Course Overview

The LLM in Peace Operations, Humanitarian Law and Conflict provides students with a comprehensive insight into global frameworks of international humanitarian law and human rights protection with the addition of a peacekeeping specialisation. This interdisciplinary programme focuses on UN peacekeeping and related operations to provide insights into the peace operations and conflict resolution frameworks.

This unique programme offering combines issues relating to peacekeeping, international humanitarian law, human rights and conflict resolution to prepare graduates for work in the field of international peace operations with international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and as individual advocates.

Course Highlights:

  • The Irish Centre for Human Rights is one the world’s premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights.  
  • Defence Force experience is recognised. Those who have participated in peacekeeping activities can obtain credit for a full semester course (15 credits) on submission of a written assignment reviewing field experience and evaluating lessons learned.  
  • Expert lecturers deliver programme modules.  Our academics are internationally recognised scholars with world-class expertise and reputations. 
  • Field trips to the military barracks of the Irish Defence Forces and the opportunity to travel to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
  • Unique qualification on conflict, peacekeeping and human rights through specialised modules such as peace support operations and international human rights.
  • Seminars, conferences and workshops ensures engagement with world-leading practitioners and scholars in the field of peacekeeping and human rights law.
  • Career Support with assistance in seeking career opportunities by drawing on the expertise of a global network of alumni and an outstanding network of contacts.
  • Assessment is primarily through research papers, presentations and minor thesis rather than exams.

LLM Welcome

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

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 15,000 words.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

  • Applicants must normally have attained at primary degree level an overall final grade of Second Class Honours Grade 1 (2.1) or equivalent. Those falling short of this standard may be considered where they can demonstrate other appropriate academic accomplishments as well as relevant work experience.
  • Candidates who have completed a military command and staff course, or equivalent, at an institute recognised by NUI Galway and who have relevant professional experience 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.
  • International students should refer to the country-specific information section of the International Office website.

Additional Requirements


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

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

 Please view the offer rounds website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

1ML15, full-time; 1ML16, part-time

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 and the dissertation. A full list of modules is available at: 

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

  • Peace Support Operations
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • Business and Human Rights
  • Children's Rights
  • Conflict and Post-Conflict
  • Contemporary Issues in International Migration Law and Transnational Lawyering  
  • Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights
  • Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
  • European Convention on Human Rights
  • European Union and Human Rights
  • 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

Module details for the full-time course

Module details for the part-time course

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have gone on to work with the UN, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the EU.  Others are working with NGOs in conflict and post-conflict environments, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan and Kosovo.

 Military and police personnel from Ireland and elsewhere have completed the programme with a view to enhancing their career prospects.  The programme will also provide a foundation for those who wish to pursue further studies through a structured PhD.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Students are advised and encouraged to undertake internships with organisations around the world. There may be some financial support for students undertaking internships abroad.

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,516 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€7,376 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€16,916 p.a. 2021/22

Find out More

Professor Ray Murphy (Programme Director)
T: +353 91 493 081

Queries about this and other LLM programmes in the School of Law can also be directed to

What Our Students Say


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.

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.


  • School of Law Postgraduate Prospectus

    School of Law Postgraduate Prospectus PDF (4 MB)

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)