International Business & Commercial Law LLM (Top-up)

Postgraduate degree

Transform your postgraduate diploma into a full master's degree while enhancing your research, analytical and critical thinking skills. Advance your career with our 100% online LLM top up.

  • Supported online learning gives you the flexibility to fit studying around your other commitments
  • Receive expert guidance from experienced and passionate professionals and researchers
  • Top-up your existing postgraduate diploma into a full master's degree
  • Enhance your career opportunities and open the door to study at doctoral level
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your online LLM

Our LLM International Business and Commercial Law (top-up) is ideal if you have a postgraduate diploma in either International Business Law or International Commercial Law and aspire to have a full master's degree. Under expert supervision you will complete a Major Research Project in a chosen aspect of international commercial or business law that is of most interest to you. Successful completion will enhance your future career prospects and allow you to study at doctoral level should you wish. You'll study online giving you the flexibility to develop your career around your other commitments.

Course highlights

  • Develop your research, analytical and critical thinking skills, which are transferable skills highly valued by employers
  • Tailor your research to an area of international business/commercial law which reflects your academic interest and career development needs
  • Achieve your ambitions and take the next steps towards your career
  • Complete our LLM top up in just 16 weeks

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course length

Study this course over 16 weeks

Start dates

Start in January or May

Application deadlineOur next deadline is

29th November 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Our LLM ‘Top-Up’ allows you to join our popular LLM in International Business and Commercial Law course at the Major Research Project stage. The Major Project gives you the opportunity to explore, in depth, a particular aspect of international business/commercial law which reflects your academic interest and career development needs. Successful completion will mean that within just 16 weeks you can transform your existing learning (please see the entry requirements section) into a full LLM in International Business and Commercial Law.

The Major Project will further develop your research, analytical and critical thinking skills, which are transferable skills highly valued by employers. As an autonomous and reflective learner, you’ll enhance your ability to think systematically and conceptually, construct a sustained reasoned argument and to analyse, synthesise and criticise, while designing proposals for future reforms.

Throughout this LLM distance learning course you will receive expert supervision, online research method and skills training and an online library session with our law librarian which will include how to effectively research using electronic legal databases.

You’ll also have access to our Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas, providing access to a wealth of further research skills information and links to online training tools and resources. Via Canvas, we’ll explain the role of the supervisor; provide training on key legal research methodologies; Major Project writing, referencing and presentation requirements and research ethics clearance, which may be required for some projects, depending upon the nature of the research.

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LLM International Business and Commercial Law Major Research Project

This module will support you in the preparation and submission of a master’s stage major research project and enable you to demonstrate the features associated with academic Mastery:

  • The ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your area of specialism.
  • A depth of knowledge that may involve working at the current limits of understanding.
  • Critical understanding of method and its relationship to knowledge.
  • Awareness of and ability to develop solutions to ethical issues and dilemmas likely to arise in your research and/or your professional practice.
  • The ability to draw insightful and justifiable conclusions from information which may be complex or contradictory.
  • The capacity to expand, refine or redefine existing knowledge; to develop new approaches and contribute to the development of best practice in your professional sphere.
  • The ability to communicate in writing in a clear and cogent manner, consistent with the requirements of academic writing.
  • The ability to undertake wide-ranging, independent research, using those methodologies appropriate to the chosen project.
  • The capacity to evaluate your work from the perspective of an autonomous, reflective learner.

This module will provide you with an opportunity to explore in depth a particular aspect of international business/commercial law which reflects your academic interest and career development needs (subject to your proposed research question being agreed to by the module leader and your potential supervisor to ensure its viability).

You will be allocated a supervisor to assist you in formulating your research proposal/hypothesis, discuss your methodology (including the possible need for ethics clearance) and act as a mentor throughout. You will be expected to make regular reports to your supervisor on the progress of your work. The supervisory process will normally be conducted through remote supervision via email and/or Microsoft Teams or a similar medium.


The LLM is assessed by the written Major Research Project submission of 12,000 words (maximum), which tests your knowledge, understanding, critical evaluation, contextual awareness, research skills and ability to work independently.

How you'll study

Our LLM International Business and Commercial Law (top-up) is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, PC or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

On successful completion of your studies, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your LLM online, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist online LLM tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your LLM top up distance learning course, we encourage the creation of online communities, often with the help of Canvas, and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo


What could an International Business and Commercial Law LLM (Top-up) do for my career?

The LLM International Business and Commercial Law Top-up course will complete your postgraduate diploma to full postgraduate level, increasing your expertise and credentials in this field.

Through a combination of theory and analysis of practical application of legal rules in areas of international business and commerce, you will develop high level skills in critical legal reasoning, analysis, research, and independent judgement.

You will also benefit from our free, co-curricular ARU Certificate for Professional Development programme which allows you to take part in additional skills-focussed modules, to support your future employability and enhance your career prospects.

What job roles can I consider with an online LLM International Business and Commercial Law (top-up)?

An LLM International Business and Commercial Law qualification can open the doors to various legal, compliance, commercial, banking, and business job roles. These are some examples:

  • Compliance Officer
  • Policy Manager

Your LLM International Business and Commercial Law is also likely to be useful in the following roles.

  • Advice Worker
  • Border Force Officer
  • Civil Service Administrator
  • Detective
  • Human Resources Officer
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Local Government Officer
  • Mediator
  • Patent Attorney
  • Political Risk Analyst
  • Stockbroker
  • Tax Adviser
  • Town Planner
  • Trading Standards Officer

If you are looking for more information about these job profiles and potential salary earnings, see It’s important to note that salaries can vary widely depending on the job role, employer, industry sector and location.

What can I study after a LLM International Business and Commercial Law LLM (top-up)?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification. Having a master’s degree under your belt is a competitive advantage in opening doors to study at this level.

What skills will I get from a International Business and Commercial Law LLM (top-up) to help my career?

During the course we’ll help you develop what we call the ARU Graduate Capitals. The Graduate Capitals are made up of Knowledge, Identity, Social Capital, Cultural Capital, Adaptability and Whole Person and can be thought of as resources that can be nurtured to help you attain your goals.

This course supports you to develop your Knowledge and skills - including technical and professional - for real world application of legal research problem solving. Such skills include strengthening professional digital communication skills, Word and PDF processing skills, and advanced Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) referencing skills.

The course will also develop your Cultural Capital because, in addition to discussing problems and case studies, the module involves demonstrating sensitivity to issues of culture, diversity and disability in communication with line managers, colleagues and others, being mindful of the professional attitudes, conduct and appropriate self-presentation while doing so.

You will develop your sense of Adaptability by designing and conducting an individual project plan, while balancing other commitments. You’ll work under pressure, solve complex problems, develop and maintain contingency plans and seek and act on constructive criticism, among others. A sense of adaptability should help you to learn from failure in a constructive way, build your own strategies to adapt to changes in the work environment and to consider alternative career paths.

You will develop your professional Identity as a Whole Person by engaging in tasks that enhance your self-awareness as a researcher. You’ll also become familiar with the principles of ethical research and good academic practice. An enhanced sense of professional identity should help you to communicate your ideas better in job interviews, promotions or to your future clients and business partners.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability service to help you at whatever stage of your career, whether that’s landing your first job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications, and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

Your prior learning is assessed to ensure it is sufficiently comparable with what has been covered by students taking our full LLM International Business and Commercial Law. In most instances, we will expect you to have a PG Diploma in International Business Law and/or International Commercial Law.

If English is not your first language, you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet and email.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for this LLM top-up distance learning course is £2,734.

The course is studied over 16 weeks.


Your LLM distance learning course can be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Michael - ARU Student

The support I received fromARU was thorough and greatly appreciated, from top tips, online presentations and one-to-one sessions through skills study plus.

Read Michael's story
David - ARU Distance Learning Student

I chose ARU for their recognised global standing, their year-on-year improvements in higher education and partnerships with organisations demonstrated their investment in helping students.

Read David's story
Stephen - ARU Student

Completing the LLM International Business and Commercial Law Major Research Project was an excellent opportunity to dig deeper into how English common law has continually evolved with major advances in technology. I really appreciated the feedback provided by the course tutors. 


Katherine - ARU Distance Learning Student

Campus learning was not an option for me, but distance learning allowed me to learn from the comfort of my own home. I do not feel that distance learning has undervalued my university experience at all.

Read Katherine's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

29th November 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.

Further reading

Find out more about this course and more on our blog