Faculty of Law
Duration / ECTS - Credits
2 semesters / 60 ECTS
Academic Degree
Information on the Curriculum*
Mode of Study
Language of Instruction
Location of Implementation
Online bewerben

The Master’s programme in Public International Law aims at deepensing students’ knowledge and skills inof international law and provides direct insights into the activities of the United Nations and other international organizations. With the Master’s degree, students acquire the ability to perform demanding legal tasks in the global environment, working for national and supranational authorities, non-governmental organizations, international courts as well as other dispute resolution mechanisms.

The programme is conducted in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research – UNITAR). Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, UNITAR is the official training arm of the United Nations thus adding a strong practical focus to the programme.
Apart from the legal qualifications, the joint Master in Public International Law also offers a direct connection to the United Nations and its agencies:  

  • experience the UN work environment in Vienna first-hand
  • build personal relations with UN experts and staff members
  • benefit from tailormade UN career development sessions  
  • gain support and access to entry points into the UN system

Next Information Event | Master’s programme in Public International Law

Admission Requirements


The prerequisite for admission to the Master’s programme of Public International Law is the proof of a completed Bachelor’s or diploma degree in law or a comparable degree from a recognized post-secondary educational institution. This should include a standard study period of at least three years.

In the case of successful completion of the First State Examination in Law in Germany the admission requirements are also fulfilled.

For candidates from countries with a legal education other than a university Bachelor’s degree in law, it is assumed that they have obtained a comparable degree if (i) they have passed the bar exam according to the law of their home country or (ii) have been admitted to the bar in another way and are practicing attorneys.

Applicants can also be admitted if they can prove that they have a first academic degree in a related subject, such as economics, social sciences, or humanities, with a standard period of study of at least three years. The course of study needs to have a thematic connection to the Master´s contents and has to contain a high proportion of legal courses.

In addition, admission is also possible for applicants who have obtained an academic degree at the undergraduate level from a recognized domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution and who can demonstrate at least three years of practical experience at the United Nations, another international organization or a non-governmental organization.

English skills

Applicants for the Master’s degree programme Public International Law must also provide evidence of English language skills at least at a C1-level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of the Council of Europe. The proof can be provided in the form of an internationally recognized, standardized language test. 

The language level C1 corresponds to a score of at least

  • 500 on the TOEFL Paper-based Test (pBT)
  • 80 on the TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT)
  • 627 on the TOEFL ITP Plus for China at Level 1
  • 6,5 on the IELTS Academic Module
  • 105 on the Duolingo English Test
  • 176 for the Cambridge Certificate English C1 Advanced (CAE)

The following applicants are not required to provide proof of language proficiency

  • applicants whose native language is English
  • applicants who have obtained their high school diploma in an English-speaking country or at an English-speaking school in their home country
  • graduates who have completed a university programme on at least Bachelor’s level (in presence) at a recognized post-secondary educational institution in an English-speaking country or one that teaches its courses in English
  • employees of the United Nations and its affiliated international organizations

Professional Experience

Applicants must have at least two years of professional experience; thereby experience during legal traineeship, e.g. Austrian Gerichtsjahr or German Referendarzeit, can be taken into account. This requirement can also be fulfilled or completed in parallel with the Master’s programme.

Admission Procedure

Procedure of the admission process

Step 1: Please click on the “Apply Online” button at the top of this page
Step 2: Please register, fill out the online forms and upload the required documents:

  • letter of motivation (at least half a DIN A4-page)
  • copy of your passport or identity card
  • high school diploma
  • degree certificate (and, if required, proof of three years of work experience with the United Nations, another international organization or a non-governmental organization)
  • Proof of work experience
  • Proof of English language skills

Step 3: Invitation to an admission interview
Step 4: Signing of the contract

Application deadlines

Start in winter semester:
Registration deadline: September 15
Start of lectures: October 1

Start in summer semester:
Registration deadline: February 15
Start of lectures: March 1

Students missing the deadlines still may ask for the possibility to already register for certain courses in the running semester and then fully step in for the following semester.


Successfully completed courses at other higher education institutions can be recognized as long as they are part of the Public International Law curriculum. In case of recognition, the tuition fees will be reduced. Nonetheless, students are welcome to attend courses that have already been credited (free of charge) in order to refresh their knowledge. The recognition is carried out by analogous application of sec. 78 para. 1 and para. 3 of the Austrian Universities Act (UG) 2002.
Please send us your collective certificate in advance by e-mail to: jus@sfu.ac.at

Study Structure and Content

The Master’s programme Public International Law is divided into four modules to which the courses are assigned to as follows:

Module 1: Core Fields of Public International Law

  • Sources and Principles of Public International Law
  • International Organizations Law
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Recent Challenges in Public International Law

Module 2: Theory and Practice of Global Diplomacy

  • Theories of International Relations
  • Introduction to Global Diplomacy
  • Introduction to the Work of the United Nations
  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Module 3: Legal Thinking and Communication in International Contexts

  • Comparative Public Law
  • Europe as an Actor under International Law
  • Negotiation Skills and Techniques in Intercultural Contexts
  • English Report Writing Skills

Module 4: Examination Phase

  • Master Seminar
  • Master Thesis
  • Oral Examination

The Master’s programme has a strong focus on practice. It starts with a UN Immersion Week at the Vienna International Center (VIC), where students get a first hand experience of the United Nations.

As several courses are implemented by UNITAR, instructors are highly experienced practitioners in the diplomatic field. These include current and former ambassadors, high-level UN staff or other distinguished individuals from the public and private sector. The contents of the specific courses along with the study plan are presented in detail in the Module Handbook. Overall, the programme aims, to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and aims to guide them towards independent academic work and employment with recognized international actors.

Qualification Goals

The Master in Public International Law is a university programme designed to deepen students’ knowledge of existing international law and its foundations, to provide insight into international relations and the activities of global actors, namely international administrations, and to impart practical skills for working in global contexts. 

The programme brings together international students from different cultural contexts, who exchange views on global challenges and possible solution strategies under academic guidance. It deepens students’ interest in working for international organizations, especially under the umbrella of the United Nations.

The programme helps to connect future leaders in the international sphere. It qualifies students for a doctoral programme in international law and provides proof of advanced knowledge of the English legal language on the job market.

Occupational Fields and Career Opportunities

The Master’s programme in Public International Law does not aim to prepare students primarily for access to a regulated profession (lawyer, public prosecutor, judge, and notary). Rather, the international scope of the degree programme opens up a wealth of career prospects.

Potential employers include first and foremost international organizations, such as the United Nations, which in the form of UNITAR as a cooperation partner of the programme implements a significant part of the master´s curriculum.

Other potential future employers could be the European Union, foreign ministries of student´s respective countries or other government bodies in general. For those who already have access to the regulated professions, the Master Public International Law can also serve as an additional qualification.

Graduates of the Master’s programme are also potential employees for internationally operating companies and law firms. Legal advisory work outside the traditional legal professions as well as work for a chamber, an association or a foundation present further career possibilities.

Tuition Fees


The total tuition fees are limited to the number of semesters of the standard duration of studies (Master Public International Law: 2 semesters). Extending the programme by one year does not increase the total cost of the programme.
Costs: 8,000 € / semester
Tuition fees are due at the beginning of the respective semester (upon receipt of invoice).

Account details

Sigmund Freud Privatuniversität Wien GmbH
IBAN: AT86 1813 0310 0096 0007

Tax deductibility

If the study programme is a further education or retraining measure, the tuition fees can be claimed under the Income Tax Act. The entire fees are then tax-deductible.

Scholarships and Financing

Upon fulfilling the requirements, it is possible to receive one of the annual merit and support scholarships of the Sigmund Freud University. For students from developing countries (low-income countries), further funding opportunities are available. 


Head of the Master programme Public International Law
Univ.-Prof.in Dr.in Diana zu Hohenlohe, LL.M.
Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law,
University Professor of Public Law, European Law and Public International Law
Phone: +43 (0)1 90 500 70 1686

StudyServiceCenter of the Faculty of Law
Campus Prater
Freudplatz 3,
1020 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)1 90 500 70 1680
E-Mail: jus@sfu.ac.at