforcement of EU Competition law.
- Comparative and International Insolvency Law (LS5095) - Credits: 30
This course explores, through seminar discussion including some group work, the theory and general principles of insolvency law, the domestic insolvency law of selected jurisdictions (currently Scotland, the US and Germany), the theory and general principles of international insolvency law and selected topics in international insolvency law (currently the EU Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings, domestic law provisions regulating international insolvency in selected jurisdictions and the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency). Topics and selected jurisdictions may vary according to topicality.
- Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art, and Museums (LS55UU) - Credits: 30
Taught by museum and law academics, this course will examine cultural property issues such as treasure trove, looting and repatriation, forgery, sacred and street art, and the derogatory treatment of art. Objects from the University Museum and collections worldwide will be drawn on to illustrate aspects of the course. Museum practice and operational experience will also inform certain aspects. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own ideas. Facilitating this, the course will include a programme of case studies and/or issue papers to be presented by students for class discussion.
- Semester 2
- International Trade and Finance Law (LS5588) - Credits: 30
This course focuses on the difficulties which can arise when the buyer and seller of goods are located in different legal systems: we examine the sources of International Trade Law and the legal issues arising for buyer and seller in an international sale of goods transaction. We consider how to minimise or avoid these difficulties in the following contexts: the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the CISG; Incoterms and bills of lading; International Documentary Letters of Credit; dispute resolution by litigation and arbitration.
- European Economic Law (LS5543) - Credits: 30
Historically, markets of the EEC/EU were integrated mainly on the basis of the case law of ECJ/CJEU using fundamental freedoms as a tool. Today, these freedoms are still an important pillar of the economic constitution, but free trade and competition between Member States’ undertakings have to be supported by other policies and the creation of competition in markets that suffer from market failure. This course looks at the integrating function of fundamental freedoms and develops further insights into the essential influence that the European Legal Order has on State domestic legal systems - and also, especially, on the economic systems.
- Carriage of Goods By Sea (LS5592) - Credits: 30
We look at the issues arising from the use of a ship to transport goods from buyer to seller when each is based in a separate legal system. We examine the contract of affreightment; the relevance of charterparties; the possibilities offered by Bills of Lading and analogous ‘documents’ (whether electronic or not). We consider the law concerning a cargo claim as it may involve the Hague Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules, the Hamburg Rules. We also evaluate the Rotterdam Rules. We consider international commercial dispute resolution of cargo claims by arbitration and litigation.
- International Investment Arbitration In the Energy Sector (LS5585) - Credits: 30
The complex interaction between investment protection and the sovereign right of states to regulate has been most acute in the energy sector. On the one hand, investors require strong guarantees that states will respect the “rules of the game” that constitute the basis of their investments. On the other, states can be tempted to interfere with foreign energy investments because of their particular strategic and social importance. This course aims to analyse if existing investment disciplines are adapted to the specific regulatory risks that investors face in the energy landscape of the 21st Century.
- Choice of Law for Business (LS551B) - Credits: 30
This LLM course as a whole addresses choice of law for business, and focuses on three areas, namely contractual obligations, non-contractual obligations and corporate law. Students are expected to develop a clear understanding of relevant legislation and judgments, as well as to consider whether the law strikes an appropriate balance between party autonomy and the interests of states in prescribing relevant outcomes. The course is taught by means of seminars and guided independent reading.
- Corporate Environmental Liability (LS551L) - Credits: 30
Corporate environmental liability is a significant area of concern not only for those corporations engaged in activities which exhibit environmental risk but society as whole. An efficient, effective liability regime must be present to ensure that corporations do not shirk their financial liabilities. The course draws attention to the conflicting goals of corporate law (i.e. the limitation of liability) and environmental law (i.e. ensuring that polluters pay for damage caused) and encourages students to consider and develop solutions to this problem. Whilst the course focuses on EU environmental law, many of the concepts covered are relevant to other jurisdictions.
- Trade Marks and Brand Development (LS5584) - Credits: 30
This course tracks the ongoing interactions between trade mark and related laws on the one hand and the social and commercial practices of branding on the other. Through the use of cases and contemporary examples throughout, the course views trade mark and related laws within their historical, current, and developing social and commercial contexts. It offers a critical view of certain developments in the laws, their roles in and responses to the evolving practices of branding. It provides students with both an analytical and a practical view on the protection of trade mark and related rights.
- Commercialising Innovation and Law (LS5595) - Credits: 30
Students will explore the diversity of laws and practices relevant to commercialising innovation. We will consider patents, trade secrets, copyright and database rights, new business models, competition and (focussing on natural resources), communications and activities in developing areas. Visiting speakers from practice and industry are regularly invited. In the first session, students develop an innovative idea, as a base for discussion in each session. Seminars involve individual and group work, and the preparation of posters. Assessment is by essay and exam.
- Semester 3
Students will need to take the Professional Skills module during the summer.
- Professional Skills: International Trade Negotiation (LS5909) - Credits: 60
The first of its kind, the LLM in International Trade Law (with Professional Skills: International Trade Negotiation) programme at the University of Aberdeen blends delivery of advanced level teaching with training in the practical skills necessary to negotiate international trade agreements. This enables our graduates to position themselves for employment in this burgeoning field. Our emphasis on the skills element differentiates our programme from more traditional programmes delivered by other institutions. The opportunity to negotiate 'mock' international trade agreements with India and China offers our students an exciting setting to apply the technical legal knowledge that they have acquired during the programme in a highly practical setting, something that is always of interest to students and employers alike. This programme will be of particular interest to those who wish to seek employment in the fields of international trade law and/or the negotiation of international trade agreements.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
- Group Projects
Within the ‘traditional’ element of the programme, i.e. the 4 modules which the students undertake, a range of forms of assessment are found: written examination, individual and group oral presentation and essays . The professional skills course involves the preparation of two in-depth reports by individuals, and a group presentation and report. This reflects the course's aim of building practical experience with applying academic knowledge both individually and as part of a team.
Normally a 2(1) honours degree in Law (or another related discipline) or equivalent
English Language Requirements
All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.
Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.
If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.
Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.
- Degree Transcript
- a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
- Personal Statement
- a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||£7,400|
|Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year|
|Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year|
International non-EU Applicants
- In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
- For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
Funded places are available for Scottish/Non-UK EU students. Find out more here
Our Funding Database
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
School of Law
University of Aberdeen