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 legal concerns facing the world. 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:
Environment and Law of the Sea
The Environment and Law of the Sea track will teach you significant knowledge of and insight into international environmental law and the 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.
Judged as a top-rated programme in the Netherlands
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2018 ranked Utrecht University’s Public International Law as a top-rated master's programme in its field in the Netherlands.
Multidimensional Teaching and Research
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 and 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.
Active, Self-Designed Learning
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 lecturers 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 of 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, we offer the LLM's Honours Programme which is an additional honours programme for the best and most highly motivated students.
Specific Knowledge, Broad Perspectives
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 the 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.
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
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).
An attorney specialising in the area of international public law.
Application date: 1-October-2020
Deadlines: 1-April-2021 (non-EU)/ 1-June-2021 (EU/EEA)
Start date: 1-September-2021
Tuition fee (2021-2022)
Full-time EU/EEA, Surinam or Swiss students: € 2168
International students: €17,280
Notes for British applicants:
Utrecht University is not yet sure which implications Brexit will have on the tuition fees and visa requirements for British Citizens. Any updates and information you can find on this website