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. Our PIL programme has been chosen as the Best Master Programme in the Netherlands in the field of International Law by the highly regarded Dutch Elsevier Guide on the Best Degrees for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). PIL is a flexible programme that offers you many options, both during your study period and in your career possibilities post-graduation.   

In today’s globalised world, public international law addresses complex, challenging issues that touch everyone’s lives. In our PIL programme, you will explore common themes of public international law with the option to take a specialisation in Human Rights or 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’ll develop your argumentation abilities in moot courts, amongst 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. The approach of the faculty’s research, and the PIL programme, is multi-dimensional: 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.
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.

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 guide your programme. 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 the 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 Excellent Master’s Track -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’ll 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’ll 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.

I learned a lot in a relatively short amount of time
Jonathan Herbach


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: LLM
  • Master's degree in: Public International Law
  • Programme: Public International Law
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
1 year
Start of studies:
Tuition fees:
  • Statutory fee - fulltime: € 1,906 (2014-2015) € 1.951 (2015-2016)
  • Institutional fee: € 15,150 (2014-2015) € 15.330 (2015-2016)
Law, Economics and Governance 
Graduate school:
Law, Economics and Governance
  • Arron-Honniball
    A good mix between providing guidance and pushing independence
  • The teaching staff is very accessible and point out possible internships, lectures and study trips