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International Commercial Law and ADR - LLM - Video

The LLM in International Commercial Law and ADR offers modules that are at the cutting-edge of industry and will lead to a professional accreditation.

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The LLM in International Commercial Law and ADR offers modules that are at the cutting-edge of industry and will lead to a professional accreditation.


This LLM degree programme is relevant to both aspiring and current legal and business professionals wishing to gain specialisation and enhance career opportunities in Commercial Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It has been developed in consultation with industry experts and in response to their employment needs.

Undertaking this unique LLM programme will not only provide the opportunity to explore the theories of commercial conflict resolution with an emphasis on mediation, but, by virtue of the input and expertise of our chosen industry partners, will enable students to develop practical skills in negotiation and provide the opportunity to become a fully accredited mediator, presenting a wealth of opportunities for career progression in this area of professional practice.

Incorporated within the LLM is a module entitled Commercial Mediation which will be delivered and accredited by Mediation Northern Ireland training course. This qualification is also accredited by the Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCN) equating to an NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Diploma and is one of the recognized qualifications for mediators in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the core principles of commercial law examining current developments in areas such as financial markets and derivatives, commercial property law and international intellectual property law. The modules available draw on the strengths of experts on the field and feature input from senior practitioners from relevant industry sectors.

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About this course

In this section


This programme provides an excellent grounding for those intending to pursue a career in commercial law or related business fields at both domestic and international level. The LLM is also an ideal platform for advanced research, including doctoral study, in Commercial Law.

Why study this course?

  • Opportunity for professional mediation qualification (accredited by Mediation NI)
  • Practical, cutting edge, developed with industry input as to areas of focus
  • Professional links - delivered in association with professionals from leading commercial legal firms
  • Employability – our aim is to ensure all students have appropriate exposure to the commercial legal world preparing them for the workplace in their chosen field
  • Work experience – opportunities for internships with industry experts.


Attendance at lectures and seminar sessions is compulsory.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

International Commercial Law

Year: 1

This module will provide a solid basis for acquiring knowledge and understanding and developing analyses of the key concepts, problems and issues in the area of commercial law. The theories, principles and rules of commercial law will be examined with reference to European and international developments. It will examine and evaluate the key features of commercial law from both a theoretical and practical perspective.

Commercial Property Law

Year: 1

This module guides students through the key areas of acquisition, development and letting of land for business purposes. Students will consider, in particular, site acquisition both by means of conveyance and through the application of compulsory purchase powers by public authorities, commercial development in the context of the planning system and the law relating to business tenancies. This module not only equips students with underpinning knowledge of relevant aspects of the law but also provides key opportunities to directly engage in case studies based on the type of practical work undertaken by an experienced commercial practice.

Dissertation Part 1

Year: 1

The dissertation module is designed to enable students to develop and apply the demonstrable research skills in the form of independent research leading to 12,000 words dissertation on a topic of choice in commercial-law related fields. Students would be advised to choose their research topics in areas for which there are supervision expertise within the school of law.

Small Businesses and Franchising Law

Year: 1

This module is optional

The effective and efficient running of small businesses (and their establishment) requires students to understand a number of concepts, principles and rules of law in such areas as contract, tort, employment, intellectual property and franchising, as well as close familiarity with the nature, structure and key characteristics of the legal system in which such businesses operate. In addition, students will also need to acquire certain skills, such as those of instant recall, critical analysis, argumentation and articulation, and the ability to apply legal concepts and principles to practical problems or to refer such problems to appropriate dispute resolution methods. This module provides the necessary information, knowledge and intellectual equipment to acquire such knowledge and skills.

International Intellectual Property Law

Year: 1

This module is optional

In the new knowledge-dependent economy, intellectual property is the critical mass that drives innovations and technologies. Students will understand the extent to which international intellectual property law has been harmonised via international trade agreement signed in Marrakesh in 1994 (TRIPS Agreement); and the extent to which international intellectual property law has impacted national intellectual property laws in the United Kingdom, European Union and the United States.

Year two

Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution

Year: 2

This module introduces students to the nature of conflict and disputes; considers the various options for dispute resolution including, in particular, adjudication, arbitration and mediation; and will provide students with a foundational knowledge of ADR which can then be developed in their professional practice. Specifically, this module provides a foundation for the subsequent Mediation module.


Year: 2

This module, offered in partnership between Ulster University and Mediation Northern Ireland will allow students to consider the nature of conflict, to explore the process of mediation and experience the role of mediator. As well as constituting a module of study assessed by the University this module, when fully completed, also covers the content of "Mediation Theory & Practice" - a Mediation Northern Ireland training course accredited by the Open College Network Northern Ireland as a Level 3 course earning 9 credit points. "Mediation Theory & Practice" equates to an NVQ Level 3 or an Advanced Diploma and is one of the recognized qualifications for mediators in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Successful completion of this module will (subject to particular criteria specified by Mediation Northern Ireland and formally agreed between the student and Mediation Northern Ireland) entitle students to also apply, via submission of an additional learning portfolio, to Mediation Northern Ireland for this recognised professional qualification.

Derivatives and Financial Markets

Year: 2

This module, offered in association between Ulster University and Fieldfisher LLP's Belfast and London offices, guides students through the key areas of financial markets trading and regulation with a specific emphasis on derivatives and securities financing. Students will consider, in particular, master agreements used for a variety of transactions in cross border markets. This module not only equips students with underpinning knowledge of relevant aspects of the law but also provides key opportunities to directly engage in case studies based on the type of practical work undertaken by an experienced financial services practice.

Dissertation Part 2

Year: 2

The dissertation module is designed to enable students to develop and apply the demonstrable research skills in the form of independent research leading to 12,000 words dissertation on a topic of choice in commercial-law related fields. Students would be advised to choose their research topics in areas for which there are supervision expertise within the school of law.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class lower degree (2.2) in law or relevant cognate degree with an element of law or other relevant modules.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

The course modules will be assessed by 100% written coursework.

Exemptions and transferability

Will be considered on a case by case basis.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

• Commercial Law Practice

• Dispute Resolution Practioner

• Finance & Banking

• Intellectual Property Law

• International Trade Law

• Accredited mediator

Work placement / study abroad

The Clever, Fulton and Rankin Prize for Outstanding Achievement: This prize is awarded to the top 4 performing students within this module with each student being granted an Internship with the practice.

Academic profile

Mr John Keers BL - CourseDirector -is a graduate of the Ulster University School of Law. He holds both an undergraduate honours (2005) and a Masters degree (2010) from the School. Commenced lecturing in 2010 on various modules including Contract Law, Company Law, and Land Law. His main research interests are within the fields of Commercial Law, Corporate Law and Land Law. In his capacity as a barrister he advises on contentious commercial law matters.

Dr Thomas Murphy holds a degree in law from the Queen’s University of Belfast (1995) and a doctorate from Ulster University (2002). He is a former Head of the School of Law at Ulster (2008-2012), where he has lectured since 1999. In his teaching and research, Thomas specialises in land, property and housing law.

Dr Taiwo Oriolaholds a PhD from Cardiff University; an MA in Applied Ethics from Utrecht University; an LLM in Information Technology Law, and an LLM in European Intellectual Property Law, from Stockholm University; an LLB degree with honours from Ife University; and a Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching & Learning from Cardiff University. His research interests include Intellectual Property Law & Policy; Information Technology Law & Policy.

Dr Venkat Iyer is a Senior Lecturer whose teaching and research interests lie in the area of Media Law, Constitutional & Administrative Law, and Business Law. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is also a qualified barrister. For several years he has served as a Law Commissioner for N. Ireland.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

There are opportunities for internships across the porgramme. Cleaver, Fulton and Rankin will award an internship prize to the top performing students on the Commercial ADR module. This will consist of work experience for the prize-winners with the firm and an opportunity to meet with partners and solicitors in the firm.

Additional mandatory costs


Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director:

Mr John Keers BL

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8074

For Admissions queries please contact the Admissions Service:

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7890


For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Law


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
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Cleaver Fulton Rankinas a leading Northern Ireland commercial law firm are delighted to be associated with Ulster University’s practically focused Commercial Law Masters programme. We are convinced that those who complete the programme will be much better equipped to move into the professional setting of a commercial firm.

Mr Aaron Moore, Solicitor and Director at Cleaver Fulton Rankin:

As a development agency for mediation, with twenty seven years of field experience, we are delighted to partner with Ulster University's Commercial Law LLM. Ulster University has a reputation for exceptional outreach combined with innovative thinking and this mediation training will significantly shape Northern Ireland’s ADR field. That is good news for the citizens of NI and for everyone committed to justice. The coming years will bring unprecedented commercial challenges and the need for skilled mediators, who can resolve disputes efficiently, effectively, and ethically will be greater than ever.

Ms Mary Lynch, Director at Mediation Northern Ireland