International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills, LLM

International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills, LLM


The first of its kind, this exciting programme from our highly-rated School of Law equips the next generation of lawyers and civil servants with a unique combination of specialist legal expertise and the practical negotiation skills for a sparkling career in the fast-growing and highly competitive field of international trade.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study

Economic globalisation and recent world events, including Brexit and trade wars, have thrown a spotlight on the issues, challenges and complexities of international trade and trade negotiation. We offer a specialist LLM programme in this area with career opportunities for skilled and ambitious lawyers with broad and transferable skills to continue to grow.

This programme includes a professional skills course in international trade negotiation to further develop your professional skills. It provides an advanced introduction to twenty first century international trade policy and an understanding of the process and conduct of international trade negotiations. You will be equipped with the essential skills required to negotiate complex trade deals and required to navigate a variety of political and legal issues that are at the forefront of international trade law, such as the UK’s departure from the EU, the US trade war with China, sustainable development, and WTO reforms. At the end of the course, these skills will be put to the test during a ‘mock’ negotiation of an international trade agreement. This offers you an exciting setting to apply the technical legal knowledge you will have acquired during the programme.

Our emphasis on the skills element differentiates our programme from others. At present, the Professional Skills course is delivered by a professional trade negotiator who has experience in both government and private practice, participating in the negotiation of dozens of trade and investment agreements.

This degree is alternatively available with a dissertation option (instead of professional skills) to further develop your academic and research skills. This programme is also available to study online

Available Programmes of Study

Please note: Students staring their LLM programme in January write their Dissertation project during the Summer semester.

Duration: 12 months full-time. 24 months part time.


International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £27,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £13,200
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Semester 1

Duration: 12 months full-time or 24 or 36 months part-time.

Compulsory Courses

Students must take:

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS501T)

This course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which will be required for LLM-Taught courses. The course is delivered as a series of five interactive lectures with two individual assessments designed to encourage critical thinking and provide opportunities for early feedback. It also incorporates a library workshop to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.

International Trade and Finance Law (LS508A)

30 Credit Points

This course considers issues relating to international trade and finance law and addresses the legal and commercial aspects of export-import transactions. It covers trade risks and risk assessment, the law and practice relating to international sale of goods, carriage of goods and insurance matters, international trade finance, digitalisation of international trade and international commercial dispute resolution.

Optional Courses

In addition to the above candidates must take courses to the value of 60 credit points. At least 30 credit points must be obtained from the courses listed below. The remaining credit points may be obtained from any LLM 30 credit on campus Law course:

International Intellectual Property: Framework and Challenges (LS502L)

30 Credit Points

Students will explore the diverse elements of law which constitute international intellectual property law. We will consider the historical development of international intellectual property rights, framework of international treaties and organisation, copyright (with a particular focus on new developments in the digital age), geographical indications, patents and designs. Throughout the course, 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. Assesment is by an essay, an individual presentation and discussion board submissions. Description: The course considers key issues relating to international intellectual property law which may vary from year to year consistent with the legal and social evolution of the fields; the course will explore copyright, geographical indications, patents, designs, and their relationship with regional and international treateis and international organisation; key themes will be drawn together in a practical presentation session.

International Commercial Litigation (LS503M)

30 Credit Points

This course introduces international commercial litigation, the major means of commercial dispute resolution for many sectors of industry and the default means of dispute resolution against which international arbitration is positioned. The course demonstrates the relevance of a venue’s Private International Law (PIL) to its attractiveness for dispute resolution and provides advanced instruction in the relevant post-Brexit aspects of PIL to parties engaged in litigating international commercial disputes.

International Commercial Arbitration (LS5083)

30 Credit Points

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.

Seminar topics have been chosen to give students a good knowledge of international commercial arbitration law. The topics covered will be: (1) Arbitration Agreement and Arbitral Jurisdiction (2) The Role of the Seat (3) Applicable Substantive Law (4) The Arbitral Tribunal (5) Arbitral Procedure and Evidence (6) The Arbitral Award.

The course also provides a lecture on the introduction to international commercial arbitration.

Law and Sustainable Development (LS504E)

30 Credit Points

The course examines the complex and dynamic relationship between law and development and traces the impact of international development discourse on lower- and middle-income countries’ legal systems. The course focuses on domestic law reforms aiming to promote sustainable development and achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda. It focuses on the role of law in promoting SDG 16 on peace, justice, and inclusive institutions, SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth, and SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

World Trade Organisation: Gatt (LS553V)

30 Credit Points

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.

Optional Courses

Comparative Contract Law (LS555K)

30 Credit Points

International commercial lawyers frequently work on contracts involving parties from different countries. Here, each one of these jurisdictions may offer a different interpretation of the same contractual provisions. This course is aimed to help commercial lawyers understand how different legal traditions offer different viewpoints on key contractual challenges. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand many of the discrepancies and similarities between legal systems, thus honing a fundamental skill for an international commercial lawyer. The course will cover a wide range of European legal systems, as well as transnational contract law mechanisms including the Principles of European Contract Law and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

International Investment Law and Energy Arbitration (LS555L)

30 Credit Points

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 strategic and social importance. This course aims to analyse if existing investment disciplines and international investment protection framework, are adapted to the specific regulatory risks that investors face in the energy landscape of the 21st Century and how best to avoid disputes and manage them.

Applied Issues in International Economic Law (LS553T)

30 Credit Points

There is limited appreciation given to the study of the state as a policymaker, legislator, and disputing party in the context of international economic law. Yet, the states have become the “investor of first-resort", while participating in an unprecedented surge of international investment disputes and international economic agreements. The course covers how international investment law interacts with the State’s regulatory powers in different economic sectors.

Shipping Law (LS554K)
Law and Sustainable Global Value Chains (LS555F)

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills: International Trade Negotiation (LS5909)

60 Credit Points

This course is the professional skills element of the LLM in International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation Programme and is taught over two weeks after a preparatory week in summer. It is a highly practical and interactive course that aims to equip students with the practical skills necessary to successfully negotiate international trade agreements. The knowledge and skills acquired on this course are suitable for positions in government, finance, international organisations, business and industry associations operating in or affected by international trade and NGOs concerned with international trade.

LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen More

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £27,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £13,200
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • 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 Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

Funded places are available for Scottish/Non-UK EU students. Find out more here


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

Using experiential teaching techniques, our Law School aims to sharpen your practical and professional skills that will enable you to demonstrate your value to potential employers. Teaching is organised in courses with the Professional Skills course delivered through an intensive summer school.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Within the ‘traditional’ element of the programme, i.e. the 4 courses 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.

Why Study International Trade Law and Treaty Negotiation with Professional Skills?

  • The School of Law is ranked Top 10 in the UK by the Times & Sunday Times Good University Ranking 2023.
  • Over 500 years of rich academic heritage with 21st century innovation and dynamism to create and deliver world class programmes.
  • Centre for Commercial fostering research excellence in international trade law and offers unique research activities by serving as a dynamic hub for law academics, legal practitioners, those working in related professions, industry representatives, activists and policymakers, providing opportunities for synergy and rich engagement.
  • The calibre, experience, and enthusiasm of the strong academic team, challenging you with complex, realistic scenarios as you get to grips with this fascinating and fast-growing area.
  • Taught by our teaching team that includes legal practitioners with extensive real-world experience.
  • The resources of the award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and Taylor Law Library, with a first-class collection of reference works in law and related subjects.
  • Successful Professional Skills course on international trade negotiation involving trade negotiators and industry experts in its teaching team

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Normally a 2(1) honours degree in Law (or another related discipline) or equivalent

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

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

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded post graduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships


International trade law and policy has a direct impact on all aspects of the economy. This programme is particularly relevant for those seeking a career or currently working in the public sector in the area of international trade or diplomacy, trade negotiation, politics, businesses involved in export or import of goods, industry associations, lawyers in government departments or in-house counsel and non-governmental organisations with interest on trade and sustainable development issues.

5th in the UK for Law

Our Law School is ranked 5th in the UK of 105 providers for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2022).

Top 10 UK Law School

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK for Law by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Our Experts

You will be taught by and have access to a number of experts, many of whom are internationally renowned within their respective fields. These will include members of the Centre for Commercial Law.

Programme Coordinator
Burcu Yuksel

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Get in Touch