Master's Programme in Investment Treaty Arbitration

60 credits

The Master's Programme in Investment Treaty Arbitration, the first of its kind, provides you with everything you need for a successful career in a rapidly growing area of law. You will gain advanced and detailed knowledge and highly practical skills in the field of international investment law and arbitration. Our graduates work in leading positions in international law firms, government, international organisations, businesses, and academia.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

The programme provides the opportunity for an in-depth and high-profile study of international investment law and arbitration. It is one of the most highly regarded LLM degrees in the specialised field of international dispute resolution.

The field of international investment arbitration has grown exponentially in practical importance. It is one of the few areas of public international law with significant private practice. Lawyers with special knowledge in the area are in demand in law firms, governments, banks, large companies, the European Union, international organisations, such as ICSID, and NGOs.

After completing the programme, you will have:

  • in-depth knowledge of theory and practice of international investment law and relevant parts of general public international law,
  • in-depth knowledge of theory and practice of international investment arbitration, including the relevant arbitral jurisprudence and legal doctrine,
  • the ability to handle cases through practical dispute resolution training,
  • the ability to structure and present - orally and in written form - complex legal problems to a well-informed audience.

During the programme, you can expect to discuss and analyse the basic principles and rules of international (investment) arbitration as the predominate mode of dispute settlement in the field. You will learn how foreign investment is protected under public international law. During your studies, you will get to understand how international investment law and arbitration interact with other key concepts of public international law such as state responsibility and attribution and other legal regimes, such as EU law and the international human rights regime.

Many of the faculty members are leading or active members of European and international networks and working groups and participate in high-level research projects. Regular contact is also maintained with researchers from other top universities, with colleagues from other disciplines, and with the private practice and the business community. The International Adjunct Faculty of the Master's Programme in Investment Treaty Arbitration is an Équipe of leading actors from private practice, government, international and non-governmental organisations, and a small number of international academics from around the world, contributing to the delivery of a cutting-edge education to the Programme's international student population.

Student profile

You have a Bachelor's degree in law and a strong 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 fluent or close to fluent in English.You are extremely motivated and have confidence in your 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 the degree of 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 provides you with a general introduction to international arbitration. This module covers all the basic principles and rules of mainly commercial arbitration, which historically served as a role model for investment 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 public international law. The relevant sources relate to treaties (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

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. Attention will also be given to the European Union's approach to reshaping Investor-State Dispute Settlement.

Module 4

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

You will be taught by a dedicated faculty leading in their fields. Your learning experience is complemented by an internationally renowned adjunct faculty of practitioners, government officials, and academics. In previous years we could welcome, among others, senior dispute resolution partners of international law firms, the deputy secretary general of ICSID as well as the deputy secretary general of the PCA and many others. You study effectively in small groups and take part in mini-moot courts, workshops, and tutorials with a focus on professional skills. And you will expand your professional network.

Teaching is based on the so-called problem-based methodology. As a consequence, there are very few lectures. 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 teams 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, you must 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.

It is envisaged that you participate in a moot court running in parallel to the modules and typically organised by a leading law firm together with the course director. Upon individual performance, 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.

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 and Europe's most popular and renowned programmes. Our model of teaching is based on a foundation of high-quality research carried out by the faculty, extensive international cooperation with other universities and close collaboration with private practice.

During the last decade, we have seen an explosion of investment treaty arbitrations. With around 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 has 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, corporations, international organisations, 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 around the world.

Our previous graduates come from all kinds of educational backgrounds and jurisdictions and work in leading positions in government agencies, in firms that specialise in international law, banks, international organisations, and corporations as well as in the academic world.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.