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

A truly comparative experience, dividing your time between Scotland and France, with the opportunity to gain two degrees.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

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. When you graduate, will have the knowledge and skills you need to work in the domain of cross border disputes. You can specialise in commercial or family law aspects of private international law.

Where will I study?

You spend your first semester in Dundee before completing your studies in the historic city of Toulouse. You start in January and complete your 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 if you have already studied private international law at undergraduate level as well as by those who are new to the subject.  If you are new to the subject you will be provided with additional instruction.

Dundee Law School

Dundee Law School is widely recognised as an excellent place to study.  Both the Guardian and Times league tables placed Dundee as the top Law School in Scotland and in the top 10 in the UK, building on particularly strong results in the National Student Survey, which has repeatedly ranked Dundee as first in Scotland. Over the last two national reviews of research, Dundee is the only institution in the UK to have had all of its submissions rated as “internationally excellent” or “world-leading”. 

Our commitment is to provide high-quality instruction, with a focus on practical relevance, to prepare you for a successful career, at home or abroad. We offer an induction programme at the start of each semester, to ensure that you have the necessary understanding of the UK and European legal systems and of what is required of you in a study environment seeking to develop independent learning

We seek to integrate you into the life of the School, with invitations to guest lectures and seminars. We also have an annual reading party in a beautiful country house, where you are joined by staff to work on academic skills and relax with fellow students.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

You will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminar discussions and tutorials. 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. You are given detailed reading lists introducing you to topics and proposing questions to consider during you preparation with a view to promoting critical thinking through interactive class discussions and reliance on the Socratic method.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed through a combination of exams and essays. The courses taught by Law share a common pattern; those in the autumn semester are assessed by exam and those in the second semester by essays. In each case you will be given a chance to practice this style of assessment and given feedback on your performance before the formal assessment.

This pattern ensures that you gain experience of different styles of assessment, testing both breadth and depth of knowledge and developing writing skills in advance of tackling the Dissertation. The Dissertation is assessed wholly on the basis of the final text that is submitted and Legal Research Skills by a combination of a short essay and a presentation.

What you will study

At Dundee, you will take three modules, plus Legal Research Skills and will present a Dissertation (written over the summer). At Toulouse you will take a dozen of core and specialised modules.

You spend one semester at Toulouse and complete 60 credits there to add to your 120 credits at Dundee.

Not every module will be available in every year, depending on staff availability and student demand.

Compulsory modules

Masters Dissertation


  • to promote a deeper and critical understanding of selected areas of law
  • to develop originality of thought and skills of research, analysis, argumentation and expression
  • to build upon and develop the knowledge and skills acquired in the taught masters modules through an extended piece of independent work

Example of content

Independent research on an area of law agreed and supervised by a member of staff.

SCQF Credits


Legal Research Skills


The aim of this module is to introduce you to the key elements of legal research and writing, supporting the acquisition of the (transferable) skills necessary to succeed in the LLM and beyond and in particular providing a sound basis for progress to the dissertation element of the Masters degree.

Examples of content

  • legal research
  • reading critically
  • writing critically
  • writing techniques
  • research methods
  • research ethics
  • presentation skills
  • approaching a dissertation

SCQA credits


Private International Law of Business Transaction


This module aims to provide students with advanced instruction in several key aspects of private international law that are of particular relevance to business transactions in an international context.

Examples of content

The syllabus will evolve in line with new legislative developments. The module may comprise thefollowing elements:

  • resolving international commercial disputes, comparing and contrasting litigation, arbitration & ADR
  • jurisdiction in contractual matters
  • prorogation of jurisdiction (Brussels & Hague)
  • inter-relationship of Brussels Ia and Arbitration
  • choice of law in contract (Brussels & Hague)

SCQF credits

20 credits

Module Reading List

Private International Law (Common Law Perspectives)


The aim of this module is to provide advanced instruction in several key aspects of private international and procedural law that are of particular relevance to civil and commercial litigation in a European and International context.

Examples of content

  • Principles of Jurisdiction –a comparison between English and US traditional rules
  • Principles of Jurisdiction –the doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens in the UK, US & Australia
  • Principles of Jurisdiction –the role of the anti-suit injunction in the UK and the US
  • Common Law Jurisdiction vs CivilianPrinciples of Jurisdiction
  • The Hague Conference Judgments Project

SCQF credits


Module Reading List

Optional modules (as approved by Adviser of Studies)

Credits: 20


To enable students to understand the evolving complex practical issues of international arbitration, in the context of both investment relationships between states and foreign investors as well as those between parties to normal commercial contracts, faced by lawyers as counsel to the parties and as arbitrators and to equip them with the necessary skills on how to handle such issues.

Module leader

Professor Pieter Bekker

Competition Law


This module provides an advanced understanding of modern competition law with primary focus on the law and policy of the EU and UK. It covers the main areas of competition law that students would be most likely to encounter in practice, enforcement, or further legal research.

Examples of content

This module focuses on cartels and restrictive agreements; abuse of a dominant position;and the review of mergers and acquisitions under competition law:

  • introduction to competition law and policy
  • the law relating to horizontal restrictive agreements
  • the law relating to vertical restrictive agreements
  • introduction to competition law and practice relating to abuse of a dominant position
  • merger clearance law

SCQF credits

20 credits

International Taxation Law


To examine critically the law relating to taxation in an international context. The module will look at jurisdiction to tax individuals and businesses, the causes of double taxation and ways in which domestic systems seek to deal with double taxation where activities attracting taxation are carried out over more than one country –namely through double taxation treaties. The module will look at how different countries seek to protect their tax base against tax avoidance.

Examples of content

  • jurisdiction to tax –corporate residence
  • permanent establishment
  • taxation of business profits
  • double tax treaties –interpretation
  • international tax avoidance
  • BEPS and countering international tax avoidance

SCQF credits

20 credits

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 Universite? Paris-Est Cre?teil and Sheffield Hallam Universite? (LLB Mai?trise 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

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 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £7,300 per year of study
Rest of UK students £7,300 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students £7,650 per year of study
Rest of UK students £7,650 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £18,150 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students will increase by no more than 5% per year for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

You apply for this course through our Direct Application System, which is free of charge. You can find out more information about making your application when you click Apply Now below

  Degree Course code
Apply nowComparative & European Private International Law (Dual Qualifying Programme) LLMP044672

Course Contact

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

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