Logo close icon
Section navigation
Main Baner Image

LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law

Learn about the course below
September 2024
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£11,000 (UK) *
£17,600 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Alessandra M. De Tommaso
" "

The School of Law at Middlesex University is ranked in the Top 100 globally and 2nd in the UK for Law in the ‘Times Higher Education Young University Ranking 2022’. In addition, we were ranked 6th in the UK as one of the most international universities, with 46% of our students travelling to the UK to study with us.

Middlesex is dedicated to providing students with the skills and abilities sought after by a wide range of employers, from legal firms to domestic businesses and international corporations. By undertaking this programme you will be able to specialise in subjects related to commercial law, equipping yourself with a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory framework governing the conduct of trade, business, and financial services set up under English and international law.

Reasons to study the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law at Middlesex University

Studying at Middlesex will maximise your academic potential and refine your problem-solving skills in a transnational context through the acquisition of a critical understanding of complex legal, economic, cultural, ethical and political issues informing both English and international commercial law and the development of commercial transactions

This programme should be of particular value to those students who are interested in commercial practice as it will enhance your professional development and horizons as you explore legal frameworks governing commercial activities and cross-border transactions. You will gain skills which you will be able to transfer to a variety of professional sectors, including the legal profession, policymaking, the corporate sector, governmental bodies or academia.

The School of Law at Middlesex University has assembled a team of globally-respected academics who provide not only insight and practical direction but also access to a considerable network of contacts and connections, most notably internship opportunities within international and domestic organisations:

Dr Sara Hourani, Senior Lecturer in Law, specialises in International Commercial Law, with a focus on the interface between international commercial arbitration and new technologies, spanning digital and online dispute resolution, with a particular interest in blockchain and smart contract arbitration.

Dr Mariette Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law, has research interests in corporate governance and corporate responsibility, civil liability and tort, as well as comparative law.

Dr Hamisi Junior Nsubuga, Senior Lecturer in Law, focuses on corporate law, international business law, comparative insolvency law (UK, USA and emerging economies) and banking and financial law and regulations and is a member of the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL International) and the Commercial Law Reform Network Nigeria.

Dr Eneless Nyoni, Lecturer in Law, has a background in contract law, global trade law, the World Trade Organisation, and international trade law.

Dr Eliza Watt, Senior Lecturer in Law, specialises in cyber law, in particular cyber surveillance, privacy and data protection, as well as cyber security, cyber espionage, cybercrime, internet governance, international sale of goods law, commercial law, and international commercial arbitration.

Course highlights

  • This LLM programme introduces students to real-life business disputes, exposing them to the changing nature both of commercial disputes and their settlement or resolution
  • You will become conversant with case law, and UK, EU and international statute pertinent to the conduct of business, together with trends and new issues arising as a result of both technological and regulatory change
  • You will become familiar with the range of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms deployed in business contexts to avoid litigation.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law?

Full-time LLM (1 year, 180 credits)

  • Four core plus two optional modules are completed over terms one and two, with a Dissertation period in term three.

Part-time LLM (2 years, 180 credits)

  • Four core plus two optional modules are completed over three taught terms, plus a Dissertation period
  • Two modules in term one, two modules in term two, and two modules in the first term of the following academic year.

Full-time PG Diploma (1 year, 120 credits)

  • You will study four core modules plus two optional modules to be completed over terms one and two
  • Three modules will be taken in term one and three modules in term two.

Part-time PG Diploma (2 years, 120 credits)

  • You will study four core modules plus two optional modules to be completed over three or four taught terms
  • In Year 1, you will study two modules in term one and two modules in term two
  • In Year 2, you can choose to study:
    • Two modules in term one or
    • One module in term one and one module in term two

PG Certificate (60 credits)

  • Legal Research Skills must be taken in term one, plus two optional modules
  • Can be completed in one or two academic terms.

For all pathways, attendance may be required during the day and/or evening, depending on your choice of modules.


Each module is worth 20 credits, except the Dissertation and Work Integrated Learning modules which are worth 60 credits each. The Work Integrated Learning module may be chosen to replace the Dissertation with prior agreement.

In addition to the law modules listed below, students can study one of the following modules from international politics, criminology or sociology, either in term one or two.

Term one: Sustainable Development and Human Rights; Environmental Law and Governance; Migration Theories and Approaches

Term two: Politics of Globalisation

See the detailed course specification for more information about typical course content:

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  • Core modules

    • English Commercial Law (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      The purpose of the English Commercial Law module is to introduce you to this fascinating and richly hybridised area of law. It will encourage you to analyse contemporary issues, legal problems, and emergent changes to the legislation governing the conduct of trade, business and financial services. The module expects you to go beyond synthesis and to ask yourself what the law can and cannot do in facilitating trade, commerce, and the exchange of tangible assets in the UK and abroad, in order to create an original position on these debates in your written work and discussions with peers.

    • Law of the International Sale of Goods (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      The Law of the International Sale of Goods builds upon your familiarity with the principles of contract law and extends this knowledge into the international arena; specifically, within the international sale of goods. The module focuses upon the English law governing trade in wet and dry commodities and contrasts this with international law, principally the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods. This will enhance your ability to tackle the practical, policy and economic implications of those regimes enabling trade between parties straddling legal and geographic boundaries with particular emphasis on the rights and obligations of the seller and the buyer, remedies, carriage of goods, insurance and impossibility of performance.

    • International Commercial Litigation and Arbitration (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to increase your ability to understand and to organise for yourself a range of disparate views on current debates in legal and alternative dispute resolution practice and scholarship. The goal is to deliver the knowledge necessary to deal with contemporary and emerging challenges in the practice and management of transnational commercial disputes with a focus on the increasing use of arbitration as a site of both expediency and cost savings by medium and large-scale enterprises operating in multiple jurisdictions.

    • Legal Research Skills (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module equips you with the essential research skills necessary to complete a Master's of Law, including the technical and conventional systems governing academic writing and the principles and practice followed in legal reasoning.

  • Plus one of the following:

    • Dissertation (60 Credits) - Optional

      The Dissertation module will give you the opportunity to demonstrate expert-level knowledge and advanced-level legal research skills on a topic of your own choosing with the support of a dedicated supervisor. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-18,000 word piece of work which allows you to demonstrate a deep level of understanding and insight in your chosen area of research.

      LLM students can replace this module with the Work Integrated Learning or Practicum in International Organisations module with prior approval.

    • Work Integration Learning (typical content) (60 Credits)

      The Work Integrated Learning module will equip you to gain insights and conduct research in order to anticipate and respond to challenges in a workplace environment. The module will enable you to design and negotiate your own

      learning goals and will give you the opportunity to engage as an active subject in the assessment process, thereby enhancing your capacity for transformative learning. By selecting a topic of interest grounded in your workplace experience you’ll be expected to demonstrate reflexivity, self-regulation and self-assessment in your journey towards personal and professional development.

  • Plus two of the following optional modules

    • International Organisations and the International Dispute Resolution (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module will provide you with advanced conceptual insights into the legal, political and structural issues that underpin dispute resolution at an international level through a thematic focus on issues such as trade, title to territory, and international peace and security. The module emphasises the rules and principles of international law and international relations in relation to the role of international organisations so as to enable you to think strategically about the different means of settlement of disputes and their applicability to existing or potential conflicts.

    • Law and Policy of the World Trade Organisation (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module has been designed to bestow you with a deeper understanding of global trade regimes by exploring world trade issues through critical legal, historical, political and economic perspectives. The goal is to provide you with the ability to critically engage with globalisation and contemporary international economic relations, the regulation of international trade by the WTO, as well as the relationship between international trade and the harmonisation of the law in relation to key trade-related issues.

    • Business and Human Rights (20 Credits) - Optional

      The Bhopal disaster in India, the tragedy of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh exemplify corporate human rights abuses which have not been prevented or adequately remedied. This module enables you to understand how the sub-discipline of business and human rights, challenges the state-centred architecture of international human rights law, and delves into the responsibility of non-state actors such as multinational corporations. It also challenges the idea that only individuals can commit international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by looking into corporate criminal and civil liability for human rights violations.

    • Foundations and Principles of International Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce you to the knowledge and help develop the academic skill necessary to critically evaluate the rules and structures which underpin international law, while also positioning you to provide authoritative commentary on how this body of law impacts upon both international relations as well as other contemporary concerns such as globalisation, the use of armed force, terrorism, poverty, governance and the regulation of ownership over territory.

    • European Human Rights Law and Practice (20 Credits) - Optional

      The module will engage you in active investigation of the law protecting fundamental rights in Europe, under both the European Convention on Human Rights (as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg) and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights (as interpreted by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg). The module will equip you with a systematic understanding of the legal frameworks, institutions, and approaches to human rights interpretation and remedies of each system. It will also bring you into direct contact with legal practitioners from the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (ehrac.org.uk), based at Middlesex University.

    • International Human Rights Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      The module assesses the efficacy of international and regional oversight mechanisms in dealing with human rights violations across a range of geographies, thematic issues and rights‐holders. It will focus on human rights as they are globally understood, providing a context for the discussion of how individuals, government and non‐state actors can prevent or respond to violations. In addition, this module will provide a critical analysis of the philosophical, legal and political ideas with which human rights advocates and practitioners engage.

    • Migration: Theories & Approaches (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module explores the relationship between migration, politics and policies from a comparative perspective. You will have the opportunity to analyse policies that attempt to manage and control migratory flows, and how they have been affected by political debates over migration. You will examine both the rise of anti-immigration politics and the growth of migrant participation in the public sphere, from self-organised migrant protest around issues such as citizenship rights and labour rights, to more institutionalised forms of participation through unions and NGOs.

    • Sustainable Development and Human Rights (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module will help you critically explore the interaction between the key institutions and frameworks that govern human rights at the international level, and the international policy context which promotes sustainable development. You will explore the notion of competing, contested, and co-opted rights while learning to challenge their ability to function in crisis situations. The purpose of this module is to prompt you to question whether the current legal approach to human rights is sufficient to bring sustainable development to marginalised groups by focusing on issues of developmental inclusion, exclusion, indigenous peoples, caste systems, and gender inequality.

    • Environmental Law and Governance (20 Credits) - Optional

      Environmental Law and Governance will provide you with an in-depth understanding of environmental governance and the central theoretical approaches on which its principles are based. The module introduces the idea of the governance spectrum ranging from a coercive mode and legal instruments to approaches that rely on the agency and knowledge of environmental resource users themselves. The learning will involve role-playing, field trips, and workshops to help you to apply governance principles to real life policy problems. The module will include case studies drawing on the tutors’ research on environmental policy, urban environmental quality, and green criminology.

    • Politics of Globalisation  (20 Credits) - Optional

      In Politics of Globalisation you will be asked to consider the implications of the forces of globalisation in international relations, looking at processes and institutions at the level of politics, economics and culture in order to critically engage with transnational politics and issues of global importance. The aim of this module is to provide you with a platform to work constructively in groups, gain leadership skills and formulate arguments and coherent debates in a diverse international environment so that you can explore the ongoing debates surrounding these issues and learn to evaluate the effectiveness of international policy.

    • Postgraduate Legal Work Experience (typical content) (0 Credits) - Optional

      Postgraduate Legal Work Experience is a non-credit bearing module and provides students with an opportunity to gain law-related work experience in a support role supervised by experienced legal advisors. An academic tutor and Middlesex University’s Employability Service will provide information and guidance on finding work experience, but students must also be pro-active in finding a suitable position.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How you will learn on the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law

You will gain knowledge and understanding through a stimulating combination of lectures, seminars and presentations which are used to communicate core information, develop themes and ideas, and student participation through interactive exercises, while also providing opportunities for peer- and self-assessment. You will also be required to engage in intensive programmes of structured reading and research, and to present your findings orally and in writing.

Skills training, particularly through our Legal Research Skills module, will equip you with the intellectual tools necessary for postgraduate work, including the identification of appropriate materials, critical and analytical reading, and both writing skills and conventions.

Learning and teaching on all modules is informed by a critical approach that encompasses relevant aspects of the ethical, social, professional, historical and cultural contexts within which the law operates. Ethics are specifically embedded in some modules and you will be provided with the opportunity to understand the ethical dimensions of your own research.

Those students accepted on the Work Integrated Learning modules will engage with decision-makers in our partner organisations and develop new skills in research, writing, IT and networking.

How you will be assessed on the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law

In order to present students with a more authentic form of assessment, Middlesex University has elected to move away from the examination model and has adopted an approach which reproduces the skills and tasks that are performed in the workplace. This commitment to professional alignment includes a varied mix of assessment styles such as: oral presentations, coursework, peer-marking, literature reviews and, where appropriate, a dissertation or report-writing.

How the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law combines the best of in-person and online learning

Middlesex University has reviewed its approach to teaching and learning for this year’s entry and beyond. We have learnt how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and materials with our digital and online learning resources, putting you in charge of when and how you learn. We are dedicated to using technology to enhance your experience and will provide you with the digital support and online resources you will need to succeed.

In addition to your time spent in face-to-face learning, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on your learning activities. You may be doing this by yourself or with your course mates, depending on your module selection. In a year, you will typically be expected to commit 1,200 hours to your course across both formal and self-directed study. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

How you will be supported on the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law

You will have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to achieve your full potential on your course.

You will have access to both one-to-one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our Library, Learning Enhancement and IT teams. In addition, our Welfare teams are also able to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law will support your career

Students considering careers in law and in the court-based approach to litigation and the settlement of disputes will be well served by this LLM programme. Such careers include in-house legal departments and external legal representation of companies and organisations. In addition, students seeking a career in alternative dispute resolution, whether as arbitrators or as counsel representing parties to arbitration, or those working in businesses or other organisations seeking assistance from ADR service providers, will find this LLM of great benefit.

As well as access to the University's Employability Service students are offered specialist advice by the Programme Leader and other contributors to the programme, including guidance on how to enter and pass recruitment processes for national and international organisations. Students have access to the support services offered by the Clinical Legal Education programme and are invited to attend career-focused workshops, skills sessions and events.

Our team of renowned lecturers will provide the latest thinking and practice on legal issues. Our students benefit from their considerable network of contacts and connections within their sectors, notably for internship opportunities within international and domestic organisations, as well as a range of local companies providing professional legal services.

Dr Alessandra M. De Tommaso
Lecturer in Law

Dr Alessandra M. De Tommaso joined Middlesex University in 2021 as a Lecturer in Law and is a qualified lawyer and a member of the Italian Bar Association. Alessandra’s research interests are in corporate criminal liability, international criminal law and business and human rights and she is currently focussing on the feasibility of holding corporations accountable for their involvement in international crimes and human rights abuses.

  • Hisham Kanan

    LLM Commercial Law

    I worked as a researcher in the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion where we advocated for human rights in particular statelessness issues. This was an internship I was able to secure through my supportive and helpful programme leader Dr. Cathal Doyle.

    Studying at Middlesex University is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The fascinating LLM programme expanded my knowledge and paved my way for a great career. Our tutors were not only academics, but also practitioners, so they made the programme interesting by sharing their own experiences.

    Middlesex is not only a university but also a big community contributor. During my Master’s I was fortunate to work with MDXSU on a community project in which we were running a youth club and football coaching for refugees.

    Being new to London was not easy, especially with no acquaintances, however, Middlesex University, through its professional and welcoming staff, supported me in every single circumstance. I have to say that studying at Middlesex was a privilege.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Start: September 2024

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGM302

LLM/PGDip/PGCert Human Rights Law

Start: September 2024

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGM192

Back to top