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What will I learn?

Our Master’s programme in Public International Law (PIL) at Utrecht University will equip you with a broad range of tools to address current legal concerns facing the global population. PIL is a flexible programme that offers you many options, both during your study period and in your career possibilities post-graduation. As an added benefit, the international mix of students in this programme means that you – by working together – will actually offer each other personal "comparative" insights on international law.

Two specialization tracks

​In today’s globalised world, public international law addresses complex, challenging issues that touch everyone’s lives. In the PIL programme, you will explore common themes of public international law with the option to take a specialization in two tracks:

  1. Environment and Law of the Sea
  2. Human Rights

The Environment and Law of the Sea track will teach you significant knowledge of and insight in the international environmental law and law of the sea. The Human Rights track allows you to acquire both the broad overview and skills of a generalist and the in-depth knowledge of a specialist.

You will build relevant and current skills by studying actual cases facing the International Court of Justice and other international dispute settlement institutions. You will develop your argumentation abilities in moot courts, among other training methods and learn to apply your knowledge of the law to real-life situations. This academic, challenging English-taught LLM programme reflects the multidisciplinary research emerging from Utrecht University’s Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance.
Our Master’s programme in Public International Law offers you active learning methods in which your own interests, ambitions and aims will guide your programme. Your professors take a supportive role in this self-created, individualized approach to your studies. In the Capita Selecta modules and in your own specialization, you will be trained in the essential skill of how to quickly deepen your knowledge in a current, specialized legal topic.

The LLM in Public International Law has a strong connection to practice, so it offers you an excellent introduction to the legal profession. Moot courts, visits to legal and professional organisations and guest lecturers from the field provide a concrete vision of what it is like to work in public international law. With the ability to critically reflect on today’s driving legal issues – such as human and environmental rights – you will be well-prepared for a legal career. Graduates from prior years have done well in a range of employment areas, including:

  • Corporate and private law practice
  • National public service as a diplomat or civil servant
  • International courts
  • Consultants for governments, international political organisations and NGOs
  • Academic or legal research

​After finishing your studies, you can work as a:

  • Diplomat, lawyer, or policy officer in national government (for example, as a legal advisor in Foreign Affairs).
  • ​Teacher or researcher/PhD in the field of international public law.
  • Lawyer or policy officer in international government, NGOs, or businesses (for example, legal advisor at Greenpeace).
  • Attorney specializing in the area of international public law.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
€17,078.00 (13,95,261) per year
Start date

Expected September 2022

Venue

Utrecht University

Heidelberglaan 8,

Utrecht Science Park / De Uithof,

Utrecht,

3584, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

MSc Track: Knowledge/ competence in the field of European law and a bachelor degree in Economics or sufficient knowledge of economics including knowledge/competence in the fields of: Microeconomics; Mathematics; Industrial organization and Competition Policy; Corporate Finance; Econometrics or Advanced Statistics. English language requirements: IELTS, Academic Module. Minimum score: 7.0 overall band, at least 6.0 for all components. TOEFL, iBT. Minimum score: 96, at least 23 for writing and 20 for the other sections. Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

For international students

Eligible are graduates in law, this includes everyone who has completed the basic university curriculum in law, and has been awarded a law degree in their home country without necessarily having taken subsequent state or professional examinations which would allow them to practice law or be admitted to the Bar.

Eligible are students with a Liberal Arts Bachelor’s degree with a good basic knowledge of law. This requirement is fulfilled by students who have completed at least 45 ECTS on law courses at an undergraduate or graduate level, including basic courses on public international law and/or European Union law.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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