MA in International Law

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1 Year Full-Time / 2 Years Part-Time
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Subject to QQI Validation
Dublin Main Campus
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Course Overview

Interdisciplinary programme exploring global legal systems, theories and socio-economics.

New to the Irish Market, this exciting programme will produce work-ready graduates for a career in the legal and related sectors. The Master of Arts in International Law is designed to progress non-cognate learners’ careers in law.

Why Study an MA in International Law at Griffith College?

The MA in International Law is designed for non-law graduates seeking the skills to produce high-quality traditional and enhanced legal research outputs. Students who apply for this programme will be required to complete a bridging course focusing on introducing learners to international legal systems, the foundations of law and legalese. 

The programme can be studied over 1 year or 2 years and students can choose to study Full-Time, Part-Time or Blended Study.

  • Griffith College’s programme in Master of Arts in International Law offers a specific international focus - a key advantage in today’s globalised legal landscape. Due to the broad range of modules offered, learners may tailor their programmes to suit their interests. 

  • The MA in International Law degree provides learners with the benefit of learner support and personal attention, relevant and well-designed modules taught by experienced academics and professional practitioners, and career support.

  • The small class sizes in postgraduate law programmes allow for more individual attention from lecturers. This fosters a deeper understanding of complex legal concepts and provides opportunities for personalised guidance on your academic journey.
  • The Law Faculty offers a rich variety of extracurricular activities beyond the classroom. This allows you to develop essential skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership, all of which are highly sought after by employers in the legal sector.

Course Highlights

  • To facilitate the advanced study of international legal issues;
  • To permit graduates to develop a career in law which is specialised in international law;
  • To expedite the development of skills required for working in an international, multi-cultural environment
  • To permit graduates to develop the necessary legal knowledge for work in a human rights organisation/NGO or alternatively in a commercial firm.
  • To lay the foundation for further study, most pertinently, PhD, insofar as learners develop a particular interest in an area which they wish to research in even greater depth.

Intake Dates

  • Dublin - Full-Time - September 2024
  • Dublin - Full-Time - February 2025
  • Dublin - Full-Time - September 2025

Course Details

The MA in International Law is studied over one or two calendar years.

If studying over one year, stage 1 comprises two taught semesters where learners complete six taught modules – two mandatory modules and four electives from a choice of 15. All modules in Stage 1 contain 10 ECTS credits. 

On completion of Stage 1, learners are eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in International Law. In stage 2, learners on the MA then complete a semester-based dissertation consisting of 30 ECTS. During the semester learners are in regular contact with their dissertation supervisor.

Semester 1

This is a Mandatory Module

This module aims to introduce learners to the international system of law and international institutions. It explores the origin and function of the international legal system and the role and function of international institutions throughout the world. Learners will be introduced to some of the many challenges facing international law and international institutions in carrying out their mandate, including rogue states, the fragmentation of international law, the institutional legacy of the origins of the United Nations. It will explore growing fields of study such as the accountability of international institutions, and global constitutionalism. Through the content of the module, there will be a focus on theories of international law and of diplomacy. It provides a basis for learners to build their understanding of international law

The module also provides learners with an appreciation of the growth of International Human Rights Law in light of the historical context and a knowledge of the International Human Rights treaties in existence and their operation. Learners develop an understanding of the international enforcement mechanisms currently in place and their relation to domestic human rights. They also develop an appreciation of both civil and political rights and socio-economic and cultural rights and their relation to one another.

Typical international commercial transactions involve numerous contracts over national boundaries. The objective of the module is to make participants familiar with the key contracts and institutions in international commerce. Learners examine private international law (conflict of laws) issues, international contract terms (INCOTERMS), and the Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and UNIDROIT principles as they apply to international contracts. Attention is paid to the role of the WTO as it is considered one of the most important developments in the history of international trade law. GATT is another significant area upon which there is significant focus. 

Semester 2

The primary objective of this module is to impart a critical understanding of the structure, objectives and mechanisms of Corporate Governance, and the legal and other issues affecting systems by which corporations are directed and controlled. The module provides learners with an understanding of the theoretical foundations of Corporate Governance and an ability to distinguish between the main theories, principles, and practices. Learners will develop the ability to (i) identify the key parties and constituents involved in Corporate Governance, (ii) compare their roles, impact, and responsibilities. 

This module is designed to provide a broad overview of the legal and practical aspects underpinning International Commercial Arbitration. The objective of any arbitration is to resolve a dispute. So as to facilitate resolution, all unnecessary obstacles need to be removed. In the context of international disputes there can be many obstacles, such as language barriers, different jurisdictions, different legal principles etc. To alleviate these difficulties a number of international instruments have been enacted throughout the years culminating in the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law in 1985.

This module focusses primarily on both the substance and application of the UNCITRAL Model Law, and also its integration into Irish law. Learners are required to achieve a high level understanding of the UNCITRAL Model Law so as to discuss in a competent manner the practice and procedure involved in International Commercial Arbitration, and the applicable legal principles.

The objectives of this module are twofold. Firstly, it seeks to develop within the learner an in-depth understanding of the economic and political basis for the Internal Market of the European Union and the laws that ensure its operation. Secondly, it requires the learner to critically analyse the European Union’s policies in the sphere of Competition Law. The module will address a number of current legal issues in the development of the Internal Market, such as the future of the Eurozone, the position of Public Services and the impact of the developing jurisprudence on Citizenship. The learner is encouraged to critically assess the basis for Competition Law within the EU and engage with academic commentary and court decisions to determine whether the overall policy goals are being met.

At a time of emergence from crisis on the global markets, this module seeks to enable learners to address the major regulatory and contractual aspects of Financial Services Law. The module deals with the institutional structures created to protect international financial transactions. There is a particular focus on the impact that European Union legislation is having on the area, with a number of the key regulations being examined in detail. There is also a strong emphasis on the 2008 financial crisis and the impact that it has had on the financial services industry. The module is suitable for those seeking to work in law firms which have International Financial Services as a significant part of their workload, but also for those who hope to work directly in the Financial Services sector.

This module provides a detailed overview of the principles regarding the key aspects of Intellectual Property Law: International Copyright, Patents, Design Rights, Trademark and Passing Off and Misappropriation of Personality and Publicity and Privacy Rights. Case law illustrating the application of these principles along with international treaties dealing with Intellectual Property is addressed. The module seeks to enhance the learner’s ability to apply theoretical aspects of the jurisprudence to real life situations through the use of case studies.

This module focusses on an analysis of principal features of the International Tax Law system, from the perspective of Irish and EU law. The module looks generally at the main theories, concepts and principles of International Tax Law and then more particularly at the main substantive areas of the subject such as Public International Law and Taxation, the OECD Model Income Tax Convention and EU law as it affects Member States’ tax systems. Thereafter, the module examines important issues such as the different approaches to Corporate Income Taxation, tackling International Tax Avoidance, International Tax Law as it applies to developing countries, and the issues in modifying established International Tax Rules to regulate E-commerce activity. 

This module combines analysis of current law with a critical exploration of the structures, potential, and limits of law and legal reform. The focus of the module is human rights, primarily as a legal regime with specific application to gender and sexuality issues, but also as a political sphere within which issues relating to gender and sexuality are negotiated. The module includes discussions of domestic, European, and international developments. As such, this module provides grounding in the key issues of gender, sexuality and human rights discourse whilst ensuring that learners will gain an understanding and appreciation of those issues which are at the cutting edge of these discussions.

This module provides a detailed and comprehensive understanding of International Asylum and Immigration Law. The learner studies the principles, doctrines and rules underpinning International Asylum and Immigration law, along with relevant international legal instruments and learns to apply these to practical problems. The module addresses the political, social and philosophical issues raised by asylum seeking, while also providing learners with the tools to solve technical asylum problems. 

International criminal law (ICL) combines elements of Public International Law – predominantly international humanitarian law (IHL), with some human rights law and refugee law – with domestic criminal law to determine the scope of international crimes and the jurisdiction to prosecute. Those crimes generally encompassed by international criminal law are war crimes and crimes against humanity. To this end, ICL encompasses those offenses against international customary rules (as well as those rules codified in treaty form, reflective of customary rules) intended to protect values of the international community. The earliest crimes within ICL were war crimes, with the codification of IHL in the 19th century. These categories of crime, when conducted during the module of an international armed conflict, occur beyond the boundaries of a State and are truly international in nature. It was not until the mid-20th century that the concepts of crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide formally materialized.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is the field of public international law that regulates the manner in which armed conflicts are fought. The 19th century witnessed the first comprehensive attempt to legally regulate warfare. Ever since, the regime of IHL has expanded, affording better legal protection to an increasing number of subjects. 

Learners will also develop the ability to apply ancillary treaty law and understand the interrelationship between broader Public International Law, International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law while also developing a capacity to assess the impact of contemporary political challenges to the application of the law of armed conflict and the moral and legal implications of these challenges. The ultimate aim of this module is to provide students will an appreciation of the international humanitarian law framework, the challenges in implementing this framework in conflict situations and the gaps in the current legal regime.

The aim of this module is to bring together academic rigour, and practical knowledge and skills in the field of restorative justice practices and enable identification of vital link between such practices and peacebuilding and reconciliation. The crucial relationship between the concept and practice of reconciliation, and the broader fields of peacebuilding, conflict transformation, human rights and development will also be critically analysed.

The purpose of this module is to introduce learners to the various aspects of the discipline of criminology, the study of crime as a social phenomenon. The sub-discipline of victimology is also examined in this module, the study of the causes and impact of victimisation in society. This module aims to equip learners with a comprehensive understanding of a number of criminological theories, all of which see crime as a social construct. Additionally, the objective of this module is to apply these theories to various aspects of the criminal justice system and criminal offending in Ireland, in comparative jurisdictions and at the international level. These broader criminological concerns are then complimented by a consideration of victimological theories and the place of victims in the criminal justice system.


This module examines the protection of Social and Economic Rights within International Law. It seeks to locate social, economic and environmental rights within the wider scope of International Law protection and addresses the theoretical debates over the method of protection that these rights should be given. Learners study the operation of the UNESCR, and UNEP and assess their effectiveness in identifying where the rights lie and how best to restitute injured parties. The UNESCR is compared to a range of regional instruments and the contrasts between the various methods of protection discussed. Case studies are undertaken focusing on the protection of specific rights within developing and developed nations. 

This module provides an explanatory overview to data protection and privacy law, taking an international perspective that encompasses Irish and EU law. The module will consider theoretical and practical approaches in understanding the power and significance of handling personal information securely. 

Attention is given to the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and understanding will be provided as to its key principles and what these principles mean in practice. Furthermore, the module will investigate how the GDPR is changing not just the EU approach to data protection and privacy but also the global approach. The module will also introduce the DSA.

Semester 3

The research dissertation is designed to permit learners to delve into a topic which is of particular interest to them, and it comes at the end of the LLM, at a point in time when continuous assessment and examinations in all taught modules have been completed, and therefore, learners are well placed to undertake independent research. Learners on the LLM in International Commercial Law programme must complete a dissertation which is commercial in nature. Learners on the LLM in International Human Rights Law programme must complete a dissertation which is human rights in nature. Those learners who are obtaining the general LLM in International Law are free to choose either a commercial or human rights LLM. 

ruhi anand

Dr Ruhi Anand

Professional Law Programme Director, Postgraduate Law
  • Dublin Main Campus


A sample timetable for the 2024/2025 academic year can be found here.

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

The minimum requirement for the programmes is the achievement of H2.2 award on a Level 8 degree programme, in humanities, arts, business or social sciences degree or in a related programme or equivalent.

How to Apply 

2.2 on a Level 8 Programme The English language entry requirements for this programme is a minimum of grade of Level 6.5 in the IELTS English language test, or equivalent. This equates to a minimum English language requirement of CEFR B2 (High)


For purposes of fee calculation, residence is counted from the time of application.

Please note that not all study modes may be offered at all times; for confirmation, refer to the Intake dates on the Overview tab.

Tuition Fees

Study Mode: Full-Time

Dublin: EUR 8,000.00

Study Mode: Full-Time

Dublin: EUR 9,000.00

Study Mode: Full-Time 

Non-EU living in Ireland or abroad: Please refer to our Non-EU Tuition Fees section. 

Non-EU students: a Student Services and Administration fee of EUR200 is payable each academic year in addition to the fees quoted below.

General Fee Information 

An Academic Administration Fee of €250 is payable each September at the start of term. For students starting in the January/February term, €125 is payable in February, and then €250 will be payable each September from then onwards. 

A 2% Learner Protection Charge is applicable each academic year in addition to the fees quoted. The fees below relate to Year 1 fees only.

Flexible payment options

Students wishing to pay their fees monthly may avail of our direct debit scheme. Please view our Fees information page for more information and assistance.


Is your company paying for your course?

They will need to complete a Griffith College Sponsorship Form and send this to the Student Fees Office:

  • Post: Student Fees, Griffith College Dublin, South Circular Road, Dublin 8
  • Email: [email protected]

2% Learner Protection Charge

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.

QQI Award Fee

Please note that a QQI Award Fee applies in the final year of all QQI courses. To find the relevant fee for your course level, please see the Fees page.


Completing an MA in International Law provides learners with the skills required to advance their careers in law-related fields such as: 

  • Administrators.

  • Advisors or researchers with government departments.

    Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or businesses such as: 

  • IHRC, Trócaire, UN and Amnesty International, Law Reform Commission.

  • The EU institutions such as the Directorate General for Competition, banks, insurance firms, accountancy firms, management consultancy firms, and diverse corporations.


Ready to take the next step?