Executive Master in International Law 2017-2018, Geneva Academy, Switzerland

Publish Date: Sep 23, 2016

The Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict (60 ECTS credits, equivalent to an LL.M.) is a part-time programme designed for working professionals who want to gain a thorough understanding of the international law that applies to situations of armed conflict.

Based in Geneva, the programme runs over nine months (October 2016 – June 2017)and admits 15 to 20 practitioners annually.Courses take place on Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons. Six to nine additional months are needed to complete a Master’s thesis and defend it before a jury.

The Executive Master responds to the growing need for specialists in the laws of war to address complex situations - Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere - and challenging processes such as criminal proceedings, international negotiations, and humanitarian interventions. It also examines key related subjects, including the work of international criminal courts and tribunals, international refugee law, peacekeeping, and the repression of terrorism.

A global humanitarian and human rights hub, Geneva is the ideal location for this unique programme, which enables students to interact with key actors such as the ICRC, OHCHR and UNHCR.

Diplomats, lawyers, legal advisers, judges, NGO staff, human rights advocates, media specialists, professionals working in emergency situations, UN staff and staff from other international organizationsshare their expertise, discuss pressing concerns of the international community, and reflect on the application of international law to them.

The Executive Master is taught by an international faculty of renowned professors and practitioners.

Working professionals interested in a particular issue can follow a specific course and obtain a certificate.


This part-time programme, in English, is structured around four modules: Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Criminal Law and Human Rights in Armed Conflict.

Each module comprises three to four courses that are taking place twice a week on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon from October 2016 to June 2017(except public and school holidays).

Participants are required to complete a course evaluation at the end of each course. Final exams are administered at the end of the academic year, and cover the material of the four modules. Courses are complemented by tutorials held by teaching assistants.

Module 1: Public International Law

  • Course 1: Sources and Subjects of Public International Law
  • Course 2: From Use of Force to Responsibility to Protect
  • Course 3: Sanctions in Public International Law

Module 2: International Humanitarian Law

  • Course 1: Basic Principles of IHL and the Conduct of Hostilities in International Armed Conflicts
  • Course 2: Protection of Persons and Property in International Armed Conflicts
  • Course 3: The Law of Non-International Armed Conflicts and Other Contested Issues
  • Course 4: Classification of Armed Conflicts

Module 3: Human Rights in Armed Conflict

  • Course 1: International Refugee Law
  • Course 2: The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Course 3: Selected Issues of protection during Armed Conflict and Disaster

Module 4: International Criminal Law

  • Course 1: Criminal Repression of International Crimes
  • Course 2: The Repression of Terrorism: Issues and Debates
  • Course 3: The International Criminal Court

Master thesis

Participants are required to write a Master's thesis under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Upon the completion of the courses, six to nine additional months are needed to complete the Master’s thesis and defend it before a jury.

A class on research skills helps participants to research and write their thesis. Participants are required to orally defend their thesis.

Extracurricular Activities

The programme is complemented by workshops, conferences, seminars and events organized throughout the year and featuring key experts and practitioners.

Admission Criteria

The main requirements to apply for our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict are:

  • Work experience in a relevant field
  • A Bachelor's degree
  • Proficiency in English
  • A valid copy of visa or resident permit. (Only for candidates which nationalities require a visa to enter the Schengen Area)

Tuition Fees for the Master amount to 15,000 Swiss Francs in total.

Executive Master students must submit a non-refundable deposit of CHF 3'000 within one month of receipt of their admission letter in order to secure their place in the programme.

 Tuition is payable in three instalments (CHF 3’000, CHF 6’000 and CHF 6’000), due no later than 1 October 2016, 1 December 2016 and 15 January 2017 respectively. Payment details will be communicated with the admission letter.

A 10% discount (13,500 CHF) is offered to participants who pay tuition in full before 1 October 2016.

Tuition fees cover teaching costs, teaching materials, as well as the use of the libraries of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and of the University of Geneva. Tuition fees do not cover travel or accommodation expenses in Geneva.

Further Official Information

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