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LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Business Law

Learn about the course below
September 2023
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£10,500 (UK) *
£16,800 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Alessandra M. De Tommaso
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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 gain a comprehensive knowledge of international business law equipping you with a systematic and critical understanding of relevant topics, such as, international trade law, the international sale of goods, and international commercial litigation and arbitration.

Reasons to study the LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Business 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 international trade relations and transnational business.

This programme will enhance your professional development and horizons as you 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, spaning 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

  • We will advance your knowledge of international business law in a fast-changing global marketplace and an ever-globalised world.
  • You will study with teaching staff who are engaged in major research across relevant fields of law, from international sale of goods to law and policy of the WTO and international commercial litigation and arbitration.
  • You will learn alongside students from across the globe in one of the world's greatest cities.

Find out more

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

What you will study on the LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Business 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 or
    • Two modules in term two.

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: course specification.

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

    • Legal Research Skills (20 Credits)- Compulsory

      This module equips you 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.

    • 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 your 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.

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

      This module is designed to provide you 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.

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

      You will 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.

  • 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. You'll be expected to demonstrate expert-level knowledge and advanced-level legal research skills by writing a dissertation paper, supported by a supervisor, on a topic that you propose which is 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 Integrated Learning (60 Credits)- Optional

      The module aims to enable you to apply theoretical knowledge and research to anticipate and respond to challenges in a selected workplace experience. You can undertake this workplace experience as an internship that you negotiate yourself or in your current workplace or an existing voluntary role. It also aims to help you foster sustainable long term learning by requiring that you take responsibility for your own learning, design and negotiate learning goals and make informed judgments about your performance across the programme of study. The module will ask you to engage as active subjects in the assessment process, thus 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 optional modules from the list below:

    • 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 you 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 (20 Credits)- Optional

      This module equips you with critical understanding of the major theories concerning the nature of corporations, their role and function in society, the concerns surrounding corporate governance and corporate responsibility, and the laws and practices governing directorial conduct and company operation in selected countries.

    • English Commercial Law (20 Credits)- Optional

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

    • 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 you 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 you 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

      Provides an in-depth understanding of the international human rights law framework under the United Nation organisations and ability to assess its efficacy engaging the complementary American, African and Asian regional systems of promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.

    • International Maritime Law (20 Credits)- Optional

      Equips you 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.

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

      This module enables you 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 Law (20 Credits)- Optional

      Understand, analyse and assess 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.

    • Postgraduate Legal Work Experience (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 this course 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 (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.

  • Additional optional modules available in

    • International Politics, Criminology and Sociology

      In addition to the Law modules listed above, students can study one of the following modules from International Politics, Criminology and 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; Migration Politics and Policies.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about 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.

How you will learn the LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Business 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 International Business 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.

Teaching and learning from 2023

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2022/23 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, we’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.

How you will be supported on the LLM/PGDip/PGCert International Business 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 International Business Law will support your career

This programme prepares students for a wide range of careers in public and private sector organisations, multinational companies and inter-governmental bodies requiring specialist knowledge in private and public international law frameworks regulating commercial and trade transactions, as well as mechanisms involved in the resolution of commercial disputes. Previous graduates have also continued their higher education studies via a PhD.

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.

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 Commercial Law

Start: September 2023

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

Code: PGM194

LLM/PGDip/PGCert Law (General)

Start: September 2024

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

Code: PGM302

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