LL.M. in International Law and Foreign Affairs | HBKU
LL.M. in International Law and Foreign Affairs

LL.M. in International Law and Foreign Affairs

LL.M. in International Law and Foreign Affairs


The LL.M. in International Law and Foreign Affairs is a one-year program that offers world-class academic and professional training in international law and foreign policy decision-making on pressing global challenges facing today’s world. Owing to its unique position in terms of culture, business, and geopolitics, Qatar is at the heart of a region that requires highly skilled leaders who can manage multi-faceted relationships that span different legal systems.

The specialized LL.M. program is ideal for lawyers and certain non-lawyers who wish to immerse themselves in the intricacies of international regulation in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment, infrastructure development, health care, new technologies, anti-corruption, and the global economy.

Graduates of this program will be equipped to:


  • Apply advanced knowledge and methodological skills to undertake research in the field of public international law and foreign affairs.
  • Develop research and innovative solutions to complex international legal and foreign affairs issues.
  • Analyze the social and policy impact of international law.
  • Graduates communicate effectively themes and ideas in the fields of public international law and foreign affairs.
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate professional legal ethics in the practice of international law and foreign affairs.

Program Focus

  • The program provides an ideal learning opportunity for lawyers, academics, members of the judiciary, and non-lawyers in international relations, political science, economics, and other fields related to global affairs and governance.
  • Courses combine legal studies with public policy analysis relevant to all aspects of international relations.


Coursework is divided into mandatory core courses and electives, which consists of 32 credits, including six credits for a thesis that must be completed within 12, and no more than 18 months after course commencement. One core course of each semester is dedicated to the methods and methodology of law and public policy. In certain cases, students may be required to complete non-credit prerequisite courses.

  • The LL.M. curriculum comprises foundational courses, such as Global Legal Systems, International Law, Administrative Law, Academic Legal Writing and Research Methods, and Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility in a Global Context, which unpack the nature of international law and core principles of foreign policy decision-making in an increasingly turbulent world. They also provide the opportunity for students to reflect on the intricacies of diplomatic work, including the qualities and skills required for a career in international affairs in the 21st century. The curriculum also has intensive courses and seminars on international law and global governance that are comparative and build on common law, civil law, and Shari’a traditions.

  • The thesis is the cornerstone of the LL.M. program. In consultation with a faculty advisor, students write a paper on a policy sector of their choice with the aim of analyzing the current legal framework, putting forward reasons for reform by using the skills developed in the methodological courses, and making a policy proposal for legislative or regulatory reform.

  • Other integral features of the LL.M. program are professional skills training sessions, internships and placements that focus on such skills as contract drafting, trial advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, and effective negotiation and presentation techniques.