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LLM in International Banking Law and Finance

LLM in International Banking Law and Finance

Course Overview



The LLM in International Banking Law and Finance is designed for those who wish to work in or are already working in the areas of global financial markets, financial services regulation, and corporate finance.


This highly specialised LLM programme is very suitable for ambitious students and professionals who aspire to pursue a successful career in the field of global financial markets and especially in the areas of financial technology, banking, capital markets and corporate finance, and accounting and law firms. It is also suitable for those who wish to pursue a successful career with regulatory authorities, central banks, and other public sector organisations. It will help you position yourself as a highly skilled expert and future leader in the wider area of global markets, and banking law and finance.

Based on the University of Northampton strong law, finance and fintech expertise, the programme offers interdisciplinary courses on the legal and economic aspects of international banking, corporate finance and European and global finance regulation. It also utilises key experience from practice to help you develop practical, problem-solving and drafting skills to handle complex policy, compliance, transaction structuring and completion challenges.

The programme will focus on:

  • financial technology, including crowdfunding and cryptoassets and fintech law;
  • blockchain and artificial intelligence / machine learning applications in finance and their legal, ethical, and regulatory implications;
  • key banking and corporate finance transactions: structuring and drafting transactions such as bonds, derivatives, loans, and securitizations;
  • the legal and regulatory aspects of key corporate finance transactions, such as corporate takeovers and private equity deals;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of the regulation of banks, capital markets, derivatives markets, and shadow banks;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of investor protection rules, including the market abuse, short selling, derivatives clearing and settlement regimes;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of systemic risk mechanics and regulation in global markets with particular emphasis on the UK, EU, US micro-prudential and macro-prudential regimes;
  • interdisciplinary analysis of regulatory structures underpinning international finance in the UK, the EU, US and Asia including the European Banking Union (EBU);
  • interdisciplinary analysis of bank resolution regimes; and
  • lawyers’ roles in structuring cross-border banking and corporate finance transactions.

We pride ourselves on delivering intensive, high-quality teaching in small-group settings. This gives you the opportunity to examine in detail the topics and subjects above through intellectually rigorous discussions guided by leading academics.

Seminars are challenging and students regularly present on seminar topics as well as engage in real-life case studies. Through frequent group presentations and by means of testing case studies, prepared and presented collectively by programme students, and students’ own study (revision) groups, you will benefit from the cross-fertilisation of different ideas and experiences. This approach facilitates critical discussion, and enables you to hone your problem-solving, presentation, and team-building skills.

Why study banking law and finance?

With the advent of the financial technology revolution and massive expansion of the regulatory framework applicable to global financial market transactions post-2008, the pursuit of a successful career in today’s global markets requires an extensive and in-depth knowledge of complex and sophisticated global and domestic finance laws including:

  • private law of contracts and derivatives;
  • the law underpinning key corporate finance transactions such as corporate takeovers;
  • private equity deals; and
  • banking and capital market regulations and practices.

The acquisition of such an extensive and advanced skillset requires, in addition, knowledge of the law and skills in legal and financial analysis and a solid understanding of economic and regulatory theories supporting the operation of global finance that extends to the disruptive influence of financial technology.

The LLM in International Banking Law and Finance was launched six years ago to address a major gap in law and finance education at the postgraduate level and is addressing in-depth and comprehensively all of the above challenges.

Depending on prior expertise and experience, graduates of the programme go on to excellent careers and this is one of the very few LLM programmes, globally, that prepares students for posts within the wider banking and finance industry and not just in the legal services sectors.



This programme can be studied full time over one year and is designed to offer advanced and rigorous training in banking and finance law, from an international perspective.The programme structure consists of 180 credits, comprising three compulsory taught courses worth 120 credits (40 credits each) and a 10,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits. 


Compulsory courses

You must study these courses:


  • Practice of Corporate Finance and the Law (40 credits)

    Modern corporations draw funding to finance their consumption and investment needs from a variety of sources on the basis of extensive cost-benefit considerations. These include a multitude of factors, such as legal considerations, the quantity of funding required and cost of capital depending on its source, impact on shareholders and management etc. Students in this course will discuss the mechanics, structuring, and legal aspects of select corporate finance transactions and their interaction with organised capital markets (e.g., stock exchanges, fixed income markets) or private capital markets (e.g., private equity, venture capital, and other high risk/high yield capital).
    To this effect, the course will also examine select topics in capital markets and economic theories underpinning them, including modern finance theory, with special focus on the capital structure irrelevance theorem and risk management techniques, including corporate valuations. It also expands on the law and economics of disclosure, regulation of market abuse (insider dealing and market manipulation), and the function and regulation of the market for corporate control.
    Then the course focuses on the mechanics, structuring corporate takeovers, IPOs, Private Equity Markets and the legal and regulatory framework underpinning them. In building the theoretical and knowledge framework the course teachers will encourage students to study and research, under supervision, specific high profile cases and present their case studies in class


  • Practice of International Banking and the Law (40 credits)

    International banking transactions and the law underpinning them are at the heart of the global economy. Deals in international banking markets run in to trillions of dollars every year, and cover such diverse areas of finance as bank lending, bond issues, securitisations, derivatives contracts, asset finance and secured financing contracts, such as, repos. 
    There is, thus, a strong need for a new LLM course that will consolidate existing LLM teaching in the field of banking law, but also focus on the legal treatment of international banking.
    The course will examine the law and practice of international banking in relation to seven proposed areas:

    1. general banking law concepts and principles, such as banker-customer relationship, confidentiality and money laundering; 
    2. syndicated loans; 
    3. asset finance; 
    4. secured financing; 
    5. bond issues;
    6. derivatives; and 
    7. securitisations.
  • Regulation of International Finance: The Law, the Economics, the Politics (40 credits)

    Global financial markets have gone through various stages of development since Bretton Woods. In the past two decades, liberalisation, technological advancement, and market innovation have elevated financial markets to a position akin to being the heartbeat of the global economy. However, since 2008 they seem to have fallen into a state of irremediable disrepair. Thus, while global finance was before 2008 either unregulated or its regulation was largely a matter of national regimes (with the exception of the EU), ever since the regulation of International finance has become the subject of extensive reform at the global, regional (EU), and national level. Most of the new regulations target ‘too-big-to-fail’ institutions and intend to bolster systemic stability. But regulatory reform has not stopped with banks it has been extended to regulation of hedge funds, credit rating agencies, OTC derivatives markets and a host of other interlinked areas.
    This course will examine the workings of global finance and the institutional edifice supporting it, based on modern regulatory theory and practice, from an interdisciplinary perspective (law, economics, politics). It will offer in depth insights into the economic, regulatory, and political framework under which financial markets operate in the EU, the USA, and internationally.

Entry requirements


A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in law, finance, accounting, management or business studies.

We will also consider candidates with a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in another subject if they can demonstrate prior high-level study or experience of law and financial regulation topics.

Your other qualifications and professional experience will also be considered as part of your application.

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.


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