Course Overview

This programme is offered at the Irish Centre for Human Rights within the School of Law. This Centre is one of the world’s premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. This programme aims to prepare graduates for work in the field of international peace support operations, with international organisations, non-governmental organisations and as individual advocates.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Professor William A. Schabas (Part Time)
Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh
Dr. Shane Darcy
Prof. Ray Murphy
Dr. Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko
Dr. Noelle Higgins
Dr. Karen da Costa

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 20,000 words.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally have attained at primary degree level a result of Second Class Honours Grade 1 or equivalent. However, those falling short of this standard may be considered where they can demonstrate other appropriate academic accomplishments as well as relevant work experience. Also, candidates who have completed a military command and staff course or its equivalent at an institute recognised by NUI Galway and who have relevant professional experience, that, in the opinion of the School of Law, qualifies them to read for the LLM 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.

Additional Requirements


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

Next start date

September 2016

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the Closing dates/Offer Rounds website.

Next start date

September 2016

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting




PAC code

GYL02, full-time
GYL03, 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, Introduction to Human Rights Law and the dissertation.

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

  • Peace Support Operations 
  • International Humanitarian Law 
  • African and Inter-American Regional Systems of Protecting Human Rights 
  • Business and Human Rights 
  • Children's Rights 
  • Conflict and Post-Conflict  
  • 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 Refugee Law 
  • Introduction to Human Rights Law 
  • Minority Rights 
  • Public International Law 
  • Procedure before International Criminal Courts 
  • Right to Development 
  • Transitional Justice
  • Women's Rights

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Many graduates have gone to work with the UN, OSCE, NATO and the EU in the ­field. Others are working with NGOs in conflict and post-conflict environments, including the DRC, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan and Kosovo. A number of military and police personnel from Ireland and elsewhere have completed the degree with a view to enhancing their career prospects.

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

€6,015 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,791 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2015/16

EU Full time programme:  €6,015 p.a.; EU Part time programme:  €3,065 p.a.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Find out More

Prof. Ray Murphy
T: +353 91 493081