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Public International Law (International and European Law)

Study programme

This Master's programme consists of a core of compulsory courses that ensure an in-depth knowledge of general international law and the development of the skills required for a career in international law. In addition, it allows you to tailor it to your personal interests by enrolling in various elective courses.

Programme structure

The Public International Law track has 4 compulsory courses (24 EC). You also have to take the course Practising International Law, but this course may be replaced with one of the Amsterdam Law Practice courses (6 EC). In addition, you choose 3 elective courses (18 EC). The programme concludes with a thesis of 12 EC.

Students are taught not only in lectures but also in small-group seminars. In these seminars you exchange views and debate solutions to complex legal issues. Lectures and seminars are taught by top researchers and practitioners. Many of them have experience at international institutions, international tribunals, and other public institutions or top law firms.

  • Principles and Foundations of International Law
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  • International Dispute Settlement
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  • International Responsibility
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  • International Law and Justice in Context
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  • Restricted-choice electives: Amsterdam Law Practice
  • Restricted-choice electives
  • Free-choice electives: Extracurricular
  • Master's thesis
UvA Course Catalogue: Public International Law
  • Compulsory courses (24 EC)
  • Experiential education: the Amsterdam Law Practice (6 EC)

    You can choose from different skills courses that are part of the Amsterdam Law Practice, our unique, award winning experiential education. A contemporary way of learning, in which reflection on your own experiences and the development of a professional identity are central. The education programme received for this a Dutch Higher Education Award 2022 for innovative higher education. 

    You will have to choose one of the following courses. Since the moot courts and the Amsterdam Law Clinics are selective courses in which only a few students can participate, you are advised to always also register for the course Practising International Law.

    • International Law Moot Court: Philip C. Jessup (6 EC)
    • Justice Entrepreneurship (6 EC)
    • WTO Moot Court (6 EC)
    • Amsterdam Law Clinics (6 EC)
    • ICC Moot Court (6 EC)
    • Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition (6 EC)
    • International Investment Arbitration Moot (6 EC)
    • Practising International Law (6 EC)
    • Internship (6 EC)

    You can find the specific course information in the Course Catalogue.

  • Three elective courses (18 EC)

    You must choose courses from this list with a total value of 18 EC. An Amsterdam Law Clinic is in principle a Restricted-choice elective: Amsterdam Law Practice course that students can choose instead of the course Practising International Law. Only in exceptional cases, and with permission of the track coordinator, can students be admitted to an Amsterdam Law Clinic as an elective course. Students who wish to enrol, even though they are also enrolled in one of the other Restricted-choice elective: Amsterdam Law Practice courses should contact the track coordinator Dr. R. van Alebeek.

    You can find the specific course information in the Course Catalogue.

  • Master’s thesis (12 EC)

    The Master’s programme is concluded with the writing and presentation of a Master’s thesis.

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 following academic year.

Copyright: FdR
The atmosphere at the university is international, with students from all over the world. You share different perspectives. That really helped to widen my scope. Max van Rij, student Public International Law Read more stories from students
Discover the Master’s Honours programme

Are you looking for more challenge and academic depth? In that case the new Honours programme Academic Excellence track could be interesting for you!


It is also possible to follow the Master's programme Public International Law on a part-time basis; the programme then lasts two years. Most courses, however, are not offered in the evening. For more information, please contact the Education Desk.

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