Skip to main content

International trade law

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

International Trade is a fascinating subject, in essence it deals with the international sale of goods for commercial purposes. International sales involve a complicated network of contracts, namely contracts of sale, carriage, insurance and finance. In this course you will see how trade transactions relate to each other and how they operate in a commercial context in order to prepare you for the realities of international trade disputes. During the course you will discuss and see the legal problems arising in cases where the rights and obligations of the buyer and seller under a sale contract are not consistent with the terms of other interlinked contracts along with other aspects of this exciting area of the law.

Module A: Export sales on English law terms


  • Nature of FOB and CIF contracts
  • Formation of contracts of sale
  • Contractual arrangements for transportation of the goods
  • The seller’s obligations as regards the goods
  • Delivery of the goods
  • Responsibility for loading and discharge operations
  • Passing of property
  • Passing of risk

Module B: Carriage of goods by sea in international trade law


  • The shipping background
  • The Hague-Visby Rules
  • Transfer of the contract of carriage

Module C: Bankers’ letters of credit


  • Documentary credits and the sale contract
  • Documentary credits: fundamental principles
  • Fraud and forgery
  • Stand-by letters of credit and first demand guarantees

Module D: United Nations Sales Convention 1980 (CISG)


  • Scope and application of the Convention
  • General principles of uniformity in the Convention
  • Buyer’s and seller’s duties
  • Avoidance, exemption and remedies for breach


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


It is strongly recommended you complete the modules in order.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Commercial and Corporate Law
  • International Business Law
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • International Dispute Resolution
  • Maritime Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.