Master of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

General Informaion

The Master’s program 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.

The special character of the program lies in its integration of the protection of human rights generally with rights protection in diverse situations of armed conflict. Thus many aspects of the program are directed specifically to providing understanding and insight into the links between tradition international human rights law and international humanitarian law. As well, the program aims not only to provide a solid theoretical understanding of the issues, principles, structures, substantive law and institutions relevant to this topic but also to aid students in acquiring reliable practical skills in the application of their theoretical knowledge.

Particular importance is placed on the development and promotion of the following:

  • comprehensive knowledge of 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;
  • in-depth knowledge of legally binding international rights and guarantees and their protection and enforcement under various legal remedial regimes;
  • 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;
  • skills and procedures in undertaking academic investigation and research including the preparation of reports;
  • intercultural communication and transfer of knowledge, particularly in relation to (but not limited to) the countries of central, eastern and south-eastern Europe.


  • General introduction
  • Civil and political rights
  • Economic, social and cultural rights
  • Prohibition of discrimination
  • Women’s and children’s rights
  • Rights of minorities and indigenous peoples
  • Refugees, internally displaced persons and migration
  • Individual (criminal) responsibility and state responsibility
  • Justice and (criminal) penalties and enforcement
  • Democracy, rule of law and administration
  • Global economy, employment and working conditions
  • Media and science
  • Conflict prevention/management
  • Fulfilment and enforcement
  • Representation of interests
  • Research and training

Lectures and seminars within the presence elements take place in Frankfurt (Oder) based on small-group teaching. Students are expected to prepare intensively for such lectures and seminars and carry out follow-up work through distance learning or library activity so as to consolidate the material dealt with in face-to-face teaching. The distance-learning elements are presented via an internet platform providing for an interactive study.

Students enrolled in the Master’s programme complete a period of practical training and experience relevant to the subject matter. This internship period is conducted within institutions active in the field covered by the Master’s programme or with a direct relation to it. Students are expected to organise their own internships. The Master’s Office provides maximum assistance in arranging internships.

Students write and defend a Master's thesis on an approved topic, supervised by one or more members of the Master’s Faculty or by another expert approved by the Examinations Committee. Students also have the opportunity of participating in research projects conducted by teachers and scholars affiliated with the Master’s programme.

Degree awarded

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).

Students who successfully complete the equivalent of one or two semesters of coursework (respectively 30 and 60 ECTS points) as approved by the Academic Management Committee are awarded respectively either the Certificate or Diploma of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Admission requirements & Applications

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. 

Apply now!




Fees and Scholarships

Tuition fee is € 6.100 for LL.M. Programme (full- and part-time study)

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 fee for the Diploma and Certificate Programmes starting from the summer semester 2021 is € 5.580 and € 2.790 respectively.

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.


Admission Office


Thursday, 11 - 13 h; by phone: Thursday, 14 - 16 h


You can find us in Facebook & Linkedin.