Digital Economy LLM

Postgraduate (12 months, 15 months full-time)


January, September

Intermediate award: LLM

Duration: September start 12 months; January start 15 months.


Master the legal and policy issues raised by the Digital Economy. Develop cutting-edge strategic business skills and as well as advanced legal knowledge to become a strategic digital business leader or legal practitioner.

Full description


Transferable skills

Our LLM will help you develop transferable professional skills including logical reasoning, critical analysis, research and independent judgement, along with an understanding of the complex interplay between infrastructure, content, competition, social policy, punishment and trade in the global digital arena, and a greater capacity for legal communication.

These skills will prepare you for international practice and academic research at the highest level, but are also transferable to other roles that focus on the digital and knowledge economies, such as legal / business advisors or researchers with NGOS or private companies, or independent consultancy.

Employability events and opportunities

Volunteer for our Law Clinic and practise your legal skills in a real-life setting. Work alongside local solicitors, providing pro bono advice to people who have limited access to legal resources.

Join our mentoring scheme: partner with a professional from a regional law firm to get first-hand advice and guidance.

Our employability service also organise many focused events, such as careers fairs specifically for law students.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Law in the Global Context
    This module will help you transition from Undergraduate to Masters level study by brushing up on the skills you need as a postgraduate student (effective use of electronic databases, academic writing and referencing) and providing an analytical framework for international trade law that transcends particular jurisdictions to focus on the context in which international business takes place. You’ll examine the need for regulation or international trade and the development of legal frameworks, including organisations like the WTO and the EU, and be expected to demonstrate a systematic and critical awareness of the interrelation of law and business in a global context, as well as advanced scholarship in international trade and business. You’ll be assessed through a group presentation, in which you’ll individually present findings resulting from your personal research. This presentation will be accompanied by a written assignment that will include referencing correctly presented using OSCOLA.
  • Digital Economy
    This module will give you an understanding of the legal structures and the regulation of the Digital Economy, combining an overview of the regulation of modern communications (including telecommunications, information technology, information) with aspects of electronic commercial transactions (jurisdiction, electronic copyright, liability of electronic intermediaries). In particular, you will focus on law relating to electronic privacy with an understanding of what we mean by the Open Society and the Knowledge Economy. You will cover historical perspectives on the UK Digital Economy and the EU emphasis on promoting a borderless trading economy; the current legal and organisational structure of communications control in the UK and Europe; the role of international law impacting on the communications sector (particularly WTO law); UK and European competition law as it impacts the Digital Economy; and aspects of IP law that impact on-line transactions, particularly UK and European copyright law. This module will particularly develop your ability to analyse complex legal issues and identify appropriate solutions to problems. You will also enhance your team working and time management skills as well as your sense of responsibility. You will be supported to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of subject areas, as the Digital Economy is a subject by default exposed to competition, trade, regulation of infrastructure (telecommunications) and content (intellectual property). Your assessment will consist of a 6,000-word essay (100% of mark), but will also include a self-reflective learning log as a formative assessment.
  • Legal Research Methods
    This module will give you a critical understanding of research skills, methods and methodology, including surveys, questionnaires, statistical analysis, and interviews, in addition to bibliographical research methods in law. It will also provide you with an understanding of web learning and the ability to access materials both through the University library and from other sources. Most importantly, you will learn to critically examine alternative research methods and evaluate their effectiveness in the study of International Business Law. Further still, you will have the chance to discuss learning and teaching styles, academic expectations and learning strategies. You will be taught through seminars, library sessions and E-learning, giving you a grounding in the various possible research methods. Your assessment will comprise both a presentation and coursework.
  • Major Research Project (LLMs)
    This module will support you in the preparation and submission of the Master's stage project for the LLM International Business Law, LLM International Commercial Law and LLM Digital Economy. You will be assessed through a maximum 15,000-word final thesis.
  • Intellectual Property Law and Social Media
    The Intellectual Property Law & Social Media module has been designed to provide a learning opportunity for students, some of whom may be new to study in an English university setting. This module is designed to enable you to develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of the major areas of the law of information, intellectual property and social media including key concepts and principles and such detailed rules, as are necessary, to illustrate those broad principles as they apply in particular situations. You will gain a sound knowledge and understanding of the law relating to information, intellectual property and social media, suggest solutions to factual problems and apply this knowledge and understanding to the critical analysis of contemporary business and social issues relating to the law of information, intellectual property and social media. In addition to providing a structured outline and an introductory critique of topics and concepts, seminars will be used to consider research methods, relevant case law and statutory material. Seminar groups will focus on selected topics, cases, journal articles and other materials. Particular emphasis is placed on student discussion, application and evaluation of the law as it operates in business and society. The issue of data portability and data protection under new European Directives will be covered as well as the important concepts of Big Data and Cloud Computing. You will also develop skills in research, problem solving, analysis and application. Assessment will be by online assessment, essay and presentation.

Optional modules (subject to availability)

  • Globalisation and World Trade
    On this module, you will critically analyse the various factors that impinge on globalisation and trade. In doing so, you will develop a specialised knowledge and understanding of the history and theory of globalisation; the regulation of international trade through the World Trade Organization; and the relationship between international trade, harmonisation of the law and related disciplines such as business organisations and international development. Your studies will be divided into five distinct parts: Fundamental Debates Governing Globalization and Trade; WTO Law; Substantive Multilateral Trade Agreements in WTO Law; Contemporary Challenges Confronting WTO Law; Developing Countries and the WTO. With a focus on developing your technical knowledge in the context of the political and social issues surrounding the WTO and international trade, you will be introduced to emerging aspects of trading and engage in wider reading and analysis, including appropriate non-law texts to supplement your legal understanding. This module will deepen your understanding of legal processes, methods and concepts, allowing you to demonstrate your knowledge, analytical skills and understanding through extended writing in a cogent and appropriate style. Your assessment will consist of a 6,000-word assignment (90% of overall mark) and a moot exercise on important WTO cases that you have previously covered, including a presentation of your preparation notes (10%).
  • Competition Law in the International Context
    Knowledge of the legal regulation of competition is a key tool for anyone involved in businesses operating in a global context. This module will help you examine the purposes and theory of competition law and its relationship to economics, including comparison between EU and US anti-trust law. You will consider the extent to which the law operates to regulate the market behaviour of businesses, putting this in the context of the growing internationalisation of competition law. Increasingly, businesses now operate internationally, making cooperation between competition authorities essential, so you will look at a number of case studies with an international dimension. To gain a practical understanding of the framework of competition law and its enforcement, you will examine EU competition law will, which reaches beyond Europe and may act to prohibit activities (such as mergers between undertakings) that take place outside the EU. you will also consider the impact of the law on business practices such as cartels, abuse of a dominant position, distribution agreements, joint ventures and mergers. Your assessment will consist of a 4,800-word written assessment (80%) and a group presentation (20%).
  • Corporate Governance
    This module will introduce you to the political, economic, cultural, social and legal mechanisms that govern the activities of corporations. You will engage in an examination and critical evaluation of corporate governance in a global context, examining its underpinning theories as well as the development and regulation of international governance. Contrasting these with recent business scandals and the different intercultural responses to them, you will also consider the nature, scope and effect of corporate social responsibilities, including environmental. You will learn to resolve ethical problems in the context of governance theory and apply theory to problem-based scenarios, considering the appropriateness of these theories in a business context, as well as undertaking a comparative analysis of approaches being adopted in a number of jurisdictions and reflecting the main schools of thought on corporate governance. Your assessment will comprise written coursework (4,800 words) and a group presentation.
  • Transnational Commercial Law
    As international commerce has developed, more international efforts have increasingly been made towards harmonising the law relating to international commerce. This is done in the belief that harmonisation is more beneficial than reliance on a single national law. Consequently, a number of different types of international instruments have developed, comprising conventions, model laws, legislative guides, codifications of trade usages and practices and restatements of law governing different aspects of international commercial law and practice. This module will develop your understanding of what drives international commercial law and the reasons for harmonisation. You will examine institutions involved in the harmonisation process, as well as the scope of the harmonisation processes and the major problems and policy issues that must be confronted. You will critically evaluate the success of key international instruments, which you may already have studied in other modules (for example the Vienna Sales Convention), and examine them from a perspective of the need, purpose and success or failure of harmonisation of international commercial law. Your assessment will consist of a 6,000-word essay.


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.
All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

You want the benefit of a thriving and highly regarded school where you can develop your skills and confidence for a potentially complex and competitive career. Graduating with this kind of specialist knowledge makes you valuable to employers, confident that you’ve learnt the tools to do the job. You know what it takes to be a professional in your field and we design our courses to get you on the right track, and to get you practicing in a safe environment as soon as possible. With professional accreditation to back up the theory of your degree, you’ll stand out from the crowd of other applicants and be ready for your first graduate job.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Access to legal resources

Cambridge has three courts, all close to ARU’s campus, where you can attend cases relevant to your studies: the Cambridgeshire Magistrates Court, Cambridge Crown Court and Cambridge County and Family Court. The benefits of attending court cases for law students have been outlined in a recent Guardian article.

You can receive access to the University of Cambridge’s world-renowned Squire Law Library, where you will find resources including rare antiquarian legal history materials, a historical Labour Law collection and numerous old editions of prominent legal texts.

Access our own extensive library facilities on-campus, including an online digital library. All our LLM students receive a two-hour session with a dedicated Law School Librarian during Semester One and Semester Two. This will introduce you to research skills, and is carried through into the Research module.

Extracurricular law activities

Join our Law Society and take part in national competitions including mooting and Client Interviewing (won by ARU a record six times), or contribute to our Anglia Law Review. Mooting and Client Interviewing will further develop many of your transferable skills, including teamworking, public speaking, research and analysis, listening and responding, creative thinking and empathy.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


Entry requirements

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