Online LLM International Business and Commercial Law

Online postgraduate degree

Master your understanding of international business and commercial law and develop the skills and confidence to enhance your career opportunities with our 100% online LLM.

  • Study 100% online to allow for maximum flexibility
  • Receive expert guidance from experienced and passionate law professionals and researchers
  • Ideal if you work or aspire to work in international law firms or businesses
  • Enhance your skills and knowledge to support your career aspirations
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your online international business and commercial law masters

Our LLM International Business and Commercial Law degree is ideal for those working in, or aspiring to work in, legal, compliance, commercial, banking, or business roles that require an in-depth understanding of international business and commercial law.

You’ll develop key skills and expand your knowledge and understanding, of international business and commercial law, that you can apply directly to your workplace and help support your future career aspirations.

The course has been designed to give you the flexibility to study, learn and grow, around your other commitments.

Course highlights

  • Gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of international business and commercial law
  • The major project gives you the opportunity to explore an area of international business and commercial law that you’re passionate about
  • Choose to study over 1 or 2 years
  • Receive support every step of the way from our dedicated distance learning team

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course length

Choose to study over 1 or 2 years

Start dates

Start in January or September

Application deadlineOur next deadline is

31st July 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Our 100% online LLM International Business and Commercial Law course will enhance your knowledge and understanding of international business and commercial law and develop the skills you need for a successful career. It will quip you with the necessary background and legal expertise for international practice and academic research at the highest level, opening doors to various legal, compliance, commercial, banking, and business career paths.

Our Master’s in International Business and Commercial Law will start by looking at the context in which international business takes place, including the need for regulation of international trade, and the legal frameworks behind it, including international commercial contracts, e-commerce, international intellectual property law, arbitration and comparative law.

You’ll also examine and critically assess how businesses address commercial disputes in the context of globalisation and advance your knowledge of competition law or comparative company law.

You’ll develop high level skills in legal reasoning, analysis, research and independent judgement and a range of wider intellectual and transferable skills, consistent with creative thought and independent learning. These skills will empower you to critically appraise how international laws are created and enforced, and apply legal discourse to the regulation of transnational business.

If you already have a postgraduate diploma in either International Business Law or International Commercial Law and aspire to have a full master's degree, then you may be interested in our online LLM International Business and Commercial Law (top-up) which can be completed in 16 weeks.

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Introduction to Comparative Law

This module provides the foundation for the transition from undergraduate to master's level study by introducing themes which underpin the higher-level study of the relationship between law and business in the international context as well as the advanced research skills needed for success at this level. You'll demonstrate a systematic and critical awareness of the interrelation of law and business in a global context and will also be expected to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding and advanced scholarship in the context of international trade and business. It has several main themes: firstly, it provides an analytical framework for international trade law that transcends particular jurisdictions and focuses on the context in which international business takes place. It will examine the need for the regulation of international trade and the development of legal frameworks for this, including an understanding of the WTO and regional trade organisations, such as the EU. International business operates within a variety of national legal systems as well as internationally. A critical awareness of comparative legal systems is therefore essential, as is an understanding of some elements of public international law (such as treaty law).

International Trade Law

This module provides an analytical framework within which international trade transactions take place across differing jurisdictions. There is consideration of international sales contracts, carriage of goods by sea and financing of international trade. The legal and commercial rules governing specific trade contracts and accompanying documentation will be examined in the context of English common law, as well as in the context of international rules and conventions concerning international trade. The different methods of financing international trade will also be considered. There is also analysis of the rights and duties of carriers of goods. You’ll have the opportunity to develop the application of these rules through practical problem solving, demonstrating your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding of your discipline in an original and creative way. You’ll also be expected to evaluate and critically analyse current legal doctrine and demonstrate advanced legal scholarship. Throughout the module you'll be exposed to and be expected to contribute to a range of skills building activities that underpin your employability. These range from the development of team working activities, communication skills both written and verbal, logical reasoning and the ability to undertake independent research. Criticality is introduced immediately within the module and will be sustained through both formative and summative assessment. The module contributes particularly to complex and creative problem-solving skills and the ability to engage in systematic, conceptual and critical analysis and synthesis of primary and secondary source materials. This module is especially relevant to all students attracted to business, professional or commercial careers, as well as students hoping to work as commercial lawyers.

Into ARU

Entering third level education is exciting; but it can also be a daunting experience. At ARU, we want all students to make the most of the opportunities Higher Education provides, so they reach their potential, become lifelong learners, and find fulfilling careers. However, we appreciate that the shift from secondary education, or a return to formal education is quite a journey. This module is designed to ease that transition. You’ll be enrolled on it as soon as you receive an offer from ARU so you can begin to learn about university life before your course starts. Through Into ARU, you will explore a virtual land modelled around ARU values: Courage, Innovation, Community, Integrity, Responsibility, and Ambition. This innovative module is designed as a game, where you collect knowledge and complete various mini tasks. You’ll proceed at your own pace, though we expect all students to have completed their ‘Into ARU’ exploration by week 6. Students who, for whatever reason, are unable to complete by that date, will be signposted to existing services so that we can be confident that they are supported.

Comparative Company Law

This module provides an analytical framework for corporate law that transcends jurisdictions, emphasising the underlying purpose of the rules and how they fit with theories underpinning corporate law. You’ll get an integrated view of the role and structure of corporate law that provides a clear framework within which to organise an understanding of individual systems, both alone and in comparison, with each other. Broadly you’ll be introduced to the theory of corporate law, introducing concepts and ideas which form the basis of the theoretical foundations of the subject. The focus will be on the main 'players' in the corporate arena, such as the directors, shareholders, creditors, and employees and how company law can best accommodate their sometimes-conflicting interests. You’ll also explore the main arguments in favour of and against state intervention in what are primarily private transactions. The module focuses on the theoretical aspects of corporate law and addresses the problems and legal strategies common to each of the identified jurisdictions. Five basic characteristics of business corporations will be considered: 1 legal personality 2 limited liability 3 corporate governance/shareholder protection 4 management of companies 5 investor ownership.

Corporate Governance

This module introduces you to the political, economic, cultural, social, legal, and other regulatory mechanisms which govern the activities of corporations. You’ll consider issues relating to the management of corporations and how to control the activities of management to ensure that the business is run for the benefit of stakeholders and not only for the benefit of the management. This module enables you to engage in an examination and critical evaluation of corporate governance in a global context. You’ll trace the development of corporate governance and critically consider the theories underpinning corporate governance and how those theories are manifested in practice. You’ll look at corporate governance practice from various parts of the world. In addition, the nature, scope and effect of corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability will be examined as well as attempts to codify principles of corporate social responsibility at international law. The module will adopt a theoretical and problem-based approach so that you will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery of the subject.

Issues in Transnational Commercial Law

Anyone representing clients with commercial interests in more than one jurisdiction should possess a good understanding of commercial law in international practice referred to as international or transnational commercial law. As international commerce has developed, increasingly more international efforts have been made towards harmonising the law relating to international commerce. This is done in the belief that harmonisation is more beneficial than reliance on a single national law. Consequently, several different types of international instruments developed, comprising conventions, model laws, legislative guides, codifications of trade usages and practices and restatements of law governing various aspects of international commercial law and practice. The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of what drives international commercial law, the reasons for harmonisation, to examine the institutions involved in the harmonisation process as well as the scope of the harmonisation processes and the major problems and policy issues which must be confronted. The purpose of this module is not, therefore, to study the detailed substantive law relating to any specific aspects of international commercial law although several substantive areas of law will be covered in outline. The purpose of the module is to establish a conceptual framework enabling you to understand the scale, scope, and purpose of harmonisation of international commercial law and to critically evaluate the success of key international instruments. Even though the module will cover some international instruments, which you may already have studied in other modules (for example the Vienna Sales Convention), these instruments will be studied from a perspective of the need, purpose and success or failure of harmonisation of international commercial law.

Commercial Contracts and ECommerce

Understanding commercial contracts is an essential tool for those seeking to become involved in international commercial practice or those seeking to understand commercial practice with an international element. A study of the law governing commercial contracts in their business context involves aspects of contract law, commercial law and will involve basic analysis of ecommerce although no previous knowledge of computer programming is required. English law is particularly suitable to govern international commercial contracts, it is therefore important to understand how English law approaches the issue of commercial contracting. The module will also use comparative law method to look at transnational law to establish and critically evaluate the differences in rules governing commercial contracts in English law, other national laws, and international instruments such as UN convention or International Sale of Goods and UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. The module examines several important themes, in particular, legal issues that relate to the contract formation (requirements for formation, comparing types of contractual arrangements); specifications and key performance indicators that are included in contractual arrangements and the key clauses that are included in formal contracts. Focus will be on the contracts for sales of goods (offline and online) as this is the basis of international commercial contracting. The aim of this module is to develop critical understanding of key theoretical concepts through their application in practical scenarios.

International Commercial Arbitration

In this module you'll examine and critically reflect on the choices businesses need to make about the methods of resolving commercial disputes. This module examines various methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) with particular focus on international commercial arbitration as this is the most popular method of dispute resolution in the international context. The module will address the main procedural and substantial topics related to international commercial arbitration demonstrating the advantages and disadvantages of such methods of dispute resolution. It will guide you through the main steps of arbitral proceedings, from the arbitral agreement to the recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award. The study of international commercial arbitration will be done by comparison and applicability of the diverse rules and laws from several jurisdictions to analyse difference approaches in developed and developing countries. This will also help you to critically examine the reasons why international commercial arbitration is so popular. This module combines theory and practical application relevant to international legal practice and business. You'll role play within alternative dispute resolution scenarios to develop and enhance your team working, negotiation, strategic thinking, and employability skills.

Research Methods in Law

This module will provide you with a critical knowledge and understanding of research skills, methods and methodology, including surveys, questionnaires, statistical analysis, interviews, in addition to bibliographical research methods in law. This module includes hands-on training on how to access reliable materials both through the University library and from other reliable sources and databases. Further, this module will discuss learning and teaching styles; academic expectations and learning strategies. This is particularly important for students with a multitude of prior learning experiences. Teaching is informed by active learning pedagogies and organised via practical workshops, hands-on library sessions and E-learning, all providing grounding in the various research methods and techniques. The workshops will focus upon selected topics in of International Business and Commercial Law, to which you are required to analyse and apply appropriate methodological skills. The module contributes particularly to research and analytical and critical thinking skills, which are transferable skills highly valued by employers. Understanding of advantages and disadvantages of legal research methods will be beneficial not only when designing and writing Postgraduate Major Project (LLM dissertation), but also when you carry out research in future career or business planning. This module will develop your cultural awareness when conducting research, including how to identify and address research ethics considerations (and follow the relevant procedures) for their Postgraduate Major Project (LLM dissertation), as required by the University and international research associations and societies. During the module, you’ll be able to build and enhance social networks and relations with their peers, tutors and law librarians. This will be done via designated class team working activities, tasks to enhance your face-to-face and digital professional oral and written communication skills, and when researching the leading scholars for your Postgraduate Major Project (LLM dissertation).

LLM International Business and Commercial Law Major Research Project

This module supports students in the preparation and submission of a Master's stage major research project. This project enables students to demonstrate the features associated with academic Mastery: The ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to their 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 their research and/or their 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 their 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 their 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’ll be allocated a supervisor to assist you in formulating their research proposal/hypothesis, discuss their methodology (including the possible need for ethics clearance) and act as a mentor throughout. You’ll be expected to make regular reports to your supervisor on the progress of their work.

Modules are subject to change and availability.


As you progress through your international and commercial law master’s you’ll be assessed during each module to test your knowledge and understanding. You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments, and presentations.

Your major project will assess your knowledge, understanding, critical evaluation, contextual awareness, research skills and ability to work independently.

How you'll study

Our LLM International and Commercial Law course 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.

You can choose to study our International and Commercial Law Master’s over 1 or 2 years. Please note that if you choose the 1-year option this is the equivalent of full-time study and may be a challenge if you’re employed full-time or have other life commitments. Our advisers will be happy to talk through your options in more detail. 

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 International and Commercial Law Master's 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 masters in corporate law tutors who are experienced in supporting distance learning students and will provide you with the support you need throughout your studies. 

Once you start your online business law master's degree, we encourage the creation of online communities 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.

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What could an International Business and Commercial Law LLM do for my career?

The LLM International Business and Commercial Law postgraduate course will increase 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’ll develop high level skills in critical legal reasoning, analysis, research, and independent judgement.

What job roles can I consider with an online LLM?

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?

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

  • A first degree of 2:2, or above, ideally in LAW or a subject such as business or accountancy, which includes substantial elements of 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 English Language qualification as recognised by ARU.
  • As a distance learner, you'll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of our online Learning Management System (LMS) with high-speed internet and email.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please contact us for further information.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for our online LLM International and Commercial Law degree is £8,200.

The tuition fees you pay each year for the business law master’s degree will between £4,100 and £8,200. You can choose to study the course over 1 or 2 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Your  online LLM 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 military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. ARU is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply. 

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

What our students say

Mario - ARU Student
The flexibility of the online learning format is particularly beneficial for those balancing professional and personal commitments. The support from the teaching staff and the extensive online resources provided by the university creates a robust learning environment. 
Read Mario's story
Beth - ARU Distance Learning Student
To be able to delve into a subject that you are passionate about and to explore different topics within that subject was really motivating and helped inform my practice.
Read Beth'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
I would recommend ARU in a heartbeat. The material is at the cutting edge, the tutors are at the top of their game, and the support is second to none.
Read Professor Sleator's story

Next application deadline:

31st July 2024

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

Further reading

Find out more about this course and more on our blog