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LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law

Learn about the course below
Code
PGM194
Start
October 2020
September 2020 (EU/INT induction)
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,700 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Cathal Doyle
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We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning as we start the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting in autumn 2020, there’s more detail on how we’ll deliver your course below, and in particular on the ‘Teaching’ tab under ‘Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020’.

The degree aims to enable students to specialise in subjects related to commercial law, equipping them with comprehensive knowledge of the regulatory framework governing the conduct of trade, business and financial services set up by English and international law.

Why study LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law at Middlesex University?

You will deepen and broaden your knowledge of law as an academic subject through acquiring a systematic understanding of legal processes, methods and concepts, of the social and political context in which legal processes take place, and of appropriate theoretical conceptions of law.

By maximising your academic potential and refining your problem-solving skills in a transnational context by acquiring a systematic and critical understanding of the complex legal, economic, cultural and political issues informing the English and international regulations addressing commercial transactions you will enhance your professional development and horizons.

The research and writing skills you gain will be transferable to a variety of professional sectors, including the legal profession, policymaking, corporate sector, governmental bodies or academia.

The teaching team in the School of Law at Middlesex University includes Dr Sara Hourani and Dr Lijun Zhao, an expert on international trade law and international maritime law.

Course highlights

  • This LLM degree introduces students to actual business disputes, exposing them to the changing nature both of commercial disputes and their settlement or resolution
  • Become conversant with case law, 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
  • In alternative to litigation, this course familiarises students with the range of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms deployed in business contexts.
  • In light of COVID19 and the need to prioritise a safe academic community, we will offer a blended learning model that will involve online teaching and learning delivered by our expert academics, as well as opportunities for face-to-face teaching on-campus each week. All such decisions will be made in line with Government advice.

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 four 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.

PG Diploma (1 year, 120 credits)

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

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.

Modules

Each module is typically 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.

Not all of the optional modules listed will be available in any one year. Module availability is dependent on staffing and the number of students wishing to take each module.

We’ve made temporary changes to some course modules for students starting in 2020 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, there’s information on these updates below.

  • Core modules

    • English Commercial Law (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      Understand and analyse contemporary issues, legal problems and emergent changes to legislation governing the conduct of trade, business and financial services.

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

      Gain the knowledge necessary to deal with contemporary and emerging challenges in the practise and management of transnational commercial disputes with a focus on the increasing use of arbitration for expediency and cost savings by medium and large-scale enterprises operating in multiple jurisdictions.

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

      This module presumes familiarity with the principles of contract law and extends these into the international arena in the field of international sale of goods. It deals with the English law governing trade in wet and dry commodities and international law, principally the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods. It aims to enhance the student's ability to tackle the practical, policy and economic implications of legal regimes enabling trade and transactions between parties divided by or purposely straddling legal and geographic boundaries.

    • Legal Research Skills (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module equips students with essential research skills necessary to complete a master's of law successfully, 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 is taught in term two, and assessed by a 15,000-18,000 dissertation. Students demonstrate expert-level knowledge and advanced-level legal research skills by writing a dissertation paper, supported by a supervisor, on a topic proposed by the student and approved by the module leader, Dr Lughaidh Kerin.

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

    • Work Integration Learning (changes for 2020/21) (60 Credits) - Optional

      This module enables students to undertake work experience in an international organisation for 12 weeks. Examples of organisations where students from Middlesex have completed their placement include the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Building and Woodworkers International global union federation, as well as a range of NGOs and other UN agencies in Geneva.

      Students keep a diary of their work documenting the acquisition of transferable skills, plus produce an original 4,000-word academic paper which indicates understanding of the organisation where the placement took place.

      Due to the evolving situation as regards COVID19, this work placement module may be suspended in 2020-21. However, where possible, we are working in consultation with our professional partners to develop online work placements until it is safe to resume placements in person.

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

      This module enables students to undertake work experience in an international organisation for 12 weeks. Examples of organisations where students from Middlesex have completed their placement include the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Building and Woodworkers International global union federation, as well as a range of NGOs and other UN agencies in Geneva.

      Students keep a diary of their work documenting the acquisition of transferable skills, plus produce an original 4,000-word academic paper which indicates understanding of the organisation where the placement took place.

  • Plus two of the following optional modules

    • Business and Human Rights (20 Credits) - Optional

      The Bophal disaster, the tragedy of the Niger Delta and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory are all examples of what appears to be systematic corporate human rights abuses which are not being adequately prevented or remedied. This module enables students to understand how the sub-discipline business and human rights challenges State-centred architecture of international human rights law and delves into the responsibility of non-state actors such as multinational corporations in the area of human rights. It also challenges the idea that only individuals can commit international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes looking into corporate criminal and civil liability for human rights violations.

    • Comparative Corporate Governance (not available in 2020/21) (20 Credits) - Optional

      An in-depth look at a range of contemporary issues of EU Law and governance enabling students to critically analyse and evaluate the European Union's institutional structures and methods of integration as well as their underlying tensions.

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

      This module engages students with the legal, political and philosophical perspectives of the legal frameworks, institutions and remedies available to protect fundamental rights in Europe, both under the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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

      Enable students to analyse, critically evaluate and provide authoritative commentary on how international law impacts international relations and contemporary concerns such as globalisation, the use of armed force, terrorism, poverty, governance and the regulation of ownership over territory.

    • Intellectual Property Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Equips students with systematic understanding of the relevant national and international regimes governing intellectual property focusing on English and EU law including case law, as well as the measures specified by the agreements on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

    • International Human Rights Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      To analyse the international human rights law framework under the United Nations and assess its monitoring procedures and efficacy, engaging the complementary American, African and Asian regional systems. Students will be required to reflect on challenges to the implementation of international human rights law globally, as well as engage strategies that advance thematic and country-specific elements of the human rights bodies under the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The module will involve critical research on international human rights mechanisms, including treaty-based and Charter-based bodies, as well as regional commissions and courts. The aim is to reach a comprehensive understanding of the full range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and the interaction between domestic, regional and international law in their protection, realisation and fulfilment. Students will be tasked with evolving a rights-based analysis to identify and address gaps that contribute to widespread contemporary global rights violations.

    • International Maritime Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      Equips students with detailed knowledge and understanding of English and international normative frameworks regulating the carriage of goods by sea and the laws governing maritime causalities and their aftermath, such as collision, oil pollution, salvage and general average.

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

      Get advanced conceptual insights into the legal, political and structural issues that underpin dispute resolution within international organisations through a thematic focus on issues such as labour, trade, title to territory and international peace and security. You will learn to think strategically about 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 is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of global trade regimes through an overview of globalisation and contemporary international economic relations; the regulation of international trade by the WTO; and the relationship between international trade, harmonisation of the law and trade-related issues.

    • Minority Rights and Indigenous People in International Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module enables students to understand, analyse and comment upon the international law framework on minority rights and indigenous peoples under the United Nations, American, European, African and Asian systems, assessing their efficacy in dealing with violations.

    • UK and European Anti-Discrimination (20 Credits) - Optional

      Understand, analyse and asses the relevant regulations at national and European level governing discrimination as well as the practical, historical, social, economic, ethical and philosophical context in which these operate.

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

      In this module you will look at the relationship between migration, politics and policies from a comparative and European perspective. This relationship is both ‘top down’, with migration becoming an object of contention amongst political parties and migration policies being largely shaped by political divisions, and ‘bottom up’, with the growing presence of NGOs campaigning for migrant rights and migrant activism. First, you will be asked to comparatively examine migration policies, their regulatory role in the attempt to manage and control migratory flows, and how they have been affected by political debates over migration.

      Secondly, you will look at the growth of anti-immigration politics and how anti-migrant mobilisations have become a constant feature at European level, not only for marginal groups but also for mainstream government parties. During this part of the module you will also investigate the growing conflicts between migrants and natives over the uses of space and the distribution of welfare resources. Thirdly, you will look at different forms of migrant participation in the public sphere, from self-organized migrant protest around issues such as freedom of circulation, citizenship rights and labour rights to more institutionalized forms of participation through unions and NGOs.

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

      This module will help you critically explore the key institutions and frameworks that govern human rights at the international level and of the international policy context that promotes sustainable development, to examine how the two interact. You will examine the notion of rights as competing, contested and co-opted and question their ability to function in crisis situations. It focuses on issues of inclusion/exclusion and reflects on how the rights and ‘development’ of three ‘marginalised groups’ have been promoted. You’ll focus in particular on indigenous peoples, the caste system and gender inequality. The aim of this part of your studies is to question if current legal approaches to human rights are sufficient to bring sustainable development to groups currently marginalised.

    • Environmental Law and Governance (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module will provide students 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.

    • Politics of Globalisation  (20 Credits) - Optional

      In this module you will be asked to consider the implications in International Relations of the forces of globalisation, looking at international political processes and institutions at the level of politics, economics and culture. You will analyse the relevance of international organisations, and look at transnational politics and issues of global importance. Additionally, you will explore theoretical debates surrounding these issues and learn to critically evaluate the effectiveness of international policy. 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.

    • Postgraduate Legal Work Experience (content for 2020/21) (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. Module leader of Law4500 as well as the Employability Service provide information and guidance on finding work experience, but students must be pro-active in finding suitable work experience.

      Due to the evolving situation as regards COVID19, this work placements module may be suspended in 2020-21. However, where possible, we are working in consultation with our professional partners to develop online work placements until it is safe to resume placements in person.

    • 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. Module leader of Law4500 as well as the Employability Service provide information and guidance on finding work experience, but students must be pro-active in finding suitable work experience.

    • Citizenship, the Right to Nationality and Statelessness (not available in 2020/21) (20 Credits) - Optional

      The module will analyse how international law addresses the nexus of statelessness and human rights, and the importance of citizenship and the right to a nationality for the enjoyment of human rights. It will span the standards, recommendations and jurisprudence of UN and regional human rights systems as they pertain to statelessness, focusing on its causes and consequences and the measures that can be taken to prevent and remedy it.

      The module will promote an interdisciplinary approach focused on practical solutions to statelessness.

    • International Competition Law (20 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to examine the main issues in global competition law and policy. You'll focus on EU competition law, with examples from UK, US and Chinese   competition law where appropriate. It will first address the rationale and the conflicting goals of competition law. The course will then tackle its most important doctrines and principles, including horizontal agreements, vertical agreements and abuse of dominant position.

More information about this course

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

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. 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 will the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law be taught?

You will gain knowledge and understanding through a stimulating combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, professional internships and self-directed studies and use a variety of resources, including audio-visual media, library books and e-learning materials.

Lectures, seminars and presentations are used to communicate core information, develop themes and ideas, and seek to encourage student participation through interactive exercises and 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 and location of appropriate materials, critical and analytical reading, writing skills and conventions.

Several sessions within each module and a substantial part of the Dissertation are designed to provide guidance on identifying a suitable research question, carrying out research, writing a literature review and planning and writing a dissertation.

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 students are provided with the opportunity to understand the ethical dimensions of their own research and within which the law operates at each level.

Eligible students who enrol on the Practicum in International Organisations or Work Integrated Learning modules will engage with decision makers in our partner organisations and develop new skills in research, writing, IT and networking.

Due to the evolving situation as regards COVID19, we are currently planning to deliver the LLM via a blended learning model that will involve a mix of live/recorded lectures and live seminars, as well as some weekly face-to-face time on-campus if safe access to campus with social distancing in place allows us to do so, in line with Government advice.

Assessment

Student's practical skills are assessed by oral presentations, coursework, exams, peer-marking, literature reviews and, where appropriate, dissertation, diary and report writing.

Should exams and other on-campus assessments not be possible due to COVID19, take-home exams will be organised in lieu of on-campus exams, with oral assessments to be done via an online platform.

Teaching and learning

Changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: course delivered fully online

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

Term 1: 6 hours

Term 2: 8 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

40 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

Varied per module

Scenario 2: course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

2 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

40 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

Varied per module

4.

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

2 hours

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.

Support

You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the LLM/PGDip/PGCert Commercial Law 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. 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 world 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, such as the United Nations, our on-campus litigation centre, the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC), the Legal Advice Centre, and a range of local companies providing professional legal services.

Dr Cathal Doyle
Programme Leader

Programme Leader for all LLM courses, is actively engaged in promoting the realization of human rights at local, national and international levels. His works focuses on the protection of the rights of indigenous, tribal, forest and other land dependent peoples in the context of large scale development activities impacting on their territories and way of life. You can find out more about his work and research, as well as his contact details should you wish to discuss any aspect of the LLM programmes, by visiting his staff profile.

  • Hisham Kanan

    LLM Commercial Law

    Currently I am working as a researcher in the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion where we are advocating for human rights in particular statelessness issues. This is 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 is 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

LLM/PGDip/PGCert Law (General)

Start: October 2020, September 2020 (EU/INT induction)

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

Code: PGM302

LLM/PGDip/PGCert Employment Law

Start: October 2021

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

Code: PGM301

LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Business Law

Start: October 2020

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

Code: PGM303

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