Why in Utrecht

Utrecht University has a long tradition of teaching and research in Public International Law. This Master’s programme reflects the Law School’s multi-dimensional approach to legal teaching. The two tracks in this programme Environment and Law of the Sea and Human Rights allow students to acquire both the broad overview and skills of a generalist and the in-depth knowledge of a specialist.

Our lecturers have a unique hands-on approach, helping students to get the most out of themselves.
 Prof. dr. Cedric Ryngaert
Professor of Public International Law and Programme Director

What does this Master entail?

During your studies, you will: 

  • Craft your own study path by customising your programme through a specialisation or a minor and selecting different modules offered within Capita Selecta.
  • Deepen your knowledge in a current legal topic through Capita Selecta modules and in your own specialisation.
  • Develop your practical argumentation skills in Moot Court courses that are unique in the Netherlands.
  • Examine real-life cases from pending legal proceedings of the International Court of Justice and other international dispute settlement mechanisms.
  • Take advantage of the cutting-edge public international law research emerging from the Utrecht University School of Law, in particular from the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS), the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (SIM) and the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL).
  • Receive focussed training in conducting research and writing your thesis.
  • Build a strong position in the job market based on your specific skills and chosen specialisation.
  • Participate in small-scale classes, meaning more interaction time with lecturers and other students.
  • Learn about professional practice through guest lectures by practitioners, visits to international institutions, moot courts and other activities that are unique to studying law in the Netherlands.
  • Take part in a Master that is distinguished by its close connections with international courts (notably the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the Yugoslavia Tribunal) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Potentially challenge yourself further by participating in the LLM’s Honours Programme.
Benieuwd naar morgen

What about tomorrow?

Law touches everything. It is in constant motion, changing even as it sets off changes in the world. Every day, lawyers are focused on discovering answers to completely new questions. Working with others, they are building tomorrow’s society today. “What about tomorrow?” is the question that guides our teaching and research activities. The Utrecht University School of Law plays an active and significant role in innovative, multi-dimensional legal research that contributes to on-going solutions for important societal issues. Through challenging academic programmes, we train our students to become excellent lawyers who can take the lead in creating just societal changes.

Our human rights track offers you the perfect opportunity to delve into today’s human rights challenges.
Antoine Buyse
Professor of Human Rights

A leading university

Established in 1636, the Utrecht University School of Law is one of the oldest and most beautiful law schools in the Netherlands. Today, our historic faculty buildings provide a supportive and inspiring work environment to around 500 lecturers and almost 4,000 students. Many of our alumni have gone on to hold prestigious positions with companies and institutions around the world.

​Based on the internationally recognised Shanghai Ranking, Utrecht is ranked the best research university in the Netherlands in 2019. Utrecht University has been the best ranking Dutch university since the first ARWU ranking published in 2003. This year, Utrecht University is ranked 13th in Europe and 49th worldwide. According to the World University Rankings 2019 by subject law, Utrecht University School of Law occupies the 33rd place. Moreover, Utrecht University works closely with over 80 leading international universities and is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The LERU is an association of 22 leading, like-minded European research institutes, collaborating to influence European policy on research, education and innovation.
Nearly four centuries after the School of Law first opened its doors, we are proud that we are still able to maintain our strong reputation as a centre of excellence.

The perfect location

Utrecht is more than just a well-established classical university. It is a vibrant town where Dutch history, a cosmopolitan population and an active student network meet. Every year, students from all over the world come to Utrecht and have the experience of a lifetime. Why not join them?


Active Study Association

Utrecht University hosts a very active study association for international and European Law: Urios. This association has close connections to the master programs Public International Law and European Law, but all students interested in these fields of law are welcome. The activities Urios organises include socials, field trips, symposia, our annual Career Event, but also two study trips: one European and one international trip.