Master's Programme in Investment Treaty Arbitration

Academic year 2021/2022

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The Master's Programme in International Investment Treaty Arbitration provides you with advanced and detailed knowledge of international arbitration concerning disputes between investors and host States.

The Faculty of Law at Uppsala University is the oldest law department in Sweden with a history spanning more than 500 years. It hosts one of Scandinavia's most popular education programmes. Our model of teaching is based on a foundation of high quality research carried out at the faculty and extensive international cooperation with other universities.

Why this programme?

The field of investment treaty arbitration has grown exponentially during the last few years and continues to do so. Lawyers with special knowledge in investment law and arbitration are needed in many different organisations, including law firms, governments, banks, large companies, the European Union (EU) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

After successfully completing the programme, you will have:

  • advanced and detailed knowledge of public international law and international investment treaty arbitration,
  • advanced and detailed knowledge of relevant arbitral jurisprudence and legal doctrine,
  • in-depth knowledge of the analytical, scientific and methodological foundations of investment treaty arbitration,
  • the ability to structure and present complex scientific problems to a well-informed audience, both orally and in written form.
During the programme you can expect to:
  • discuss and analyse the basic principles and rules of international arbitration,
  • learn how to protect foreign investments under international law,
  • study key concepts such as expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, state responsibility and attribution.
Many of the faculty members are leading or active members of networks and working groups within the EU and participate in high-level international research projects. Regular contact is also maintained with researchers from other universities and colleges as well as with colleagues from other disciplines and with the business world.

We conduct research not only in the traditional legal topics but also in a number of newer special fields, of which many are at the highest level both in and outside Sweden.

Student profile
You have a Bachelor's degree in Law and an interest in international economic and commercial transactions including investments and trade. You may have some practical experience working after earning your Bachelor's degree, but you have not forgotten your broad theoretical base and study techniques.

You are extremely motivated and have confidence in your own ability and knowledge. You are therefore prepared for a demanding education that will require both self-determination and an ability to contribute to teamwork with fellow students. How successful you become will be up to you and that is how you like it.

A future PhD education is a possibility you may have thought about, but working right after graduation is also something you are considering. You like to keep your options open for now and would therefore value an education that gets you in close contact both with current research and practitioners in the field.


The programme leads to a Master of Laws (60 credits) LLM with Legal Science as the main field of study.


The programme is divided into four modules.

Module 1:
The first module gives you a general introduction to international arbitration. This module covers all the basic principles and rules of international arbitration. You will discuss and analyse, for example, the arbitration agreement, the appointment of arbitrators, procedural issues, applicable law and enforcement of arbitral awards.

Module 2:
The second module will focus on the protection of foreign investments under international law. This will be done on the basis of treaty law (i.e. bilateral and multilateral investment protection treaties) and customary international law. One important aspect of this module is treaty interpretation based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Module 3-4:
The third module will address procedural issues in connection with investment treaty arbitration. The focus will be on jurisdictional issues (such as the applicability of most favoured nation clauses to procedural issues), confidentiality and transparency, immunity, and enforcement of investment awards.

The fourth module is the preparation of your degree thesis. You can select the topic together with your course director.

Learning experience

Teaching is based on the problem-based methodology. As a consequence there are very few lectures, and instead you will partake in different forms of seminars. At the seminars problems are discussed and analysed, as well as possible solutions to problems. You and your classmates will be divided into smaller groups that are expected to meet and prepare for each classroom session. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

The problem-based teaching method is founded on active student participation. Therefore, it is compulsory for you to attend every session. You will be required to produce one or several papers during the courses. At the end of each course, there will be a written examination.

In parallel with module 3 and 4, you will participate in a "moot arbitration", organised by and under the supervision of the course director. The moot will start in January and finish towards the end of May with a final oral hearing. You and your classmates will be divided into teams with different tasks, such as writing briefs, expert opinions and other submissions.

The language of instruction is English and the programme director is Professor Kaj Hobér.


During the last decade we have seen an explosion of investment treaty arbitrations. With almost 3,000 bilateral investment protection treaties and two major multilateral investment protection treaties, there is every reason to assume that this development will continue. In addition, the EU will become more and more involved in investment protection matters, including investment treaty arbitration.

This means there will be a growing demand for lawyers with in-depth knowledge of international investment law. Almost every kind of participant in international investment and trade will require lawyers with such knowledge, including law firms, government agencies, banks, corporation and NGOs. This programme, which is the first of its kind in the world, is well positioned to fulfil this demand.

The programme will also make you an attractive candidate if you wish to pursue PhD studies at Uppsala University or other universities in the world.

Our previous graduates work in governmen agencies, in firms that specialises in international law, banks and corporations as well as in the academic world.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit three programme-specific documents: 1. CV; 2. a statement of purpose; 3. two letters of recommendation.

Master's Programme in Investment Treaty Arbitration

60 credits

Autumn 2021, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 15 January 2021

Application code: UU-M2812 Application

Language of instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be Law or Legal Science.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies;
  • CV;
  • a statement of purpose; and
  • two letters of recommendation.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 100,000

Contact and further resources


Study Counsellor Lee Holmström

+46 18 471 28 56

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team

Department of Law

Västra Ågatan 26, Uppsala

P.O. Box 512, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

+46 18 471 20 07