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At University of Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
International & Comparative Business Law (LLM)
Winner: Postgraduate Course of the Year in Law at the gradireland Higher Education Awards 2020 sponsored by PwC. The judging panel’s comments included: “Excellent innovation and teaching methodology, with strong links to industry.”
This programme provides an excellent grounding in business law, for those interested in pursuing a career in legal practice or in the commercial world. Students can choose from a range of modules at an advanced level and tailor their LLM to suit their interests and career plans. You will expand your knowledge of business law from a national, regional and international perspective. Modules include such diverse options as EU Competition Law, Advanced Intellectual Property Law, and European Consumer Law to Global Issues in Contemporary Labour Law. This programme provides students with an opportunity to engage with leading commercial practitioners to develop their legal expertise and skills in business law.
- Prestigious placements with leading commercial law firms are offered to 5 students on the programme. Selection is on the basis of interview by the firm.
- Vis Moot - students on the programme are offered the opportunity to participate in an international arbitration moot, the Willen C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot which takes place in Vienna, each April. Selection will be by interview. This module will enable students to develop their advocacy skills.
- Focus on skills and employability to equip students with key business skills including critical thinking, drafting legal submissions, negotiation, advocacy and mediation.
- Expert lecturers deliver this programme through small group seminars with guest talks from leading practitioners. Students also have the opportunity to attend and present at key conferences, nationally and internationally as well as participate in moot court competitions.
- International field trips enable students to see the law in action in a global context.
- Career support is provided through professional workshops coaching students on CV preparation and interview skills. Careers in Law Week also provides an opportunity to meet partners from leading law firms.
- Diverse modules from EU Competition Law, Advanced Intellectual Property Law, and Current Issues in Internet Law to Global Issues in Contemporary Labour Law.
- Assessment is primarily through research papers, presentations and minor thesis rather than exams.
Applications and Selections
Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System. Entry to the course is based on academic achievement as set out above and a personal statement. On occasions, interviews may also be carried out to determine the applicant’s suitability for the course. Places will be allocated on a conditional basis pending receipt of all required and verified supporting documentation.
Who Teaches this Course
Dept. of Law
Tower 2, Arts/Science Building
9 Distillery Road
Dept. of Law
Tower 2, Arts/Science Building
Requirements and Assessment
- An approved Second Class Honours Degree, Grade 1 (2.1) in law, or an inter-disciplinary degree in which law was a major component.
- Applicants awarded a Graduate Diploma in Law may be considered but will be admitted only where they demonstrate a strong academic performance in both the undergraduate degree and diploma.
- In exceptional circumstances, an applicant holding a degree in another discipline or a degree of less than an approved Second Class Honours Degree, Grade 1 (H2.1) standard may be considered where they have relevant professional law experience.
- International students should refer to the country-specific information section of the International Office website: http://www.nuigalway.ie/international-students/country.html
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
1 year, full-time; 2 years, part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes
Please view the offer rounds website.
Mode of study
3 modules (30 ECTS)
3 modules (30 ECTS)
Commercial Legal Placement (30 ECTS) or (Summer) Minor Thesis
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change, but may include the following optional modules. Click on 'Year 1 (90 Credits)' on the bottom of this webpage to view description of each module or download this document: LLM in International and Comparative Business Law Modules.
- EU Competition Law
- International Commercial Property Law
- Vis Moot
- Legal Skills: Commercial Practice, Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
- Advanced Intellectual Property Law and Development
- Advanced Comparative Law
- Commercial Law in Context
- EU External Relations Law
- Advanced Legal Research & Method
- Advocacy, Activism and Public Interest Law
Commericial Legal Placements
A limited number of places are available for ‘Commercial Legal Placements’, which allow students to work in a leading commercial law firm over the summer as an alternative to the minor thesis. Selection of students for ‘Commercial Legal Placement’ is competitive and is decided upon the basis of an application and interview.
Those not undertaking the placement are required to complete a minor thesis (15,000 words) over the summer months. The thesis allows students to conduct supervised research in an area of business law of their choosing. Students will receive support and guidance from their supervisor on how to identify a research topic, conducting the research and writing up the minor thesis which will be due for submission mid-July.
Curriculum InformationCurriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.
Glossary of Terms
- You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
- An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
- Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
- A module you may choose to study.
- A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
- Required Core Subject
- A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
- Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.
Year 1 (90 Credits)Optional LW5209: Legal Skills: Commercial Practice, Advocacy and Dispute Resolution - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5205: Advanced Intellectual Property Law and Development - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5203: Advanced Comparative Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5206: Global Issues in Contemporary Labour Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5208: European Consumer Law and Policy - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5211: EU External Relations Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5212: Vis Moot - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5201: EU Competition Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5204: International Commercial Property Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5210: Commercial Law in Context - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required LW450: Dissertation - 30 Credits - Semester 1
Required LW483: Advanced Legal Research & Method - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5116: Gender and Human Rights - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5126: Critical Race Theory and Human Rights - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5105: Contemporary Issues in International Migration Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5207: International Business Law Moot - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW575: Crime and Disorder - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW491: Equality Law: Principles & Thematic Application - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW439: Advocacy, Activism and Public Interest Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5202: Internet Regulation: International Trends and Topical Issues - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5200: Commercial Legal Placement - 30 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5103: Islam and Human Rights I - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5111: Business and Human Rights 2 - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW525: Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5113: The Common European Asylum System - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5114: International Refugee Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5117: International Human Rights Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5118: Public International Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5120: European Convention on Human Rights: Law and Politics - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW530: Procedure Before International Criminal Courts - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5214: Imprisonment and Rights - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW486: Theories of Judicial Activism - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5122: International Criminal Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Why Choose This Course?
The LLM in International and Comparative Business Law is of particular interest to students interested in pursuing a career with an international law firm. The School of Law runs a programme of careers events annually including a Careers in Law Week, during which students have an opportunity to meet partners from leading law firms and attend interview-skills workshops. An enhanced knowledge of the international business world and its interactive relationship with laws and regulations allows students to develop an exceptional set of skills along with a global outlook.
Additionally, the programme offers a number of ‘Commercial Legal Placements’ with the leading law firms in the jurisdiction enhancing the students practical knowledge of working in a commercial firm and ensuring they gain skills which will be very attractive to prospective employers in the commercial sector. Graduates can consult on business and legal matters to international law firms, multinational professional services firms, in-house counsel with major global firms and more.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Three reasons to choose this course:
- Students undertaking this course will have the opportunity to compete for one of five very prestigious commercial legal placements with leading commercial law firms.
- As there is a focus on gaining practical skills in many of the modules offered, students will be well placed to enter the business world having acquired key transferrable skills to include: critical thinking, legal writing, negotiation, advocacy, mediation, among others.
- Students will benefit from the expertise of the leading commercial lawyers delivering content on the programme, guest lectures and networking opportunities with key commercial experts including our adjunct Professor Thomas Courtney, Chairman of the Company Law Review Group and Partner at Arthur Cox, Solicitors.
Transferable Skills Employers Value
A unique feature of the LL.M in International and Comparative Business Law is that students have the opportunity to apply for prestigious work placements with leading commercial law firms. This follows from the skills-based nature of the programme which enables students to develop their advocacy skills, negotiation, mediation and presentation skills so that they have the attributes necessary to fit seamlessly into a law firm.
There are a minimum of five placements available. Applications are forwarded to the firms who select candidates for interview based on academic merit and evidence of ability to act as a team player and work effectively within their organisations.
Many of the recruiters have commented on the high standard of those applying for placements and, in some cases, have intimated the possibility keeping of these students on for traineeships. To-date students have secured placements with: Arthur Cox, L.K. Shields, A&L Goodbody, Matheson Solicitors, Ronan Daly Jerym Solicitors and Flynn O’Driscoll, Solicitors.
Please note work placement opportunities on the programme may be subject to change from year to year.
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24). You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee. An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.
Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.
Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here.
What Our Students Say
Malhar Desai | Client Policy Associate at Glass Lewis & Co.
I decided to pursue the LLM (International & Comparative Business Law) as the program offered the option of doing either a thesis or work placement. During my masters, we had a seminar series of guest lectures, one of which was delivered by Prof. Dennis Driscoll, the leading expert in Corporate Governance and ESG in Ireland. He emphasised how Corporate Governance is a niche area of law and not many people have the expertise in it. Inspired by him, I decided to do my thesis in Corporate Governance. Soon after finishing my thesis, I was at the NUI Galway career fair when an HR representative from my current employer suggested I apply for an internship with the company after reading about my thesis and interest in corporate governance. I initially secured a 3-month paid internship. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a research associate and dwelled deeper into the world of corporate governance. My internship led me in securing a permanent contract in a different department. Pursuing my master's at NUI Galway turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life as the lectures, seminars, and career events equipped me with the necessary skills and directed me toward work opportunities.
David Martin |
The LLM in International and Comparative Business Law has given me the flexibility to research closely with dynamic and passionate people, who share my interests. The smaller groups make engagement much easier and more beneficial. While studying I had the opportunity to shape my postgraduate degree to a certain extent, which is the most rewarding part of the programme. This LLM gives an unrivalled experience of legal writing and research and an active learning component, which is applicable to any career path.
The LL.M. in International and Comparative Business Law is unique for a number of reasons: it involved a philosophical engagement with legal theories beyond individual jurisdictions; we were trained in a high level of research and drafting skills, and I came out of it better able to organise my thoughts and arguments. The small class sizes allowed for engagement and discussions that are just not possible at an undergraduate level. Finally, it had a number of highlights: visiting the Galway Courthouse for our moot court finals, the Supreme Court visit, a number of lectures from internationally renowned academics and an opportunity to compete for a Commercial Legal Placement which resulted in me securing my traineeship, which began in 2020. I highly recommend this programme to anyone who is interested in exploring commercial law at an academic level, and being better prepared for the realities of corporate practice.