LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Professor Richard Calnan
Other teachers:
Prof Rob Chambers
Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: Block seminar during reading weeks (weeks commencing Monday 4 November 2013 and Monday 17 February 2014)
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: International Commercial Law
Practice Assessment: To be confirmed
Assessment method for LLM students: 6,000 word coursework essay
Module Overview

Module summary

The availability of security is one of the key elements in the provision of finance to companies. This module considers how security is granted by companies and the legal and practical issues which are involved in doing so.

The taking of security is an aspect of the law of property, and the module will therefore consider some of the key principles underlying the creation of property rights, particularly equitable interests. And because security is generally tested when the debtor is insolvent, it considers the way in which insolvency law affects secured transactions, particularly their enforcement.

The module concentrates on English law, but will draw on the experience of the class of other legal systems to discuss the topic in a comparative way. The module will also consider the conflict of laws issues which arise in cross-border financing transactions

Module syllabus

Part 1 (the first week):

  • Security and quasi-security structures.
  • Types of security - pledges, mortgages, charges and floating charges.
  • The creation of security, secured obligations and security trustees.
  • Registration of security.
  • Quasi-security.
  • Guarantees.

Part 2 (the second week)

  • Priorities
  • Enforcement and insolvency.
  • Set-off.
  • Cross-border issues.
  • Reform.

Recommended materials

The main text is Calnan, Taking Security: Law and Practice (3rd edition forthcoming). Other key texts are Beale, Bridge, Gullifer and Lomnica, The Law of Personal Property Security (2nd edition, 2012) and Lingard's Bank Security Documents (4th edition) and Goode's Legal Problems of Credit and Security (4th edition).

Preliminary reading

Because the module will be taught over two weeks, it is essential that students have read the relevant materials before the seminars.

Other information:

All asterisked material on reading lists must be read. All other material should be read where possible, and at least the relevant principles understood.

Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.