Edu type:
Formal education
Multiple locations
Edu level:
Master (EQF 7)
Start date:
Study load:
0 hrs
1 Year
More information


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:
- Environment and Law of the Sea
- 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.

''Our law of the sea teaching is based on cutting-edge research and our experience as practitioners – including as counsel at the ICJ and arbitrations, and as advisors to governments and international organizations''

Prof. Alex Oude Elferink: Professor of International Law of the Sea and track coordinator for Environment and Law of the Sea


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.

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.