Master of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Master of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Masters Programme International Human Rights And Humanitarian Law (3 x 1 in) (2.5 x 0.75 in)


Our Master’s program is a full-time or part-time course that culminates in the award of Master of Law. (LL.M)

Program Highlights:

The unique program integrates the protection of human rights with rights protection in armed conflicts. It combines traditional international human rights  law with international humanitarian law, providing bith a solid theoretical foundation and practical skills. 

It prepares graduates for taking up career opportunities in policy making, international, public and governmental service, public and private legal practice, work for non-governmental organisations, and academic teaching and research.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive Knowledge: understand the system of protection of the individual spanning both the international law of peace and the international law of armed conflict, including the philosophical, political and historical foundations of that system;
  • Legal Expertise: in-depth knowledge of legally binding international rights and guarantees and their protection and enforcement under various legal remedial regimes;
  • Practical Application: develop practical skills in applying international standards of protection in specific circumstances, in particular in international court proceedings and other institutional procedures, the investigation of facts, or conflict resolution;
  • Research Skills: build skills and procedures in undertaking academic investigation and research including the preparation of reports;
  • Intercultural Communication: enhance communication skills and transfer of knowledge, particularly in relation to (but not limited to) the countries of central, eastern and south-eastern Europe.

Apply for the Master of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for the wintersemester 2024/2025!  


Admission requirements & Applications

Apply for Winter Semester 2024/2025 

The Winter Semester 2024/25 starts on October the 1st, 2024.

  • Early admissions (recommended for students that need visa) deadline for Winter Semester 2024-25 is August 1, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Apply here!
  • Regular admissions deadline for Winter Semester 2024-25 is September 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CET. Apply here!

Application for Summer Semester 2025

The Summer Semester 2025 starts on April the 1st, 2025.

  • Early admissions deadline for Summer Semester 2025 is January 1, 2025, at 11:59 p.m. Apply here!
  • Regular admissions deadline for Summer Semester 2025 is February 15, 2025, at 11:59 p.m. CET. Apply here!



A university degree in law or an equivalent qualification
a certified copy of the degree(s) in German, English or French must be submitted with the application form

Prospective students should have adequate aptitude in English, both spoken and written, to be able to read academic literature, write academic papers, and engage competently in academic discourse; this can be satisfied by:

  • a test result of at least 93 in TOEFL IBT, 180 Cambridge Advanced Certificate (C1) or IELTS grade of at least average 7, but no less than 6,5 for each component; or
  • school education in English of at least four years’ duration; or
  • equivalent evidence, e.g. school education, studies, or professional career in English.

German language proficiency is not required to take part in the programme.

a high level of motivation to participate in the programmeme

  • a statement of motivation must be provided within the application form

at least one year’s practical professional experience

  • this must be demonstrated by submission of an appropriate certificate or other confirmation of a relevant employer or organisation
  • exemptions from this requirement may be granted by the Examinations Committee

the support of two independent referees from two different institutions or organisations

payment of the tuition fees in accordance with the Fees Regulations of the Viadrina European University.

The following documents will be requested to upload

  • a curriculum vitae (CV) (in English; maximum 4 A4 pages)
  • a certified copy of the university degree and transcript. If you obtained a Master's degree, please upload it along with your Bachelor's degree diploma and transcript.
  • proof of competence in the English language (see Admission Requirements for details)
  • written evidence of relevant practical professional experience (one-year minimum or a letter requesting and justifying an exemption), this can be both or a paid and an unpaid (volunteer) position
  • two confidential references from different institutions in English, German, French, Spanish, or Russian. Please insert the email addresses of your referees to the online application. Referees will receive a link, which is used to upload a letter.

Admission documents should be properly scanned and submitted in PDF format. 

Degree awarded

1st semester: Coursework (30 ECTS)

2nd semester: Coursework (30 ECTS)

3rd semester: Internship (15 ECTS) & Mater Thesis (15 ECTS)

Students successfully completing the full three-semester or part-time six semester programme are awarded the academic degree of Master of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (LL.M.) by the Faculty of Law of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder).

1st semester: Coursework (30 ECTS) 

2nd semester: Coursework (30 ECTS) 

Students successfully completing the full-time two semester or part-time four semester programme are awarded the academic degree of Diploma of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law by the Faculty of Law of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder).

1st semester: Coursework (30 ECTS)

Students successfully completing the full-time one semester or part-time four semester programe are awarded the academic degree of Certificate of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law by the Faculty of Law of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). 


Courses consist of both face-to-face and distance-learning elements. Lectures and seminars require personal attendance of the student take place at the European University Viadriana (in April to June in the summer semester, and October to December in the winter semester).

Students are expected to prepare intensively for the lectures and seminars and carry out follow-up work through distance learning.

The coursework semesters are organized in three stages:

  • Phase 1 - week 1 to 10: Lecture Period & First Attempt Exams
  • Phase 2 - week 11 to 22: Online Assignments (First Attempt Essays)
  • Phase 3 - week 23 to 26: Resit Exams & Resit Essays

The coursework can be undertaken both in Winter or in Summer Semester.

Here an overview of the courses each semester:



The internship is intended to provide the opportunity for the practical application of things learnt in the coursework programme. Therefore, it is essentially a period of time be spent with an organisation which has some connection with the focus of the IHL programme. This can cover a wide variety of organisations, both international and national, public or private, including the following types:

  • international or national human rights bodies (for  example, within the UN, or the Council of Europe or other regional human  rights systems)
  • NGOs (for example, amnesty international; Human Rights Watch), whether international or national.
  • organisations concerned with humanitarian issues and aid (for example, UNHCR, Red Cross);
  • bodies dealing with conflict management and international negotiation;
  • police forces or military/defence institutions (depending to some extent on the particular focus of the activities carried out)
  • academic bodies and research institutes focused on  human rights (so long as this involves not simply attending further coursework on the subject but rather involves a practical focus on more specific issues or problems);
  • a public prosecutor's office or a law  firm (with a focus on human rights or related matters); or certain branches of public administration (for example, child welfare or anti-discrimination).

This list is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of the types of areas and activities which should be considered.

Students in the IHL programme need to be very active as early as possible to arrange an internship placement, as this can often take some time to organise. The IHL Academic Board will help students as much as possible to find a placement but the initiative is primarily with the students themselves. The IHL Masters Office will certainly provide a letter of support for any applications to organisations for a placement and give advice generally on internships. The internship placement must be approved by the IHL Academic Board before commencement.

Where an IHL student has already been (or is still) working in a position which would be suitable for an internship, the IHL Office may be able to give credit for this. The determinations of the equivalence will consider the nature of the organisation, the type of work done, the length of time and how long ago the activity occurred. Even voluntary work with a suitable organisation, considered on the same basis, may be regarded as equivalent. The decision on equivalence is made by the IHL Academic Board. Students should apply to the Academic Board and provide full details of the activity including statements by employers or other responsible for the activity concerning the relevant dates, the nature of the activity, responsibilities and any  other useful information.

The minimum period of the internship is 2 months. At the end of the internship the responsible supervisor at the organisation will need to provide a short report and the student will provide a more detailed report of the work done and the experience  gained.

The master thesis is equivalent to 15 ECTS, and shall serve as proof that the candidates are capable of independent academic work in the field covered by the programe and of duly presenting the results of such work. For this purpose, students receive guidance of a lecturer of the programe assigned by the Chair of the Examination Board.

Fees and Scholarships


Enrolment in the programme, attendance, and access to facilities and teaching materials including the internet platform for distance learning is dependent upon full payment of the applicable fee at the latest 3 months before the start of each semester.

The full amount of tuition fees should be paid before the beginning of the study.

Scholarships, stipends, or other forms of financial assistance may be available from external sources. Applicants in financial need are therefore very strongly advised to make their own efforts and inquiries (especially with relevant public institutions, NGOs, foundations, and large private institutions in their own country). The Viadrina is willing to assist applicants to obtain financial support from external sources where it is able to do so, either by providing suggestions or through a letter of support confirming the admission to the programme.


Renata Gorna


Topics: general questions, official documents

Alicia Lainfiesta

Program Coordinator

Topics: Administrative components of the programme

Linda Aguilar

Academic Worker

For mentoring or tutoring sessions click here!

Rieka Trottenberg

Academic Assistant

Topics: Internship & Master Thesis

Aleksandra Kachnik

Student Assistant

Lidia Dabrowska

Student Assistant