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. The LLM in International Criminal Law (ICL) will provide students with an advanced understanding of the history and institutional structures of the various international criminal tribunals and the International Criminal Court. It will equip students with an in-depth knowledge of the principles of international criminal law and its component crimes and procedural issues, while also allowing them to develop a critical approach to the relationship between other accountability mechanisms, such as truth commissions.

Students are introduced to experts working in the area of international criminal law through seminars, guest lectures, the summer school on the ICC and the annual study trip to the Hague. Distinguished visitors to the Centre for Human Rights have included Judge Carmel Agius, Senator Robert Badinter, Judge Maureen Harding Clark, Richard Goldstone, President Philippe Kirsch, Judge Theodor Meron, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Judge Navanethem Pillay and Judge Kimberly Prost.


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.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Candidates must be approved by the Faculty of Law. They should preferably hold a law degree or an interdisciplinary degree which includes a substantial law component and in which they have attained a minimum Second Class Honours Grade 1 standard or its equivalent.

Additional Requirements


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

Next start date

September 2016

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

Next start date

September 2016

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting




PAC code

GYL06, full-time GYL07, part-time

Course Outline

The LL.M. in International Criminal Law is typically a one-year Masters programme that involves two semesters of courses and the preparation of a dissertation, although it is also available on a part-time basis over two years. The degree of Master of Law in International Criminal Law is awarded by the Faculty of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

The two-year programme comprises 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.

The Introduction to International Criminal Law and the dissertation are compulsory. International Humanitarian Law and Procedure before International Criminal Courts and Transitional Justice are also recommended for ICL students.

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

  • 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 Humanitarian Law (Term I) 
  • International Humanitarian Law (Term II) 
  • International Refugee Law 
  • Introduction to Human Rights Law 
  • Minority Rights 
  • Peace Support Operations 
  • Public International Law 
  • Procedure before International Criminal Courts 
  • Right to Development 
  • Transitional Justice
  • Women's Rights

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Students who have undertaken and successfully completed the programme tend to fall into one of four categories: (1) those who work within UN or UN-affliated organisations; (2) those who work in NGOs and quasi-NGOs both human rights and development; (3) those who work in academic institutions or pursue a PhD/JD; (4) those who work in diplomatic or government-based work (in the human rights division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, for example). Underneath these umbrella categories, students have pursued work in the ICC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ICRC, the UN system (Geneva and NYC), locally-based NGOs, trade and health organisations, domestic law firm work that draws on international legal mechanisms, and research-based work in university research centres, to name but a few. The main and sub categories are by no means exhaustive, but give a flavour of the different fields that students have pursued.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,015 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,791 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2015/16

EU Full time programme:  €6,015 p.a.  (GYL06); EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a. (GYL07)

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.

Find out More

Dr. Ekaterina Yahyaoui
T: +353 91 492 065

What Our Students Say


Sharon Walker |   LLM International Criminal Law Graduate

I chose NUI Galway because of its academic profile, the facilities and the location (Galway is a vibrant, beautiful city). Also, the Irish Centre for Human Rights is internationally acclaimed for its work and staff and attracts some very high profile guest lecturers and speakers. The Centre provides a small community of dedicated researchers who are extremely approachable, helpful and welcoming. The LLM is challenging and interesting—the lecturers are encouraging and motivating, and the degree of autonomy allows you to pursue topics of individual interest and develop new ideas and theories with excellent academic support. The classes were very small and the “round-table” discussion format allowed everyone to be included. No opinions were disregarded and staff in my classes knew every student by name. The lecturers were almost always available for an informal chat. I love NUI Galway—small enough to be friendly and large enough to receive critical acclaim on the international stage.