Develop your expertise in the law and practice of international trade finance and payments.

In international sales, it’s not only goods that cross borders – money does too, and through an increasing range of means.

Many international transactions involve large sums of money, which also introduces a higher element of risk.

If you deal in international sales or payment and finance transactions in any way, and want to understand the legal aspects of these, then this course is for you.

With expert guidance, you’ll study areas of international trade finance including:

  • trade risk and risk assessments
  • the legal aspects of a range of international payment and finance methods
  • blockchain and other technology-based payment and finance solutions
  • payment and finance mechanisms such as letters of credit, bank guarantees, factoring and more.

Your teaching team

One of the distinguishing aspects of this course is the broad legal and practical expertise of your teaching team. Members of the team have working experience in international trade finance, including in banks, and in dealing with payments and finance transactions and issues. So you’ll benefit from practical as well as legal insight and focus.

Who can join this international trade finance course?

This course is ideal for lawyers, legal advisors, or foreign trade advisors dealing with international sales transactions or export situations.

But it’s equally a course for non-lawyers. You do not need to have a legal background to join us. If you deal with the operational side of international payments and finance, but would like to gain knowledge in the legal implications of these transactions, this course is an ideal fit for you too.

Build credits towards a Masters degree

This online course is part of:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards any of these postgraduate qualifications.

What you’ll study

In this course, you’ll examine the most common methods of payment and finance in the international sale of goods.

Because this course keeps up with current developments in the field, the particular topics covered will vary from term to term.

The current indicative topics for the course are:

  • trade risks and risk assessment
  • letters of credit
  • demand guarantees
  • international factoring
  • newly developed financing methods, including supply chain finance and invoice trading
  • private international law issues surrounding international payments and finance.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...

  • Explain the need for payment and finance options in the context of the international sale of goods.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with multiple approaches to financing sales transactions.
  • Critically appreciate a range of methods of payment and financing in international trade, including letters of credit, demand guarantees, and blockchain-based solutions.
  • Discuss private international law issues surrounding international payments and finance.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for international law courses

Study with a university that’s home to one of the largest and most internationally experienced teams of legal experts in any UK or European law school.

Over 525 years of excellence

Join a university founded in 1495, where Law has been taught for more than five centuries.

Top 10 UK law school

We’re delighted to be ranked a Top 10 UK Law School by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Earn as you learn

We fit around full-time work, so you can earn qualifications while you keep earning a salary.

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance-learning international trade finance course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can learn with us anywhere, no student visa required, and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at LLM level.

Teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources available, including:

  • videos
  • online tutorials
  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with your tutors and peers
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library and Taylor Law Library.

Your tutors

This course is delivered by our School of Law.

You’ll learn from an internationally experience team of academics with practical experience in the field.

You’ll be assessed entirely online via:

  • your contributions to two discussion boards (each worth 25% of your total course grade)
  • an essay (worth 50% of your total course grade).

The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes. This includes time for independent study, as well as teaching and assessments.

You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.

Activities at fixed times

There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your course coordinator throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

Your teaching team

Dr Burcu Yüksel Ripley – Course Coordinator

Burcu is a Senior Lecturer. She specialises in international trade and finance law, private international law, and digital assets. Burcu is a qualified lawyer, with experience in the legal and practical aspects of international trade finance.  

View Burcu’s profile

Professor Florian Heindler

Florian is an Assistant Professor at Sigmund Freud University, Austria. In addition to his academic position, he is legal counsel to an Austrian bank. Florian has several publications in the fields of private international law, comparative law, and Austrian private law.

View Florian’s profile

Online learning in the School of Law

Advocates share their experiences of working while studying online Law courses with us.

Where this will take you

Towards an LLM

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

LLM in Energy Transition Law

Learn the legal skills you need to consult on energy transition law and policy. Study online with experts in this field and develop your understanding of energy, environmental and climate law.

View LLM Energy Transition Law

LLM in International Trade Law

Develop the knowledge to practise trade law or work for governments, international businesses and NGOs. Join this flexible online LLM you can study part-time, with the option to attend Professional Skills training.

View LLM International Trade Law

LLM in Oil and Gas Law

Our LLM in Oil and Gas Law has been producing outstanding energy lawyers for over a decade. Join the flexible, online version of this LLM and earn your Masters part-time, without taking a career break.

View LLM Oil and Gas Law


By studying the law and practice of international trade finance and payments, you’ll gain in-demand expertise in an area where there are known skills gaps.

With enhanced knowledge of the legal aspects of international payment and finance transactions, you’ll gain significant professional benefit as:

  • a lawyer advising clients on international activity, or
  • if you work in a related capacity in a government department or multinational private company.

This postgraduate course could help you progress in roles within:

  • trading businesses that import and export goods
  • banks and financial institutions
  • corporates
  • export credit agencies
  • legal firms
  • NGOs, and
  • government organisations.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.

But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.

If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a student visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.

Recommended level of English

This course uses our Postgraduate Higher level of English language proficiency.

These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements, and these are minimum scores.

IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI Academic, and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

  • 6.5 overall
  • 5.5 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • 90 overall
  • 17 for listening
  • 21 for reading
  • 20 for speaking
  • 21 for writing
  • TOEFL DI code is 0818

Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency

  • 176 overall
  • 162 for listening and speaking
  • 169 for reading and writing

LanguageCert Academic/LanguageCert Academic SELT

  • 70 overall
  • 60 for listening and speaking
  • 65 for reading and writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken) – Online / In-centre

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

Oxford ELLT Digital – English Language Level Test Online

  • 7.0 overall
  • 5.0 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

PTE Academic (online test not accepted)

  • 62 overall
  • 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing

For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.


We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your studies each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.

Fee payment

Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.

We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.

Ways to save

You may be able to get help funding this course via:

  • discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
  • employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

Learning resources

Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.


You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:1 (upper-second-class) Law degree
  • or relevant work experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

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