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Course length

1 year full-time


Durham City

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Course details

Our LLM in European Trade and Commercial Law offers you the opportunity to study the highly significant area of European legislation relating to trade and commerce that continues to have huge relevance in the economic and political landscape.

As well as learning about key commercial issues such as cross-border commercial litigation and EU takeover regulation, you will also examine more people-related topics such as the protection of human rights and constitutional issues. If European law is a new subject to you then you will also take a foundation module that introduces the fundamental principles of European Community law.

The course runs for one year full-time and is delivered through a series of lectures and also small seminar or tutorial groups. You will be required to complete an extended dissertation using your own research on an area of European law of your own choice, for which you will be given support and guidance from a member of the academic staff with expertise in that particular area.

The law school is home to the Durham European Law Institute and you will be encouraged to join its many activities, while the library includes the European Documentation Centre which boasts a wide range of European-related material, to which you will have access as part of your studies.

A longstanding expertise and a tradition of innovative, interdisciplinary research can be found within the school and this heritage is supported by outstanding academic facilities including a moot court, dedicated workroom, a pro bono room and a Harvard-style lecture theatre.

Course Structure

Core modules

Introduction to European Law offers an overview of the fundamental principles of European Community law and provides a springboard for further study or research into more specialised areas. This key module will enable you to acquire a proper grounding in basic principles, features and institutions of the European Community legal system.

Applied Research Methods in Law provides specialised knowledge on the range of research methods and skills available in legal studies as well as an advanced understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and of their relevance for different forms of legal research. The module also creates a framework within which you will be able to critically assess potential research topics and, importantly, where you will be able to design, discuss and develop a detailed research proposal of the appropriate standards for your dissertation.

The Dissertation is based on your particular research interests in an area of European Trade and Commercial Law, and can be of one of three lengths – 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words. The dissertation is equivalent to 2, 2.5 or 3 modules, depending on word count.

Depending on the dissertation length and prior subject knowledge, you can choose a number of subject specific optional modules (* indicates half modules) which in previous years have included:

  • Advanced Issues in Human Rights*
  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law 
  • Advanced Issues of International Intellectual Property Law*
  • Comparative Corporate Governance 
  • Competition Law
  • Corporate Compliance*
  • Corporations in an EU Context 
  • Consumption Tax Law and Policy* 
  • Cross-border Commercial Litigation
  • Current Issues in Commercial Law 
  • Electronic Commerce* 
  • Global Financial Law 
  • Horizontal Human Rights*
  • International Banking Law 
  • International Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • International Sales Law
  • International Trade Law and Policy
  • Introduction to Corporate Insolvency Law*
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law*
  • Mergers and Acquisitions*
  • Multinational Corporations and Human Rights*
  • Protection of Human Rights in Europe 
  • Renewable Energy Law*
  • Securities Law and Capital Markets 
  • US Business Associations 

Your remaining options can be chosen from a wider selection of law modules (* indicates half modules) which in previous years have included:

  • Advanced Issues in Corporate Law*
  • Advanced Issues in the Constitutional Law of the EU* 
  • Advanced Law of Obligations 
  • China and the International Legal Order* 
  • Commercial Fraud*
  • Comparative and Transnational Law* 
  • Current Problems of International Law 
  • Free Speech Problems in International and Comparative Perspective*
  • Frontiers in Biolaw*
  • Fundamental Issues in International Legal Governance*
  • Fundamentals of Corporate Law*
  • Fundamentals of International Law*
  • Global Environmental Law*
  • Global Institutions 
  • International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law* 
  • International Humanitarian Law 
  • International Investment Law*
  • International Perspectives on Law and Gender* 
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • International Tax Law*
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance*
  • Introduction to International Criminal Justice
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts*
  • Law of the Sea 
  • Medical Law and Ethics*
  • Private International Law and China*
  • Takeover Regulation in the EU* 
  • International Law of Peace and Security 
  • International Perspectives in Cartel Control*
  • The Law of Subsidy and State Aid Control*
  • Current Issues in International Law and Governance*
  • US Corporate Law*
  • Modules offered by another Board of Studies (subject to approval)


Learning on this course comprises both taught modules delivered through lectures and seminars and the completion of a major dissertation. In lectures, you will study your chosen topics and the main debates and ideas around them, the aim being to provide you with a framework of knowledge that you will then develop through your own reading.

You will be expected to undertake preparatory reading for the seminar sessions which you will then use to tackle questions or problems related to the topics in a supportive environment.

The total contact hours for each module is 15 hours or 30 hours, depending on the length of the modules chosen.

You will also write a dissertation which will be the outcome of your own independent research in an area of interest to you. Depending on the route chosen your dissertation can be anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 words. You will have four one-to-one meetings about the project in an academic year with your supervisor who has expertise relating to your chosen area of research.


Assessment is stringent and based on writing tasks with the majority of the modules assessed through essays of 3,000-6,000 words in length. The core module on applied research methods will be assessed by the quality of the research topic proposal you will present for a research topic. Finally, you will complete a dissertation on an area of corporate law of interest to you.

Entry requirements

A good 2:1 degree (or its equivalent) in law, or in a degree in which law is a major component.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £12,750 per year
EU students £26,900 per year
Island students £12,750 per year
International students £26,900 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Law School

Our global reputation for legal research and teaching of the highest quality is reflected in the career trajectory of our alumni.

Graduates serve across the full range of legal professions including solicitors, barristers, judges, members of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and as consultants and in government. Others have secured stimulating and rewarding positions in national and international law firms.

We are fully aware of the degree of competition that exists in securing a role in the legal profession and the School provides a range of resources to help alumni stand out as ideal candidates during the recruitment process. This includes detailed information about the steps involved in becoming a solicitor or barrister, visits from law firms and guidance on preparing for interviews and assessment days.

Department information

Law School

Durham Law School is a global leader in the development and framing of law. Led by academics who are experts in their field, we carry out cutting-edge legal research that feeds into our Masters and research qualifications, building knowledge and nurturing the skills needed to help shape law in the future.

The reputation of the School means our legal know-how is respected by parliamentarians and policy makers around the world. Our academics have been called to give evidence in Parliament and have had their research work quoted by courts and international bodies.

International law and questions of global policy and governance are an area of special interest at Durham, but our expertise extends to other areas including criminal law and criminal justice, ethics, human rights, European law, gender and law, Chinese law, Commercial and Corporate law and Global Justice.

The research-led learning environment in the School is one of commitment, innovation and passion for the subject. Our highly respected research groups organise lectures and seminars offer opportunities to hear from eminent scholars and practitioners. Speakers have included judges from the UK Supreme Court, from the European Court of Justice and leading officials from national and international institutions.

For more information visit our department pages.


  • World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
  • 6th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • Top 10 in The Guardian University Guide 2024
  • Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the Law School pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 5th in the UK for research environment
  • 100% of our research impact and environment was rated world-leading or internationally excellent


Situated close to a number of academic departments and University services with views of the magnificent Durham Cathedral as well as offering easy access to the historic city, we believe that we have one of the most striking and best-equipped law buildings in the UK.

The Law School is located in the University’s award-winning flagship Palatine Centre, part of a £48.4m sustainable building development.

The School’s facilities are purpose-built and state-of-the-art, featuring a moot court, pro bono room, Harvard-style Hogan Lovells lecture theatre, spacious dedicated work suites and modern wireless and audio-video-enabled research spaces and attractive social areas.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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