LLM International Commercial Law with International Dispute Resolution (Arbitration)

London's financial district

Law and Business Intertwined

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

Financial Regulation International Commercial Arbitration is recognised as the dispute resolution mechanism of choice for parties to international commercial transactions. The ubiquity of arbitration is justified on two important grounds. First is the autonomy it grants to disputing parties to have their dispute resolved by a panel chosen by themselves and according to their preferred rules. Second is the internationally recognised regulatory framework which facilitates the prospects of enforcement by the successful party. This pathway is designed to provide students with a critical and up-to-date understanding of important aspects of international commercial arbitration. It explores the features of the arbitration system and discusses its operation in various international fora. The module benefits from accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; giving students the opportunity of attaining associate membership of the renowned institute.

Students on this pathway have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the arbitration system by studying Investment Treaty Arbitration which is specifically designed for transactions with State entities. Students also have the option of taking modules including WTO, international economic law amongst others.

On completion of the pathway, students will be expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate clear understanding of the concept of international arbitration.
  • Demonstrate detailed and critical understanding of the law and policy issues in international commercial arbitration.
  • Demonstrate clear understanding of the law and policy issues in investment treaty arbitration.
  • Assess the functions and operations of the complex network of rules and conventions that undergird the arbitration system.
  • Comment on the current state of the law and its future directions.
  • Execute analytical written work which incorporates substantive, theoretical and practical understandings of a specific issue related to the program content.

This pathway is intended for those who have a strong focus on issues relating to arbitration and litigation in an international and comparative context. Students may be able to develop certain knowledge and potentially be on the path to qualify for further international qualifications in the above field.

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.

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 Dispute Resolution (Arbitration)

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 Dispute Resolution (Arbitration), in addition to the modules listed above students must take at least 30 credits from the list of modules below:

Code Title Credits
LWMTARInternational Commercial Arbitration (CIArb Accredited)20
LWMTTAInvestment Treaty Arbitration10
LWMTWDWTO Disputes20
LWMTLEInternational Economic Law10

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

Part-time/modular arrangements

The programme can be taken part-time over two years.

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.

January Entry

LLM students can also commence the LLM in January. Students take modules in the spring term. They write the Project over the summer (May-September) and then take further modules in the following autumn term, graduating the following January.

To apply please see the following application form.

Staff teaching on this LLM law course

Career prospects

Graduates from this course will enhance their prospect of employability in states, government agencies, international courts and tribunals, multinational corporations, law firms who are looking for lawyers with specialized knowledge of dispute resolution and academia (subject to further study).

Things to do now

  • Apply now
  • Register your interest
  • See entry requirements
  • See our postgraduate taught courses
  • See our research
  • See available scholarships
  • Visit us

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  • Studying at Reading
  • Research at the University
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  • 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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