Studying
Legal globalisation engenders processes by which different bodies of law become increasingly interconnected and interdependent, thereby crossing traditional borders.

Lawyers are now required to grapple with national, international, European, and transnational laws when they apply norms.

Teaching of Global Governance Law is research-based. Accordingly, teachers of the Programme are distinguished scholars, at the forefront of their research fields, and committed to the personal and professional development of students. Many of the teachers in the programme invoke methods that enrich their research with a critical, comparative, empirical or multidisciplinary approach.

The two-year research-oriented Master's Programme in Global Governance Law (GGL) helps you develop the skills to understand and deal with the challenges of globalising law. You complete the degree of Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL) and become an internationally-oriented professional well-qualified for a career in international organisations, legal practice, various expert positions in the public sector as well as legal academia both in Finland and abroad.

Why Global Governance Law?

In the Master's Programme in Global Governance Law, you will:

  • Increase and deepen your knowledge and understanding of global governance law and basic knowledge of the relevant key fields of law, such as legal theory and history relating to your field of study, European Union law, various aspects of public international law and specific fields of global governance law such as finance and the environment.
  • Specialise in Russian law, Chinese law or engage in interdisciplinary studies in Global Politics and Communication.
  • Further develop your analytical, legal argumentation and communications skills.
  • Develop research skills and legal knowledge in order to continue your studies in a PhD programme.
  • Study in an international and multicultural environment with students and staff from all over the world.
  • Complete the degree of Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL).
  • Become an internationally-oriented professional well-qualified for a career in international organisations, legal practice, various expert positions in the public sector as well as legal academia both in Finland and abroad.

Please note that this degree (MICL) does not provide qualifications for positions which specifically require a Finnish Master of Laws (oikeustieteen maisteri, OTM) degree.
Essentially, the GGL Programme exceeds both national and international boundaries and raises the ambition to the global level with a broad scope.

Structure and content

The scope of the Master's Programme in Global Governance Law is 120 credits (ECTS) to be completed in two academic years. It comprises compulsory and optional studies, seminars and research work culminating in the production of a Master’s thesis. You can also include an internship and a student exchange period as part of your degree.

The programme is aimed at students who have completed a first-cycle degree (e.g., bachelor’s degree) or second-cycle degree (e.g., Master’s degree) or a postgraduate degree in Finland or abroad.

More information about the content and structure of the programme.

Language of instruction

The teaching language of the programme is English. At least 75% of the degree must be completed fully in English (e.g. seminars, seminar papers and similar written work, exams and the Master’s thesis). However, you can also study in other languages, and for example include a semester abroad or law courses taught in Finnish or Swedish.

Courses and teaching

The courses and teaching in the Master's Programme in Global Governance Law include the following themes:

  • Global Governance Law: History and Theory
  • Public international law
  • European Union law
  • Global administrative law
  • Advanced Human Rights law
  • International institutions
  • Economic & financial, environmental and private global governance
  • Security and transnational crime governance
  • Russian and Chinese law
  • Human Rights, Global and Regional Challenges
  • Business and Company Law: Governing Economics

See the preliminary list of courses.

You can also check out courses in the online course catalogue for University of Helsinki students in the Studies Service.

The University of Helsinki also offers Finnish courses for international students. Information about the Finnish courses for international degree students in the Studies service.

Master's thesis

The Master's thesis is an integral part of your degree. You will attend a Master's thesis seminar consisting of a research seminar essay and research seminar (5 ECTS), an introductory legal thinking and methodology course (5 ECTS) as well as completing your Master's thesis (30 ECTS).

During this year-long project, you participate in seminar meetings, complete seminar assignments, write your Master’s thesis and present your findings in research seminar meetings. In the seminar meetings, you get regular feedback about your work from your supervisor and fellow students.

Upon completing your Master's thesis, you will have advanced academic argumentation and writing skills, as well as a thorough understanding of your thesis topic.

Doctoral education

The degree of Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL) provides general eligibility for postgraduate studies and a solid foundation for doctoral studies.

At the University of Helsinki, doctoral education is carried out in four doctoral schools. The Doctoral Programme in Law by the Faculty of Law is part of the University of Helsinki’s Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (HYMY). Some 15–20 doctoral students graduate each year. Doctoral dissertations are mostly written in English.

More information about the Doctoral Programme in Law.

Career prospects

Building your career begins already during your studies. From the start of your studies until one year after the completion of your degree, the Career Services at the University of Helsinki give guidance and support, including career guidance and counselling, courses and events, and facilitation of mentoring groups.

Upon graduation you will become an internationally oriented professional who is well-qualified for careers in international organisations, legal practice (such as law firms and corporate legal departments), various expert positions in public sector as well as legal academia both in Finland and abroad.

The degree of Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL) provides general eligibility for postgraduate studies and qualifies you for positions which require a master’s level education. However, it does not provide qualifications for positions which specifically require a Finnish Master of Laws (oikeustieteen maisteri, OTM) degree.

Students and student life

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, more than 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), ranging from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from choirs and orchestras to sports and game clubs. Their activities include anniversary celebrations, academic dinner parties, cultural events, get-togethers and excursions.

As a student and member of the Student Union (HYY), you are entitled to many benefits and services. For example, affordable student housing, low-cost sports services and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country. 

Read more about student life, services and benefits when studying at the University of Helsinki.

Do you have questions about studies or student life? You can get answers to your questions by chatting directly with University of Helsinki students. Chat with our students!