For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
International Trade and Investment Law (International and European Law)

Study programme

This programme is devoted to the study of the two core branches of International Economic Law: International Trade Law and International Investment Law.


  • Overview

    The first semester is devoted to learning to operate within the core principles and institutions of international law and international economic law. Students begin by studying the principles and foundations of public international law and of international economic law. After the foundational courses, the first semester proceeds with compulsory courses covering the cardinal rules in two key areas of international economic law: international trade law and international investment law.

    In the second semester, student develop their competences by specializing in either trade law or investment law. Students that specialize in trade law will learn to discuss and operate within the WTO rules that affect national regulatory activity, and will then engage in a practicum course, in which students assume the position of trade lawyers, negotiators and adjudicators within practical settings, such as simulated negotiations and trade disputes. Students that choose the investment law path will first study the procedural rules and principles the govern investment arbitration and will then practice their legal skills within simulated arbitrations in the investment law practicum.

    Students may complete their credits by following both specializations or by choosing to follow two free electives, primarily among the courses taught by the International and European Law Department. Students may apply to participate in the annual WTO Moot Court Team or in the International Investment Arbitration Moot Team. Moot Court participation may be registered as elective courses and is worth 6 EC.

    The course concludes with the submission of a Master's thesis, presented to examiners in a specially convened session.

    In addition to credit activities, a three-day study trip to Geneva-based international economic organizations is planned for the spring (students cover their own expenses). Students also make periodic visits to investment law firms and arbitration bodies located in the Netherlands.

    International trade Law study programme 2019
  • Compulsory courses (24 EC)
    • Principles and Foundations of International Law (9 EC)
    • Principles and Foundations of International Economic Law (3 EC)
    • International Investment Law (6 EC)
    • International Trade Law (6 EC)
  • One core elective (6 EC)

    You must choose one of these two courses:

    • International Investment Arbitration (6 EC)
    • International Trade Law and Domestic Regulation (6 EC)
  • One core elective (6 EC)

    You must choose one of these courses:

    • International Law Moot Court: Philip C. Jessup (6 EC)
    • WTO Moot Court (6 EC)
    • Internship (6 EC)
    • International Investment Law Practicum (6 EC)
    • International Trade Law Practicum (6 EC)
    • Amsterdam Law Clinics (6 EC)
    • International Investment Arbitration Moot (EC)
  • Two free electives (12 EC)
    • International Criminal Tribunals - Procedural Aspects (6 EC)
    • International Criminal Tribunals - Substantive Law (6 EC)
    • International Human Rights Law (6 EC)
    • History and Theory of International Law (6 EC)
    • International Criminal Law (6 EC)
    • International Dispute Settlement (6 EC)
    • International Humanitarian Law (6 EC)
    • International Investment Law (6 EC)
    • EU Foreign Relations Law (6 EC)
    • International Investment Arbitration (6 EC)
    • International Law of Military Operations (6 EC)
    • International Responsibility (6 EC)
    • International Trade Law and Domestic Regulation (6 EC)
    • ACIL Reserach Seminar (6 EC)
    • EU Trade and Investment Law (6 EC)
    • European Human Rights Law (6 EC)
    • International Environment Law (6 EC)
    • EU Regulated Markets (6 EC)
    • Foundations of EU Competition Law (6 EC)
    • International Investment Arbitration (6 EC)
    • Note that International Investment Arbitration (6 EC) and International Trade Law and Domestic Regulation (6 EC) can be taken at the same time, one as a core elective, the other as a free elective.
  • Free-choice electives: Extracurricular (0 EC)

    The 6 EC for Legal English do not count for the 60 mandatory EC's of this master, but are extracurricular.

    • Legal English (6 EC)
    • EU Law Paper (4 EC)
    • Study trip to Geneva-based international organisations and law firms in the spring (0 EC)
  • Master’s thesis (12 EC)

    The Master’s programme is concluded with the writing and presentation of a Master’s thesis. At the end of Semester 1, students register for their theses and provide an outline of their ideas for a thesis topic. On the basis of this outline, students will be allocated supervisors by the Track Coordination. At the beginning of Semester 2, students draft a research project, which can be revised in light of comments from their supervisor, and submit it for Faculty approval.

    Following approval, students engage in deep research and write a 12,000-13,000 word thesis examining a specific topic of international trade or investment law. A thesis concerning a legal topic outside the scope of the track requires the approval of the supervisor.

    In mid-June, students submit a ‘pre-final’ version of their thesis, to be presented and discussed in a specially scheduled session with their supervisor and a second examiner. Following the supervisor's and the second examiner's comments, the finalized thesis must be submitted for final evaluation in late July.

  • Part-time programme

    The part-time programme allows students to complete the International Trade and Investment Law programme within two academic years. Students are advised to start with Principles and Foundations of International Law or Principles and Foundations of International Economic Law, and subsequently take one compulsory course and one core elective plus one free elective in the first year of studies. In the second year they may then follow the remaining compulsory courses, take the remaining core elective and another free elective (for a total of 48 EC) and complete the 60 EC  required to obtain the degree by completing their thesis trajectory.

The information on this website is valid for the current academic year and may change for next year. In May the course catalogue is updated for the next academic year.

Amsterdam Law Practice

Our experiential learning method inspires and motivates students to do research and increase their knowledge. At the Amsterdam Law Practice students learn by doing, and connect with society at large by working with fellow students towards the solution of social problems. As a part of the Amsterdam Law Practice, students may apply for participation in moot courts dealing with WTO or investment arbitration. A three-day study trip to Geneva is planned for the Spring (at students’ own expense).

Moot court participation

Nothing says ‘practical training’ for future international lawyers like moot court competitions. Every year, students have a chance to participate in various competitions. Teams get solid preparation with lecturers and professors before travelling to moot courts all over Europe. The UvA will cover all expenditures related to participation, including registration fees and travel expenses.

The ELSA Moot Court Competition is a simulated hearing of the World Trade Organization dispute settlement system and is open to teams from around the globe. It is a great opportunity to gain a rewarding experience and make invaluable professional contacts with high-profile, international legal experts.

WTO Moot Court Competition
The John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition.

Law Clinic

The Amsterdam Law Practice also offers both Dutch and international students the unique opportunity to combine the theory and practice of international law by working at the Amsterdam International Law Clinic (AILC). Working on cases with staff and fellow students during the course of the semester, you will give legal advice to the clients of the clinic while earning ECTS credits towards your degree programme.

More information

Read more about the thesis track. Once enrolled, students will have access to the Canvas webpage for the thesis track, through which they must submit all final forms and proposals, as well as the pre-final and final versions of the thesis.