Postgraduate taught 

International Commercial Law LLM

International Financial Regulation LAW5042

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The course is concerned with the structure and nature of financial markets and the regulatory and legal controls that govern the operation of markets and financial intermediaries including banks and banking (commercial banks and investment banks) as well as securities firms, insurance undertakings and other more specialist types of service provider and mixed or complex groups (financial conglomerates). Financial institutions carry out a number of essential functions without which no economy or society could operate although these activities necessarily generate risk and exposure that has to be managed. Particular difficulties arise in modern markets with complex forms of internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) exposures. The specific regulatory systems that apply at the international, European and UK levels are examined in detail to understand how all of these exposures are contained especially following recent major crises in the markets including the global financial crisis and Coronavirus crisis. This is essentially a public law and risk and regulation course and studies the activities of central banks, regulatory authorities and other public bodies in the financial area and how banks and other financial institutions comply with the requirements imposed.


10 x 2 hour seminars in semester 1.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed by an essay of 1500 words (25%) and a 2 hour final examination (75%).

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The aim of the course is to provide students with a detailed and critical understanding of the fundamental principles governing the regulation of financial markets. The structure and operation of banking and financial markets are explained and relevant risks identified. The circumstances surrounding the global financial crisis beginning in 2007-2008 are explained followed by an examination of the impact on financial markets of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in 2020. Relevant regulatory lessons and reforms are identified. The course examines the nature of the regulatory systems applied at the International, European and UK and US levels in further detail. The extent to which a meaningful and effective new regulatory agenda in each of these areas has been constructed is assessed.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of:


1. The role and function of financial markets and the principal risks and exposures that may arise;

2. Different types of internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) risk;

3. The impact of major crises on financial market structures and operations;

4. The specific nature of the regulatory structures adopted at the International, European, and UK levels;

5. The effectiveness of the reforms adopted in each of these areas in recent years and the nature of any current debates or proposals for reform

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.