Course Overview

The LLM in International Criminal Law provides students with an advanced understanding of the history, structures, law and practice of the various international criminal tribunals and the International Criminal Court.

Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of international criminal law, its component crimes, substantive law and key procedures.  Students will also develop an analytical approach to the relationship between other accountability mechanisms, such as truth commissions.

The LLM in International Criminal Law is of interest to those seeking to learn about the growing field of international criminal justice, the role of the International Criminal Court in international affairs and means for holding to account perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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.  
  • Expert Lecturers deliver programme modules. Our academics are internationally recognised scholars with world-class expertise and impact in the field of international criminal law. 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, Judge Navanethem Pillay and Judge Kimberly Prost.
  • Field trip to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.  
  • A summer school on the International Criminal Court is run annually and students have the opportunity to attend.
  • Seminars and workshops are run in collaboration with leading international practitioners in criminal law and human rights.
  • Career Support is provided through professional workshops concentrating on internship opportunities, students CV and interview skills.  Careers in Law Week also provides an opportunity to meet with law professionals across a spectrum of specialisations. 
  • Assessment methods include essays, presentations and a research dissertation, while students also engage in research projects, presentations, group work and moot courts.‌

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

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 15,000 words.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Candidates must be approved by the School of Law. They should preferably hold a Level 8 degree in law 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 2023

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


Course Outline

The LLM in International Criminal Law is typically a one-year master's 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 University of 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 module International Criminal Law and the dissertation are compulsory. The modules International Humanitarian Law and Procedure before International Criminal Courts and Transitional Justice are also recommended for ICL students. A wide range of subject choices is available to students, drawing on the expertise of our full-time staff and prestigious Adjunct faculty. A list of modules is available at:

 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 
  • 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 
  • 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

Module details for the Full Time Course

Module details for the Part Time Course

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Some courses allow you to choose subjects, where related modules are grouped together. Subjects have their own required number of credits, so you must take all that subject's required modules and may also need to obtain the remainder of the subject's total credits by choosing from its available optional modules.
A module you may choose to study.
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Required Core Subject
A subject you must study because it's integral to that course.
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year, so a three-year course will have six semesters in total. For clarity, this page will refer to the first semester of year 2 as 'Semester 3'.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Optional LW561: Mental Health Law and Policy - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW562: Regional Disability Law and Policy - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW558: Legal Capacity Law and Policy - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW556: Law and Policy on Independent Living - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW553: Inclusive Education Law and Policy - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW551: Contemporary Challenges in Disability Law and Policy - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW550: Advocacy and Access to Justice - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW548: Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5105: Contemporary Issues in International Migration Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5106: Economic Social and Cultural Rights - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5107: International Child Rights - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW547: Human Rights Field Work: Law and Practice - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5103: Islam and Human Rights I - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5104: Islam and Human Rights II - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5109: European Migration Law - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5110: International Human Rights Law Clinic - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5111: Business and Human Rights 2 - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5112: Human Rights and Global Governance - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5113: The Common European Asylum System - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5114: International Refugee Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW471: International Humanitarian Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW417: Contemporary Issues in Human Rights II - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5101: International Disability Human Rights Clinic - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW538: Transitional Justice - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW546: Contemporary Issues in Human Rights III - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW530: Procedure Before International Criminal Courts - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW525: Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW439: Advocacy, Activism and Public Interest Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5117: International Human Rights Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5118: Public International Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5119: The Politics of Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5120: European Convention on Human Rights: Law and Politics - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5121: Transnational Lawyering - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5123: International Peace Operations - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW5116: Gender and Human Rights - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW475: Field Experience Assignment - 15 Credits - Semester 1
Optional LW455: Minority Rights - 5 Credits - Semester 1
Required LW5122: International Criminal Law - 10 Credits - Semester 1
Required LW450: Dissertation - 30 Credits - Semester 1

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 the United Nations (UN) or with UN-affiliated organisations;
  2. those who work in NGO 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).

Within these umbrella categories, students have pursued work in the ICC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ICRC, the UN system (Geneva and New York), locally-based NGOs, trade and health organisations, as well as domestic law firm work that draws on international legal mechanisms and research-based work in university research centres, to name but a few.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,660 p.a. 2022/23

Fees: Tuition

€7,520 p.a. 2022/23

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2022/23

Fees: Non EU

€17,240 p.a. 2022/23

Find out More

Professor Shane Darcy 
T: +353 91 493 947

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

What Our Students Say


Alexandre Neuman |   Inter-institutional Relations at the European Commission

I graduated from the LLM (International Criminal Law) at NUI Galway in 2016. In search of international experiences, I began my career with a series of internships in several countries. For six months, I supported an NGO undertaking legal research about the Syrian conflict in the Golan Heights. Then, I spent several months in Nouakchott, Mauritania, managing a project for IOM (International Organisation for Migration). As I have always desired to work for the general interest, I succeeded to join the European Commission through an internship opportunity. Today, I work on home affairs issues (notably migration and Schengen), following the political and technical discussions at EU level and taking part in the decision-making process. Studying international law at NUI Galway gave me the opportunity to meet incredible, passionate people from different cultures and backgrounds. It also allowed me to develop insights into the global legal system, understandings of geopolitical conflicts, and interests in peace-building, international criminal justice, and humanitarian law. In addition, it was particularly fascinating to study and live in this exciting environment.

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.


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