LLM in Professional Practice (Corporate Commercial)

New for 2019/20


The LLM in Professional Practice (Corporate Commercial) is a unique programme designed for students interested in pursuing a career in corporate commercial legal practice.

You will work collaboratively in a student "law firm", and individually, on over 20 varied real-life corporate commercial transactions and matters, developed in consultation with legal practitioners. These will include company, commercial, financial, employment, property and litigation matters. You will learn to analyse client interests, legal, practical, commercial and professional issues, and identify relevant regulations. You will also develop and apply a broad range of practical legal skills: including research; document and case analysis; problem-solving; interviewing; negotiation; and advocacy; to progress transactions and resolve client issues. You will be advising clients in a variety of different written and oral formats, and amending and drafting authentic legal documents. Legal practice will be further mirrored by each student law firm having a "senior partner" supervising tutor.  This senior partner will provide you with regular, individual feedback to each student on your client work, and act as a mentor to both the firm, and individual students.

The LLM in Professional Practice (Corporate Commercial) aims to provide an integrated, holistic understanding of corporate commercial legal practice.  At the end of the course, students should be able to, in the context of this practice area:

  • Apply legal principles and regulations to legal and practice issues that affect clients
  • Work independently and collaboratively to solve client problems
  • Understand the operation and regulation of legal services providers and legal professionals
  • Apply legal, academic and interpersonal skills to engage with clients, peers, and other professionals
  • Advise and communicate confidently and effectively both verbally and in writing in a range of formats and to a variety of recipients and audiences
  • Understand the commercial interests of both clients and law firms
  • Work effectively and efficiently, both independently and as part of a team
  • Reflect on learning to identify both progress and areas for further development as a means of furthering personal professional ambitions


Details of the LLM Programme

The programme reflects the latest innovations in legal education including York’s pioneering Problem-Based Learning, together with simulated legal transactions and matters on which students will work both independently and as a member of a student law firm.  You will develop understanding through independent research, supported by master-classes from academics and legal practitioners.

The LLM in Professional Practice (Corporate Commercial) is a taught programme of ten months. It runs from September to the following July. On the LLM you will study 180 credits. 120 credits are studied through 6 integrated compulsory modules. The remaining 60 credits are obtained through undertaking a 12,500 word independent learning project. The programme is structured in the following way:

  • Autumn and Spring terms: 120 credits (Professional Legal Skills; Legal Services, Professionalism and Commercial Awareness; Business Organisations; Property Law and Practice; Litigation; and Commercial)
  • Summer term/Summer: 60 credits (Independent Learning Project)

Compulsory modules (Autumn and Spring Terms,120 credits)

You will develop the legal knowledge, skills and commercial awareness that is the subject matter of these modules through working on a series of client transactions and matters. Often, the latter will involve subject matter from more than one of the modules. Therefore, you will learn in an holistic manner, reflecting legal practice.  For assessment purposes, the modules will, however, be assessed individually.

  • Professional Legal Skills

This module will involve you developing a range of skills commonly applied in corporate commercial transactions and matters, both non-contentious and contentious. These include: writing, drafting, client interviewing, negotiation, advocacy, research.

  • Legal Services, Professionalism and Commercial Awareness

This module will develop knowledge and understanding of the legal services market, those entities that provide legal services, and the regulation of both those entities and individual legal professionals. In addition, you will develop understanding of the commercial interests of both clients and law firms.

  • Business Organisations

Corporate commercial clients are, in the main, business organisations. Therefore, an understanding of the prevalent types of business organisations and structures, their operation, administration and regulation, is fundamental, as is the ability to progress transactions for business clients.

  • Property Law and Practice

This module will give you an understanding of how both freehold and leasehold commercial property is conveyed between parties, and the role of a lawyer in facilitating such transactions and advising property clients.

  • Litigation

This module will provide you with an understanding of how commercial civil disputes can arise, and the practice and procedures that can be employed by lawyers to resolve such disputes. In addition, you will consider the criminal law that applies to fraudulent practices by commercial clients.

  • Commercial

The Commercial module encompasses common commercial transactions entered into by corporate clients, and the key areas of intellectual property and employment law, relevant to, respectively, the creation and protection of commercial value, and the rights of officers and employees of commercial clients.

Independent learning project (Summer Term and Summer, 60 credits)

You will submit a 12,500 project output to be based on two distinct areas of corporate commercial legal practice of your choice and agreed with your supervisor, a faculty member. You will then be supported by your supervisor in the preparation of your project output – on which there will be flexibility in terms of format.



As you progress your client transactions and matters during the compulsory LLM module, you will compile your work in a portfolio. Individual modules are then assessed by reflective reports demonstrating understanding of required knowledge, skills and commercial awareness, evidenced by chosen outputs your portfolio. These are followed by the Independent Learning Project, where you will create a piece of know-how of 12,500 words in an agreed format on two defined areas of corporate commercial legal practice.

About Us

A stimulating environment for professionally-focused postgraduate study

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

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. You'll find studying here a stimulating and rewarding experience that will equip you for your chosen career.


How you will learn on the LLM

Innovative, practical, relevant learning

On the LLM programme you learn through a wide variety of methods that are innovative whilst also highly practical and relevant to professional legal practice. 

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

A core teaching method employed in all compulsory modules is problem-based learning (PBL).  This is a process that you will use to analyse scenarios and client instructions to identify client interests, legal and commercial issues, and, ultimately, the areas of law that you will need to research best to progress a transaction or matter for a client.

Scenario-based learning

For each transaction or matter that you deal with, you will receive client instructions, information and documentation that together create a realistic legal practice scenario on which you will advise.

Scenarios will reflect the reality of practice through their integrated nature. That is, in a single scenario, you may have to apply:

  • substantive and procedural knowledge (from more than one area of law);
  • commercial and client awareness;
  • a range of legal skills; and
  • professional conduct rules. 

The curriculum developed through the scenarios will also be progressive and spiral in nature: you will develop understanding and skills in one scenario, then apply them again in further scenarios, with the latter gaining in complexity.  This has the impact of both reinforcing previous learning, and progressively stretching your understanding, and intellectual and legal skills.

Student law firms

You will work on scenarios both independently and as part of a “student law firm”.  As a member of a student law firm, you will collaborate in the PBL process, share the products of your research, and discuss the most efficient and effective means of progressing transactions and matters for clients. This will also develop interpersonal and teamworking skills, that are highly valued in terms of employability


Your legal knowledge, skills and commercial awareness will be augmented and supported by a series of masterclasses, facilitated by legal practitioners and academics.



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 gone on to further study after leaving York.

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.

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.

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.



Admission requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have obtained an undergraduate degree in Law, 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 here

Applying to the programme - applications open October 2018

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.