International law is a dynamic subject which has to respond to real world problems. It directly affects states but is increasingly a matter of concern for public and private international and national organisations and individuals. Given contemporary and future global problems – for example, protecting human rights and security and the conservation of resources – the significance of international law is growing in a multipolar world.
This programme will enhance your understanding and challenge preconceptions of the complex legal and political nature of international law-making and governance and explore the often competing concepts that infuse the subject of international law.
You’ll investigate and apply the theories, principles and rules of international law to novel problems, real-world and hypothetical scenarios, and examine the rules, legal and political bodies such as the Security Council and the International Court of Justice and underlying policies governing international law.
You’ll benefit from the expertise of leading academics in a stimulating research environment. Our research groups include:
This programme includes Global Governance Through Law and International Human Rights Law as compulsory modules, and offers many optional modules in specialised subjects in international law. You’ll critically engage with a rich collection of contemporary themes set against the background of the concerns and activities of states and non-state actors in the international community.
You’ll also examine controversial areas of international law including how human rights laws are developed, how international laws are made and to what extent they are applied, the structure of relevant institutions such as the UN, the development of legal norms and the monitoring of states.
The programme will give you the opportunity to:
If you study with us, you’ll also benefit from our academic skills programme. This 10-week programme runs alongside your taught academic programme, and is specifically designed to meet the needs of home and international students in the School of Law. It allows you to refine and develop the academic and transferable skills to excel during your taught postgraduate programme, as well as prepare for professional roles after graduation.
The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a mixture of related subjects of interest to you.
If you're a part-time student, you’ll take three compulsory modules in your first year and two optional modules. In your second year, you’ll carry out your dissertation and study one or two optional modules.
Teaching is through seminars and lectures in which a high level of student engagement and discussion is expected. You are encouraged to carry out significant advanced levels of independent legal research.
Most modules are assessed by essays. This is usually the most effective method for you to showcase advanced legal research.
Students who have graduated from this degree often choose careers that centre on or involve understanding and applying international law and developing policies at organisational level. Further training is required but many also go on to practise as lawyers or legal advisors.
Our alumni include people working at the EU Commission, at the United Nations, non-governmental organisations and in the government sector.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website
The International Law programme offered at Aberdeen differs from International Commercial Law with Professional Skills and Dissertation within the optional modules you take. There is less emphasis on intellectual property law and commercial business law and more emphasis on International Law in a general sense internationally. You study areas such as family law, human rights, criminal law and humanitarian law plus private laws in many cases within your options so you can potentially specialise within your choices. You also do combine some area of commercial law such as arbitration, energy and environmental law and international trade and finance law which can be applied to individuals and businesses, charities and NGOs plus some level of cultural property law. These could be options if you want to mix your modules a bit within the first and second semester. If you want to get the most from your Master's degree and have a range of specialisms in international private and commercial law this may be an ideal solution due to the range of modules to choose from.
The LLM in International Law offers a range of courses covering both public and private international law. It enables students to undertake advanced legal research and writing in this field and educates students in the analysis of international treaties and case law with an international law dimension.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees:
Find out more from the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
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Our Master’s programme in Public International Law offers you active learning methods in which your own interests, ambitions and aims will guide your learning experiences. Your professors take a supportive role in this self-created, individualised approach to your studies. In the Capita Selecta modules and in your own specialisation, you will be trained in the essential skill of how to quickly deepen your knowledge in a current, specialised legal topic. From the very beginning, you will also take part in research and thesis training that prepares you to write your Master’s thesis, the culmination of your LLM programme. If you have the drive to go the extra mile in your studies, there is – the LLM Honour's Programme – an additional honours programme for the best and most highly motivated students.
The Master in Public International Law provides you with thorough and highly individualised training that will prepare you for a legal career in an international environment. You’ll develop your academic and practical abilities through taking part in moot courts, visiting legal and professional organisations and undertaking research focused on your thesis. You will also learn to reflect critically on current legal dilemmas, both human and environmental, presented by our globalised and interdependent world. Whether you aim to build a career as a diplomat, attorney or policy officer in national government, research scientist, legal advisor in an NGO or governmental organisation, or attorney in the legal department of a multinational corporation business, you will learn to work effectively and ethically in the complex world of public international law. When you graduate from this programme, you will receive an LLM diploma.Our Master’s programme in Public International Law (PIL) at Utrecht University will equip you with a broad range of legal tools to address current global challenges. 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 specialisation 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 specialisation in two tracks:
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 Law School’s multi-dimensional approach to legal teaching: developments in public international law are best seen from a broad perspective. You will develop general precepts pertaining to worldwide concerns and learn to apply these precepts to specific cases.