Master of Laws in International Trade Law (ed. 2020-2021)

Master of Laws in International Trade Law

Master of Laws in International Trade Law (ed. 2020-2021)

26 October 2020–25 October 2021
The course is available in English

From public to private international law, from foundational frameworks to new technologies, this comprehensive Master's course prepares students for a variety of careers in the field. Take advantage of elective courses to narrow your course of study and specialize in a specific subject.

Key features
Modern methods

Learn by doing, through case studies, workshops, and group exercises

Inspiring discussions

Exchange ideas with international students and faculty

High-level resources

Engage with experts from the ILO and other international organizations

Introduction to the course

This programme aims to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the main legal issues in international trade law, contract law and contract drafting. In addition, it explores key legal issues in contract formulation, pre-contractual agreements, letters of intent and e-commerce. It analyses the main provisions of specialized contractual agreements, for example in the case of technology licence agreements, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property rights, trademarks and patents, state contracts, construction and engineering contracts, as well as related modes of payment and dispute-resolution mechanisms.

Who attends this course?

This Master Programme has been designed for recent university graduates who intend to work in the field of international trade law, for example in law firms, corporate legal departments, European and international organizations, and academic or research institutions. Law consultants, practitioners, and young managers wishing to expand their knowledge of the negotiation of international contracts would also benefit from this programme.

Trade law students around the world


From 1991 to 2010 the International Training Centre of the ILO , the University of Turin and the University Institute of European Studies  in collaboration with other world-class universities, offered a shortened version of this Master as a postgraduate course in international trade law.  i

In recognition of increasing demand for higher levels of specialization and career development in international trade law and coinciding with the decision to establish the Turin School of Development (as a unique mechanism for the delivery of joint UN-academic programmes), it was decided to expand and upgrade the programme’s learning contents to a Master of Laws in International Trade Law in 2010-2011. 

UNCITRAL  – a historical partner of the post-graduate course – endorsed the new Master and accepted the status of a full partner in 2010 while UNIDROIT joined the programme as a partner in 2019.

In addition, international organizations, such as WTO, UNCTAD, EU, ICC and renowned universities, have played an important role in the Master and delegated officials and faculty members respectively to join the Scientific Committee and/or to participate in programme delivery.

The Master Programme provides comprehensive coverage of International Trade Law and Dispute Resolution, from the perspectives of public international law, private international law and comparative private law. The Programme covers the key institutional and legal frameworks (such as WTO, UNCITRAL, and investment law), while focusing on international commercial contracts, with emphasis on recent developments and the increasing complexity of the laws of global trade, including the impact of new technologies. In addition, the Master incorporates a dedicated module on international dispute settlement, arbitration and mediation. 

Starting with the 2019-2020 edition, the Programme will include a number of electives, allowing students to focus more on either public or private international law.

What are the topics?

Students gain the fundamental tools and competencies needed to handle the complexities of international commercial transactions.

  • Compliance with trade-related transnational and international sets of rules 
  • Negotiation, drafting, and management of international commercial contracts 
  • International dispute resolution and arbitration
Detailed curriculum

During this first phase, students will be provided with essential preliminary information needed to acquire the prerequisite entry-level knowledge. While being trained on perspectives, actors and sources of international trade, they will be given basic or more in-depth knowledge on issues, which will be covered in or will be complementary to the Face-to-Face Phase, respectively.

During this phase, participants will have access to an on-line platform, through which they will be given the materials, send their assignments and interact in forums as a class, while receiving advisory support from a dedicated tutor. Assessment will be carried out on a regular basis and upon arrival in Turin.

During the second phase, students will learn in class, as well as through individual study and group work. Participation in classes is compulsory; classes are held every day from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3.30 pm.

Subjects include: relevant trade-related institutions, international trade and investment law, trade and competition, trade and IPRs; comparative contract law, harmonization of private law, such aspects relating with international commercial contracts as the CISG, UPICC, sale, carriage of goods (CIF and FOB contracts) and their links with banking contracts, M&A and joint venture, state contracts, project financing, IPRs and technology, e-commerce, insurance law; arbitration systems and ADR, enforcement of arbitral awards.

A number of subjects will be covered as electives allowing some specialization from a public or private perspective.

The third phase consists of the submission of a final essay or a case analysis by October 2021 (30 pages approximately), supervised by an advisor and by the Module coordinator.

What will I learn?

The course is structured in three parts: online learning, residential classes, and an individual research paper.

  • All about key institutional and legal frameworks for international trade
  • How to prevent, mediate, and settle international disputes
  • The important impact of new technologies in the global trade environment
What will I be able to do?

This intensive, year-long course combines online and residential work for students at different stages of their careers.

  • Leverage legal knowledge in the field of international trade law and transnational contract law
  • Utilize competencies for international public, private, and comparative legal analysis
  • Negotiate and draft contracts and plan for dispute resolution
Why should I enroll?

Students learn by studying, collaborating, and observing practitioners in action.

  • Students visit international organizations that work on international trade law in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Dedicated tutors are available to answer questions and provide support throughout the learning journey.
  • Teaching methodologies include lectures, workshops, and case studies, as well as an online platform for readings, videos, and exercises.

The core faculty of the programme is composed of:

  • law professors from renowned universities worldwide
  • professionals and law consultants from international law firms and legal departments of international corporations
  • experts and officials from UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT, ITC-ILO, WTO, ICC, EU and other international organisations.

The combination of academic resource persons and legal practitioners is a distinctive feature of this programme which enables smooth integration of theory with practice.

Participants will benefit from the support and involvement of Module coordinators and  dedicated tutors who will assist and advise them throughout the learning period.ù

Click here to see the lecturers of 2018-19 edition.

Fees and application
Tuition fee

The tuition fee is set at € 8,500.

The fee includes:

  • programme development and management
  • teaching equipment, training materials and documentation
  • use of training facilities and support services

Board, lodging, travel expenses, transports and personal expenses for the period in Turin are not included in the cost of participation.

The cost of accommodation (bed and breakfast) at the ITC-ILO campus during the 18 weeks' residential face-to-face part of the programme is  Euro 6,930 (meals excluded) and must be paid directly by students.

However students may seek off-campus accommodation like in university residences where the rent is appreciably lower and is in the range of Euro 400-600 per month (without laundry and food) or in private apartments.

Applicants interested in participating to this master programme should complete and submit the application form by clicking on APPLY in the left upper corner of this page not later than 10 June 2020. 

Important: only complete application forms will be considered during the candidate selection process.

For more information on the programme, please contact the course secretariat.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have successfully completed a first level university degree of at least 3 years’ duration in law, economics, political sciences, business administration or equivalent.

The validity of non-Italian degrees must be recognized under Italian law and regulations.

The master programme is entirely delivered in English. Knowledge of the English language is a pre-requisite and must be proven in the application form with supporting documents.


A limited number of partial fellowships may become available from sponsors in order to facilitate the participation of deserving candidates from developing and transition countries who are unable to meet the full tuition fees.

Participants are therefore expected to finance their participation as much as possible. The admission criteria will take into consideration the participant’s self-financing potential as well as his/her educational and professional profiles. In the application form, participants are kindly requested to indicate the portion of the tuition fees that they are able to finance.

Payment, cancellation, refunds

Sponsoring institutions and self-paying participants are strongly encouraged to pay participation fees a month prior to the start date of the course in order to secure enrollment and the timely issuance of visas. The individual participation fees are payable in full and all related bank charges (bank of origin, correspondent bank and recipient bank) shall be entirely borne by the participant or the sponsoring institution(s).

The payment schedule is as follows:

  • 50% of the fees payable prior to the start date of the distance learning phase:
  • the remainder of the fees payable at least 30 days prior to the start date of the face-to-face learning phase.

The exact deadlines by which the payments should be made will be announced along with the selection results.

Cancellation of participation will result in the following penalties:

Tuition fees 

  • non-refundable enrollment fee of €1,500;
  • no reimbursement of tuition fees will be made after the beginning of the face-to-face learning phase. 

Accomodation fees 

  • no penalty will be applied on accommodation fees in case of written notification of cancellation up to 14 days prior to the start date of the face-to- face phase;
  • thereafter, a fixed penalty of €1,000 will apply on accommodation fees in addition to the accommodation costs already incurred and calculated on a weekly basis;
  • in case of change of room type or occupancy option, a fixed penalty fee of €500 per person will apply.

Refunds, where and as applicable, will be processed with all bank charges to be borne by the participants or the sponsoring institutions.



What does "First Level Master" mean?

According to the Italian University System, there are two types of Masters: 1st level master and 2nd level master.

The only difference between them is the minimum educational background and academic qualification requirements to be enrolled in these masters: to be enrolled on a 1st level Master's, the minimum requirement is a bachelor degree (3 years); while for a 2nd level Master, the minimum requirement is a post-graduate degree (3 +2 years).

Therefore, pursuing our 1st level Master in International Trade Law, a first level master diploma will be awarded.

Does this Master in International Trade Law give access to PhD or to any other 3rd cycle programme?

A First Level Master does not give access to PhD programmes. Admission requirements to PhD programmes vary from country to country, as these depend on the university system of the country where the PhD programme is held. For more information on the minimum requisites required, please directly contact the university offering the PhD programme you are interested in. As a general rule, for instance, a three-year bachelor's degree plus a first level master’s degree are not considered sufficient for doctoral studies at the University of Turin: both a bachelor’s and a two-year master's degree (second level) are usually required. 

What documents should I submit with my application?

You should attach the documents requested in the Supporting Documents section of the on-line application form. Official documents should be scanned and uploaded. The compulsory documents include a copy of:

  • motivation letter;
  • recent curriculum vitae;
  • diploma of university studies;
  • transcripts of university studies;
  • request for partial fellowship (if applicable)
  • certificates (TOEFL / IELTS) or other evidence of English language knowledge if not mother tongue.

Important: The application form will be considered only if supported by the above listed documents.

When is the deadline for submitting my application?

You are expected to submit your application form not later than the 30th June 2018. Early applications are encouraged as eligible candidates will be accepted on "first come first served" basis. Applications will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee on regular basis and feedback will be provided within one month.

What are the selection criteria for the Master’s programme?

The selection criteria take into consideration candidates' education and professional profile as well as their self-financial potential. 

Can I bring my family?
  • The Centre may agree to lodge accompanying persons on its campus subject to facility availability; priority is given to participants.
  • Children under the age of 18 can be admitted only if accompanied by an additional adult person who can take proper care of them during their stay.
  • No assistance in obtaining visas can be provided. 
  • Accompanying persons are responsible for their own illness and accident insurance covering the "main travel" (from/to their country of origin), their stay at the Centre, excursions and any study tours.
  • Only previously authorized visitors can access the campus. To both receive visits or have a guest for more days, it is necessary to request an authorization to the FIS Security Unit through the course secretary or manager at least one week in advance and upon the submission of a valid ID card of the visitor/guest. Otherwise students can meet visitors at the control room and without entering the campus.
From which date is the cost of my stay at the ITCILO campus covered by the subsistence fee?

According to ITCILO rules, accommodation is covered from the day before the beginning of the course (from Sunday) and to the day after the end of the course (to Saturday).

Any exception to the rule above should be approved by the Programme Manager.

The cost of accommodation on Campus is € 85 per night (bed and breakfast).

Could this Master in International Trade Law be followed only at a distance?

No, this Master course includes a residential phase of 18 weeks. Attendance to this residential phase is compulsory, from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3.30 pm.

Is it compulsory to take the accommodation and subsistence package in the campus of the ILO Turin Ce

During the 18 week residential part in Turin, you can decide to stay outside the ITCILO campus. However, we would recommend to look for a place not far from the campus because the training sessions start at 9 AM every day.

The cost of accommodation and subsistence during the residential phase of 18 weeks in our facilities is Euro 6,930 booked and payable in advance by the participant or his/her sponsoring organization.

The accommodation includes a single bedroom, laundry service and breakfast on the ITCILO Campus during the residential phase.

How does the ITCILO campus look like?

You can take a virtual tour of the ITCILO campus here:

and check what's going on here

Our partners
International Institute for the Unification of Private Law

International Institute for the Unification of Private Law: UNIDROIT studies needs and methods for the modernization of private law, especially commercial law. It formulates legal instruments, principles, and rules for individual and groups of states in a variety of sectors. The uniform rules it produces usually take the form of international Conventions.

The United Nations Commission for International Trade Law

A core legal body of the United Nations system, UNCITRAL develops legal frameworks to harmonize and modernize international trade. It researches and promotes the adoption of legislative and non-legislative instruments in the field.

Istituto Universitario di Studi Europei logo
Istituto Universitario di Studi Europei

One of Turin’s leading institutions, the Institute organizes academic courses around European integration and international relations. It also conducts and publishes research papers, including work done by the European Union and its partners.

Università degli Studi di Torino logo
Università degli Studi di Torino

Since its inauguration in 1404, UNITO’s Department of Law has produced some of the leading jurists, statespeople, and scholars in European history. Among its distinguished faculty and alumni are writers, philosophers, and legal scholars.


For general information on requirements, application, fees, accommodation, scholarships and diploma, please contact:

Course Secretariat
Master in International Trade Law
International Training Centre of the ILO
Viale Maestri del Lavoro, 10
10127 Turin, Italy
Phone: +39 011 69 36 178

Questions? We have the answers

Read our FAQ Email us