Online course

International Commercial and Technology Law

  • Qualification: Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Duration: 24 months, part-time
  • Workload: Approx 20 hours per week
  • Next enrolment: January 2024
  • Fees: £19,000 (UK/EU/International)
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Be part of the digital transformation

With game-changing transformation gaining pace across the global economy, the law is reinventing itself to keep up with the digital era.

Along with momentous change comes great opportunity, but also significant and unprecedented risk associated with emerging technologies, including AI, FinTech, crypto economy, Web3 and big data.

This flexible online course will give talented and ambitious professionals like you the specialised knowledge and applied skills needed to step up and navigate the legal intricacies of tomorrow’s commercial landscape.

Key features

Learn from the best

Get first-rate teaching at one of the top 2% universities in the world, according to the latest QS World University Rankings.

Access unique content

Master a unique blend of law and tech, and combine theoretical knowledge with applied skills to tackle the challenges of future. 

Connect globally

Network with global specialists from your desk, and immerse yourself in critical dialogue with international academics, peers and guest speakers.

Key information

  • Delivery

    100% online learning

  • Duration

    24 months, part-time

  • Enrolment date

    Two intakes per year in January and September

  • Apply

    Find out how to apply and what documents to submit in the application and selection section

  • Workload

    Approx 20 hours per week

  • Course director

    Dr Joseph Lee, Reader in Corporate and Commercial Law

Fees and funding

Total course tuition fee for January 2024 entry is £19,000 (UK/EU/International).

You can save up to 15% on your tuition fees. Please see our fees and funding section below for more details.

We offer payment by instalments , so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

Explore a range of scholarships and bursaries available for this course below.

Find out more about fees and funding

Entry requirements

We require an Upper Second (2:1) Class Honours degree in law (or the overseas equivalent), or a degree with at least 70% law content, or a graduate diploma in law.

A First (1:1) or an Upper Second (2:1) Class Honours in a non-law degree such as finance or business will also be considered, if you have at least three years’ work experience in a law firm as a practicing solicitor or have passed the bar exam and are working as a practicing lawyer.

If you have substantial work experience closely related to law but not substantively legal in nature, for example as a contracts manager, you may also be considered.

Find out more about entry requirements

Contact us today

Complete the form below and our Course Advisor will contact you with the additional course information and relevant event invitations.

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Course overview

Who this course is for

If you’re a lawyer, or working in a legal environment like contracts or compliance, you’ll be aware of just how significantly advances in technology and the influx of digital systems are changing the way we work. If your role in trade and services has any kind of legal and regulatory focus, you’ll face unprecedented challenges that require new ways of thinking. If you’re a civil servant, researcher or academic, you’ll see how the digital transformation is reframing tech and commerce across the world.

Whatever your role, at a time when technology is defining progress, inquisitive, ambitious and determined individuals like you will shape the future. This prestigious LLM will give you up-to-the-minute specialist knowledge and applied skills to lead with confidence in a changing world.

If you’re a busy professional, keen to excel in your career, this online course gives you the flexibility to take the next steps while you continue to work, the know-how to think differently as you face new challenges, and the international connections to build a sophisticated understanding of the global context.

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What you will learn

  • Explore the legal context, risks and opportunities arising from the digital revolution.
  • Get to grips with the principles and rules of commercial and tech law, and understand related legal systems.
  • Cover a range of contemporary issues surrounding technology and commerce, including FinTech, AI, big data, cryptocurrency, intellectual property and cyberspace.
  • Evaluate different approaches to regulation and legislation to address new challenges collaboratively, in a global context.
  • Gain a broad understanding of commerce and tech, and a nuanced appreciation of the role of law for a safe and effective digital future.
Webinar: Collapse of crypto exchanges and law

How it will benefit your career

  • As the commerce world goes digital, specialised skills will become indispensable, putting you in prime position for promotion or a higher-level role elsewhere.
  • Teaching informed by the latest research will guarantee up-to-the-minute knowledge, and encourage leading-edge thinking and debate.
  • Sharpened problem-solving skills and fine-tuned critical thinking will prepare you to address new challenges and shape new approaches.
  • The relevance and breadth of the issues covered will help you understand the big picture, enabling you to transfer your skills and adapt to an inevitably changing landscape.
  • Build relationships with academics and professionals across the world to create a global network that opens up exciting new opportunities.
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Where and when you will study

This course is designed for busy working professionals, so it’s 100% online and completely flexible. There’s no campus-based learning, so you can stay where you are. There’s no need to pause your career or interrupt your family or social life while you complete the course. You can study wherever and whenever works best for you.

The highly interactive content is built around our academics’ current research and combines live and interactive lectures with recorded material, balancing independent learning with online collaboration, discussion and group work.

Course units

  • 1. Corporations, Technology and Law (30 credits)

    Get to grips with key topics and themes in business organisations law, and understand their implications Gain a full appreciation of the legal nature of business organisations, the role of technology within them, and the related legal and regulatory issues. Learn how to effectively identify pertinent challenges, understand the technological impact, and evaluate and assess various options from a theoretical and practical standpoint.


    Critically evaluate how companies and company law is affected by technology, and delve deeper into the principal features of company law, as well as blockchain technology and AI law. Build specialist skills to comprehensively identify, explain, assess and analyse the issues covered, and learn how to apply relevant legal rules and theories.

  • 2. Online Privacy, Defamation and Data Protection Law (30 credits)

    The rise of social media, cloud computing and widely-available internet-enabled devices, have made the world increasingly digital and connected. Examine one’s ability to control personal information online in the World Wide Web context. Consider various legal instruments and jurisdictions, including English privacy and defamation law, famously influenced by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as supranational pieces of legislation on data protection law, such as the GDPR.


    Explore to what extent should individual autonomy and dignity be protected online as opposed to the pivotal importance of freedom of expression, and build your critical reflection and evaluative research skills.

  • 3. Financial Law and FinTech (30 credits)

    Identify and explore the fundamental principles of financial regulation relating to financial institutions, investment contracts, and financial technologies (FinTechs). Learn about various regulatory initiatives for technologies such as blockchain, AI and big data in financial market, and cover regulatory fields including conduct of business, financial promotion and investor protection, market abuse, financial crime and data governance.


    Analyse the legal, regulatory and policy issues associated with cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, online lending, new payments and wealth management technologies. Consider the evolving relationship between FinTechs, regulators and traditional financial institutions, and scrutinise liabilities.

  • 4. Intellectual Property Law in the Digital Ecosystem (30 credits)

    The internet posed a new threats regarding privacy, access and intellectual property, which prompted the development technical solutions to restrict copying and unauthorised access. At the same time, policymakers were persuaded that such copyright protection mechanisms needed legal protection against circumvention. Examine the legal and technological framework that emerged from this situation to protect digital intellectual property. 

  • Project (60 credits)

    Write and research a supervised dissertation project.

    Your dissertation project involves:

    • A 700-word research plan (10%)
    • An 8,000-word supervised individual research project (dissertation/research paper submitted in September (60%), and 
    • A 10 min recorded video presentation with a poster or PowerPoint slides (30%). 

Course structure

In year 1, you will study two 30-credit units, and in year 2, a further two 30-credit units, followed by your research project. This course is completely online, and is flexible, so can be completed at your own pace. It’s part-time, with each unit lasting 15 weeks.

Unit 1 (Sep-Jan, 15 weeks)
Corporations, Technology and Law (30 credits)

Unit 2 (Jan-May, 15 weeks)
Online Privacy, Defamation and Data Protection Law (30 credits)

Unit 3 (Sep-Jan, 15 weeks)
Financial Law and FinTech (30 credits)

Unit 4 (Jan-May, 15 weeks)
Intellectual Property Law in the Digital Ecosystem (30 credits)

Project (Jan-Sep, 30 weeks)
A supervised dissertation project (60 credits)

Course learning aims

During the course, you will:

  • Develop an understanding of some of the emerging topics and prevalent themes in business organisations law with a focus on technology such as AI, blockchain and securities tokens offering to provide students with a strong foundation in the legal regulation of business organisations.
  • Understand the background and content of online privacy, defamation & data protection law, whilst developing an awareness of contemporary issues in the area.
  • Develop the ability to identify and explore the fundamental principles of financial regulation relating to financial markets and financial technologies.
  • Grow an understanding of the current challenges posed to the development and the enforcement of the intellectual property law by the emerging technologies.
  • Enhance the ability to recognise and implement different research practices, including formulating research questions, critically appraising the current scholarship, choosing appropriate research methods, planning individual project outline, practicing research ethics, and communicating the research results via a recorded video presentation that includes a poster or a set of slides.

Teaching and learning

This course is entirely online, with a combination of delivery methods so you can work at your own pace and have a balance of real-life interaction with peers and academics.

A range of interactive material is available through your online virtual learning environment (VLE), including recorded videos, downloadable documents, graphics and discussion boards which you can access whenever you need, and can go back to again and again. Like all University students, you’ll have access to our extensive library services, including e-books and journals about commercial and technology law.

You’ll also benefit from live lectures and seminars delivered online where you can interact with fellow students and ask your course leaders questions in real-time.

At this level, we’ll expect you to manage your own time and work independently to complete set tasks, reading assignments, research and revision.

Throughout your course, you’ll have a dedicated Study Support Adviser who can help with course-related questions, and support you with the VLE.

Coursework and assessment

Each taught course unit is worth 30 credits and is assessed through different methods including multiple choice questions, short essays, podcasts and recorded video presentations.

You’ll also complete one 60-credit supervised research project on a subject of your choice. This involves:

  • A 700 word research plan (10%)
  • An 8,000-word supervised individual research project (dissertation/research paper submitted in September (60%), and
  • A 10 min recorded video presentation with a poster or PowerPoint slides (30%).

Admissions information

From your initial expression of interest right through to graduation, you’ll receive all the support you need. We will guide you through the enrolment process and help with subject assistance, administrative logistics and fee options, online learning skills, workload management and special circumstances. 

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an Upper Second (2:1) Class Honours degree in law (or the overseas equivalent), or a degree with at least 70% law content, or a graduate diploma in law.

A First (1:1) or an Upper Second (2:1) Class Honours in a non-law degree such as finance or business will also be considered, if you have at least three years’ work experience in a law firm as a practicing solicitor or have passed the bar exam and are working as a practicing lawyer.

If you have substantial work experience closely related to law but not substantively legal in nature, for example as a contracts manager, you may also be considered.

If you are an international student, and are looking for a general guide on entry and language requirements for your country, please visit our country-specific information pages .

English language

If you are not from, or did not graduate from a majority English speaking country , we will also require proof of your English language ability. If you already have an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application.We accept:

  • IELTS academic test score of 7 overall, including 7 in writing with no further component score below 6.5, or equivalent. Discover more about English language requirements .
English language test validity
Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

To speed up the application process, please submit the following documents with your online application form:

1. Copies of official degree certificates and transcripts of your previous study, showing the subjects taken and grades obtained. If these documents are in languages other than English, please provide official translations in addition to your official certificates and transcripts.

2. English language score report (if applicable) or alternative evidence to demonstrate your English language competency.

3. A copy of your CV detailing your full work experience.

4. Personal statement of up to 500 words, addressing the following questions:

  • What attracts you to this course?
  • What do you hope to gain from this course and how will it help you achieve your goals?

5. As part of the application process, you will need to provide contact details for one referee - professional or academic. The University will contact your referee directly after you submit your application and ask them to complete an online reference form.

Scholarships and bursaries

Postgraduate loans (UK/EU)

If you're an English or EU student living in the UK, you may be eligible for a loan.

Manchester Master's Bursary (UK)

We're committed to helping students access further education.

Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes

If you completed your degree at Manchester, you could receive a discount.

Funding for students with disabilities

If you have a disability, we can help you apply for relevant funding.

Explore more funding opportunities

Fees and funding

Total course tuition fee for January 2024 entry is £19,000 (UK/EU/International).

Total course tuition fee for September 2024 entry is £19,500 (UK/EU/International).

Tuition fee discounts

  • Early application discount (10%): Apply on or before 4 December 2023 to receive 10% reduction on your tuition fee. To be eligible, you will need to submit a complete application on or before 4 December 2023 and if offered a place, you will need to accept your offer within two weeks from the date of the offer.
  • Alumni discount (15%): If you have successfully graduated from a credit-bearing qualification at The University of Manchester or UMIST, you can receive a 15% discount on the tuition fees that you are personally funding.

One-discount policy : Discounts and scholarships are not accumulative. If you qualify for more than one, you will be awarded the one that is the highest amount.

Employer funding

If you are looking to secure funding from your employer, we can help you build a business case or talk to your employer directly. Contact us on to arrange a consultation.

Payment by instalments

During registration you will have the opportunity to pay your fees in three equal instalments. Learn more .

Additional cost information

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website.

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website.