The globalisation of commerce makes it extremely useful, if not essential, for anyone wishing to practise commerical law to study it from an international and comparative perspective. The huge growth in the importance of multinational corporations, and countries such as China and the Gulf states, makes it equally useful to study such corporations and countries as well. SOAS has a unique concentration of modules in this area, taught by experts who combine experience in legal practice and consulting with academic scholarship. Many of those modules are equally useful for people wishing to study other areas of law, such as human rights, environmental law, Chinese law and Islamic law, as their main focus.
The LLM programme may be completed either through one year of full-time study or two, three or four years of part-time study. All students apply to the general LLM programme, but have the option of pursuing a specialised LLM.
Each LLM student is required to successfully complete 180 credits, which comprises 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit 12,000 word dissertation on a topic related to his or her specialisation. Please see the 'Structure' tab for full information.
Examinations for all taught modules will be held in May/June of each year and the dissertation will be due for submission during September of the final year of registration. The assessment for each module may vary.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Law
- One calendar year (full-time)
Two, three or four years (part-time, daytime only)
We recommend that part-time students have between two-and-a-half and three days a week free to pursue their course of study.
Students must take modules to a total value of 180, consisting of a dissertation (60 credits) and 120 credits of taught modules. Taught modules are worth either 15 or 30 credits.
Students who wish to graduate with a specialised LLM are required to take at least 60 credits associated with his or her specialised LLM, a further 30 credits within the School of Law (General Law Postgraduate Taught Module List), and a final 30 unit which can either be taken within the School of Law or from the Language Open Options or Non-Language Open Options pages with the LLM Programme Convenor’s permission. The dissertation topic will be undertaken within the LLM specialisation.
Please note: Not all modules listed will be available every year. Please see the individual module page for information.
Dissertation (12,000 words), on a topic related to the specialism of the degree
Choose modules from the List A below to the value of 30 credits
Choose a module(s) from List A OR from the General Law PGT Options list below to the value of 30 credits
Choose a module(s) from List A OR from the General Law PGT Options list below OR from Postgraduate Open Options* to the value of 30 credits
*subject to approval from LLM convenor & module convenor. Includes language modules.
List of Modules (subject to availability)
List A: Specialism Modules
General Law Options
Note: all PGT School of Law modules, unless explicily restricted to MA or MRES students, should be available to LLM students.
Open Options Note
Open options will need approval of deputy PG programme convenor (LLM or MA)
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
More information is on the page for each module.
Knowledge & Understanding
- Students will acquire specialist knowledge of commercial law in an international and comparative context.
- This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, knowledge and understanding of the following:
- the theoretical and practical underpinnings of international and comparative commercial law;
- the context in which law is made, interpreted, adjudicated, and amended;
- the role played by law, particularly commercial law in different international and comparative situations;
- the role and function of legal institutions in managing commercial relationships in an international and comparative context;
- the weight and significance of different sources and methodologies.
- Students will develop knowledge of how to locate relevant materials and assess their relevance and/or importance.
Intellectual (thinking) Skills
- Students should develop rigor in analysis and assessment of legal arguments.
- Students should develop the ability to understand, summarise and critically assess differing perspectives on theoretical debates.
- Students should develop independence of thought and the confidence to challenge the accepted wisdom.
- Students should learn to identify issues and formulate questions for further research through independent work.
- Students will be encouraged to bring to bear their own previous experience and knowledge in addressing legal issues in an interdisciplinary manner.
Subject-based Practical Skills
The programme will help students develop the ability to:
- Write clear research essays and dissertations.
- Research in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes and online, and retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources.
- Present seminar papers and defend the arguments therein.
- Discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
- Develop essay and dissertation research questions.
- Read legal source materials rapidly and critically.
- Present legal arguments in moots and debates.
The programme will enable students to:
- Communicate effectively in writing.
- Structure and communicate ideas and arguments effectively both orally and in writing.
- Read and comprehend significant quantities of reading rapidly and effectively and develop critical faculties.
- Find and use a variety of written and digital materials, especially legal materials, in libraries and research institutes.
- Present (non – assessed) material orally.
- Develop teamwork skills.