Studying
The Master's Programme in International Business Law (IBL) is a two-year research-oriented Master's programme educating talented students to become internationally-oriented business law professionals who are well-qualified for careers in legal practice and legal academia/professionals.

In the IBL programme, you have the possibility to learn more about business-related subjects such as contract and consumer law, commercial law (including company law, securities markets law, competition law and intellectual property law) and commercial dispute resolution from an international point of view. The programme comprises compulsory and optional studies, seminars and research work including a Master’s thesis.

Why International Business Law?

As economic life is affected by globalisation, it is important for successful business law professionals to have extensive knowledge of international business law.  In the two-year research-oriented Master's Programme in International Business Law (IBL),  you will become an internationally-oriented business law professional well-qualified for a career in legal practice and academia.

In the IBL programme, you will be able to:

  • Increase and deepen your knowledge and understanding of business law, including contract law, company law, IP law, competition law and commercial dispute resolution
  • Further develop your analytical, legal argumentation and communications skills
  • Develop research skills and business law 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
  • Network with potential employers and other potential future colleagues in the field of international business law

After completing the Master's Programme in International Business Law, you will be awarded a Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL) degree title (kansainvälisen ja vertailevan oikeustieteen maisteri). 

Please note that the completion of this degree does not qualify graduates for positions which specifically require a Finnish Master of Laws degree (oikeustieteen maisteri, OTM).

Structure and content

The scope of the master´s programme is 120 credits (ECTS) to be completed in two academic years. The programme comprises compulsory and optional studies, seminars and research work including a Master’s thesis. In the first year, you will concentrate on compulsory and optional studies. In the second year, you will write your thesis and take more optional studies. You can also include an internship and a student exchange period as part of your degree.

One of the cornerstones of the International Business Law programme is its versatility. In addition to all essential fields of business law, you can choose from an extensive selection of other law courses. You don’t choose a major or specialisation as such but can focus on the topics that interest you the most in your optional studies.

You will have the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge especially in:

  • Contract and consumer law
  • Commercial law (including company law, securities markets law, competition law and intellectual property law)
  • Commercial dispute resolution (especially international arbitration)
  • Law, technology and digitalisation

Information about the structure and content 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

In the IBL programme, you will learn by participating in lecture courses and case study courses as well as by writing seminar papers, presenting your work and completing a research seminar while writing your Master’s thesis. Depending on the courses you take, you will either be studying more independently or you will be involved in group work.

You don’t choose any major or specialisation as such, but you are free to focus on the topics that you are most interested in by selecting your optional studies from the large variety of courses offered by the Faculty of Law. In addition to the core IBL courses, you can focus on topics such as European law, international tax law, trade and transport law, and Russian or Chinese business law. If you are aiming at a more multidisciplinary degree, you can include courses from other faculties/universities into your optional studies.

In addition to regular courses and seminars, you have the possibility to participate for example in Moot Court Competitions or Helsinki Law Clinic courses to gain practical experience, network and meet potential employers. You are also encouraged to seize career opportunities already during your studies.

Are you interested in the themes that you can focus on in your studies and the example course sets? See the page with information about the structure and content of the programme.

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

The University of Helsinki also offers Finnish courses for international students.

Master's thesis

During the second year of your studies you will participate in a research project and write a Master's thesis, an independent research project. The research seminar consists of a research seminar essay (10 credits), the research seminar (10 credits) and the Master's thesis (30 credits).

The research seminar in International Business Law is a year-long project during which you will participate in seminar meetings, complete seminar assignments, write your Master’s thesis and present the findings in front of the class. Your research and writing process will be supported by research seminar meetings. You will agree on the topic of your thesis with your thesis supervisor. To support your individual career interests, you are free to choose any business law oriented thesis topic, as long as it is approved by your thesis supervisor.

During the research seminar you will get regular feedback about your work from your supervisor and fellow students. Upon completing the research seminar, you will have advanced academic argumentation and writing skills as well as thorough understanding of your thesis topic.

Writing seminars prepare you for the Master's thesis. You are required to take at least one writing seminar during your studies, but you are free to attend more.

Doctoral education

After having completed International Business Law (IBL) programme you will be awarded a Master of International and Comparative Law (MICL) degree title (kansainvälisen ja vertailevan oikeustieteen maisteri) which provides you a general eligibility for doctoral studies. The programme will develop research skills and business law knowledge in order to continue your studies in a PhD programme.

More information about doctoral education at the University of Helsinki.

IBL student and alumni stories

Find out what International Business Law (IBL) students and alumni would like to share with you about their studies and life in Helsinki, their career paths or plans, insights into the programme, studying in Helsinki, tips for your application process and much more.

Read stories about the International Business Law students and alumni.

Student life

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active. 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!