Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the LL.M. and the Executive Master?

There is no difference in terms of the final diploma and number of credits. Both the LL.M and the Executive Master equate to a Master of Advanced Studies in the Swiss university system and correspond to 60 ECTS. The  Executive Master is organised slightly differently to the LL.M in terms of in the repartition of credits. The Executive Master takes into account that participants on the course are professionals who are working in the humanitarian field and who wish to advance their theoretical knowledge of the subject. To accommodate participants demanding work/study schedules a high proportion of credits are attributed to the final thesis (21 credits) and the courses are split into short modules, allowing those who are working to study on their own. In contrast the LL.M is designed for those who have just completed undergraduate or postgraduate degrees and do not have a great deal of practical experience in this field. The LL.M is a professionalizing master, meaning it is designed to prepare students to work as a professional in this domain. The LL.M is a full time course.

Are there are any additional requirements for those wishing to enrol on the Executive Masters?

Those wishing to enrol on the Executive Masters must be professionals working in a field related to humanitarian law.

What type of jobs can those who successfully graduate with the LL.M hope to get?

A graduate might work for the ICRC, or relevant international organisations, or NGOs, the international criminal tribunals, ministries of foreign affairs and ministries of justice.

Is there any possibility for distance learning?


Is there any possibility to start in 2013-2014 and continue in 2014-2015?

In principle no, but exceptions may be made in exceptional circumstances. The decision would rest with the Director of the Executive Master.

What is the Executive Master Programme? What is the final exam like and how much time do students have to finish it?

The courses for the Executive Master are divided into different short modules of 5 sessions, at the end each module there is a take home exam (that participants have eight weeks to complete). The final grade for a course is made of the average obtained across the 3/4 modules of each course.

Is there any possibility of obtaining an internship (or Law clinic) once enrolled on the Executive Master?

No. Participants on the Executive Masters are professionals who do not need to acquire further experience.

What about visa requirements for Switzerland?

As the Executive Master only takes place for 9 hours per week it is very difficult to obtain a student visa. Permit L, as an alternative, is also very difficult to obtain. For more information on permits see the Swiss Foreign Office
website (

How much are the tuition fees for the Executive Master and LL.M?

The tuition fee (frais d’ecolage) for the two programmes is the same. The tuition fee is 15'000 CHF. There are some fee reductions available for the Executive Master, check the Academy’s website for more information.

Can those who have missed the deadline for the LL.M apply for the Executive Master?

The Executive Master is designed for professionals and only persons corresponding to this profile will be considered.

end faq


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Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
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