Taught course

Corporate Law

Durham University · Department of Law

Entry requirements

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

Months of entry


Course content

Our LLM in Corporate Law brings together the complex and fast-moving worlds of business and law. The course will equip you with the skills and confidence to play a key role in the management and conduct of companies and corporations, helping to ensure they operate in a legal and correct way against a backdrop of ever-changing business legislation.

You will gain a comprehensive knowledge of both the fundamental and the more advanced areas of corporate law – the latter being studied in-depth from a theoretical research perspective. The course will cover a wide range of topics that are relevant in the ever-evolving corporate landscape such as corporate compliance, mergers and acquisitions and environmental regulation.

The course is presented in taught modules and delivered by a mixture of stimulating lectures and smaller, student-led, dynamic seminar or tutorial groups. You will also be required to research and produce a substantial dissertation in an area of corporate law of your choosing, for which you will receive individual supervision.

The Law School is home to the Durham Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law, and you will be encouraged to join its many activities during your time as a student, while the law library holds an extensive range of corporate law material, to which you will have access as part of your studies.

Nationally and internationally, the corporate law sector is constantly seeking legal experts who will be able to understand the growing complexities of business activity and governance and our LLM in Corporate Law will give you the knowledge and insight to be able to help meet that demand.

Course Structure

Fundamentals of Corporate Law is an introductory module that covers the basics of company and corporate law if you are new to the field. You will gain an understanding of what companies are, their main legal features, the economic role they play, and some of the key regulatory challenges they present through their activities. Those who have previously studied company/corporate law may be granted exemption from this module.

Advanced Issues in Corporate Law allows you to carry out a more in-depth study of the legal issues which corporations generate. The module is selective in terms of the legal issues it addresses but is designed to explore those issues at a deeper, and more theoretical, level.

Applied Research Methods in Law provides specialised knowledge on the latest research methods and skills available in legal studies as well as an advanced understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and of their relevance for different forms of legal research. The module also creates a framework within which you will be able to critically assess potential research topics and, importantly, where you will be able to design, discuss and develop a detailed research proposal of the appropriate standards for your dissertation.

The Dissertation is based on your particular research interest in an area of Corporate Law and can be of one of three lengths – 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words. The dissertation is equivalent to 2, 2.5 or 3 modules, depending on word count.

Depending on the dissertation length and prior subject knowledge, you can choose up to 1.5 optional modules (* indicates half modules) which in previous years have included:

  • Comparative Corporate Governance
  • Competition Law
  • Corporate Compliance*
  • Corporations in an EU Context
  • Cross-border Commercial Litigation
  • International and Comparative Corporate Insolvency Law*
  • International Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • International Tax Law*
  • Introduction to Corporate Governance*
  • Introduction to Corporate Insolvency Law*
  • Mergers and Acquisitions*
  • Securities Law and Capital Markets
  • Takeover Regulation in the EU*
  • US Business Associations

Your remaining options can be chosen from a wider selection of law modules (* indicates half modules) which in previous years have included:

  • Advanced Issues in Human Rights*
  • Advanced Issues in International Economic Law
  • Advanced Issues of Intellectual Property Law*
  • Advanced Law of Obligations
  • China and the International Legal Order*
  • Commercial Fraud*
  • Comparative and Transnational Law*
  • Consumption Tax Law and Policy*
  • Current Issues in Commercial Law
  • Current Problems of International Law
  • Electronic Commerce*
  • Free Speech Problems in International and Comparative Perspective*
  • Frontiers in Biolaw*
  • Fundamental Issues in International Legal Governance*
  • Fundamentals of International Law*
  • Global Environmental Law*
  • Global Financial Law
  • Global Institutions
  • Horizontal Human Rights*
  • International Banking Law
  • International Counter Terrorism: Theory and Practice*
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Investment Law*
  • International Perspectives on Law and Gender*
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • International Sales Law
  • International Trade Law and Policy
  • Introduction to EU Law*
  • Introduction to Intellectual Property Law*
  • Introduction to International Criminal Justice
  • Law of Oil and Gas Contracts*
  • Law of the Sea
  • Medical Law and Ethics*
  • Multinational Corporations and Human Rights*
  • Private International Law and China*
  • Protection of Human Rights in Europe
  • Renewable Energy Law*
  • International Law of Peace and Security
  • International Perspectives in Cartel Control*
  • The Law of Subsidy and State Aid Control*
  • Current Issues in International Law and Governance*
  • US Corporate Law*
  • Modules offered by another Board of Studies (subject to approval)

Information for international students

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For further information see the course listing.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • LLM
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Durham Law School