International Programmes 2023/2024

Public International Law: Human Rights – International Economic and Environmental Law – International Criminal Law Public International Law

University of Göttingen • Göttingen

Teaching language
  • English

The course selection is free. Courses in English and German are available. It is possible to select courses that are only conducted in English in order to fulfil the criteria for earning credits.

Full-time / part-time
  • full-time
Programme duration
6 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

All applicants: 30 March for the following winter semester 

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The Faculty of Law at the University of Göttingen welcomes the application of students pursuing a doctorate degree in the fields of international law, European law, and comparative law and intending to write their doctoral theses in English.

The objective of the six-semester programme is to prepare students for a successful legal career in academia and international practice. By providing courses for academic research and additional skills, the programme will help students to gain an in-depth understanding of international law in general and their field of specialisation in particular. The University of Göttingen and the Institute of International and European Law have a strong tradition in international law which dates back to 1737. Today, the institute covers research in many fields of international law, such as general international law, human rights law, international economic and environmental law, European law, and international criminal law. The doctoral candidates will be fully integrated into the academic life of the Institute of International and European Law and will benefit from and contribute to the intellectual exchange there.

While conducting their research studies, doctoral students can rely on guidance offered by the dedicated and experienced members of the programme committee, who are involved both in theory and practice in their respective fields. A structured approach which includes constant feedback through discussions, evaluation of preliminary conclusions and presentations will help doctoral students on their way to accomplish their research project and ensure profound academic results.

Additionally, the programme is part of the Göttingen Graduate School of Social Sciences (GGG) which is a unique platform to explore methodological and interdisciplinary approaches and to develop managing and organisational skills invaluable for the future professional life of the doctoral candidates. Moreover, it offers the doctoral students a variety of professional courses for the development of academic skills such as writing and publishing in English. Further information about the graduate school is available on the GGG website.

Course organisation

Module A
Courses for doctoral students (10 credits)

The doctoral students will take part regularly in a doctoral colloquium and report on their plans and the results of their research. Presentations related to their doctoral projects given at institute seminars may be awarded credits. The main supervisor must receive a progress report every six months. Following completion of two semesters, the doctoral students will evaluate and take stock of their work so far within the context of the doctoral seminar.

  • Doctoral Colloquium: current developments of Public International Law (Human Rights – International Economic and Environmental Law – International Criminal Law)
  • Seminar for Doctoral Students (each semester)
  • Discussion groups

Module B
Courses in Public International Law (6 credits)

The doctoral candidates will take part in international law classes offered in English. Doctoral students whose native language is not German may instead take part in the course "Introduction to German Legal Terminology and Legal Methodology for Foreign Students" ("Einführung in die deutsche Rechtssprache und juristische Arbeitsmethoden für ausländische Studierende") or similar courses. They choose their coursework (6 credits) among the following courses:

  • Cases and Developments in Public International Law (summer, winter)
  • Cases and Developments in International Criminal Law (summer)
  • Cases and Developments in International Economic Law (summer)
  • Public International Law II (summer)
  • Individuals in Public International Law (winter)
  • Einführung in die deutsche Rechtssprache und juristische Arbeitsmethoden für ausländische Studierende

Module C
Academic skills (3 credits)

Doctoral students will attend courses that develop and enhance their methodological skills. Also, doctoral candidates will take part in the GGG's methodology week. They choose their coursework (3 credits) among the following courses:

  • Project Management in International Contexts
  • Motivation and Success: Mastering Difficult Situations with More Ease
  • Academic Writing: Effective Strategies for Publishing in English
  • Slide Writing – Optimise Your Own Academic Presentation
  • "Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis" (Good Scientific Practice)
  • Interdisciplinary Methodological Week

Module D
Key qualification and academic communication (5 credits)

Doctoral candidates will take part in courses that aim to improve and enhance their presentation techniques or in courses on didactics or rhetoric. They can take language courses, give an academic paper at a conference or publish in a specialist legal journal. They choose their coursework (3 credits) from the following courses:

  • Academic Presentations
  • Teaching Skills
  • Rhetoric Skills
  • German language course for non-native speakers (up to C2)
  • Academic English courses (Applied Writing Skills [3 credits], Academic Writing)
  • Foreign language courses
  • Alternatively, presenting at a national or international conference or publishing in a legal journal
A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • Specialist literature in other languages
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
  • International guest lecturers
  • Language training provided
  • Training in intercultural skills
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

Fees amount to around 400 EUR per semester. The fees include a prepaid semester ticket that entitles students to use regional trains (in Lower Saxony and Bremen) and city buses in Göttingen free of charge. Students receive discounts for cultural events. Meals and drinks are also available at reduced prices at all university canteens.
Semester ticket:

Costs of living

The average cost of living in Göttingen is modest compared to other major university cities in Germany. Currently, expenses for accommodation, food, health insurance and books are about 850 EUR per month. Please note that fees for health insurance may vary according to age. For further information, please see the following link:

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

Admission requirements

  1. A successfully completed university degree in Law (LLB and LLM)
  2. Satisfactory English skills
  3. Written confirmation of supervision by two members of the programme committee, based upon a research proposal produced by the candidate and an interview with at least one of these two members of the programme committee
  4. Recommendation of the programme committee

Application process

The following documents must be uploaded in PDF format to the link provided in the call for applications ( If the original document is not in English, please add a translation.

  1. An up-to-date CV
  2. A personal statement explaining the applicant's achievements and interest in the programme (one to two pages)
  3. Certified copies of diplomas and transcripts accompanied by an English translation if necessary (qualifications must have been gained within three years of the candidate's application to the doctoral degree programme).
  4. Proof of satisfactory English skills (details below)
  5. A research proposal (10 pages)
  6. A list of publications (if available): books, book chapters, and research papers published in journals and reviews
  7. Other relevant documents and certificates that support the application (if available)

After careful consideration by the programme committee, the results of the application process will be communicated to applicants by e-mail in due course. Only the selected applicants will receive a recommendation from the programme committee and a written confirmation of supervision.

Language requirements

Proof of satisfactory English skills in accordance with § 2 (3) of the degree regulations: 

Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of satisfactory skills in English. Evidence of satisfactory English skills can be provided via the minimum results in the following internationally recognised tests or other comparable results:

a) International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic), minimum band score 6.5
b) Paper-based test "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL-PBT), minimum 577 points
c) Internet-based test "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL-iBT), minimum 90 points
d) Evidence of C1 qualification according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
e) UNIcert Level III

Applicants who have spent at least two years in an English-speaking country for study or work purposes within three years prior to applying to the programme as well as applicants who have completed a degree from a programme conducted in English are exempt from the requirement to provide test results.

Application deadline

All applicants: 30 March for the following winter semester 

Submit application to

The application process is completely online. To apply, you must fill an online form and upload several documents in PDF format. 

The link to the online application form is provided in the call for applications, which is published on our website:

Possibility of finding part-time employment

Part-time employment is possible under special circumstances.

The university supports students in finding part-time jobs in local industries and businesses. A number of student jobs are also available at the university. They are announced on the following website:
Please note that restrictions may apply with your scholarship or work contract.

Foreign applicants should note that it is not easy to find a job to finance their studies, as German students are also searching for jobs. Some proficiency in German may be indispensable to find a job. Non-EU students are permitted to work a maximum of 120 full days (240 half days) per year.


The programme coordinator supports accepted candidates while searching for accommodation.

The Accommodation Service of the International Office supports international students who are enrolled at the University of Göttingen in finding accommodation and serves as a point of contact for related queries. The Accommodation Service also publishes suitable offers from private landlords in Göttingen and collaborates with the Student Services ("Studentenwerk"). As the number of available accommodation options in Göttingen is limited, it is highly recommended to contact the Accommodation Service as early as possible. For further information, please see the following link:

Please note: For doctoral students, accommodation services are only available if you have a low income.

Structured research and supervision
Research training / discussion
Career advisory service

The Career Service of the University of Göttingen offers individual support to facilitate your successful transition from the academic to the professional world — whether you want to work in Germany or abroad. Especially for international students aiming for a career entry in Germany, the Career Service provides topic-specific "Career Impulse Sessions", workshops, online learning modules, and a qualification programme in “Building International Careers” as well as digital career tools and a virtual community for international employment opportunities:

Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Buddy programme
  • Tutors
  • Specialist counselling
General services and support for international students and doctoral candidates

The International Office provides a complimentary pick-up service ("Buddy Exchange Service") from the Göttingen railway station to the accommodation. German students help newly arrived students to adapt to the university and the city during their first weeks.

There is also an orientation week for new international students, which provides valuable information about Göttingen and the university.

Study Buddy programme ( as a part of the Integration and Diversity project at Göttingen University (InDiGU)

University of Göttingen

University location

Activate map

To activate the map, click on the "Show map" button. We would like to point out that data will be transmitted to OpenStreetMap after activation. You can find out more in our privacy policy. You can revoke your consent to the transmission of data at any time.