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

This course gives a true Private International Law experience. Divide 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. 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.

Dundee Law School

Dundee Law School is widely recognised as an excellent place to study.  Both the Guardian and Times 2017 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 students for a successful career, at home or abroad.  We offer an induction programme at the start of each semester, to ensure that new students have the necessary understanding of the UK and European legal systems and of what is required of them in a study environment seeking to develop independent learning

We seek to integrate LLM students 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

Students are 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. 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

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.

Students spend one semester at Toulouse and complete 60 credits there to add to their 120 credits at Dundee.

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

Compulsory modules

LW50107 - Masters Dissertation

All students write a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a subject of their choice within the scope of their chosen programme, giving the opportunity for a deeper and more critical examination of a specific topic.  Advice and assistance are given on selecting the topic and on undertaking research and writing, and you will have a member of staff as your supervisor to provide further guidance.  The dissertation is written over the summer, whether you have started the programme in September or January.

Legal Research Skills (LW50108)

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.

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

Optional modules (as approved by Adviser of Studies)

Private International Law of Business Transactions

Module Convenors: Ms Aude Fiorini

This module will give students an understanding of the core issues relevant to international contractual litigation in a European and international context. This module will address both issues of jurisdiction (where cross-border contractual cases may be litigated), of choice of law (which law governs an international contract) as well as that of movement of judgments across jurisdictions (the extent to which contractual judgments may be recognised and enforced abroad).

This module will be of interest to students who wish to work in the area of international commercial litigation.

Module Reading List

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.

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.


World Trade Organisation Law

The aim of this module is to examine the regulation of international trade in a global context, with primary reference to the World Trade Organization rules.
The syllabus will evolve in line with new developments. The module will include the following elements:

  • Introduction to international trade law and policy, with particular reference to the development of the multilateral trade agreements that culminated in the WTO.
  • General features of international trade law.
  • Tariffs, quotas and other barriers to market access under WTO law.
  • Antidumping and subsidies under WTO law.
  • Export controls and national security under WTO law.
  • The interaction of intellectual property law and competition policy with WTO law.

International Taxation Law

Module Convenor: Ms. Yvonne Evans, 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.



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 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £6,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £6,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £16,450 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate 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

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