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LLM|Postgraduate Taught

International Commercial and Business Law

Entry year
Entry requirements
2.2 (minimum 55%) in Law / 2.1 in cognate subject
2 years (Part-time)
1 year (Full-time)
Places available
Open (Part Time) (Part Time)
Open (Full Time) (Full Time)

The LLM International Commercial and Business Law is designed as a research-led programme for graduates from law and related disciplines who aim to specialise in commercial law, international trade, and cross-border business transactions from a socio-legal perspective. It will help you understand and master the highly dynamic and complex legal and regulatory regimes governing international business and the global economy. If you aim for a career in corporate, financial or commercial law, our programme will equip you with solid knowledge and an advanced understanding of the key principles, rules and practices in areas such as corporate governance, corporate law, competition law, financial law, and trade law. With support from leading academics throughout this LLM, you will be able to develop a broad set of relevant skills that will allow you to contribute to legal problem solving in key areas of commercial and business law.

Thanks to our diverse staff and student body, you will have a unique opportunity to meet lecturers and peers with different experiences and backgrounds, enabling you to expand your own perspective and understanding further. In previous years students have joined the programme from both the UK and around the world, significantly contributing to the discussions in class and group work.

The School’s world-leading academics specialise in a range of relevant areas, including:

- International and Transnational Commercial Law, including international commercial and financial transactions, Conflicts of Law/Private International Law, harmonisation and regionalisation of commercial law, and commercial dispute resolution, including via litigation and arbitration.
- Competition Law, including European Union and Comparative Competition Law.
- International Trade Law, including World Trade Organisation Law, international economic law, dispute settlement, and regional and national trade laws and policies.
- Legal Aspects of Innovation and New Technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain, and smart contracts.
- Corporate Governance and Compliance, including comparative corporate governance and corporate social responsibility.
- International Financial Regulation, including regulatory changes in the aftermaths of the East-Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis, regulating finance in key jurisdictions and in global financial centres and tax havens, deepening financial integration and financial fragmentation, the role of law and technology in finance, and the transition to sustainable and digital finance.

A Connected and Engaged Law School
The Law School and its academic staff are highly connected with institutions outside the higher education sector, enabling us to provide a programme that is vastly relevant for real-world problem solving. We have had cooperation with and inputs to our programme from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, competition authorities across multiple jurisdictions, the international competition network, local and national business law firms, the European Commission, the NI Department for the Economy, and the Bank of England. Law School staff members have been involved in advising various departments on trade laws and policies over recent years. We have also been providing legal training on finance law for the Department for the Economy under its Assured Skills Programme. Some of those co-operations have led to guest lectures in modules, where those external experts shared valuable insights with our students.

Small Group Teaching
The majority of the LLM modules use small group teaching to enhance your engagement with staff and peers in the classroom and to advance your understanding. This setting also maximises cross-cultural exchanges and learning reflecting many of the complexities and varieties in contemporary international business.

Research-led Teaching
Building on the unique research experience and knowledge of staff allows you to gain state-of-the-art insights into the key issues and discussions about socio-legal challenges and solutions related to international business and commerce. We also encourage LLM students to come along to research events at Queen’s and our Law School and we have usually several talks from world-leading experts on commercial and business law topics.

International Commercial and Business Law highlights

Internationally Renowned Experts

The LLM is delivered by academic staff who through their research are currently shaping global, regional and local debates within legal scholarship and related disciplines. They have experience of interacting with leading policy-makers, regulators, businesses, law firms and other key stakeholders, contributing to ongoing developments both in the UK and beyond. Law at Queen's is in the top 150 Law Schools worldwide and we are ranked 18th in the world for international outlook. Research in Law was ranked 8th in the UK in the most recent research assessment exercise (REF 2021). Key areas of commercial and business law and regulation, including corporate governance, competition law, the law of commercial and financial transactions, the law of finance, and trade law are among our key areas of our research strength, reflected in our teaching on this LLM programme.

Student Experience

This Programme has been specifically designed so that our students can emerge with a deeper appreciation of the place law plays in international business and the global economy. Students study within a vibrant international mix of students and staff from all over the world. We focus on your individual career and development needs, building your skills, enhancing your personal experience of the course and thinking of your career path. You will be taught not just abstract theory but also its practical application to legal problems and challenges faced by businesses, regulatory bodies, the profession of business lawyers, and wider society.

At Queen's you will be part of and co-creating a thriving postgraduate culture built on teaching excellence, leading-edge research, innovation, collaboration and active engagement. These components are also woven together in our Graduate School that supports all our LLM students in developing additional skills and increased personal effectiveness that will enable you to stand out in the crowded and increasingly competitive global job market.

Life at Queen's is not just about the degree. We offer and encourage our students to enrich their studies by using the manifold opportunities Belfast and the wider Queen’s community have to offer. Whether you're into student societies, sports, music, dance, or just a coffee with your friends, Queen’s has exceptional facilities to cater for all interests.

Industry Links

Integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally. Law was ranked top ten in the UK for graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2024). Northern Ireland had in recent years the most dynamic inflow of foreign investment in the UK and has become a key UK hub for legal and financial firms, including fintech firms. The Kalifa Review (2021) commissioned by the UK Treasury lists Belfast and Northern Ireland as one of 10 UK fintech clusters with world leading strength in RegTech, InsurTech, and Wealthtech.

World Class Facilities

Our facilities at Queen's include a state-of-the-art Law building with superb teaching facilities, a moot court and study spaces. Queen's has one of the most modern campuses in the UK, including the award winning McClay Library, one of the finest libraries in the world, home to 1.2 million volumes, an amazing digitally-available collection of books and journals from all over the world, and over 2,000 reader places. The University invested considerable resources into further expanding its capacity to enable online learning and engagement, further boosting the student experience. Our Physical Education Centre was used as a training camp for the 2012 Olympics. Our Queen's Elms Student Village and city centre student accommodation (built in 2018) are located within easy walking distance of the University. The One Elmwood Student Centre, home of the Students’ Union and University Services, opened its doors in 2022 as a vibrant new hub for students at the heart of our campus and in close proximity to our School of Law building.

Student Testimonials

Course Structure

Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) basis.

The Masters is awarded to students who successfully complete all taught modules (120 CATS points) and a research dissertation (60 CATS points).

Course Details

The programme is delivered through a series of taught modules and culminates in the submission of a dissertation on an original topic.

Semester One : Modules

Students choose the following three core modules:
International Competition Law
International Corporate Governance
World Trade Law

Semester Two : Optional Modules

International Commercial Law
International Financial Law
Advanced International Trade Law and Policy
Critical Approaches International Economic Law
Business and Human Rights
Corporate Environmental Law

Please note this is not an exclusive list of the optional modules available. Optional modules are reviewed each year and subject to staff availability/student numbers.

*Note: students who take the module Business and Human Rights may graduate with the award of LLM in International Corporate Governance.

Semester Two : Mini Modules

Approaches to Legal Research (Core)
Platform Regulation: IP Enforcement and Content Moderation (Optional)
(Metaverse Law) Copyright, Trademarks, and Immersive Technologies (Optional)

Summer : Dissertation

Dissertation (Maximum 15,000 words)

(Students who secure a summer work placement of at least 8 weeks can complete a Dissertation in Practice Module including 12,000 word dissertation and 3,000 word reflective journal of the learning experience)

People teaching you

Programme Co-ordinator

School of Law

Contact Teaching Hours

Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial

8 (hours maximum)
In addition to 6-8 hrs of teaching per week, students should set aside 10-12 hours per module for reading and preparation to engage meaningfully in classroom discussions, group work and other forms of active engagement.

Learning and Teaching

Learning opportunities associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Learning Opportunities:

    During your study with us you will be supported in various ways. For example, each Programme has its own Programme Co-Ordinator—a dedicated member of academic staff who is there to guide and support you throughout your time with us, together with the School's experienced and helpful administrative staff.

    Moreover, all our LLM students are able to avail of mentoring and pastoral support of academic staff. We place considerable emphasis on facilitating good communication between staff and students. To this end, a Student Voice Committee, comprised of elected student representatives, the Director of Graduate Studies and other members of academic staff, meet at regular intervals throughout the academic year. This Committee provides students with a forum in which to raise matters of concern to them and also enables the School to keep students informed about matters affecting the School and wider university.

    At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.

    We do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enables our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, life-long learners.


Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Assessed coursework for 120 CATS points:
    All course modules are assessed by coursework.

    Compulsory Research Component:
    An LLM Dissertation or Dissertation in Practice topic must be chosen within the area of commercial and business law for the remainder 60 CATS. Your self-directed research on the dissertation is also supported by a supervisor.

What our academics say




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Optional Modules

    World Trade Law (20 credits)

Entrance requirements


Applicants with a primary Law degree: Normally a strong 2.2 Honours degree in Law (with a minimum of 55%) or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree in Law with less than 55% (or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) along with a minimum of 2 years relevant experience may be considered.

Applicants with a primary degree in a relevant/cognate subject: Normally applicants with a 2:1 Honours degree or above (or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) in Social Sciences, Humanities or a cognate discipline.

Applicants with a minimum of a 2:2 Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) along with a minimum of 2 years relevant experience may be considered.

Exemption from these requirements may be considered for those applicants who hold a Master's degree in a relevant subject (or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Admission under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) may be considered for this course. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 16th August 2024 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.



Career Prospects


Our LLM programme will prepare you for a career in law with specialisation in international commerce and business. It also enables students to develop research skills that will prepare you for pursuing a PhD and an academic career in international business law. Students are actively supported by our School’s Employability and Placement Officer and by the University’s dedicated Careers Service which provide students with opportunities to engage with employers and help them to boost their employability:

Graduate plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university; you will have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £7,300
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £7,300
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
EU Other 3 £21,500
International £21,500

1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance - please check this link regularly, even after you have submitted an application, as new scholarships may become available to you.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

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