LLM (Commercial Law)

Why choose this course?

This specialist LLM offers maximum flexibility as you study commercial law in a practical, international and contemporary context. It enables you to choose from a wide range of modules to build a degree that matches your career aspirations, research pursuits and personal interests. 

  • Improve your career prospects in one of the UK's top law schools for student satisfaction and success at postgraduate level 
  • Choose innovative modules covering themes ranging from international commercial arbitration to the management of information security in a commercial setting
  • Benefit from our modern approach to teaching law in a global context: you can tailor your coursework and assignments to different jurisdictions, so gaining a truly international flavour of law
  • Combine your academic and theoretical knowledge with hands-on skills honed in our superb courtroom facilities 
  • Learn from our team of expert practitioners whose teaching is delivered with passion and professionalism 
  • Spend time developing your skills in a legal practice or other professional organisation: ours is one of the few LLM programmes to offer this opportunity
  • Study either full time or part time, at a pace to suit you and your circumstances.
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Fact file

Course code: MM1AE

Start date: September and January

Course length: Full time: one year. Part time: three years

Campus: One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

College: College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences

About this course

We have worked with the legal professions, judiciary, prosecution service and police to design the LLM Commercial Law to be fit for the 21st century. Ideal both for lawyers and for professionals engaged in broader commercial practice, it offers genuine opportunities for flexible study and specialisation.

A degree that’s right for you

This LLM provides unique opportunities to investigate areas that other courses simply do not offer. While it focuses on core aspects of knowledge in law, you can choose from numerous options reflecting distinctive areas of specialist knowledge.

The course combines academic and theoretical knowledge which will enable you to contribute to organisations and commercial enterprises operating within the global arena. We use a range of approaches which emphasise the practical application of your knowledge, including modules which are negotiation and practice driven.

Dedicated to your success

We are committed to providing a rich, rewarding learning experience. You'll be taught by our professional, experienced and knowledgeable teaching team, with real passion for their subjects.

We deliver dedicated academic and pastoral support to every student, which has resulted in our consistently high rankings in the National Student Survey. We also offer a range of extra-curricular activities, networking opportunities and a vibrant Student Law Society.

LLM students have, for instance, visited The Hague to gain insights into the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). They have also attended a national conference on Migration and Human Rights, where high-level policy-makers and respected researchers shared their views. Read more about their experiences

Research for the real world

High quality research is at the heart of the LLM. We undertake influential research activities which lead to greater understanding of justice systems and inform legal and professional practice, both nationally and internationally. We have an active Law in Society research group and our staff contribute to growing numbers of publications, conference presentations and journals.

First-rate facilities

We offer some of the country’s most advanced facilities for the study of law. Described as “exceptional” by Skills for Justice, they replicate environments you will encounter in real-life legal situations. The latest addition is a full reconstruction of a crown court featuring contemporary technology. We were also the first law school in the country to have a family courtroom, which is ideal for specialist training.

What you will cover

The course is made up of three stages - Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and LLM.

Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma stages

You’ll study:

Legal Scholarship
You’ll enhance your research, communication and independent study techniques, which will help you throughout your Masters degree and will also assist with your personal and professional development. This module provides a stepping stone if you wish to present your work at conferences or have your work published. The skills you develop will also be of direct relevance if you are seeking to undertake a PhD and will help you progress through the early stages of a research career.

You’ll also study two pathway core modules:

Commercial Theories
You’ll gain an introduction to influential theories regarding the growth of commercial activity and how these theories relate to the evolution of commercial laws. Topics covered include the historical development of commercialism; economic, political and social theories of commercialism; American realism; critical legal studies; socio-legal studies; law and economics; and globalisation.

National and International Sale of Goods
You’ll examine the sequence and legal implications of contracts engaged in the sale and movement of goods at national and international levels, together with the finance and payment methods used for the sale of these goods. Topics covered range from distribution contracts, licenses and franchises to negotiable instruments and credit financing.

In addition, you’ll choose three optional modules from the following:

  • Intellectual Property in the Digital Age 
  • International Protection of Intellectual Property Rights 
  • Company Law 
  • Public International Law 
  • Investigating Serious Crime 
  • International Banking and Finance Law
  • Information and Communication Technology Law 
  • The Law and Investigation of Human Rights Violations 
  • International Criminal Law 
  • Transnational Organised Crime

LLM stage

You’ll study this core module:

Independent Studies
This final module gives you the opportunity to develop deep and specialist knowledge through robust legal scholarship. You will use the intellectual skills you’ve gained during your course to carry out an extensive investigation of a significant topic. You will be supported throughout by a member of our law team with expertise in the area you choose to research.

Please note - modules/LLM pathways will run subject to minimum numbers

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • You’ll need an honours degree in any subject, at least 2:2. We’ll also consider applicants with relevant work experience, who may be accepted following an interview with the programme leader. If topping up your LPC to an LLM, we’ll review your experience and qualifications on a case by case basis.
  • if your first language is not English, you will need to evidence a proficiency in English (IELTS 7)

How to apply

UK/EU students

International students

Information for international applicants

Applying for a postgraduate degree

Fees and finance

2015/2016 fees

UK/EU students

  • £550 per module (you usually take the equivalent of nine single modules)

International students

  • Full time: £11,440

These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2015 and August 2016. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

How you will learn

Teaching and learning

You'll learn with your peers, giving you the chance to collaborate with other talented people who share your passion for the same kinds of legal issues.

Your lectures will provide a solid foundation in the areas of study. Seminar discussion groups will guide you in your study as well as stimulating your interest to explore specific topics further.

The course will enhance your independent research and writing skills, enabling you to develop strong legal arguments that you can draw on for your assessments and assignment submissions.


Types of assessment include assignments, portfolio preparation, reports, presentations and online preparation of material. In several modules you can relate your assessment to different jurisdictions, so that your national law can be the focus of your award.

Assessment is integrated into the learning and teaching of modules. The scheduling of work is consistent, balanced and inclusive in line with your progressive development.

The final Masters stage is assessed through the submission of your Independent Study or Masters thesis on a specialist topic of your own choosing. Our tutors will support you in preparing this.

Part-time study opportunities

In addition to the one-year full-time course, we offer you the chance to study towards the LLM on a part-time basis over three years, enabling you to balance your work and home commitments with your studies.

Who you will meet

The LLM is taught by a team of experienced lecturers who actively engage in research and regularly write, present and publish in their subject areas. The programme also draws on the expertise of guest speakers who are invited to present on key areas and topics of general interest as well as specialist themes relevant to your specific LLM pathway.

Careers and employability

An edge in your career

As a Derby LLM Commercial Law graduate, you will be highly sought after by employers because you can demonstrate a unique specialisation. The qualification gives you a genuine advantage when applying for positions within and beyond the legal sector.
 For non-lawyers, a postgraduate qualification in law can sharpen your commercial awareness so that you can contribute more effectively to operational and strategic management.

If you are already in employment, the particular benefit of our LLM is that you can combine modules to create a programme of study which reflects your specific vocation and future employment and career aspirations. In a turbulent world where professional roles and career pathways are constantly evolving, the Derby LLM offers you the flexibility and skill set to adapt to meet employers’ requirements and your own professional development needs.

Opportunities for further study

An LLM is considered to be essential for the pursuit of an academic career. With the focus on research skills at its heart - and a high level of flexibility providing many diverse opportunities to specialise - the Derby LLM programme is an ideal springboard to MPhil or PhD studies.

From the start, you are encouraged to develop your research, communication and independent learning techniques and we offer guidance if you wish to present your work at conferences or to have it published.

Ongoing careers support

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course - and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.

What our students say

“The job market is competitive and you have to keep learning or fall behind. I was frequently involved in paralegal work and wanted to formalise the skills I was acquiring. On the Derby LLM you can build a scheme of study that meets your particular needs.” Chris Brooks, LLM graduate and Quality Manager for Air Astana, Kazakhstan

“The biggest strengths of the course were the smaller class sizes and the sheer dedication and passion for learning and development demonstrated by a team of expert lecturers. The different LLM streams on offer were all well tailored to the subject matter and the ability to select modules allowed me to build my own experience.” Christopher Wilson, LLM graduate and Technical Officer for the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers

Read more student stories