Master of International Law (MIL) & Graduate Diploma in International Law (GradDipIntLaw)

Sydney Law School Postgraduate Coursework Video - The Master of International Law (MIL)

The program

The MIL and GradDipIntLaw prepare graduates for professional work and academic research in the fields of public international law and international policy by equipping them with skills and knowledge to negotiate the legal and policy issues affecting relations between States, between States and international organisations, as well as between States and individuals. The program builds on the reputation of Sydney Law School in public international law, and its capacity to deliver superior quality postgraduate coursework programs.

The program is designed to appeal to both local and international students who wish to obtain a specialist qualification in public international law. This is consistent with the growing recognition that knowledge of public international law is important to graduates from a non-law background wishing to work in certain areas of the public service, for non-government organisations and civil society, and international organisations.

The MIL/GradDipIntLaw combines the experience and expertise of teachers and students from the legal profession as well as from the related disciplines of international relations, security studies, politics and government. This allows the study of public international law issues to be considered in an interdisciplinary context with knowledge of international relations, security studies, politics and government integrated with knowledge of the legal structures and principles that underpin the international legal order.

Students are required to complete two compulsory units of study (LAWS6243 International Law I and LAWS 6167 International Law II), which provide a sound introduction to concepts and principles of public international law, such as the sources of international law, sovereignty over territory, State jurisdiction and relevant immunities from jurisdiction, State responsibility, and the rules governing the use of force, as well as a consideration of the interaction between public international law and domestic law, with a focus on international law in the Australian legal order.

For the MIL, students then select units of study from the core and elective curriculum. The core curriculum of the MIL programme includes units of study which cover the fundamental rules which regulate inter-State relations and the interactions between States and private actors, including international commercial arbitration, international criminal law, international dispute resolution, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international environmental law, the law of the sea, and refugee law.

The elective curriculum is extensive, with more than 70 units of study such as anti-terrorism law, climate disaster law, human rights and the global economy, international investment law, international commercial litigation, the law of economic integration in the European Union, and World Trade Organization law. These elective units build on the foundation skills and knowledge developed in the compulsory units to develop advanced understanding in particular areas of international law.

Program structure

Studies in International Law can be taken as one or more single units of study, or eight units of study leading to a Master of International Law (MIL) degree. The Master's program requires 48 credit points for completion. The Graduate Diploma requires the completion of 24 credit points. Each unit of study is equivalent to six credit points.

Program attendance

Each law unit of study entails 26 contact hours. Law units are offered on a semester length basis or intensive basis. Semester length units are taught once a week over 13 weeks on either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening between 6pm and 8pm. Intensive units of study condense the 26 hours over a period of four to five days. The units are then taught between 9am and 5pm over a block period. For example, an intensive unit may be taught two consecutive days one week and then two consecutive days in a fortnight's time.


(from first enrolment)
Master's Coursework FULL-TIME 18-24 CP 6 YEARS*
Graduate diploma FULL-TIME 18-24 CP 3 YEARS*
*Periods of suspension, exclusion or lapsed candidature will be added to the maximum completion times except that no completion time will exceed 10 years from first enrolment. Credit will not be granted for previous studies older than 10 years at the time of first enrolment. If a student is admitted with credit, the School will determine a reduced time limit for completion of the award course.

Units of study

Please note: some units of study may have pre-requisite requirements or prohibition guidelines and may not be available to those without a law degree. Please check with the Sydney Law School directly if in doubt.

Please select from the dropdown box for the units of study list:

Compulsory Unit of Study (2017)

International Law I #
International Law II
# Candidates must either have completed or be concurrently enrolled in International Law I prior to undertaking other law units of study

Core Units of Study (2017)

MIL Students are required to complete two of the following units:
International Business Law
International Commercial Arbitration
International Dispute Resolution
International Environmental Law
International Human Rights
International Humanitarian Law
International Law and the Use of Armed Force (Not offered in 2017)
Law of the Sea
Refugee Law
World Trade Organization Law I

Non-Law Elective Units of Study

Master’s candidates must complete 6 credit points of elective units of study from the Department of Government and International Relations or the Centre for International Security Studies

Department of Government and International Relations (2017)

Asia Pacific Politics
Challenges of Democratic Politics
Chinese Politics
Democracy and Development in SE Asia
Development and World Politics
Essential Readings in Int'l Relations
Forces of Change in Int Relations
Foundations of International Relations
Global Environmental Politics
Globalisation and Governance
Governance and Civil Society
Governance and Public Policy Making
International Organisations
International Policy Making
International Security
Leadership in Theory and Practice
Northeast Asian Politics
Policy Making, Power and Politics
Public Management and Governance
Public Sector Ethics and Corruption

Non-Law Elective Units of Study

Master’s candidates must complete 6 credit points of elective units of study from the Department of Government and International Relations or the Centre for International Security Studies

The Centre for International Security Studies (2017)

Chinese Foreign and Security Policy
Civil-Military Relations
Health and Security
Middle East Conflict and Security
New Security Challenges
Nuclear Arms Control and Non-proliferation
Statebuilding and 'Fragile States'
Strategy and Security in the Asia-Pacific
War and Strategy

International Law Research Project

Candidates for the Master of International Law (MIL) may complete an elective unit of study, International Law Research Project (12 credit points), over one or two semesters. The research project requires submission of a substantial research paper of 15,000 to 20,000 words.

 Independent Research Project Closing Dates  Semester 1  Semester 2
Application form and guidelines to undertake International Law Research Project  (doc)
  30 September
30 April

Enrolment enquiries

Applications are still open. However, some units may have restricted class size and compulsory units may run early in the semester. It is strongly recommended that applicants submit their application on time to avoid disappointment. Please contact the Postgraduate Team for further details.

Current students

Future students

Please refer to the Admission to candidature - School Handbook

Please read through How to apply and ensure all relevant application documents are available to upload before applying online:

Master of International Law (MIL)

Graduate Diploma in International Law (GradDipIntLaw)

Program Co-ordinator

Professor Chester Brown

Spotlight Video Series, International Law


The Sydney Law School has a long history of research and scholarship in international law. A number of prominent international lawyers have taught at the School and the Challis Chair of International Law demonstrates the commitment of the School to both teaching and scholarship in the area. For further information, please refer to the Our People section of the website.