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Corporate and Financial Law Masters (LLM)

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Mixture of daytime and evening classes depending on choice of modules September 2017
Part time 2 years Mixture of daytime and evening classes depending on choice of modules September 2017

Choose Kingston's Corporate and Financial Law LLM

The Corporate and Financial Law LLM provides you with the opportunity to acquire a detailed knowledge and understanding of legal rules relating to business.

Develop your skills

When you successfully complete the Corporate and Financial LLM you will have acquired significant research and analytical skills in a range of aspects of business, financial and corporate law. The dissertation module allows you to carry out a large piece of independent research with one-to-one supervision in a field of your choice.

A Kingston LLM will substantially enhance your prospects of securing the job you want as a professional or in-house legal adviser, a company administrator or in the wide variety of roles where the ability to apply and advise upon business law issues is significant.

For practising solicitors, barristers and other legal professionals, this LLM qualification will help hone and direct your work towards the fields which interest you the most and give you the opportunity to refresh and enhance your knowledge and research skills. A specialised LLM will significantly improve your prospects of career progression in the direction you want.

A focused and dedicated community

Kingston Law School is based on the Kingston Hill campus in the London Borough of Kingston. The leafy campus has excellent transport links and is just half an hour from the city centre.

The department have expert staff dedicated to helping you achieve your career goals. Studying at Kingston you will have a wealth of resources at your fingertips in terms of research papers and journals (which can also be accessed remotely), dedicated state-of-the-art computer labs and personalised help when you need it.

"Kingston Law School has very good staff to student ratios which allow students the access to staff for the one-to-one help that students sometimes need." – Stephen Harris, senior lecturer in law


Written coursework, examinations and dissertation.

About Kingston University's LLM courses

Kingston University's LLM courses allow you to specialise and tailor your degree to a topic of your choice, while also giving you the flexibility to take modules on other subjects, making it flexible and easy to adapt to your interests and career goals.

You will complete work worth 180 credits by studying four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit dissertation module.

In addition to the Law School's team of highly skilled academics, courses are taught by experienced practitioners, and many of our lecturing staff combine teaching with legal practice. This helps to ensure that the courses are constantly refreshed with the latest industry thinking and practice, and provides you with the opportunity to mix with people who can provide hands-on experience and insight into their area of legal work.

Kingston Law School has strong links with The Law Society, the professional body that represents practising solicitors in England and Wales.

Course structure

You must take two core modules in corporate and financial law, two option modules, plus the Legal Research and Dissertation module on any topic of your choice related to corporate and financial law.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules (choose at least two, plus the Legal Research and Dissertation module)

  • This module looks at the problems that can arise as a result of those in control of large companies wielding extensive power, and how society can control them.

    You will:

    • analyse how English law imposes contractual, tortious and criminal liability on the registered company;
    • critically appraise the ways in which society seeks to control this power;
    • acquire a thorough understanding of the legal forms through which a business may be run; and
    • reflect on the problems which can arise in the legal relationships between people running a business.
  • This module covers the legal rules, policy and theoretical underpinnings that deal with insolvent juristic and natural persons. It critically examines:

    • the corporate insolvency regimes that facilitate rescue of the juristic person (administration, company voluntary arrangements, schemes of arrangement);
    • other avenues (liquidation, receivership, informal arrangements); and
    • the procedures that exist for natural persons (bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangements, debt relief orders).

    You will study the use of each procedure, case law and statute and academic and practitioner comment so that you can understand each procedure in practice.

    This module will help you to:

    • critically evaluate the regimes designed to rescue of a business in financial distress and the regimes under which the affairs of a failed business can be wound up;
    • apply the rules that determine which of the insolvent business's assets will be available for distribution to creditors; and
    • assess the circumstances in which those involved in running the business could be liable either to compensate the creditors or to criminal prosecution, and/or be disqualified from holding company directorships.
  • This module explores various types of intellectual property rights and laws such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs in the context of UK and EU laws. You will also study breach of confidence and passing off/unfair competition as well as learning about the justification of intellectual property rights.

    You will develop a critical understanding of:

    • the protection offered by intellectual property rights;
    • the relationship between different intellectual property rights;
    • how intellectual property law contributes to the protection of human creativity, innovation and endeavour; and
    • the possible protection available through other branches of law, such as the law of tort.
  • This module looks at the legal aspects of business finance, making it an ideal choice for students interesting in pursuing a corporate career. It will help you understand the ways businesses can raise finance, and looks at the financial consequences of different business forms.

    You will learn about fixed and floating security, share capital and corporate finance. When you have completed this module, you will be able to:

    • critically assess the consequences of the different financing methods;
    • compare and contrast the legal form of some common methods of business financing; and
    • apply the rules relating to shares and maintaining share capital, taking loans and granting security to hypothetical business scenarios.
  • This module is a core requirement and a culmination of your learning on this masters course, making up a third of the LLM programme. You will research an area that interests you in order to develop your skills in advanced legal research and your appreciation of its theoretical underpinnings.

    You will research your chosen area in depth, and produce an extended piece of academic writing (12,000-15,000 words) that demonstrates your skills in research and analysis. You will show that you can:

    • define a problem and its scope;
    • design a research project;
    • apply appropriate research methods;
    • collect and analyse data; and
    • present your results.

    You will also develop your legal writing skills, and you critical and analytical skills. The module is taught using a mixture of seminars, personal research and one-to-one supervision.


Option modules (choose two, which can also be selected from the core module list)

  • This module considers all aspects of presenting an argument in a variety of different contexts. It develops the practical skills you need to:

    •  process and evaluate complex information;
    • prepare materials for presentation; and
    •  deliver an argument to a meeting, tribunal or court.

    The module draws on pure legal issues and practical case studies, including any previous training and work experience. You will learn to:

    •  construct effective legal submissions in specific factual situations, and in response to the findings of a lower court;
    •  identify the weaknesses in a previous legal argument; and
    •  construct legal submissions in support of an alternative position.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is becoming increasingly important within the civil justice system. This module teaches you about:

    •  theoretical and practical ways of resolving disputes, with a strong emphasis on negotiation and mediation;
    •  the methods available for resolving conflicts, including conciliation, mediation, negotiation and adjudication; and
    •  the rationale for the various forms of ADR and the circumstances in which they might be successful, giving you the confidence to advise on different forms of dispute resolution.


    You will develop practical skills in a range of activities used in resolving legal disputes and entering into legal transactions, including simulated mediation and negotiation role-plays during class.

  • Arbitration has been one of the most important ways of resolving disputes for several centuries and, although other methods of dispute resolution have evolved in recent years (for example, mediation and conciliation), arbitration continues to retain its importance in both domestic and international contexts.

    This gives you a critical understanding of arbitration, exploring:

    •  the characteristics of arbitration;
    •  domestic arbitration; and
    •  how it operates in various international forums.
  • This module is an introduction to the process of civil procedure and litigation. To take this module, you will need a background in the English Legal System and undertake practical case management using core knowledge in the areas of contract and tort law.

    You will learn about:

    • the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and how they apply to specific legal disputes;
    • the overlap between litigation and other forms of dispute resolution, such as negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration;
    • how to assess the appropriate solutions in a practical situation; and
    • how to advise on the most effective and appropriate action in a range of scenarios.


  • This module compares the French and German law of tort and contract to the English law. It analyses the theoretical underpinning and systematic structure of law obligations in these countries and examines the different ways in which civil wrongs and aspects of contract law are handled.

    You will learn about:

    • the similarities and differences between the three legal systems; and
    • the features of French and German private law in relation to obligations; and
    • researching a point of law in these systems.
  • This module is an introduction to environmental law and regulation that is suitable for both lawyers and non-lawyers. It covers:

    • legal and policy approaches to environmental protection, plus a more in-depth consideration of the legal and institutional framework within which environmental regulation is achieved; and
    • how environmental issues are addressed.


    You will examine and evaluate:

    • the core themes and instruments of international, European and UK environmental regulation; and
    • the different regulatory techniques, instruments and mechanisms used to formulate and implement environmental rules within the local, national, regional and global platforms.
  • Legal enforcement of competition policy has been an important part of European Union law since 1957 and it remains a significant and rapidly developing area of regulation.

    The course will cover three major areas of European Union competition law:

    • preventing collusion between undertakings that affects trade between Member States, and which has as its object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market;
    • preventing abuse of a dominant position; and
    • the law governing mergers.

    The module will also look at how European Union competition law is enforced by the Commission and the National Competition Authorities.

  • This module examines environmental policy and regulation in the European Union. It looks at:

    • issues concerning the competence and powers of EU institutions with regard to the protection of the environment;
    • how EU legislation is applied and implemented at both European and national level;
    • specific fields of EU legislation, such as air and water pollution, waste management, and the sustainable use of natural resources; and
    • the effectiveness of EU environmental policy and, in particular, using economic instruments based on market concepts.
  • This module looks at civil evidence in a detailed and systematic way. It explores various ways of assessing evidence, and teaches you how to draft arbitral awards.

    It also looks at:

    • witnesses of both fact and expert opinion, giving you the competence and confidence to prepare evidence for use in dispute resolution;
    • how to assess evidence and argument; and
    • how to use these when you are making decisions in dispute resolution processes.
  • This module covers the theoretical, practical and legal aspects of the mediation process used to resolve family disputes and conflicts.

    The module will compare and contrast family mediation with other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods and traditional approaches to resolving family, financial and other disputes. Students will learn about:

    • the concepts, principles, models and structure of family mediation practice in the UK;
    • how to identify suitable clients/cases for mediation; and
    • how to refer clients and cases to other professionals and resources.

    This module helps you develop the skills you need to work with the dynamics of conflicts and disputes in human relationships. You will critically assess the role of the mediator and the relationships between the law, lawyers and mediation.

  • This module examines the UK law on the control of immigration and the regulatory framework surrounding it. You will study how the legislation has evolved and the issues surrounding deportation and removal from within national borders.

    You will also learn about:

    • Refugee status, covering the Refugee Convention 1951 and how it has been interpreted in case law;
    • Leave to Enter, Leave to Remain, the 1971 Immigration Act and the Immigration Rules; and
    • the potential gap between positive law and the 'realities' of 'forced migration'.
  • This module focuses on both practical and theoretical aspects of the individual employment relationship and how it is regulated in a modern competitive economy. You will study the formation, content and day-to-day operation of employment relationships. You will look at:

    • how rights arise; and
    • how the law intervenes to regulate the relationship between employers and workers.

    As well as considering contractual principles in depth, the module also teaches you about equality and discrimination law, which pervades the employment relationship from recruitment to post-employment discrimination and victimisation. You will also explore the legal implications of different forms of employment relationship in detail.

  • This module examines the role of the principal institutions and structures of international economic law. The focus is on how the IMF, World Bank and WTO in advancing normative solutions to the changing dynamics of international economic relations solutions to the changing dynamics of international economic relations. More specifically, against the background of globalization and the 'rule of law' framework increasingly favoured by the advocates of liberalisation, it examines the basic tenets advanced by these institutions.

    In particular, the module addresses the overall intellectual and theoretical bases of these institutions, presenting theories of liberalism and discussing:

    • the efficacy of free market systems;
    • how they arose;
    • the implicit economic justifications for their functions; and
    • their legal/regulatory structures.

    It also assesses the way the institutions of international economic law work in practice, as opposed to their theoretical remit.

  • This module gives you an overview of environmental protection and regulation at an international level. It examines the fundamental legal principles and rules underlying international agreements, and assesses their application and implementation. You will learn about:

    • the role of international organisations and international law-making mechanisms;
    • current environment issues, such as climate change, pollution, biodiversity and sustainable development; and
    • sustainability as a policy consideration, and this protects the environment.
  • This module examines the law on international contracts of sale. You will be introduced to a range of legal issues that arise in international transactions and how standard trade terms are used, as well as the rights and remedies available to buyers and sellers at common law (for example, the Sale of Goods Act) and under the Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods.

    You will develop a detailed and critical understanding of:

    • the law relating to the international trade contracts;
    • the main rules, remedies and doctrines at common law relating to the sale and supply of goods, in particular the Sale of Goods Act;
    • the relationship between buyers and sellers, including the parties' obligations in relation to an international contract of sale; and
    • the use of standard trade terms (for example, INCOTERMS) and their role in the movement towards harmonisation of international trade law.
  • You will critically examine the regulation of collective labour relations in both a domestic and international context, examining the scope, function and effectiveness of international labour standards and their impact on domestic systems of labour law.

    You will learn about:

    • how collective institutions and procedures for the governance of labour relations have been developed at national and international levels; and
    • the policy debate on how effectively essential labour rights are enforced in a competitive economy.
  • This module examines:

    • international sales contracts and transportation documents, and how the sales contracts that are involved in international trade transactions are financed;
    • arrangements for the transporting goods by sea, the carrier's liabilities for any loss or damage to the goods, and the importance of insurance contracts when goods are lost or damaged.

    You will study and evaluate aspects of these topics and develop your critical understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of the law relating to transporting goods by sea and marine insurance.

  • This highly topical module is relevant to everyone who is an employee or employer, providing the tools to deal with this fast-changing area of law. It explores the common law and statutory provisions relating to terminating a contract of employment, giving you the opportunity to focus on the interplay between these. These will be considered within the context of a job security and flexibility framework. The module will also cover the ways of resolving disputes that lead to termination of employment, including the work of ACAS.

    This module will help you to acquire a detailed and critical understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of the law governing termination of the employment relationship. You will study and analyse:

    • termination by operation of law;
    • termination of agreement (resignation and dismissal);
    • common law rights on termination following a repudiation;
    • discipline at work;
    • unfair dismissal; and
    • remedies for unfair dismissal.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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