• For Entry: January
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Social Sciences
  • Study Mode: Full Time

The innovative Dundee – Toulouse Joint LLM offers a true private international law experience. Common law and civil law perspectives of the subject are balanced as students divide their time between Scotland and France, with the opportunity to gain two degrees in one year.

Established in 2010, the Joint LLM in Comparative & European Private International Law is unique. It offers tuition on conflicts of jurisdiction and laws in two countries by renowned specialists. Graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to work in the domain of cross border disputes. They can specialise in commercial or family law aspects of private international law.

Where will I study?

Students spend their first semester in Dundee before completing their studies in the historic city of Toulouse. Students start in January and complete their dissertation with supervision from Dundee academics over the summer months, before going to the University of Toulouse in September. Successful candidates graduate with the Dundee LLM and the Master 2 degree from Toulouse.

What our students say...

“I liked having the opportunity of living and studying in two different countries in one year. That meant adjusting to two different living and studying environments and therefore two very different lifestyles within a rather short period of time. That way I learned how to quickly find my way around in a new living and working environment.

Furthermore, the Joint LLM enabled me to study at two universities with a very different educational structure: a rather teacher-centred teaching in Toulouse vs. a focus on self-studying, essays and discussion based classes in Dundee. Especially the latter sometimes was a real challenge for me but helped me a lot to develop my own opinion from the readings instead of just repeating what I read and in particular to argue for my opinion in discussions - an essential quality for everyone working in law.”

Katrin Bauer, 2012 Graduate, now at the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection, Munich

Who should study this course?

This course is designed for graduates in Law. However, the LLM can be taken both by students who have already studied private international law at undergraduate level as well as by those who are new to the subject, for the latter will be provided with additional instruction.

How you will be taught

A core aspect of the programme is the different learning experience to be expected in the French and Scottish components. At Toulouse, the focus is mainly on lectures or large group seminars. At Dundee, small group teaching (max 20 per class) is favoured. Students are given detailed reading lists introducing them to topics and proposing questions to consider during their preparation with a view to promoting critical thinking through interactive class discussions and reliance on the Socratic method.

How you will be assessed

Substantive modules: continuous assessment plus end of semester examinations in December and March/April. Compulsory dissertation: 12-15,000 words.

What you will study


At Toulouse, students will take a number of compulsory modules on core and specialist aspects of private international law.

  • Fundamental Private International Law
  • Private International Law Applications
  • Contract Law in European Context
  • International Organisations as Law Makers
  • European Criminal Law. 

European contract and business law as well as international law are also covered.

In addition, students are required to attend intensive courses offered by invited foreign professors. At Dundee, students have to choose 2 private international law modules.

Competition Law

Module Convenor: Stephen Dnes 

This is a second semester module. This module aims to introduce students to competition law and policy from an international business law perspective. Main topics will include (i) cartels and restrictive agreements; (ii) abuse of dominance / monopolization, with a particular focus on recent technology cases, and (iii) the review of mergers and acquisitions under competition laws. It thus seeks to provide a solid foundation in the competition law issues most likely to be encountered in practice, enforcement, and further legal research.

The primary focus of the course will be on the competition laws of the UK and the EU, but because of the increasingly global context of competition law practice, comparisons will also be drawn with other important jurisdictions from an international business law perspective, including China and the United States. The course will seek to explore the theoretical context of competition policy, notably related economic theory, to reflect the significant role underlying theory has come to play in shaping the development of competition law. However, no prior knowledge of economics is expected and the emphasis will be on a practical understanding of the issues from a primarily legal perspective.

Seminars will be geared to the development of a substantial paper to be submitted at the end of the semester; there is no exam.


International Family Law

Module Convenor: Professor Peter McEleavy and Aude Fiorini

This module will take advantage of the convenor's particular expertise in this area and evaluate policy issues relevant to the development of international family law harmonisation as well as the legal responses to a variety of topics of contemporary interest. The latter will include connecting factors, inter-country adoption, matrimonial and parental responsibility matters, child abduction, leave to remove applications, maintenance and matrimonial finance.

International Insolvency Law

Module Convenors: Mr. Ross MacDonald and Ms Aude Fiorini

The aim of this course is to examine current problems and trends in the law of corporate insolvency, with particular reference to cross-border transactions and international harmonisation. Attention focuses on European Union regimes but with comparison to developments elsewhere such as the USA, the People’s Republic of China, and UNCITRAL. Topics include choice of insolvency regime (important for multinational companies), creditor protection mechanisms, and corporate rescue.

International Taxation Law

Module Convenor: Ms. Yvonne Evans (y.a.evans@dundee.ac.uk), Room 3.12.

This is a second semester module. The method of assessment is: one piece of assessed work, in the form of a 4,000 word essay to be submitted after the teaching semester.  The essay title will be released in week 10 of the semester.  The submission date will be in the first or second week of the exam diet (to be confirmed). There will also be one piece of formative work, an essay of 1,500 words completed by the end of week 6 of semester.

This module will give students an understanding of several key aspects of international taxation law. The module will address issues of tax jurisdiction for individuals and corporations, and issues arising in the taxation of cross-border transactions. We will consider the interpretation of double taxation treaties and examine attempts to tackle international tax avoidance.

Taxation is of great importance to lawyers dealing with business transactions, and this module will be of interest to students who wish to work in the area of commercial law or within government institutions.



Private International Law (Common Law Perspectives)

Module Convenor: Ms Aude Fiorini (a.r.fiorini@dundee.ac.uk), Room 3.10.

This is a second semester module. As such this module will be assessed through essays.

The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of the core issues relevant to international commercial litigation in a common law context. By way of contrast, consideration will also be given to the differing approaches to jurisdiction in civil and commercial law matters as employed in common law and civil law legal systems. Topics covered will vary depending on current developments but may include tag jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, long arm jurisdiction, the doctrines of forum non conveniens and lis alibi pendens, the use of anti-suit or freezing injunctions or the Hague Judgments.

Module Reading List

Private International Law (Theories and Principles)

Module Convenor: Professor Peter McEleavy

The method of assessment is: 40% course work (one 2,500 word essay worth 15% and a 3,500 word essay worth 25%) and 60% written examination (only un-annotated statutory materials may be taken into the exam).

This module will explore core issues relevant to the construction and harmonisation of contemporary private international law. This includes at the outset an evaluation of how international private law disputes should be resolved, whether through the harmonisation of substantive law or the harmonisation of PrIL rules. Consideration is then given to principles of jurisdiction (what is the exercise of jurisdiction; how should jurisdiction be regulated – flexibility v certainty; construction of jurisdiction rules - focus on the parties, the cause of action, the role of party autonomy) followed by principles of choice of law (why apply foreign law; rationale; theory & methods; application of foreign law etc). Further topics include: Connecting Factors; the Unification of PrIL in Europe – the role of the EU; the unification of PrIL at the global level - role of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

Graduates of this LLM are pursuing careers in a wide variety of sectors including legal practice, banking, international organisations, State ministries or academia.

What our students say...

“Firstly, I completed a dual degree in partnership between the Université Paris-Est Créteil and Sheffield Hallam Université (LLB Maîtrise en droit franco-anglais). After having had the opportunity to acquire knowledge of both civil and common law systems, I hesitated between doing a Graduate programme (Master 2) in France and applying for an LLM in the UK. The Joint Toulouse programme was the best option since it combined both programmes in one consistently organized academic year.

The Joint Dundee- Toulouse programme was a great opportunity to really experience comparative law research thanks to the variety and availability of the academic staff. In addition, the possibility to conduct research in two different legal systems was a great way to familiarize myself with a wide range of national and international databases. Furthermore, this graduate programme considerably helped me to improve my English academic writing.

After I submitted my LLM dissertation, I decided I wanted to write a PhD on EU Family law. One month later, I got hired as a research fellow at the Max Planck Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law. Thanks to the Joint Dundee-Toulouse programme, I had the ability to show that I had a good knowledge of comparative law, a good command of academic English and the skills to conduct research autonomously.”

Celine Camara, 2012 Graduate, Doctoral candidate (Unilix), and Researcher Max Planck Institute, Luxembourg

Year of Entry: 2016

Applicants must have, or expect to receive in the anticipated year of entry, a good honours degree in law. Exceptionally, non-law graduates with relevant legal experience may be considered. If you are concerned that your qualifications do not meet our normal expectation then please contact us.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 6.0
Reading 6.0
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2016/17
Scottish and EU students £5,500 per year of study
Rest of UK students £5,500 per year of study
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants
Fee statusFees for students starting 2017/18
Scottish and EU students £5,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £5,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £14,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate (UKPASS) website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the How to Apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

  Degree Course Code
Apply NowComparative & European Private International Law LLMP044672

Course Contact

Ms Aude Fiorini
Dundee Law School
+44 (0)1382 384601