16th January 2019
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Corporate Governance and Law GradCG LLM

Study corporate governance, risk and compliance on this LLM degree course. Graduates are eligible for the GradICSA qualification, and with experience ACIS status.

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Develop your specialist knowledge and understanding of corporate governance, risk management, compliance and liability as you maximise your career potential on this course.

Corporate governance is fundamental to corporate performance and accountability, and professionals in this field are in high demand across all sectors of industry.

As you study you'll gain the legal foundations you need to make decisions and learn to apply your skills in the workplace.

Thanks to our strong connections with industry partners including the Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland (CGI) you’ll be well placed to pursue your chosen career when you graduate. 

This LLM Corporate Governance and Law/Grad.CG degree is designed for law and non-law graduates, practising lawyers and business professionals alike. You do not need to have studied law before. If you graduated from a subject other than law, you’ll be brought up to speed in a compulsory law module to introduce you to some core principles of English law.

Once you’ve completed this Master in Laws Corporate Governance degree course you'll be eligible for the Grad.CG qualification from the CGI. If you have relevant work experience, you may also be able to apply for ACIS status (Associate in the Chartered Institute of Secretaries).


This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

Course highlights

  • Learn the key elements of good corporate governance, and the key elements of corporate law
  • Graduate with a Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland (CGI) accredited qualification
  • Take advantage of our close connections with industry partners, including the CGI and the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (WCCSA), to position yourself within the graduate job market
  • Have the option to study towards a Certificate of Training in Diligent Entities, the corporate secretarial software system
  • Learn from our expert staff in a combination of lectures, group problem solving, discussion, debate and independent study
  • Join our alumni network and our mentoring service with members of the legal profession


Graduates of this course are eligible for Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland (CGI) graduate status. This requires the payment of a fee to CGI. Once the fee is paid the successful graduate receives CGI 'graduate' status and is permitted to use GradCGI after their name. 

Entry requirements


This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

September 2024 start

  • A second-class honours degree or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 start)

  • Full time: £12,000
  • Part time: £4,000 per year

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full time: £12,000
  • Part time: £4,000 per year

  • Full-time: £17,900
  • Part-time: £5,970 a year (subject to annual increase) 

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Female Master's student
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Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
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Fees and funding for Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

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Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees, so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: Such as photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.



If you choose to study this LLM Corporate Governance and Law/Grad.CG degree course full-time, you'll study all core modules and 2 optional modules (totalling 180 credits) over 1 year.

If you choose to study this degree course part-time, you'll study 1 core module and 1 optional module (totalling 30 credits) in the first year; 3 core modules (totalling 60 credits) in your second year; and choose to undertake a Legal Dissertation or a Corporate Case Study in your final 6 months of study.

Core modules

The module is assessed by a written assessment.

It is assessed by a single piece of coursework.

Students will appraise the theoretical underpinning of the tools,concepts and techniques on which the recommendations are based in order to discriminate between sense-making devices and empirically based theories. Students will explore a range of perspectives in strategic management to provide an open-minded view of the subject area in order to develop a good basis for decision making.

ICSA. The aim of this module is twofold. From the perspective of the financial statement preparer, students will develop the technical skills that will enable them to produce individual and group accounts to communicate the firm¿s economic performance to stakeholders. From the perspective of the financial statement user, students will gain a critical understanding of how to evaluate externally produced financial information to advance their decision making in issues of capital allocation, investment appraisal and profits distribution. The module provides opportunities for students to acquire key graduate skills including: research and critical analysis skills, a range of communication skills (written & oral), and problem solving (quantitative and qualitative) skills. The mode of delivery comprises seminars and structured opportunities for independent learning, undertaken either individually or in collaboration. The seminars are designed to provide students with key concepts and essential background information to support independent learning. The module addresses the following Hallmarks through delivery and assessment: 1. Have a critical and reflective knowledge and understanding of the subject, with both the ability and readiness to question its principles, practices and boundaries 2 .Think independently, analytically and creatively, and engage imaginatively with new areas of investigation within and across discipline boundaries. 4. Be intellectually curious, embrace challenges and seize opportunities for development. 6. Be informed citizens, with a sense of responsibility allied to a commitment to ethical practice and social justice issues, such as equality, respect and sustainability. 11. Be proactive in recognising and addressing personal development needs, and able to make informed career decisions.

You'll critically evaluate risk approaches to advise governance teams on appropriate strategies. By exploring the evolution of risk and overcoming barriers, you'll champion transparent and accountable practices. You'll analyse how business environments and cultures influence risks — so that you finish this module ready to evaluate impacts and provide professionally-sound guidance across sectors.

Optional modules

Students will be expected to identify the relevant legal and governance issues and provide advice to the company's directors on the application of the law. Students will identify possible breaches of legal rules and governance principles and explain the likely remedies or punishments.

Students will also learn how to engage in independent research as well as produce a legal dissertation which subjects a specific legal area(s) of their choice to in-depth investigation and critical analysis. The module will be assessed by virtue of submission of a dissertation. The learning and teaching strategy for this module will focus on preparing students to carry out independent research in order to compose a dissertation under the guidance of a dissertation supervisor. Students will be invited to attend a series of research methods sessions designed to prepare them for the task of researching and writing the proposal and dissertation. Students will be required to select a topic appropriate to their LLM pathway.

This module considers the legal principles that underpin data protection law and policy, and examines their application in relation to a number of salient fields (e.g. artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, automated decision-making, social media). It aims to equip students with knowledge and understanding of these principles in order to provide advice to fictional clients.

You'll explore categorisations of law and the English system's sources and administration, and relate these principles to business settings. You'll tackle scenarios by applying laws correctly to develop your analytical and practical skills, and build core expertise for your legal studies. When you finish this module you'll understand key proficiencies for communicating legal positions so you're prepared for your legal journey.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials
  • group problem solving
  • discussion
  • debates

As part of this course and to meet your needs, face-to-face teaching is complemented by the use of a Virtual Learning Environment where you can access online recordings and materials to supplement your learning.


You'll be assessed through:

  • coursework
  • reports
  • reflective essays

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Lee Roach Portrait

Dr Lee Roach

Senior Lecturer


Portsmouth Law School

Faculty of Business and Law

Read more

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 1 year (full-time study)
  • 30 months (part-time study)

Full-time study

At the moment, teaching will generally take place over 2-3 days (between 10:00am and 8:00pm), leaving you the rest of the week for self-guided study.

You can expect:

  • 2-3 days of teaching per week
  • 25-30 hours of recommended independent study each week

Part-time study

At the moment, teaching will generally take place over 1-2 days (between 10:00am and 8:00pm), leaving you the rest of the week for self-guided study.

You can expect:

  • 1-2 days of teaching per week
  • 10-15 hours of recommended independent study each week.

Career development

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

Corporate governance is a crucial part of corporate performance and accountability. Professionals in this field are in demand across all sectors of industry.

If you have a background in law, this LLM Corporate Governance and Law/Grad.CG degree will enhance your employability by developing your knowledge and understanding of corporate governance, risk and compliance.

If you've never studied law before, this Master's will provide you with a valuable and highly sought after combination of legal and corporate governance knowledge.

When you graduate you'll have a thorough knowledge of corporate governance issues and the skills and confidence to advance your career in this sector.

If you choose to work as a chartered secretary, you can enter senior roles in a number of industries in both the private and public sectors. Your qualification will give you international recognition, and you'll have the opportunity to work overseas.

Graduates of this course have gone into areas such as:

  • Banking
  • Law
  • Management

Graduates of this course have gone onto jobs such as:

  • Assistant Company Secretary
  • Assistant Consultant
  • Chartered Secretary
  • Company Secretarial Assistant
  • Compliance Officer
  • Corporate Governance Adviser
  • Data Consultant
  • Global Compliance Coordinator
  • Legal Assistant
  • Paralegal
Postgraduate Shoot

I chose Portsmouth because of the high employability prospects.

I am now a graduate trainee in Corporate and International Banking at Barclays, and have held company secretarial positions in management companies.

Baboo Kunalsing Askurn, LLM Corporate Governance and Law/Grad CG graduate

Read Baboo's story

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert careers advice from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Student Placements and Employability Centre. You can access support from our Careers and Employability Centre for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

Career support

You'll benefit from:
  • Networking events
  • Regular emails from the Career Ready Programme sharing job opportunities, application tips and events
  • Applied projects with companies such as IBM, Boeing and Hampshire County Council
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • 1-to-1 appointments 
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Supporting you

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you'll also have access to our student engagement officers. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing, and refer you to specialist support services if you need extra help or support.

The Maths Cafe offers free advice and help with maths skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop, or use our online resources.

You'll have help from a team of study support tutors. Based within the Faculty of Business and Law, these tutors are familiar with the specific requirements your assignments and work closely with faculty academics. This means they can give you focused support with the specific study skills you need to be successful on your course. They're available face-to-face, by phone, email, and by video call.

They can help with:

  • academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations, projects and literature reviews)
  • reflective writing skills
  • critical thinking skills
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you're a mature student, specialist support to help you return to learning is available.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full.

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Standard applications

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2023, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.