Master of Laws (LL.M.) (60 credits) in International Commercial Arbitration
60 credits cr.
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Our ICAL programme has established a solid global reputation in the field of arbitration. For now more than 15 years, graduates from over 70 countries have enriched their careers and expanded their networks through our LL.M.
Stockholm is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of arbitration, known for hosting numerous arbitrations and as the home to one of the most active and respected arbitration institutes, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, and therefore a natural place to engage in an intellectually vigorous study of both the theory and practice of international commercial arbitration.
In the ICAL programme, students actively put theory into practice. The dynamic learning environment encourages students to apply the theories they have learnt through hands-on problem solving, surrounded by students from a broad range of backgrounds and using a a wide array of scholarly and comparative perspectives. The learning continues outside of the classroom, through visits to conferences and arbitration institutes and also through extra activities like the highly successful moot team.
Throughout ICAL, students hone their skills in presentation, research, and writing, leading to two major projects – a complete mock arbitration and a master’s thesis. The mock arbitration follows the process from beginning to end – filing the request and other submissions, collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, holding hearings and issuing a final award. The thesis hones scholarly skills, which some students have used to launch academic careers.
Check out our FAQ for LL.M. studies
How intensive are our LL.M.s? Can you apply for a deferral of study commencement? Are there any scholarships available? Read our FAQ and find out!
The programme consists of one course of 30 credits and two courses of 15 credits. The general structure of the programme is as follows :
- International commercial arbitration (30 credits)
- Advanced course in international arbitration (15 credits)
- Master thesis in international commercial arbitration law (15 credits)
The courses content, scope, teaching and examination methods are described in the respective courses’ syllabus,which can be found on he right-hand side of each course web page.
The first course builds on the general legal knowledge students gained in their law degree. It does this by developing the students’ knowledge of methodology and progressively deepening the students’ knowledge of international commercial arbitration law.
The other two courses run concurrently during the spring term. During the advanced course students deepen their understanding of theory and methodology in international arbitration law, as well further develop the ability to conduct and to critically evaluate research in this field of law. Additionally, students study into complex theoretical issues and problems with a focus on legal developments and the controversial topics in international arbitration.
During the master thesis course, the students prepare, plan and implement the written thesis. Additionally, the students will actively participate in an on-going thesis seminar series, which supplements their independent thesis work. The seminar series addresses significant aspects of preparing and completing a major thesis.
How to apply
Note that there is only one application round every year. The application period opens in mid-October with a deadline in mid-January for commencement the following autumn. Our LL.M. only starts in the autumn.
All prospective students, regardless of their country of origin, must apply via the national Swedish application system website called University Admissions. For general information about applications, check the university’s step-by-step guide.
In order to be eligible for our LL.M., you have to fulfil both the general entry requirements for master studies in Sweden and the specific entry requirement for the programme.
General entry requirement
- You must have been awarded an undergraduate degree in law from an internationally recognised university or hold an equivalent degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS in law. Applicants on the last year of such a degree can also apply.
- Support your proficiency in English
Specific entry requirement for LL.M. in International Commercial Arbitration Law
To be eligible for the programme, students must have previously completed one or several course(s) in procedural law for a total of at least 7,5 ECTS, or have acquired equivalent knowledge through e.g. other relevant academic, professional or extra-curriculum merits.
Required supporting documentation
In order to document your eligibility, you must provide University Admissions with copies of:
- your previous study information (diploma and transcript of record, including grading scale and, where possible, grade distribution)
- a document supporting your English proficiency
- a document supporting how you fulfil the specific entry requirement (if not clearly specified on the transcripts of records)
In addition, applicants must also submit the following documents in English to fulfil the selection criteria:
- a personal statement (please use the following template: Personal statement template 2024-2025 - ICAL (71 Kb)
- two letters of recommendation, max. 1A4 page each (e.g. from academics, employers, internships providers etc). Make sure they are duly signed and include contact information and preferably these should be written on paper with an official letter head
- a CV
Incomplete applications, i.e. where one or several documents mentioned above are missing, will be assessed accordingly.
Eligible applicants are selected on the basis of a weighted assessment of grades from earlier legal studies, relevant extra-curricular/professional experiences, one personal statement and two letters of recommendation. Typically, grades from legal studies and extra-curricular/professional experiences carry most weight. If applicants have similar academic qualifications, the statement of purpose will be of key importance. Strong letters of recommendations can also become decisive on occasion.
For detailed information regarding admissions, including conditional admissions, waiting lists, tuition fees, costs, and scholarships, please check the university’s central pages:
Two scholarships are usually available for students specifically admitted to the LL.M. in International Commercial Arbitration Law. These are the Stockholm Arbitration Scholarship for China (SASC) and the Swedish Arbitration Association (SAA) Scholarship. These scholarships cover the cost of tuition and are therefore a funding opportunity for students with citizenships outside the EU/EEA. When available, the application round for these scholarship opens after the admission results are sent out.
The Swedish Arbitration Association (SAA) scholarship and the Stockholm Arbitration Scholarship (SAS) sponsored by Vinge have been confirmed for the academic year 2024-2025. The link to the online application for the scholarships will be automatically sent by email to all students admitted to the ICAL programme after the notification of admission results has been sent on 21 March, 2024. The scholarship application will remain open from 22-25 March. Read more about the scholarships in the flyers below.
SAA scholarship flyer 2024-2025 (370 Kb)
SAS Flyer 2024-2025 (360 Kb)
Please note that if you apply for the ICAL programme, you are allowed to apply for several scholarships (including the scholarships scheme at Stockholm University and the Swedish Institute; see information on the central university pages), but can only be granted one.
Our ICAL students are eligible to apply for several moot court competitions. Stockholm University has years of successful experience in mooting activities and has won several awards. For example, in 2022, Stockholm University students won the Sports Arbitration Moot and excelled at the Willem C Vis Arbitration Moot.
See our 2017 Vis Moot team’s interview with Kluwer Arbitration:
More information on mooting opportunities at Stockholm University, check the following page:
ICAL on social media
Our ICAL Team is very active on social media so if you're curious about our programme, make sure to check their LinkedIn page!
Meet our students
Meet Victoria, an ICAL student in 2022-23
Victoria Alexander is a student in our ICAL LL.M. in 2022/23. She studied in the Netherlands before coming to Stockholm and chose our LL.M. for the career opportunities it would provide. Listen to what she thinks of our programme!
Meet our teachers
Our programme directors
Dr. Daria Kozlowska Rautiainen and Dr. Crina Baltag are the programme directors of our ICAL programmes. Learn more about their academic background and research through the links below.
Want to know more about the proramme? Watch the video below from our Master's Fair in which our programme directors present ICAL! The video below was recorded at Stockholm University's Master's Fair 2021, but the information provided is still relevant to the upcoming academic year.
Meet our alumni
"An amazing experience"
Alumni from ICAL work all over the world in a broad range of legal fields, serving e.g. as counsel in law firms and arbitral institutions, government advisors, researchers, lecturers, secretaries to arbitral tribunals or in-house counsel.
The ICAL programme also has a very active alumni association, the ICAL alumni association, which consists of a more then 500 ICAL graduates, working in different sectors and organizations all over the world. The ICAL programme is considered more than just a cohort, they call it the ICAL family as the relations and network created during the programme are something special.
Find out more about the alumni association on this webpage:
Interested in our programme? See below what our alumni have to say about it!
“One of the perks was the opportunity to have seminars in some of the top 10 law firms in Stockholm. This means you are taught by distinguished associates and partners of the big tier law firms who took time out of their busy schedules to teach us in arbitration”. (Charlotte, from Kenya)
“I had heard about the programme prior [...] when I was doing an exchange at Stockholm University. People told me great things about it and since I was interested in arbitration, I did some more research and thought that this was a great place for me to study”. (Margi, from Canada)