What aspects does the programme cover?

Commercial Contracts and trade financing
After the Research & Writing Skills module, you will study commercial contracts. The start of commercial transactions is often a contract for the purchase of goods or services, but there are also important ancillary contracts, e.g. commercial agency contracts, distribution agreements, licensing or franchising agreements, etc. These agreements are studied in the Commercial Contracts course. The goods or services purchased obviously also need to be paid. In an international setting, payment and security for payment are not always simple. The Trade Finance Law course looks into the legal aspects of these issues.

Risks, insurance, transportation and intellectual property rights
Parties involved in business transactions will often enter into insurance contracts in order to cover their risks and liability. You will learn how these risks can be allocated and how they may be averted or minimized for example through insurance contracts. Also, purchased goods usually need to be transported. You will study contracts of carriage, transport documents and related documents, and the liabilities of the carrier and the shipper. . Finally, manufacturers need to protect their products against unauthorized copying. In the Intellectual Property Rights course you will learn to understand both the business rationale and the legal structure of IPR protection. You will also become familiar also with the practical implications (and possibilities) of the law.

How is the study programme structured?

The programme starts with the 15 ECTS Legal Research and Writing Skills course. During this course, you will learn and practice legal research and reporting your findings in presentations and papers. The topics are chosen so as to already provide you with a first introduction to subjects that will covered in the subsequent courses. Attendance of the meetings is mandatory and successful completion of this course is a precondition to being admitted to the Master Thesis.

The second block is composed of two 5 ECTS courses, i.e. Commercial Contracts and Comparative Insurance Law. The third block is composed of one 10 ECTS course, Trade Finance Law. The fourth block consists of one 5 ECTS course Carriage of Goods and one 5 ECTS elective. The last block consists of one 5 ECTS course, for which you can chose either Intellectual Property Rights or Private International Law, and the Master Thesis.

Does the programme have a special focus?

The specialization International Trade Law distinguishes itself from other LL.M. programmes in business or trade law by its exclusive focus on the commercial law perspective. The courses deal with the way the parties themselves structure their commercial interactions. Company law, regulatory and public law aspects are left aside.

Throughout the Master programme aspects of international trade law are considered from a comparative law perspective. Particular attention is paid to differences in approach and outcome between civil law jurisdictions and common law jurisdictions and by reference to the relevant standards in international trade law.

Based in the port of Rotterdam, this programme educates legal professionals that are to become well versed in international trade law. Due to its position in the centre of a large trade hub the programme is able to offer students many opportunities for exploration of trade in practice by combining the theory that is taught with on-site workshops.


The 2017-2018 programme consists of seven courses and a Master Thesis divided over five terms.








block 1



block 2



block 3



block 4



block 5 



Research & Writing Skills International Trade Law

15 ects






Commercial contracts


5 ects





Comparative insurance law


5 ects





Trade finance law



10 ects




Carriage of goods




5 ects







5 ects




Intellectual property rights

European private international law





5 ects


Master Thesis





10 ects


  • Economic Analysis of European Integration (RB36)
  • European Private International Law (RB22)
  • EU Competition law (RM73)
  • International Economic Law (RM68)
  • International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot (RB68)
  • Law of the Ship (RB12)
  • Maritime Casualties (RB13)

Click here for more information about the courses.

  • The programmes are fixed with compulsory and optional courses spread over four blocks. These optional courses can be chosen from the variety of courses offered in the Erasmus LL.M. Programme of your preference. Subject to the approval of the programme director, you may also take additional courses that interest you, alongside the LL.M. Programme.

  • Both the Postgraduate Master in Arbitration and Business Law as well as International and European Public Law a can be followed on a part-time basis, i.e. one year of full-time study may be spread over two years. In general, lectures will take place during the day.

    In practice, your presence at the university will be required for 2/3 courses (each lasting 2/3 hours) per week. For the first and second year you are free to choose a schedule that is convenient for you. For additional advice, you may consult the assigned programme director in advance.

  • As a rule, exemptions will not be possible. Courses previously taken at Erasmus School of Law, which are part of our Commercial Law and International and European Public Law programme may be used towards completing your degree in these fields.

    Please consult the examination committee about this.

  • No, that is not possible.

  • It is not possible to apply for more LL.M. programmes for the same academic year.

  • In Holland a university bachelor programme (LLB), does not give access to the legal profession. Students should also have a Master (LLM) in order to be able to become a lawyer etc.

    Commercial Law and International and European Public Law are both LL.M. programmes on Master's level, i.e. this is the first type of Master's programmes that Dutch students can join and which they need to get access to the judicial profession.

    Most foreign Bachelor Law degrees do give access to the judicial profession. Business, Corporate and Maritime is a Master's programme on postgraduate level, meaning that students joining this Master should already have access to the judicial profession based on their LL.B.

  • As a participant in the Master's in International and European Public Law and Commercial law you will have several options to choose from.

    As a participant in the Master's in International and European Public Law, you can specialise in 4 directions.

    As a participant in Commercial law, you will be able to specialise in the fields of Commercial and Company law or Maritime and Transport Law.