LLM in International Corporate and Commercial Law


Why study International Corporate and Commercial Law at York?

The LLM in International Corporate and Commercial Law puts York at the forefront of legal education on corporations. It takes a comparative and international approach to the key areas of corporate governance and corporate and commercial law. The contextual approach taken in this LLM enables an understanding of why different countries adopt different laws and governance approaches and how they respond to economic and social pressures. It assesses these approaches in times of economic stability and in crisis, with particular reference to the current crisis. The course particularly focuses on corporate governance and on commercial transactions.

The LLM in International Corporate and Commercial Law aims to provide:

  • a critical understanding of the process of corporate globalization
  • an in depth and contextual coverage of the main topics in corporate governance and commercial law

At the end of the course students should:

  • have an understanding of the economic and social context in which commercial decisions take place
  • an understanding of the nature of the company and company law and how this and corporate governance operates
  • a conceptual framework in which to understand these developments


Details of the LLM programme

The programme reflects the latest innovations in legal education including York’s pioneering Problem-Based Learning as well as more traditional lectures and seminars.  Its research led teaching is built on the world class scholarship of the School’s staff. Our postgraduates are drawn from all over the world giving you the opportunity to study with and learn from a truly international group.

The LLM in International Corporate and Commercial Law is a taught programme of one year. It runs from October to the following September. On the LLM you will study 180 credits. 120 credits are studied through a mix of compulsory and optional taught modules. The remaining 60 credits are obtained through undertaking a 15,000 word dissertation. For example, a student may follow a course structured in the following way:

Autumn term: 50 credits (Legal Systems: Sources and Operations (10 credits); Law and Commercial Transactions (20 credits); International Corporate Governance and Company Law (20 credits))

Spring term: 60 credits (Students will choose three 20 credit optional modules)

Summer term/Summer: 70 credits (Research Skills and Methods (10 credits), Dissertation (60 credits))

Core and compulsory modules (Autumn Term and Summer Term 50 credits)

  • Legal Systems: Sources and Operation (10 credits)

This module introduces you to the study of commercial law in its international context, by considering methods of undertaking comparative legal studies. It provides students with an introduction to the workings of the common law compared with the codified civil law.

  • Research Skills and Methods (10 credits)

This module is designed to prepare students for their dissertation. It will introduce students to a variety of research methodologies and key research skills. At the end of the module, students will prepare a ‘research proposal’ for their dissertation.

  • International Corporate Governance and Company Law (20 credits)

Corporate governance is at the heart of current global responses to the financial crisis. This module provides a contextual framework in which to understand and critically evaluate corporate governance and company law. It considers international and national corporate governance with particular focus on Anglo-American systems.

  • Law and Commercial Transactions (20 credits)

This module evaluates the fundamental ideas and concepts underlying commercial law including its sources and institutions. It examines contracts for the sale of goods in English, European and International law, including specific clauses commonly used in international business transactions, in its commercial context.


Optional Modules (Spring Term, 60 credits)

Students may choose three options from the following:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Intellectual Property
  • European Competition Law
  • Financial Crime
  • International Business Negotiation
(Please note that options may change or not be available.)

Dissertation (Summer Term and Summer, 60 credits)

Students will write a 12,000 – 15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice and under the supervision of a faculty member. Students will be supported in the preparation of the dissertation proposal during the ‘Research Skills and Methods’ module. Students have a wide flexibility in choosing their topic and they are encouraged to make the most of the international flavour of the programme.

About us

A stimulating environment for postgraduate study

York Law School has developed a reputation for offering academically rigorous, innovative, practical and stimulating programmes of study. We offer a rounded student experience – reflecting the best of academic and professional practice – and have a friendly and dynamic team of experienced academics, committed to the best methods of legal education.

In addition, we enjoy a close relationship with the legal profession, with practitioners involved in the design and delivery of key aspects of all our programmes, and have forged collaborative links in teaching and research across the University as a whole. You'll find studying here a stimulating and rewarding experience which will equip you for your chosen career.


How you’ll be taught on the LLM

Modern teaching

On the LLM programme you will be taught using a wide variety of modern teaching and learning methods. Through rigorous academic study you will engage with theoretical, applied and practical studies, ensuring that you develop a deep understanding of corporate and commercial law in its international context.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

A core teaching method employed in most modules is problem-based learning (PBL). This will involve you working in a “student law firm” in which you will work on simulated, real-life corporate and commercial law problems brought to you by virtual clients. You will learn to identify the relevant legal principles, the known facts and facts which need to be ascertained, and through this process unravel the legal and contextual issues that lie at the heart of the problem. As in real life, the problems are messy, and typically involve several legal topics interacting and overlapping.

Additional learning resources

Alongside PBL you will also learn through a range of other resources including: seminars, written subject guides, and a variety of relevant material in our virtual learning environment.

The LLM programme is international both in its teaching but also through its students. The PBL process actively supports students to learn from each other, and to make the most of the diverse backgrounds of your fellow students.


Careers options and employability

It is widely known in the legal sector that those graduating from York Law School with a postgraduate degree possess legal minds of the highest calibre and, as such, our graduates are always in demand.

On average, an outstanding 94.2% of those graduating with a postgraduate degree in Law between 2009 and the present day had secured employment or further study after leaving York.

While most of our postgraduate students choose to enter legal fields, others go on to gain employment in the following sectors: finance, health and social work, public administration and retail.

Notable employers include: DWF LLP, the Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Parabis Group, Amnesty International.

The most common job titles are: Lawyer, Litigation Paralegal, Solicitor, Commercial in-house lawyer and Attorney-at-Law.

Careers & Development Support

All students on the LLM programme will get active support in careers and development planning, both through structured sessions and workshops as well as individual advice from the Law School’s Employability Tutor, Chris Wilkinson.


The Law School Careers & Development Programme is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students and we would encourage you to get involved with this. Several employers take part in the bespoke programme, providing an insight into the legal profession and the relevant recruitment processes. There is also help available for those of you who are thinking about non legal employers or academic routes following your LLM.

There are also taught postgraduate and research postgraduate versions of the Employability Tutorial available to you. The Employability Tutorial is an online resource which is aimed at helping you to think about or review your personality and values, to assist you when you are thinking about your options after the LLM and how to move forward with your career plans.

Undertaking further research study

The research skills developed during the LLM are excellent in preparation for further research, including doctoral studies. Many of our successful LLM graduates have gone on to pursue PhD studies, both at York and elsewhere.


Admission requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have obtained an undergraduate degree in Law, management, or one of the social sciences, with honours (2.1 or higher, or its equivalent).

Applicants with equivalent legal professional, management or commercial experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and you have not completed an undergraduate degree in English we will need evidence of your English language ability to the required level, in addition to any academic entry requirements.

For up to date information about accepted tests and our English language requirements, please see

Applying to the programme

You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

Contact us

For all postgraduate admissions enquiries, please contact us at: