Are you a law graduate looking to take the next step in your career or in academia? If so, you are on the right path. The TRAIL+ programme at the WTI targets students and professionals with a legal background who are interested in specialising in international economic law with cross-disciplinary study of the global economy and trade and investment agreements.
Be a TRAIL-blazer!
Why the TRAIL+?
The TRAIL+ is a newly-launched advanced Master’s programme in Trade and Investment Law combined with courses in International Law and Economics. This programme is offered at the World Trade Institute in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the University of Bern. The programme includes more law courses, fewer courses on economics and political science, and less emphasis on practice and application than the WTI’s flagship MILE programme. Upon the successful conclusion of the TRAIL+ programme, the student is awarded an LL.M. in International Trade and Investment Law, as well as a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in International Law and Economics.
To find out if the TRAIL+ programme is right for you, check out our list of frequently asked questions.
What we offer
- A one-year, intensive graduate programme (can also be taken part-time)
- Teaching and guidance from leading scholars and practitioners
- The latest research developments in international trade and investment regulation, and economics
- The opportunity to join a vibrant WTI alumni network with almost 500 members worldwide
- Strong networks and mentoring programmes to help students secure internships and entry-level positions
- Hands-on training for communicating to both policy and academic audiences
What you bring
You are a student or a professional with a law degree and want to further your legal career as a practising lawyer, or wish to pursue a PhD in international economic law.
For information about living and studying in Switzerland, click here
Curriculum and faculty
The TRAIL+ programme is interdisciplinary and emphasises the rules, regulations and institutions - both domestic and international - which govern foreign trade, investment, the operations of multinational enterprises, and the interests and roles of stakeholders. Courses consist of lectures, offering students opportunities for classroom discussions and individual research.
LL.M. courses include:
International Trade Regulation; Trade Remedies; International Financial Regulation; International Law of Contemporary Media; International Investment Law; International Negotiations; International Intellectual Property Law; International Environmental Law; Introduction to Swiss and International Taxation; as well as participation in several moot courts.
*For a full list of available LL.M. courses, please refer to the TRAIL+ curriculum.
DAS courses include:
Trade Facilitation; Competition Law & Government Procurement; Dispute Settlement in the WTO; Trade & Intellectual Property Rights; Trade & Agriculture; Trade, Energy, Environment & Climate Change; International Economic Law; International Economic Political Economy; International Trade and Investment for Non-Specialists.
*For a full list of available DAS courses, please refer to the TRAIL+ curriculum.
For questions about the curriculum, please contact the TRAIL+ Academic Coordinator.
TRAIL+ course offerings draw on a global, highly experienced faculty. For a list of lecturers, please see the in-house and external faculty lists on the WTI People page and visit the University of Bern Faculty of Law page.
Enrolment for the TRAIL+ is as follows:
Autumn semester: For admission to study on the TRAIL+ starting in September 2017, the required documents need to be submitted by 1 March 2017.
Early applications will be given priority and first consideration for financial aid. They will also be subject to a quicker decision. (Deadline for early applications: 10 February. Date of notification of early decision: 20 February).
Admission details for the spring semester will be communicated after this deadline.
*Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only in the event that places remain available (rolling admission).
To apply for the TRAIL+ and for a detailed list of requirements, please click on the TRAIL+ application form (Word document on right).
Please send your complete application by email (subject line: Admission to the TRAIL+), or by mail to World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
To be considered for admission to the TRAIL+ programme at the World Trade Institute, you are required to have completed an undergraduate degree in law.
English language requirements:
The TRAIL+ is taught exclusively in English. Therefore, you must arrive at the WTI and the University of Bern with a level of English that allows you to fully benefit from the courses. In particular, your level of English needs to allow you to express yourself effectively in and outside the classroom, deliver on weekly writing assignments and adequately cover a weekly reading load of up to 200 pages.
When evaluating your application, the selection committee pays close attention to evidence of your proficiency in English. As is common for graduate programmes, you are required to submit objective test scores of one of the accepted tests listed below:
Test Minimum Score
TOEFL ibT 100 points or above
TOEFL Paper 600 points or above
IELTS 7.0 or above
Cambridge CPE C or higher
The following applicants are exempt from submitting test scores:
- Native English speakers
- Students with an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from an institution in the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand, where English was the primary language of instruction and the degree was awarded no longer than five years ago.
You may apply for exemption from submitting text scores if you are:
- A student with an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from an institution where English was the primary language of instruction and the degree was awarded no longer than five years ago
- A student who has completed at least one year of study in an English speaking country and at an institution where English was the primary language of instruction immediately prior to joining the TRAIL+ programme.
Please contact us if you are unsure of your exemption status. We will be glad to help. However, please be advised that exemptions from the language requirement are rarely granted. Important: Independent of your exemption status, you are required to fill in the section on English language in the TRAIL+ application form and submit a two-page essay in English as part of your application.
Tuition and registration fees
Tuition for one year of study on the TRAIL+ programme is 27,000 Swiss francs.
Tuition payments are not required until you have been accepted to the programme. You may benefit from either one of the following two payment methods:
- A 5% discount is applied if you pay your entire tuition fee prior to the first day of the programme.
- Alternatively, the first instalment (1/3 of your tuition fee) is due prior to the first day of the programme, the second instalment (1/3 of your tuition fee) is due prior to the first day of the following trimester and the third instalment (1/3 of your tuition fee) is due prior to the first day of the last trimester.
- No discounts apply to tuition paid in instalments.
Once you receive confirmation from the WTI of being admitted to the TRAIL+, we kindly ask you to transfer a one-time, non-refundable registration fee of 200 Swiss francs. You will then receive more detailed information about the TRAIL+ once the fees have been transferred. We will provide you with bank details once we confirm your admittance to the TRAIL+ programme. Any charges incurred during transfer must be borne by the applicant.
All TRAIL+ applicants will be considered for scholarships upon request. Please fill out the form on the right and submit it together with your application.
The WTI runs a generous scholarship programme consisting of full and partial scholarships as well as partial tuition waivers. A tuition waiver is tailored to your financial situation and reduces the amount of tuition you are charged for studying on the TRAIL+ programme. The overall amount of tuition waived by the WTI largely depends on the amount of third-party funding we can secure. It remains your responsibility to secure enough funding to cover your costs of living and other expenses.
WTI scholarships and tuition waivers will be granted according to criteria such as academic qualifications and professional potential.
The WTI cannot guarantee financial assistance to all students. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for other sources of funding.
TRAIL+ structure and regulations
The TRAIL+ is a non-consecutive joint LL.M. in Trade and Investment Law and Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in International Law and Economics. Successful completion of the full programme includes both the LL.M. and DAS components. Students who successfully fulfil the requirements of the TRAIL+ programme are awarded the following:
LEGUM MAGISTER / LEGUM MAGISTRA
DIPLOMA OF ADVANCED STUDIES IN INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ECONOMICS
ECTS: The TRAIL+ awards 90 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System Points).
Language of instruction: English
Studies begin: Autumn or spring semester
Length of studies: The TRAIL+ is designed for full-time completion in 12 to 15 months. The programme can also be followed on a part-time basis, with completion in 2 to 3 years.
Additional Information: In addition to the courses offered during the autumn and spring semesters, TRAIL+ programme students are able to take advantage of WTI Summer Academy courses, as well as a limited set of courses from the WTI’s flagship MILE programme.
For questions about the curriculum, please contact the TRAIL+ Academic Coordinator.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- I cannot decide whether to take the MILE or the TRAIL+ programme. How do the two differ?
The MILE programme has been our flagship programme since 1999 and taps into the expertise of the world’s leading academics and practitioners in the field of international economic governance. The uniquely multidisciplinary MILE programme includes law courses as well as courses in economics and political science. It is more of a “hands-on” programme for training multi-disciplinary experts in the field of international economic governance. Upon completion of the programme, the student is awarded a Master of International Law and Economics (MILE) degree, which is equivalent to a Master of Advanced Studies.
The TRAIL+ programme is a newly-launched programme which includes more courses on law and fewer on economics and political science, and is more suitable for students wishing to pursue a career as a practising lawyer or a PhD in law. This means it also includes fewer practitioner courses relative to the MILE. The TRAIL+ programme is offered by the World Trade Institute in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the University of Bern. Upon successfully completing the TRAIL+ programme, the student is awarded an LL.M. in International Trade and Investment Law, as well as a Diploma of Advanced Studies in International Law and Economics.
- Which programme helps me qualify for a PhD in law programme?
Graduates of the TRAIL+ programme qualify for pursuing a PhD in law. They are eminently well qualified for pursuing doctoral studies in the field of international economic law. MILE graduates with an LL.M. or JD also qualify. However, MILE graduates with a BA, LL.B. or equivalent degree do not qualify.
- I am an alumnus / alumna of the MILE programme with a degree in law. Can I get my LL.M. retrospectively?
Please contact the WTI to determine your eligibility for the TRAIL+ programme. Please note, however, that credits already used to obtain the MILE degree cannot be used again to obtain an LL.M.
- Is the application process the same for the MILE and for the TRAIL+?
Yes. There are two separate forms to fill out with nearly identical information. Please refer to the “Admission” section of our website for information on how to apply for each programme. The application requirements are the same for both.
- Why do both programmes have the same amount of ECTS points, but only one qualifies me for a PhD in law programme?
The TRAIL+ programme qualifies students for a PhD in law programme, because the academic course offering of the Faculty of Law gives them the amount of ECTS points needed to receive an LL.M. (60 ECTS). In addition, TRAIL+ students take additional courses on international law and economics (30 ECTS). Hence the +. Students completing these courses are awarded, in addition to an LL.M. in International Trade and Investment Law, a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in International Law and Economics. Such students are eminently well prepared to pursue a PhD in international economic law.
TRAIL+ students have more courses in law and fewer in economics and political science than MILE students. There is also less emphasis on actual practice, which is a core element of the MILE. Both the MILE and the TRAIL+ programmes are demanding, 90 ECTS programmes. The MILE programme is more tailored to those students who wish to work in the field of international economic governance as multi-disciplinary experts, while the TRAIL+ programme best suits students wishing to pursue a career as a practising lawyer in this field or to pursue a PhD in law.
- I am currently employed and want to take the MILE or the TRAIL+ programme on a part-time basis. Is this possible?
Yes, TRAIL+ and MILE courses can be taken on a part-time basis over a 2 to 3 year period. If you are interested in taking a programme part-time, please indicate so on your application form. Upon admission to the programme of your choice and in consultation with the WTI Director of Studies, you will be able to pursue the programme on a part-time basis.
- I see that it is possible to receive scholarships for the MILE programme. How about the TRAIL+ programme?
All MILE and TRAIL+ applicants are, on request, considered for scholarships. For more information on scholarships, visit the “Financial Aid” section of our website.
- I see that you have two start dates per year for the TRAIL+ programme (September and February). Does this also apply to the MILE programme?
We are able to offer two start dates for the TRAIL+ programme, since it is a joint programme with the Faculty of Law and thereby follows the semester schedule of the University of Bern. For the MILE programme, there is only one start date, namely in September.