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Specialise in corporate governance, IP or commercial arbitration on this LLM Law degree.

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If you want to add to your current law qualifications by specialising in an area of law that interests you, or if you’re a graduate from another subject area who's looking to develop your legal knowledge, our LLM Law degree course is the perfect next step for you.

This LLM Law Master's builds on your existing knowledge and gives you the opportunity to specialise in a specific area of law. Depending on the modules you choose, you'll graduate with either LLM Law, or from one of our specialised pathways: Intellectual Property and Information Law; International Commercial Law; or International Dispute Resolution. 

By choosing topics you’re passionate about, you’ll tailor your degree to meet the needs of your career — whether you’re already practising law and want to specialise, or considering a career in legal research or teaching. 

You’ll learn from subject experts as you develop your knowledge, and study topics that could range from family law to intellectual property law and dispute resolution.

You do not need to have studied law to apply for this course. You might have previous work experience in law, but this isn’t required, and you should want to expand your understanding of a range of legal subjects. You’ll have strong analytical skills, alongside critical thinking skills and the ability to criticise and analyse situations. 

Number 6 in the UK for teaching and student satisfaction

Our law courses are ranked sixth in the UK for teaching and for student satisfaction in the 2024 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES)


This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Choose specialist modules in an area that interests you
  • Graduate with an award that showcase your specialism
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of legal issues and law
  • Learn from subject experts
  • Work with an external company during your final project
  • Prepare for or build on your law career

Exit awards

Depending on the modules you choose, you'll graduate with the following exit awards:

  • LLM Law 
  • LLM Law (Intellectual Property and Information Law)
  • LLM Law (International Commercial law)
  • LLM Law (International Dispute Resolution)

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements​


This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2024 / January 2025 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 / January 2025 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 per year

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.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

Funding your studies

Find out more how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover. 

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

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students and our international student scholarships.

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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Financial support for disabled postgraduate students

Explore financial support for students who have disabilities or dependents during their studies.

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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.


What you'll study

You'll study the core modules for your chosen pathway (including two 30-credit pathway modules), and choose your two optional modules from the topics available on other routes (each worth 30 credits).

Core modules (all pathways)

This module equips you with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex world of law, where these various systems intersect and influence one another. You'll learn how to conduct legal research, access international and regional legal databases, and to analyse complex legal texts.

You'll prepare to carry out independent research with a supervisor, before research and writing your project proposal and dissertation. You specific dissertation topic will focus on to a legal subject that related to your course pathway. 

Intellectual Property and Information Law pathway

Reference will be made to what intellectual property actually is as well as how it is protected internationally via the diverse range of multilateral and bilateral IP agreements (treaties and conventions) currently and historically in place along with the organisations with responsibility for oversight of them (e.g. WIPO and WTO). All the major intellectual property rights will be identified, discuss and critically examined. These intellectual property rights will include, patents, trademarks, copyright, design rights and geographical indications. Reference will also be made to the impact of technology on how intellectual property is currently protected and in the future; specifically the impact of the Internet and artificial intelligence will be examined.

You'll finish this module with a comprehensive understanding of the legal issues relating to the use, governance, and security of information technology, and in-depth knowledge of data protection laws and practices.

By covering topics such as the digital environment, cybercrime, e-commerce regulation, and privacy rights, this module equips you with the knowledge and skills to navigate and address legal challenges posed by the digital age — particularly in safeguarding personal data.

International Dispute Resolution pathway

The module will specifically explore the evolution of the attitude of English judiciary towards ADR as well as highlight latest international developments in this area. Furthermore, the students will get comprehensive understanding of relevant principles, theories, strategies and tactics used at various stages in mediation and negotiation processes. In addition to this, students will be able to test their acquired knowledge in practice by participating in a number simulated negotiation and mediation sessions.

With the recent movement towards globalization and liberalization of international trade and commerce, methods of settlement of international commercial disputes remain a matter of great interest to the international business community. 

During this module you'll explore topics such as ad hoc and institutional arbitration, their jurisdiction and applicable procedural laws, substantive laws applicable to disputes, the nature and role of arbitration agreements, the conduct of the arbitral proceedings, the legal relationship between courts and the arbitral tribunal, public policy relevant to arbitration, the arbitral award, challenges to the award, and recognition and enforcement of awards. 

International Commercial Law pathway

During this module you'll analyse the impact of international economic laws, as well as the roles and regulations of international organisations like the WTO, IMF, and World Bank, and their influence on national policies.

You'll explore the various aspects of international commercial law — including contracts, trade regulations, and the role of international organisations. You'll use case studies to build your understanding of the legal frameworks that govern cross-border business activities.

Additional options

Discover the core principles of international family law, as you examine both the institutional framework and the core issues that fuel current legal and political debates in family life.

You'll explore the two main sources of international legal principles governing this area; international human rights law, and private international law. You'll explore topics such as the rules governing international marriages and financial support on separation, as well as issues relating to children — including children's rights, recognition of parental responsibility, and the international movement of children.

Free markets are beneficial for society — but when markets do not work as expected, whether because of business or government practices that harm consumers, other businesses, or the very fabric of economic life, competition law intervenes to ensure efficiency, welfare, fairness, economic freedom and protection of competitors.

During this module you'll explore competition law and the importance of market competition, and investigate the means by which competition laws tackle such problems as cartels and anti-competitive agreements. You'll review broader issues such as the challenges of competition law enforcement in the international context, too.

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.


Learn your craft in our courtroom

Replica Crown Court 

Watch this short video to discover our replica courtroom and see where you'll practise trials and take part in mooting competitions.

The benefits of having a replica Crown Court are that if one of our students wants to be a barrister in the future or a solicitor advocate, then it really gives them the opportunity to practise a trial and various court hearings in a courtroom setting.

Although this is a crown court, so it's a criminal court, we also use it for civil cases too. We're one of the only universities in the country that has a replica courtroom. This really gives students, when they go on from university, some really important skills that are valuable not only in a legal career, but also in a lot of other careers as well.

The student Law Society do a lot of activities in here, run mock trials, mooting competitions, and it gives our students really a chance to let their hair down and have a bit of fun in here.

We use the wigs, we use the gowns, we get a real judge in and we've got the cameras in here so you can go and film your performances.

You can -- it's a really good learning space. It's so lovely to see how our students grow in the years that they're with us. Our replica courtroom helps us to do that.

Explore the courtroom

How you'll spend your time on this LLM Law course

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.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 12 months full-time

You can expect:

  • 2-3 days on campus per week during the University term
  • Some online learning activities, including pre-recorded lectures


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. During your independent study, you'll be expected to complete research such as reading case law, journal articles and key text relating to your degree. 


You'll be assessed through a variety of means, including:

  • coursework
  • reports
  • reflective essays
  • exams

Full details of assessment can be found in the modules in the 'What you'll study' section.

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.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Career development

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

During this LLM Law Master's you'll develop your law knowledge and research skills, and have the opportunity to work with an external company on your final project.  

By tailoring your degree and choosing modules that appeal to you, you'll be able to prepare for specific careers in law. And if you follow one of our pathways, you'll graduate with an exist award that showcases your expertise in a specific area of law so that you stand out in the job market. 

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Business and Law Career-Ready Programme. This support will continue for 5 years after you graduate.

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 dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month 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.

Ready to apply?

Start this course in September 2024

Apply now (Full-time 1 year)

Apply now (Part-time 30 months)

Start this course in January 2025

Apply now (Full-time 1 year)

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.