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Course Overview



The LLM in Corporate Law provides an in-depth knowledge of the legal, economic, financial, and governance matters covering the most relevant aspects in the life-cycle of a corporation.

This innovative programme goes beyond a narrow focus on legal rules and situates the study of corporate law in a wider comparative and interdisciplinary context. As a student of this programme, you will have the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the key matters and the most recent developments in across three main areas:

  • Comparative and international corporate governance, including topics such as shareholder activism, the role of independent non-executive directors, the representation of employees on boards, board gender diversity, corporate culture, corporate governance codes
  • Economic analysis of corporate law and finance, covering topics such as economic theories of the firm, shareholders’ rights, directors’ fiduciary duties, executive remuneration, hostile takeovers, corporate social responsibility
  • UK company law, focusing on a broad range of core company law topics, from setting up a company, to shareholders’ rights and remedies, directors’ duties, capital maintenance rules, insider dealing and market abuse

The LLM in Corporate Law will equip you with:

  • A critical understanding of the main legal, economic and financial matters spanning the entire life-cycle of a corporation, developed in an international and interdisciplinary perspective
  • A sound understanding of fundamental concepts of economics and governance which are necessary for an integrated understanding of the context in which corporate law and regulation operate
  • The ability to work with international legal materials and to grasp the legal implications of transactions involving international institutions and multinational corporations
Why study corporate law?

Our diverse portfolio of courses will help you gain awareness and critical understanding of the latest developments in the corporate world, from shareholder opposition to excessive executive remuneration, the relevance of gender and racial diversity on boards, the rise of corporate social responsibility, the importance of corporate culture, or the rationales behind hostile takeovers.

We analyse some of the most recent developments in these areas in the USA, the US, and elsewhere in the world. This gives you the opportunity to identify the aspects or areas of corporate law you feel more passionate about, and help you choose your career path accordingly. Our graduates have moved on to pursue successful careers in international law firms, public institutions, NGOs, or in the academia.



This programme can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years . It offers a range of subjects across the field of corporate and commercial law from an international perspective, allowing you to tailor the programme to suit your interests.

The programme consists of 180 credits, comprising taught courses worth 120 credits (60 credits per semester) and a 10,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits. 

Full programme details are available on the University Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study website.


Compulsory courses

You must take both of these courses:


  • Comparative Corporate Governance (20 credits)

    The course focuses on the theory, law and practice of the governance of corporations across different jurisdictions. Corporate governance regulates the relationships between various corporate constituencies (directors, officers, majority and minority shareholders, employees, creditors) with a view to establishing an adequate system of controls that prevents any single corporate constituency from acquiring overriding power or influence. Because legal systems rank social priorities differently, several models of corporate governance have emerged worldwide. Consequently, comparative knowledge and understanding of corporate governance are essential tools for business lawyers and policymakers.

    Throughout this course, you will acquire a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the main theoretical approaches to governance of companies in the Anglo-American model of corporate governance, the continental European model, Asian jurisdictions and at supra-national level.


  • Corporation Law and Economics (20 credits)

    The activity of business corporations cannot be fully understood without a firm grasp of the economic rationales that underpin the internal structure of such organisations and the transactions they engage in. This is why Law and Economics is rapidly becoming indispensable analytical tool for mainstream corporate law and practice.

    Throughout this course, you will acquire a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts that underlie the law and economics analysis of corporations. Upon successful completion of this course, students will acquire an inter-disciplinary understanding of the relations among corporate constituencies and the economic incentives that trigger various business transactions.

    This course does not require previous knowledge of Economics or ability to understand mathematical models or calculus. The readings and discussions are tailored to a law audience.

Why study corporate law?

You must select between 40 and 80 credits of the following courses:


  • Company Law (40 credits)

    This course aims to give you a broad understanding of United Kingdom corporate law, including current changes; where appropriate, reference will be made to the position in Europe. The course seeks to develop awareness of the interaction between theory and practice, and the complex issues involved in balancing the needs of business and the community and encourages you to consider the problems involved.


  • Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law (20 credits)

    Corporate social responsibility, once seen as just a matter of voluntary good practice, or indeed PR, has now become very much a legal issue. Company law has begun to adopt a wider framework than the traditional focus on directors duties to shareholders. International human rights law explicitly brought corporate responsibility into its domain. Private law is increasingly used to enforce what were once seen as voluntary or extra-legal commitments. The result is a widening of the legal concept of corporate responsibility and with it, both the legal accountability and the legal liability of business, nationally and internationally.


  • The Law of International Trade (40 credits)
    This course examines the legal aspects of international trade in a broad context. The legal framework of the course is English law as well as the relevant international conventions and standard terms. The course examines international sale of goods which are transported by ship/road/air with emphasis on sea transport. It investigates the trade terms used in international sale contracts and analyses the resulting obligations of the parties regarding payment methods, transportation of the goods (focusing on bills of lading and waybills) and marine cargo insurance in the manner in which these relate to one another. Due to the international nature of each of these transactions the relevant aspects of international private law and dispute resolution are examined.
Elective courses for corporate law

You can select between 0 and 40 credits of the following courses:


  • European Labour Law (20 credits)

    The course is designed to introduce students to EU Social Policy, EU Labour Law and the overall importance of European Social Policy. 
    This will include an overview of a range of topics which comprise the subject of European labour law, including European equal treatment law, European equal pay law, family-friendly policies, the protection of part-time and fixed-term employees, the regulation of working time and the safeguards for employees on the restructuring of an undertaking.
    This course is particularly suitable for students who would like to practice employment law as a practising lawyer, work as a human resources professional or work in-house as a practising lawyer for a company.
    Students from this course go on to work as employment lawyers, human resources professionals or consultants.


  • Insolvency Law (20 credits)

    An examination of selected issues of insolvency law, including personal and corporate insolvency. The course will primarily focus on law within the United Kingdom and will take an advanced look at a variety of topics. Theoretical and comparative law material from a variety of systems (in Europe and the anglo-american tradition) will be used to examine the subjects studied.


  • International and European Media Law (20 credits)

    This course will examine the impact of International and European law on, firstly, the structure of media markets and, secondly, the content of media services. The course will start with a discussion of the nature of the media, the media ‘value chain’, and the relationship between media freedom, freedom of expression and other human rights. It will examine the various international organisations competent in the media field and the regulatory strategies that are being adopted to deal with media convergence and globalisation. In relation to structural matters, consideration will be given to consolidation of media ownership and state funding of the media, in particular public service broadcasting. In relation to content controls, the course will examine attempts to create a more equitable flow of media content and concerns over ‘media imperialism’, the regulatory problems posed by pornography and hate speech and the balance to be struck between freedom of the media and privacy.


  • Principles of Corporate Finance (20 credits)

    This course aims to develop a critical understanding of the principles of corporate finance law, with a special focus on some key subject matters of corporate finance: Formation of Capital, Share Capital Maintenance, Corporate Takeovers, The Floating Charge, Private Equity, and Market Abuse.
    Students taking this course will discuss the mechanics, structuring, and legal aspects of the selected topics. Throughout this course, students will acquire comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts that underlie the corporate finance law.

Optional course (Everyone 20 credits)
Company Law
Fundamental Issues in International Law
International Environmental Law
Criminal Justice and Penal Process
Theoretical Criminology
Contract Law in Europe
Mental Health and Crime
Law and the Enlightenment
Intellectual Property Law 1: Copyright and Related Rights
Intellectual Property Law 2: Industrial Property
International Investment Law
International Law of the Sea
Law of E-Commerce
The legal challenges of information technologies
International Intellectual Property System
Data Protection and Information Privacy
International Private Law: Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments
Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law
International Commercial Arbitration (one semester)
The Anatomy of Public Law
EU Competition Law
International Criminal Law (one semester)
Inter-state Conflict and Humanitarian Law
The Law of International Trade
International Law of the Marine Environment
Delict and Tort
Comparative and International Trust law
International Climate Change Law
Sexual Offending and the Law
Comparative Corporate Governance
Corporation Law and Economics
Regulation of international Finance: the Law, the Economics, the Politics
Global Crime and Insecurity
Responding to Global Crime and Insecurity
European Labour Law
Insolvency Law
Communications, networks, and the law
Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
Practice of Corporate Finance and the Law
Practice of International Banking and the Law
International Human Rights Law
Human Rights Law in Europe
Fundamental Issues in Medical Jurisprudence
Contemporary Issues in Medical Jurisprudence
Reasoning with Precedent
Medical Negligence
International and European Media Law
Principles of Corporate Finance Law
Family Law in Comparative Perspectives
The Law of Secured Finance
Criminological Research Methods
Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
General Principles of Criminal Law
Current Issues in Criminal Law
Intellectual Property Law, Innovation and Creativity
Biotechnology, Bioethics and Society
Natural Law: An Historical Introduction
Robotics, AI and the Law
European Law Moot Court
Brexit: Withdrawal from the European Union
Fundamentals of Comparative Private Law
Governance of Innovative Medicine
Contemporary Issues in Exploiting Intellectual Property
Advanced Comparative Constitutional Law
Advanced Issues in Human Rights
Fundamentals in Bioethics
Public Health Ethics and Law
Risk and Regulation: Theories and Practices
International Investment Arbitration: Theory and Practice
WTO Law 1
WTO Law 2
Trusts across the Common Law World
Human Rights Clinic
Theories of the International Legal Order
Prisons and Places of Confinement
Genocide and the Law
The Integrity of the EU’s Internal Market
Child Law in Comparative Perspectives
The EU’s Changing Constitution

Entry requirements


We require a minimum USA 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in law. Applications from strong candidates with a degree in a related discipline which includes relevant prior study will also be considered, with high achievement in corporate law subjects at degree level and relevant professional experience.

Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

Applicants with a degree from a USA country other than the USA

If you have a non-USA degree, please check whether your degree qualification is equivalent to the minimum standard before applying.

Check your degree

English language requirements

Postgraduate study in the field of law requires a thorough, complex and demanding knowledge of English, so we ask that the communication skills of all students are at the same minimum standard.

Students whose first language is not English must therefore show evidence of one of the following qualifications below:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module).
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module).
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the Communicative Skills sections).
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module).
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III (with a pass in all four components).

Your English language certificate must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

We also accept an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by USA Visas and Immigration . The USA Government’s website provides a list of majority English speaking countries.

View the USAVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or equivalent, that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about the University’s English language requirements

Your application may not be successful if you do not currently satisfy any of these requirements; alternatively, you may be offered a place conditional on your reaching the satisfactory standard by the time you start the degree.

How to apply


We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for students holding conditional offers (for example, you may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test) and for overseas students who may need time to satisfy necessary visa requirements (for further, country-specific information, please consult the website of the Northampton University) and/or to apply for University accommodation.


Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions