Corporate Social Responsibility (LLM)



As traditional forms of legal regulation through company law or trade law fail, the concept of corporate social responsibility has gained in relevance. With corporate social responsibility becoming highly topical over the past decade, the general public is increasingly aware of companies' responsibilities to their stakeholders. This results in pressure on companies to ensure that their products and services - whether in the food and drink, oil, chemical, technology, financial, retail or hospitality industries - are made, managed, sourced and delivered responsibly, fairly, ethically and in accordance with human rights standards.

The LLM in Corporate Social Responsibility at the University of Stirling offers a distinctive multi-disciplinary approach to corporate responsibility by combining perspectives from law, business, management, history and philosophy. The programme draws on the expertise of staff within the Law School and Stirling's Business and Management Schools. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with the origins of the debate surrounding corporate social responsibility and will have gained an in-depth understanding of current developments in the area, as well as clarity on how businesses operate in society. 

Key information

  • Degree type: LLM
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
  • Duration: One year, full time; 27 months part time
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Ioana Cismas

Dr Ioana Cismas University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland UK
+44 (0) 1786 467282

View fees and finance
  1. You will benefit from a unique, multi-disciplinary learning and teaching approach.
  2. You will be taught by experienced, committed and supportive academic staff.
  3. You will gain in-depth knowledge of an increasingly topical area and stay ahead of the crowd in doing so!
  4. You will benefit from our programme’s clear and consistent focus on employability and market needs.
  5. You will have significant freedom in tailoring the programme to your individual needs through the option of doing a work-based dissertation project.

Course objectives

The purpose of this course is:

  • To introduce students to the topic of corporate social responsibility and to develop students’ understanding and awareness of contemporary issues in the area.
  • To provide a rigorous and intellectually challenging training at an advanced level in corporate social responsibility issues as preparation for, or as an enhancement to, a career in this area
  • To develop problem-solving skills to Master's level by means of legal problems which require the use and understanding of core legal rules and principles
  • To develop independent critical legal thought and legal research and writing skills to LLM level through the preparation and presentation of written arguments

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The taught component of the course facilitates staged intellectual progress in key areas relevant to corporate social responsibility. This stage consists of six modules which are taken over two semesters. The modules provide in-depth insights into current developments in corporate social responsibility in various areas of law, business and management. In addition, students are able to develop the relevant practical skills necessary for information retrieval and utilisation, and data collection and analysis in a dedicated legal research methods module.

The culmination of the course is the 10,000-word dissertation which can be completed as a work-based dissertation project in collaboration with external organisations. 

Delivery and assessment

Modules are delivered by small group learning and teaching which provides opportunity for interaction with student peers and staff, and supports the development of communication skills through discussion and presentation of key issues.

Students are encouraged and expected to undertake independent study and to read widely from a variety of sources.  The necessity of independent study culminates in the dissertation written in the summer.  This piece of work provides students with opportunity to produce independent research in their chosen area, and showcase the acquired knowledge and skills.

Modules are assessed typically by a combination of coursework and examination with the weighting varying dependent on the nature of the material taught.  An integrated assessment strategy is adopted.

Students must pass all six modules and achieve a pass grade in the dissertation to be awarded the Master's of Law (LLM).


Academic Year 2015/16


One of:

  • HRMP003 - Responsible Business in a Global Economy
  • IBUP002 - Managing Across Cultures



One of:

  • IBUP003 - Business in Europe and the Competing Economies
  • ICCPP23 - Politics and Law of Global Policy Spaces


  • LAWPPLD - Dissertation

Recommended reading

Students wishing to familiarise themselves with the topic may like to read one or more of the following texts:

  • A. Crane et al. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility, 2009, Oxford: OUP
  • D. McBarnett, A. Voiculescu and T. Campbell (eds.), The New Corporate Accountability, 2009, Cambridge: CUP
  • P. Muchlinski, Multinational Enterprises and the Law, 2nd ed., 2007, Oxford: OUP

Please contact the School for more information on a detailed timetable and reading lists.

Modes of study

Full-time, over one year or 27 months part-time.

Study method

Full-time, part-time

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

Full Time


LAWPPRC - Regulating CSR I 

TUE, 16:00 – 18:00


LAWPP18 - Investment Law 

TUE, 9:00 – 11:00


One of:

  • HRMP003 - Responsible Business in a Global Economy  

 WED, 10:00 - 13:00

  • IBUP002 - Managing Across Cultures

 TUE, 11:00 – 13:00


LAWPPSR - Regulating CSR II

THUR, 14:00-16:00


One of:

  • IBUP003 - Business in Europe & the Competing Economies  

 TUE, 11:00 – 13:00


  • ICCPP23 - Politics and Law of Global Policy Spaces


ARTPP02 - Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities

WED, 11:00-12:30


Dissertation (60)

Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Our staff

The academics involved in teaching the degree are renowned for international and world leading research in their subject areas.  Their work is well represented in national and international journals, at academic conferences around the world and in the media.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Skills you can develop through this course

On completion of the module, students will have:

  • Developed an understanding of the key areas of corporate social responsibility and underlying policy issues, including knowledge of relevant national and international laws and legal frameworks
  • Analysed and evaluated current policy and law and the different approaches to legal analysis
  • Developed skills to solve legal problems
  • Carried out independent legal research to a high level
  • Demonstrated an ability to present effective and structured arguments in writing
  • Demonstrated an ability to present arguments effectively in oral presentations
  • Developed the ability to work independently and meet deadlines

Chances to expand your horizons

A programme of workshop and talks are available to postgraduate students to help develop their skills and employment prospects.

Where do our graduates go?

An LLM prepares our graduates for many destinations. Those who wish to continue in academia may proceed on to a PhD, while others will be well placed to take up careers in law, business, finance, banking and international organisations. Corporate Social Responsibility is increasingly important for those wishing to pursue a career in law and/or business. Corporate lawyers are often required to advise their business clients on their widening legal liabilities and their responsibilities towards stakeholders other than shareholders; lawyers for non-governmental organisations, employees organisations or governmental bodies are required to be aware of the growing number of legal tools which can be used to hold international companies to account; and, business managers need to be increasingly astute to their companies’ responsibilities towards the communities within which they operate if they are to avoid liability. An LLM in Corporate Social Responsibility thus prepares graduates for a wide range of careers.  


An LLM prepares our graduates for many destinations. In a world of globalisation and international trade, your knowledge of how businesses are governed internally and through law will set you apart from the crowd. Whether you’re interested in developing a career in Europe or working for one of the many international companies with offices in Scotland and the UK, this is the course for you.

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).



2016/17 Overseas £13,950
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100
2015/16 Overseas £13,500
2015/16 Home/EU £6,000

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Scholarships & funding

The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Master's course or £1,000 for part-time study. Further information on the scholarships is available here.

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