LLM International Commercial and Competition Law

“I had been practicing Russian Law for almost 13 years focusing on corporate law and antitrust law. Before undertaking the LLM course I researched into numerous Universities across the EU and I decided to join UEA because of the very efficient LLM programme which in my view was one of the best programmes offered by the Universities across the EU."

In their words

Angela Korzhevskaya, Deputy Director of Legal Department at FESCO Transportation group

"The programme is exceptional for its close connection to the internationally renowned Centre for Competition Policy... with students working on a daily basis with the leading academics from the area - both lawyers and economists.”

In their words

Katerina Perkarkova, UEA Law School Graduate


Experience what an exciting place Norwich is to live and study in – a lively and attractive city with a beautiful coastline and countryside close by.

Watch It


Is dishonesty the best policy?

Fixing prices with competitors and bid rigging (where firms collude to raise the cost of procurement contracts and decide beforehand who will submit the winning bid) are both examples of cartel behaviour, but what are the motives behind committing them?

Read It

Key facts

(REF 2014)

Given that the number of countries with competition or antitrust laws increased from 31 to over 120 between 1985 and 2016, there is a growing need for legal specialists in this fascinating and ever-expanding area. This course is designed to give you the knowledge and skills to meet that demand, and go on to a successful career in the sector. 

On this interdisciplinary course, you will examine the issues, concepts and principles that underpin the substantive law on competition control and policy. You will explore the economic, social and political forces that continue to shape competition law development, and discover the role competition laws play within commercial relationships.

UEA Law School boasts several competition law specialists, all of whom are members of the Centre for Competition Policy (CCP), a leading interdisciplinary research Centre located at UEA.


Study at UEA Law School and you will be joining a School that excels in its dedication to offer intellectually diverse, varied and stimulating postgraduate courses, supported by a wide ranging selection of subjects or modules taught by leading experts.   The School is based in Earlham Hall, a building of significant historical importance, built in 1642 but recently refurbished, where most of the postgraduate LLM teaching takes place - it will therefore be your home for your period of study.

Each year we welcome around 100 postgraduate students from a wide variety of geographical and personal backgrounds, and it is the vibrant and dynamic community they create that completes the student experience.

We place significant emphasis on choice, building your confidence, maximising your employability and developing adaptable transferable skills. We believe small group teaching at postgraduate level is important and we aim to keep class sizes low, offering you an unparalleled personal teaching environment with access to our team of international specialists drawn from academia and practice.

We also believe practical and careers experience is extremely valuable and we’ve developed a programme of opportunities tailored specifically to the needs of our postgraduate students, including placement opportunities for both UK and overseas students.  During your course, you can apply for one of 50 internship placements. You can also attend careers panels, commercial awareness workshops, mock job interviews, our annual Law Careers Fair and many other events organised by the UEA Law School and the Careers Service.

Law Masters (LLM) degrees are increasingly seen by employers as a means to distinguish applicants. Our graduates have progressed to a wide variety of successful careers, from private practice to government legal departments and international organisations, from universities to industry and commerce.

Course Structure

In your first semester, you will take the fascinating International Competition Law module, where you will discover the core concepts and procedures of competition law. You will explore your subject through seminars exploring the legal provisions and case law on each topic.

In addition you will choose an optional competition law module, choosing from, for example, Media Regulation and Markets, Theory of Competitive Markets, Commercialisation of Intellectual Property Law, and Foundations of International Commercial Law.

You will also take the compulsory non-credit bearing Postgraduate Legal Skills and Research module at the start of your course and write a dissertation on an area of specific interest to you during the summer months.

With the consent of the Course Director, you can also choose a module from another postgraduate course offered by UEA, allowing you to personalise your course to your specific interests. For example you might choose a module from one of UEA’s International Relations, International Development, Business, or Economics courses.

Teaching and Learning

This course gives you an excellent balance of independent thinking and study skills, helping you to grow into a self-motivated learner, expert researcher, and an analytical thinker

You will benefit from research-led teaching, drawn from the expertise in the Centre for Competition Policy (CCP). This leading, internationally recognised research centre undertakes independent interdisciplinary research into competition policy and is based right here on campus. This gives you a unique window to real-world policy relevance without compromising academic rigour. The Centre draws on the expertise of a number of Schools within the University, including economics, law, business, political, social and international studies. As an LLM International Commercial and Competition Law student, you will be invited to events run by the CCP and will benefit from interaction with competition policy experts from a wide range of discipline backgrounds.

Teaching formats include interactive lectures and seminars. Whatever format, you will learn how to listen to and critique the ideas of others, as well as how to present and defend your own theories.

Depending on your module choices, you will have around 8 contact hours per week.

Your module organiser will provide you with a list of compulsory and optional further reading material in advance of each class. This means you can fully prepare for your small group meetings, having identified areas for further discussion. We advise at least 10 to 15 hours preparation per week for each of your modules.

You will develop accuracy and precision in your written work and you will become well-versed in time management, graduating as someone who is highly organised and confident in self-directed study.

To make sure you get the most from your studies and help you reach your full potential, you will have an Academic Advisor who will help you through the year.

In addition, our Learning Enhancement team, based in the Student Support Service are on hand to help in various study areas, including study and writing skills, academic writing (including how to reference) and research skills.

If you have additional needs due to disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia please talk to our Student Support Service about how we can help.


You will experience a variety of assessment methods, but with a particular focus on coursework: We believe this enables you to best demonstrate attainment of the learning objectives and therefore enhances your performance, and thus aids your successful completion of your Masters degree.

Throughout your course you will be given guidance on your work and constructive feedback to help you improve. This feedback will be on both your formative and summative assessments and can be discussed with your Academic Advisor and your module organiser.


After the course

You will graduate ready for variety of exciting legal careers, including specialist legal practice, practice before the bars of various jurisdictions, posts in government and international organisations and public service. Past LLM graduates have gone into specialist areas of law, finance, the civil service, local government, administration or even teaching.

Alternatively, you might continue your studies with a PhD.

Career destinations

  • Private practice in local and international law firms
  • Government legal departments
  • National Competition Authorities
  • Legal departments in international organisations
  • Universities
  • Industry
  • Commerce

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits


You'll have the opportunity to develop a research proposal and write a dissertation on a research question formulated by the you using the subject matter of the degree for which you are enrolled. The purpose of the dissertation is for you to demonstrate your ability to carry through an independent piece of work on a subject of your choice.




This module is designed to allow an understanding of both the core economic concepts of competition, and the substantive law and procedure of competition law, in particular of the European Union, but also of other jurisdictions as relevant. The principal piece of legislation in the EU is the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and in particular its provisions on competition, namely Articles 101 and 102. These will form the basis of the seminars, along with the Council Regulation 1/2003 on the implementation of Article 101 and Article 102 (Modernisation Regulation), and the Council Regulation 139/2004 on the control of concentration between undertakings (Merger Regulation). Seminars will be built around the legal provisions and case law on the subject matter. You will investigate the means by which competition laws tackle such problems as cartels and anti-competitive agreements among undertakings, monopolies and the abuse of dominant positions, vertical restraints, merger control and state aid. Broader issues - such as remedies and enforcement strategies and wider questions of policy and regulatory design - will also be reviewed.




This module is compulsory for all taught Law Masters Programmes and is taught in the first semester. The aim of this module is to assist students in developing a number of core legal study skills needed during the LLM year (and thereafter). The module will commence with an Induction Day followed by seminars on subjects such as identifying and understanding sources of law, using electronic research resources, the role of private international and comparative law in international commercial law. Later in the semester there are seminars on plagiarism (how to avoid it and proper citation of sources), and writing and presentation skills.


Students will select 20 - 60 credits from the following modules:

Students will select a minimum of 20 credits (but can select up to 60 credits) from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This module is aimed at students who may have an interest in either Intellectual Property (IP) Law and/or Competition Law, as well as students more focused on Commercial Law. Students will be expected to have taken either or both Globalisation of IP or International Competition Law in the Autumn semester. If not, students will only be permitted to take the module with the consent of the module organiser. The relationship between intellectual property and competition law and policy is not only a very interesting and complex area of law, but also one of major importance to the commercial sector. Although both regimes protect innovation, their approaches and underlying principles are fundamentally different and need to be reconciled. Without a sound understanding of the interface between them, the rights holder runs the risk of infringing competition law by way of exploiting intellectual property rights. The module therefore focuses on the commercially most relevant intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks and copyrights). It provides the student with a sound understanding of the different intellectual property rights, the possible mechanisms of their commercialisation and the relevant restraints posed by competition law. The module critically assesses the most recent case law and decisional practice of the European Commission in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors (including the judgments in Microsoft and AstraZeneca, and the investigations against Samsung and Motorola) and discusses its impact on commercial practice.




This 40 credit year-long module forms the grounding of (and is compulsory for) the International Commercial and Business Law and International Trade Law courses, and aims to introduce students to the essential foundational elements of international commercial law, not studied at undergraduate level. It aims to give students an understanding of what drives the law governing international commerce, the reasons for harmonisation of the law in the area, the institutions involved in the harmonisation process and the scope of that process. We examine the various ways in which harmonised instruments are created and the major problems and policy issues which have to be confronted. This module does not aim to teach the detailed substantive law relating to any specific aspect of international commercial law but instead seeks to provide an outline map that enables you to understand the scale and scope of transnational commercial law, while at the same time understanding how such law is developed and what and who drives its development. We will explore several areas of international commercial practice in the Spring semester in which attempts have been made to harmonise or codify the law in those areas. The process by which harmonisation / codification was attempted in each of these areas will be examined, as will some of the substantive rules produced. We will conclude with an examination of what has caused some harmonisation efforts to be successful and others to fail and finally to consider ways in which the harmonisation process can be improved in general and the impact of regionalisation.



Students will select 60 - 100 credits from the following modules:

Students will select their remaining credits (to make up 180 credits in total) from the following modules. Students may, with the consent of the Course Director, choose modules worth up to 40 credits from other postgraduate courses offered by the University.

Name Code Credits


This module will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the law and business of the carriage of goods by sea and marine insurance and is key to the International Trade Law masters. It examines carriage documents and their interaction, the general principles of carriage of goods by sea, carriage contracts in the form of charter parties and those evidenced by bills of lading. The module also explores international attempts at harmonisation in the area of international carriage and examines the operation of international carriage regimes (conventions) such as The Hague, Hague-Visby Rules, the Hamburg Rules and the Rotterdam Rules. The module also looks at certain key issues in the law of marine insurance such as the formation of the contract of insurance, the insurable interest, the duty of utmost good faith, warranties, subrogation, contribution and the assignment of interests in an insured policy.




This module is aimed at students who may have an interest in either Intellectual Property (IP) Law and/or Competition Law, as well as students more focused on Commercial Law. Students will be expected to have taken either or both Globalisation of IP or International Competition Law in the Autumn semester. If not, students will only be permitted to take the module with the consent of the module organiser. The relationship between intellectual property and competition law and policy is not only a very interesting and complex area of law, but also one of major importance to the commercial sector. Although both regimes protect innovation, their approaches and underlying principles are fundamentally different and need to be reconciled. Without a sound understanding of the interface between them, the rights holder runs the risk of infringing competition law by way of exploiting intellectual property rights. The module therefore focuses on the commercially most relevant intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks and copyrights). It provides the student with a sound understanding of the different intellectual property rights, the possible mechanisms of their commercialisation and the relevant restraints posed by competition law. The module critically assesses the most recent case law and decisional practice of the European Commission in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors (including the judgments in Microsoft and AstraZeneca, and the investigations against Samsung and Motorola) and discusses its impact on commercial practice.




Globalisation, democratisation of information, Europeanisation and global competition have been partially responsible for a lot of fundamental changes in Company law and in the way Company law is intended around the world. This module will provide students with a sound understanding of these changes and of comparative Company Law in general. This module provides an understanding of the basic concepts, principles, rules and procedures of modern company law in a globalised and international context. It is structured so as to enable students to see their own system of company law in a new and more meaningful light, and to be able to form new views about its future development alongside with the future of International Company Law. It is designed to develop awareness of some of the aspects of Company Law, including 'minimum capital' and the legal standing of shareholders, directors and creditors around the world, and shall give an overview of the ways in which the various countries are developing their own Company Law within their boundaries, and how that influences the development of company law outside their boundaries. The module aims to do so by a review of the harmonisation programme in Europe, an international comparative study, and an illustration of empirical findings that show new ways in which corporate vehicles can be developed to meet particular policy objectives.




This module examines the principal forms of corporate governance, control and regulation of the firm across countries. In particular, it introduces the key features of corporate governance and considers the legal relationship between directors, managers, and shareholders, including the contribution shareholder activism can make to improving corporate governance. The module also discusses the market for corporate control and the growing empirical research on comparative corporate governance. The overall purpose is to provide a theoretical and practical grasp of corporate governance, which can be useful for academic as all well as professional work in this field.




This module is key to the International Trade Law LLM and takes a critical and comparative look at the fundamental legal arrangements for the international sale of goods and the two competing international legal regimes, being the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the English law on sale of goods (including the Sale of Goods Act 1979), all against the backdrop of international legal harmonisation. Today, international sales contracts are frequently governed by the CISG which is in force in more than 80 States from all parts of the world, among them both major industrial nations and developing states. It has been widely applied in international commercial transactions in the past thirty years with more than 3000 decisions by state courts and arbitral tribunals having been reported so far. It therefore seems fair to say that the CISG has in fact been one of the success stories in the field of the international unification of private law. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom, one of the oldest -and biggest- global trading nations, has not, yet, ratified the CISG. Also, in spite of the widespread adoption of the CISG, it remains the case that many international traders choose English law to govern their international sales contracts. We will examine select substantive provisions of these two "competing" legal regimes with a view to determine their essential differences and similarities. This examination may shed light on questions such as, why parties would choose English Sales Law rather than the CISG, and the implications of the "competition" between the two regimes for efforts aimed at the international harmonisation of law. Throughout the module, attention will be drawn to problems arising in international sales practice in order to develop an understanding of the commercial context in which the law of international sales operates.




This module will provide you with an in-depth look at a number of current issues in intellectual property and information technology law. The relevant issues will change each year, but issues will be drawn from a wide variety of topics. You will have an opportunity to consider how intellectual property law is challenged by these current issues and to analyse its responses and proposed responses. You will be expected to have taken either Globalisation of Intellectual Property Law or Internet Law and Governance in the Autumn Semester, or have demonstrated knowledge in either area. For students not taking the ITIP LLM admission to the module will be at the discretion of the module organiser, and previous knowledge may be required. Classes will involve a mixture of group presentations and tutor-led class discussion, in a 50/50 time split. The class will be divided into groups, and each group will be asked to research and make a 15 minute presentation on one aspect of a defined topic or following a prescribed brief, relating to information technology and/or intellectual property. The presentations will be followed by feedback and further instruction from the module leader as necessary, and an open session for discussion.




You'll be provided with an introduction to intellectual property across the areas of trademarks, patents and copyright within the context globalisation and in light of the influence of new technologies. You'll be provided with an understanding of the pervasiveness and importance of IPRs in the modern day along with a theoretical knowledge and critical understanding of the legal principles and theory in relation to different IPRs. The geographical focus will be Global, with some more detailed consideration of UK, US and European law where appropriate.




International arbitration has become the established method of determining disputes between international commercial businesses, with new arbitral centres emerging and the law and practice of international commercial arbitration evolving rapidly. This module examines the legal theory and practice of international commercial arbitration. The module's focus is on understanding the nature and operation of the arbitral process in the context of international commercial relationships, as a means of resolving disputes that arise in international commercial transactions. In addition to providing an overview of the arbitral process, the module also focuses on key problems and issues that arise in arbitral practice, such as the interaction and application of the various relevant laws, and the application and interpretation of the most important international legal instruments relevant to international commercial arbitration such as the New York Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law. We also engage with national case law and undertake problem solving, and adopt a comparative approach.




This module will provide an introduction to the issues which arise in the litigation of commercial disputes on an international basis. It will cover the treatment of jurisdiction and applicable law in commercial disputes by reference mainly to UK and European legal sources, and introduce some of the principal features of the common law legal systems (UK and USA), as they apply to commercial cases.




Foreign direct investment refers to an investment made in a foreign jurisdiction to achieve a long term economic benefit. Almost 3000 treaties worldwide regulate foreign direct investment, and it is the interpretation of these treaties by arbitral tribunals, together with customary international law, which forms the basis of international investment law. This module examines the nature of international investment law and investor-State dispute resolution procedures, and looks at recent developments in the area. The module considers the policies underlying international investment law and how these impact upon the operation of international investment law in practice.




Legal issues relating to Internet use are increasingly important. You are introduced to the key principles of Internet law, including competing views on its status and its relationship with other legal principles. You will also consider the question of the relationship between law and technology. You will explore case studies of alternative forms of governance, including international co-operation and stakeholder-driven processes, in the context of issues such as domain names, social networking and the regulation of Internet service providers. Current issues in Internet law are included on the syllabus each year.




With the growing volume of international trade worldwide, it is important to understand the methods by which international payments are made, and the involvement of banks and other third parties in these transactions. This module therefore examines the law and practice relating to the different payment methods and mechanisms that may be adopted by commercial parties to discharge the payment obligations of international buyers of goods and services. These include direct payment (through bank platforms) by means of electronic funds transfer but the main focus of the module is on the most common terms of payment in international trade utilising the intervention of banks, that is, documentary collections and payment under documentary credits, with a detailed examination of the most recent version of the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP 600). The module starts with a practical overview of the different payment mechanisms which are commonly used in international trade. These are analysed and compared, their fundamental characteristics identified and their advantages and disadvantages considered. We then go on to examine in detail the legal issues relating to documentary collections and payment under documentary credits. Though our main focus will be on English law, the importance of documentary collections and documentary credits to world trade has led to a need for international uniformity. Three texts of importance in this area are the Uniform Rules for Collections (URC 522), the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP 600) and the Supplement to UCP 600 for Electronic Presentations (eUCP). These texts have been prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and govern various aspects of documentary collection and documentary credit practice. UCP 600 will be studied in detail. The module concludes with an examination of new payment methods such as the ICC's Bank Payment Obligations, and how electronic commerce has impacted on the use of documentary credits, and a review of current legal issues impacting international payment techniques.




The World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which it administers, are central to the international law of trade in goods and services. In studying this module, you will cover the legal rules and institutions of the WTO and the implementation of WTO obligations by members. You will pay particular attention to the institutions and governance of the WTO, its dispute settlement system, the principle of nondiscrimination in international trade under the GATT, and the ability of the WTO to cope with issues such as development, regionalism, and environmental protection. The module is particularly suitable for students taking the International Commercial Business Law and International Trade LLMs.




Explore the various research methods for Law. Discover how to: identify relevant research questions; evaluate different research designs; recognise the most relevant sources of data; and present research to support the findings of your case. On completion of this module, you will be able to: -Identify relevant research questions within a given area, and formulate and operationalise (or, in the case of more 'exploratory' research designs, to identify) hypotheses for investigation -Evaluate different research designs and identify which of these are relevant to their chosen research questions and hypotheses -Identify which sources of data will be of assistance in the investigation of a particular research topic, and which techniques of data-gathering and analysis are appropriate -Write up a research project, to organise skilfully and present the results of their research, to consider whether hypotheses are confirmed or falsified by the evidence and to consider, in either case, the reasons for the findings.




The law of electronic commerce is concerned both with the application of existing legal concepts (such as contract formation, taxation, liability and consumer protection) to electronic business and transactions, but also with the development of new legal instruments (at national level, within the EU and internationally) and electronic money to deal with the e-commerce sector. Students explore a range of statutory and judicial approaches, including online dispute resolution (ODR), and also consider the legal and commercial challenges of 'doing business online'. The module involves some practical, problem-based activities, but also more general questions of international harmonisation.




In the intrusive, multi-faceted world that exists today, with 24/7 media and an ever-expanding internet, the potential for damage to reputation and interference with privacy has never been greater. This module focuses on the various ways in which the law protects rights to reputation and privacy and examines ways in which the law can be used to manage reputations in this complex world. You will focus on the law of defamation, the laws relating to the protection of privacy interests, and the developing interplay between law and technology. While the approach taken by English law will form a significant part of the module's content, comparative study will also be made of the laws of America and other common law jurisdictions as well as the laws of the European Union and some specific European countries.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Earlham Hall

    Following a major restoration project, UEA School of Law moved back to its former residence of Earlham Hall in the spring of 2014. Earlham Hall has been fully restored with newly refurbished offices, seminar rooms, a lecture theatre and substantial student space.

    Read it Earlham Hall

    Your University questions, answered.

    Read it #ASKUEA

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Law or cognate degree
  • Degree Classification Good 2.2 pass or international equivalent

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree in Law, or, exceptionally, in a related subject from a recognised higher education institution in the UK or overseas.

The Law School will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant and encourages applications from those wishing to return to academic study to further their knowledge, or those planning to study for a degree while remaining in full-time employment.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on their attaining a particular class of degree.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 42 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk


Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,850 (full time)
  • International Students: £16,400 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home/EU students).


Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.


A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study. Please click here for more detailed information about funding for prospective Law students.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515