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UNITAR is delighted to offer the Master’s Programme in Public International Law in cooperation with Sigmund Freud University Vienna (SFU). This programme will combine the academic strengths of SFU as well as practical focus from UNITAR to deepen students’ knowledge of international law. In addition, it will provide direct insights into the activities of international organizations including the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV).

In line with UNITAR's mandate, this programme aspires to enhance participants' knowledge and skills in the areas of international law in the global arena. This will empower them to perform legal tasks more effectively and efficiently in the rapidly-changing world.

UNITAR further intends to strengthen the participants’ conviction of the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. The programme aims to bring together students from different cultural contexts, who exchange views on global challenges and possible solution strategies under academic guidance. UNITAR lastly intends to deepen students’ interest in working for international organizations, especially under the umbrella of the United Nations.

Sigmund Freud University Vienna


The Master’s Programme in Public International Law has a strong focus on practice. It starts with an introductory week at the Vienna International Center (VIC), where the participants get a first-hand immersive experience into the United Nations ecosystem. The contents of the specific courses of the study plan are presented in detail in the Module Handbook. Overall, the programme aims to combine research and teaching, to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and to guide them towards independent academic work and practical activities.


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
Sigmund Freud University Vienna
Sigmund Freud University Vienna


UNITAR welcomes a variety of professional backgrounds as well as different degrees of experience among its participants.


The prerequisite for admission to the Master’s programme Public International Law is proof of a completed Bachelor’s or Diploma degree in law with a standard period of study of at least three years or a comparable degree from a recognized domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution. 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 in which the legal education takes place in a way other than through a university Bachelor’s degree in law, it is assumed with regard to the fulfilment of the admission requirements for the Master’s degree programme Public International Law that they have obtained a comparable degree if they have passed the bar exam according to the law of their home country or 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. Furthermore, the course of study needs to have a thematic connection to the contents of the Master’s programme Public International Law 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.

Sigmund Freud University Vienna



Please note that the implementation of SFU´s online tool is still in progress. Until completion, please send your application documents (as described in the next section) to: jus@sfu.ac.at.

Procedure of the admission process

Step 1: Please select the desired field of study
Step 2: Please fill out the 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

Summer semester 2023/2024
Registration deadline: 15 February 2023
Start of lectures: 1 March 2023

UNITAR warmly welcomes your participation in the Master of Public International Law Programme and looks forward to welcoming you in Vienna next summer!

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