Skip to main content
Start Dates
Degree type


Course length

1 year full-time


Durham City

Programme code


Ready to Apply?

Course details

In the first term, you will take a compulsory module providing a solid grounding in the subject. In the second term, you have the opportunity to take more advanced core modules that cover a range of topics in international dispute resolution. On completion of your choice of taught modules, you will be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real-life situations to resolve issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

We deliver teaching through student-led seminars. Your dissertation is pursued by independent research with individual supervision.  You will be part of an inclusive and diverse community of students from different countries and backgrounds, who enrich the course with their academic and professional experiences.

Our School hosts the Durham International Dispute Resolution Institute and the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law. You are encouraged to participate in their many activities. Upon completing the curriculum, you will be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of legal knowledge and be able to critically analyse and evaluate legal principles and arguments at a required level to meet the legal profession’s standards and expectations and the community. You will also be able to present effective legal arguments in the professional context and explain the Law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

Course Structure

Core modules:

  • International Commercial Arbitration 

  • Investor-State Arbitration 

  • International Commercial Mediation

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Advanced Issues of Corporate Law
  • Advanced Issues of International Law
  • China and the International Legal Order 
  • Competition Law
  • Contemporary Issues in International Intellectual Property Law 
  • Cross-Border Commercial Litigation
  • Frontiers in Biolaw
  • Global Environmental Law
  • Global Financial Law
  • Fundamentals and advanced issues in International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Commercial Mediation
  • International Investment Law 
  • International Tax Law
  • International Trade Law and Policy
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions


This course involves taught modules and a substantial dissertation component. We deliver taught modules through seminars. 

Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. You are expected to carry out reading prior to classes and you will apply your knowledge to set questions or problems. You can also test and refine your understanding through class discussions and the presentation of papers in a relaxed and supportive environment.

All taught postgraduate students are encouraged to attend various events including guest talks and seminars, organised through the School’s research centres, including the Durham International Dispute Resolution Institute, the Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law and the Durham European Law Institute.

Moot Court Participation

Durham Law School regularly participates in moot court competitions; Vis Moot, East Vis Moot and Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot. The competitions provide you with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge. Our Durham Law School team is coached by the faculty and DLS alums practising in leading law firms.


Assessment on the LLM is thorough and carried out through writing tasks with the majority of the modules assessed through essays of 3,000-6,000 words in length. The core module on applied research methods will be assessed on a proposal you will present for a research topic. You will present a dissertation on an area of international dispute resolution of interest to you.

Entry requirements

A good 2:1 degree (or its equivalent) in law, or in a degree in which law is a major component.

  • Students whose native language is not English must show evidence of general proficiency in the English language by normally achieving 7.0 or higher in IELTS with a minimum of 7.0 in the writing component and a minimum of 6.5 in all other components.
  • Students from EU member states whose native language is not English may show evidence of general proficiency in the English language by normally achieving 102 or higher in TOEFL with a minimum of 27 in the writing component and a minimum of 25 in all other components.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £12,750 per year
EU students £26,900 per year
Island students £12,750 per year
International students £26,900 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £7,100 per year
EU students £14,800 per year
Island students £7,100 per year
International students £14,800 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

Law School

Our global reputation for legal research and teaching of the highest quality is reflected in the career trajectory of our alumni.

Graduates serve across the full range of legal professions including solicitors, barristers, judges, members of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and as consultants and in government. Others have secured stimulating and rewarding positions in national and international law firms.

We are fully aware of the degree of competition that exists in securing a role in the legal profession and the School provides a range of resources to help alumni stand out as ideal candidates during the recruitment process. This includes detailed information about the steps involved in becoming a solicitor or barrister, visits from law firms and guidance on preparing for interviews and assessment days.

Department information

Law School

Durham Law School is a global leader in the development and framing of law. Led by academics who are experts in their field, we carry out cutting-edge legal research that feeds into our Masters and research qualifications, building knowledge and nurturing the skills needed to help shape law in the future.

The reputation of the School means our legal know-how is respected by parliamentarians and policy makers around the world. Our academics have been called to give evidence in Parliament and have had their research work quoted by courts and international bodies.

International law and questions of global policy and governance are an area of special interest at Durham, but our expertise extends to other areas including criminal law and criminal justice, ethics, human rights, European law, gender and law, Chinese law, Commercial and Corporate law and Global Justice.

The research-led learning environment in the School is one of commitment, innovation and passion for the subject. Our highly respected research groups organise lectures and seminars offer opportunities to hear from eminent scholars and practitioners. Speakers have included judges from the UK Supreme Court, from the European Court of Justice and leading officials from national and international institutions.

For more information visit our department pages.


  • World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
  • 6th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • Top 10 in The Guardian University Guide 2024
  • Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the Law School pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 5th in the UK for research environment
  • 100% of our research impact and environment was rated world-leading or internationally excellent


Situated close to a number of academic departments and University services with views of the magnificent Durham Cathedral as well as offering easy access to the historic city, we believe that we have one of the most striking and best-equipped law buildings in the UK.

The Law School is located in the University’s award-winning flagship Palatine Centre, part of a £48.4m sustainable building development.

The School’s facilities are purpose-built and state-of-the-art, featuring a moot court, pro bono room, Harvard-style Hogan Lovells lecture theatre, spacious dedicated work suites and modern wireless and audio-video-enabled research spaces and attractive social areas.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Find out more

Similar courses

Corporate Law - LLM

Program Code: M1KB16
Start: September 2024
Corporate Law

European Trade and Commercial Law - LLM

Program Code: M1K616
Start: September 2024
European Trade and Commercial Law

Intellectual Property Law - LLM

Program Code: M1KF16
Start: September 2024
Intellectual Property Law

International Environmental Law - LLM

Program Code: M1KG16
Start: September 2024
International Environmental Law

International Law and Governance - LLM

Program Code: M1K916
Start: September 2024
International Law and Governance

International Trade and Commercial Law - LLM

Program Code: M1K316
Start: September 2024
International Trade and Commercial Law

Master of Laws - LLM

Program Code: M1K116
Start: September 2024
Master of Laws

Medical Law and Ethics - LLM

Program Code: M1KH16
Start: September 2024
Medical Law and Ethics