LLM (Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict)—
full-time and part-time

College of Business, Public Policy, & Law

Course overview

This programme is offered at the Irish Centre for Human Rights within the School of Law. This Centre is one of the world’s premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. This programme aims to prepare graduates for work in the field of international peace support operations, with international organisations, non-governmental organisations and as individual advocates.

Key facts

Entry requirements

Applicants must normally have attained at primary degree level a result of Second Class Honours Grade 1 or equivalent. However, those falling short of this standard may be considered where they can demonstrate other appropriate academic accomplishments as well as relevant work experience. Also, candidates who have completed a military command and staff course or its equivalent at an institute recognised by NUI Galway and who have relevant professional experience, that, in the opinion of the School of Law, qualifies them to read for the LLM may also be considered. Candidates who have significant experience in the field of peace operations and/or international human rights, for example, with international organisations or international non-governmental organisations, are encouraged to apply under this rubric.

Duration: 1 year, full-time
2 years, part-time

Next start date: September 2016

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 12

Closing date: Please refer to the Closing dates/Offer Rounds website.

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

The programme draws upon the resources of the LLM in International Human Rights Law, with the addition of specialised courses on peacekeeping. The course work begins with a general introduction to international peacekeeping and peace support operations, and continues with a series of specialized courses in such areas as international relations and international organizations, international humanitarian law, refugee law, conflict and post conflict studies, and international criminal law.

The programme recognizes the experience of candidates who have participated in peacekeeping activities in various parts of the world. Thus the programme provides credit for a full semester course (15 credits) in exchange for submission of a written assignment of appropriate length, reviewing field experience and lessons learned. A list of courses can be found here.

The programme may also recognize and credit a peacekeeping course of appropriate duration delivered at a Centre/Institute recognized by the NUI Galway. However, in order to allow for consistent evaluation, a written paper of appropriate length must be submitted. The maximum credits permitted in the case of any candidate in recognition of field experience or course work completed elsewhere are 15.

Alternatively, the programme is a two-year programme of part-time study, combining two semesters of course work the first year with a third semester the second year, devoted entirely to the research required for preparation of a final dissertation.

Obligatory subjects are: International Peace Support Operations, International Humanitarian Law, Introduction to Human Rights Law and the dissertation.

Courses each year are subject to change, but may include the following:

  • Peace Support Operations 
  • International Humanitarian Law 
  • African and Inter-American Regional Systems of Protecting Human Rights 
  • Business and Human Rights 
  • Children's Rights 
  • Conflict and Post-Conflict  
  • Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights 
  • Economic, Social & Cultural Rights 
  • European Convention on Human Rights 
  • European Union and Human Rights 
  • Genocide 
  • How to Argue with an Economist 
  • International Criminal Law 
  • International Criminal Procedure 
  • International Refugee Law 
  • Introduction to Human Rights Law 
  • Minority Rights 
  • Public International Law 
  • Procedure before International Criminal Courts 
  • Right to Development 
  • Transitional Justice
  • Women's Rights

Applications and selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who teaches this course?

Professor William A. Schabas (Part Time)
Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh
Dr. Shane Darcy
Prof. Ray Murphy
Dr. Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko
Dr. Noelle Higgins
Dr. Karen da Costa

In addition, every year we have a number of courses taught by adjunct and visiting lecturers.

Requirements and assessment

Assessment for individual modules includes a combination of essays, presentations, group work, and other methods. Students must also complete a research thesis/dissertation of 20,000 words.

Find out more

Prof. Ray Murphy
T: +353 91 493081
E: ray.murphy@nuigalway.ie


PAC code

GYL02, full-time
GYL03, part-time

Fees for this course

EU (Total): €6,015 p.a. 2015/16
 - Tuition: €5,791 p.a. 2015/16
 - Student levy: €224 p.a. 2015/16
Non-EU (Total): €13,250 p.a. 2015/16

EU Full time programme:  €6,015 p.a.; EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Graduate profile

Sinead Coakley
Sinead Coakley
LLM Peace Support Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict

"Having an undergraduate degree in Law from the UK, I decided to further my education. The Irish Centre for
Human Rights at NUI Galway has an excellent international reputation in the field of Human Rights, so it was an
easy choice to decide to study the LLM in Peace Support Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict. I find the
course to be challenging, highly interesting and rewarding. I am thoroughly enjoying the academic and cultural
experience, having embraced the opportunity to make new friends from all over the world. I would recommend
the Masters Programme to anyone."

Current students

Peter Gallagher
Peter Gallagher

LLM Peace Support Operations

"As a postgraduate student you will spend much of your time researching and writing. You get an opportunity to prove that you can research a topic and present your analysis. I chose NUI Galway because of its excellent learning environment, its resources and “postgraduate community”, and its student-friendly atmosphere."

Declan O'Brien
LLM Peace Support Operations

"I came to do the LLM in Peace Support Operations primarily because it was clear, from various discussions with various people, that the ICHR had a reputation that was second to none, and because the course description seemed to be a mix of subjects that were exactly what interested me, and others that I knew little about but that seemed interesting. I was also attracted to the fact that all the staff at the centre were all such well- established names, if not leaders in their fields, and as I am planning on applying for a cadetship in the Officer training school of the Irish Army and getting some first-hand Peace Support experience, the fact that the head of the course was ex-army was another plus. Although I am certain this is what I want to do in the immediate future, I would also like to work in conflict resolution and perhaps with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations at a later point in life.

So far the program has been fascinating and the mix of students with varied backgrounds and lecturers with a huge amount of experience has been fantastic. The extra lectures, talks, and meetings of different kinds that the ICHR itself has been organizing has also proved to be a significant addition to the in-class material."