LLM International Commercial Law with International Economic Law

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Course duration: 1 year full-time/2 years part-time Course starts: September/January

GlassThe aim of the LLM International Commercial Law with International Economic Law is to equip you with a strong core skill set in the issue areas necessary to do cross border deals and dispute resolution. You will integrate this with an understanding of foreign investment, trade, and arbitration aspects that are becoming increasingly important. The curriculum is rich in its emphasis on not only private law issues that affect business but how government regulation impacts business decision making. This pathway will give you an international perspective and a detailed understanding of global policy by governments in areas impacting international investment and trade flows and you will learn the practice of deal making and arbitration. This is a unique international economic law focused programme intended to put you at the intersection of many of today's cutting edge challenges and ensuring you can face the legal and economic challenges of globalisation.

The LLM Economic Law provides an analysis of the role and structures of the principal international financial institutions. The focus is mainly on the WTO architecture, even though other institutions - such as the IMF and the World Bank - are taken into consideration. More specifically, this programme offers an overview of the intellectual and theoretical bases of these institutions, presenting theories of liberalism and discussing the efficacy of free market systems, the historical reasons for their genesis, the implicit economic justifications for their functions and their legal/regulatory structures. The main aim is to combine the theoretical and practical approach in analysing the relationship between international economic law with other sectors of international law, such as human rights law and environmental treaties.

On completion of the LLM Economic Law, students will be expected to be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the key institutions/ structures, principles and concepts of international economic law and their relevance to international economic relations;
  • identify the relevant sources of international economic law and their relationship to domestic legal systems;
  • demonstrate a clear understanding and critical appreciation of the legal, economic and political issues involved in structures of global economic governance;
  • carry out competent and independent research into some aspects of the law relating to international regulatory institutions;
  • present and communicate their research findings effectively; and,
  • consider and critically assess the different approaches to the problems and issues raised and, where appropriate, to review critically the relationship of law to economics in this area.

Programme content

The LLM programme consists of 180 credits. Within the LLM programme there are a taught element (140 credits) and a Project (40 credits).

Within the taught element there are three core modules: LWMTAI Advanced Issues in International Commercial Law (20 credits), LWMTPS Project Skills (10 credits), and LWMTPR Project (40 credits). Students must take all the remaining credits (110) from the lists of pathway and optional modules.

Projects (LWMTPR) must be written on a topic related to the chosen pathway.

Students wishing to pursue an LLM in International Commercial Law without a specific pathway must also take: LWMTCF International Corporate Finance and the Law (20 credits). The remaining 90 credits will be taken from the list of optional modules from the School of Law, and ICMA/Henley Business School.

Permission to take unlisted modules will only be granted in exceptional circumstances; for example, where a student has work experience in a field then permission may be granted to take a module relevant to that field. Note that, as with all modules, any pre-requisites or co-requisites will also need to be satisfied.

A note for full-time January entrants: Please note that the Project submission date falls at the end of the Summer, whereas you will study some of your taught modules in the (subsequent) Autumn term. You may wish to bear that in mind when choosing a Project topic.

LLM International Commercial Law with International Economic Law

Compulsory modules

All modules from this group must be taken

Code Title Credits
LWMTPSProject Skills10
LWMTAIAdvanced Issues in International Commercial Law20

To qualify for LLM International Commercial Law with International Economic Law, in addition to the modules listed above students must take at least 30 credits from the list of modules below:

Code Title Credits
LWMTLEInternational Economic Law10
LWMTARInternational Commercial Arbitration (CIArb Accredited)20
LWMTTAInvestment Treaty Arbitration10
LWMTITInternational Investment Law20
LWMTCMCompetition Law20
LWMELREnergy Law and Regulation20
LWMTWTWTO and the Law20
LWMTWDWTO Disputes20

The remaining credits will be taken form a list of optional modules from the School of Law, the School of Economics and ICMA/Henley Business School.

Entry requirements

Please see general Postgraduate Entry Requirements for the School of Law but note that applications are particularly welcome from students holding undergraduate degrees in Business, Finance and Economics as well as in Law.

Career prospects

Graduates will have developed the knowledge to pursue specialised careers in the international financial institutions, including: World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; non-governmental organizations, environmental agencies; academia (subject to further study).

Things to do now

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  • Studying at Reading
  • Research at the University
  • Life at Reading
  • Money matters
  • ICMA Centre

Commercial LLM Programmes

For me, the LLM programme International Commercial Law at the University of Reading was a valuable experience. Especially as a non-native speaker, the courses which are held in small groups of 5 to 15 people encourage an active participation of each student. With regard to content, the programme gives the opportunity to choose from diversified courses which cover a broad range of commercial law issues. Through a taught element on the one hand (courses) and research elements on the other hand (essays and project), communication skills, writing skills and research skills are optimally trained. Moreover, the staff are very friendly and always keen to help with any kind of problem. Overall, my LLM year at the University of Reading was one of the best years in my academic education.'

Stephanie Hake, LLM International Commercial Law

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