Master in Law: European and International Law


Program Description

European and International Law: Transnational law in a social context

You will study the core principles of European and international law in depth, and go beyond this to understand the role of law in a globalizing world, and the challenges that it raises to our traditional ideas of sovereignty and democracy. Optional courses allow for specialization, and whether your interests are in human rights, economic law, constitutional principles, security and terrorism, equality and justice, or cross-border phenomena such as global warming and the internet, the friendly and diverse department of Law: European and International Law will help you achieve a Master of Law degree (LLM) which takes you further in your career.

Issues the programme deals with

Some examples of issues the Master's programme deals with are:

  • Is there a way of achieving a Europe without barriers to movement while still preserving national identities and laws?
  • How are ideas of risk and security used in international law to create new legal regimes and justify interventions?
  • Is the European crisis of economics, society, and identity all about a dysfunctional EU, or is it a crisis of aimless and path-dependent nations?
  • Is law-making at the international and European level effective, democratic and necessary? Whose interests does it serve?
  • How are economics, politics and individual rights related at the transnational level?

Study programme

European and International Law is a full-time, one-year specialization of the Law LLM graduate programme. Its curriculum should appeal to you if you want to pursue a career related to European and international issues and if you are passionate about exploring the political, economic and social context of law. You will follow:

  • European and International Law, an intensive, advanced level course taught conjointly by international and European law scholars.
  • Transnational Human Rights and Globalization, an innovative course exploring how the protection of human rights and the course of globalization interact and influence each other.
  • Further courses of your choice, allowing you to specialize, if you wish, in areas such as economic law (EU internal market law, competition law, international trade and investment law), human rights and equality (human rights protection in Europe, EU anti-discrimination law, irregular migration), or the law surrounding international conflicts (international humanitarian law, politics of international law, international weapons law).

Career prospects

As transnational legal regulation is becoming more and more dense, both on the international and the domestic level, the need for transnationally trained lawyers continues to increase. Apart from the traditional legal professions (i.e. within the judiciary and national bars), transnationally trained lawyers can be employed by many organisations. Future employers include: EU institutions, the UN, international organizations, ngo's, national governments, and international and national law firms. In addition, the programme is an excellent choice if you wish to pursue an academic career after graduating. All in all, students specialising in transnational law have good employment prospects: in the Netherlands, in their home countries, and on the international labour market.

Why VU Amsterdam?

  • The specialization is distinctive in having united European law and international public law in one programme. This approach allows you take a broad, and at the same time in-depth, analysis of transnational legal issues.
  • The specialization is unique because it analyses law and legal systems as social phenomena. The specialization is a good choice if you are interested in understanding law in its social, political or economic context.
  • Flexibility and freedom in designing your study programme, allowing you to specialize (in international of European law) or not. You can design your programme in line with your personal preferences, choosing to focus on international law, European law, domestic law, human rights law, economic law, labour law and social rights, or combine these areas
  • Within the specialization you will encounter lecturers and researchers from various national backgrounds and disciplines (see .
  • It is possible to combine the specialization European and International Law with another specialization within the master Law such as International Migration and Refugee Law.
  • Life in Amsterdam is affordable in comparison with some other large European cities.
  • There is an easy and fast procedure for obtaining a study visa for the Netherlands (see for more information under Visa and Insurance).
  • After you have completed your master, you can apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands for the purpose of searching a job (for a maximum of one year).

Admission requirements

Applicants with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in Law can apply. To be admitted you need permission from the Admissions Board.

Your bachelor education is compared to and valued through the UK Naric comparison system and, if necessary, through the Nuffic comparison and validation programmes. Especially students from non-EU countries should factor in the possibility that an international Bachelor’s degree in Law proves insufficient to enroll in this Master's in Law programme.

If you have an academic degree which is relevant for the specialization you wish to pursue, you may also be eligible for enrollment. You must have knowledge of and insight into at least one area of law to at least the level of the end-terms of the VU Law bachelor, and be able to prove this with at least 60 EC in completed courses in law or knowledge and experience in the field of law equivalent to this. This is determined by the Admissions Board.

Your bachelor education is compared to and valued through the UK Naric comparison system and, if necessary, through the Nuffic comparison and validation programmes.

Find out if you are eligible before you apply?
Ask the Admissions board (contact details under 'Contact').

Send us the following documents:

  • scan diploma or proof of enrollment in bachelor
  • scan (provisional) transcript(s)
  • description of the relevant courses
  • optional: report on relevant experience, including specification of your responsibilities
  • specify which specialization you wish to pursue

For the English specializations, your English proficiency must be on at least C1 level (including for speaking and writing skills) to be able to attend the programme successfully.

Please note: additional language requirements may apply for your visa or residence permit.


Application steps

  1. Check if you are eligible for admission.
  2. Register for the master before the application deadline via Studielink, select ‘Law (Master)’.
  3. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet. For help, refer to this document.
    • Select the specialization which you wish to pursue on Vunet.
      If you wish to pursue two specializations, then contact the academic advisors first to be informed about the requirements for combining specializations. You can add an additional specialization at a later stage.
    • Upload your diploma (if available).
    • Upload your (provisional) official transcript (PDF).
    • Upload your CV
    • Complete your application.
  4. Your application is then evaluated by the Admissions Board. You generally receive a decision within 3 weeks after your application was completed on VUnet.
  5. You can follow the status of your application on VUnet.

Please check the full procedure for International students or Dutch students.
For this master you do not need to provide a letter of Motivation, letters of recommendation or a thesis.

You will receive practical information regarding the start of the programme during the summer.

Overview Law: European and International Law.

  • Language of instruction: English
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Application deadline: 15 July or 1 January for Dutch and EU-students. 1 April or 1 November for non-EU-students.
  • Start date: 1 September or 1 Febuary
  • Study type: Full-time
  • Field of interest: Economics, Business and Law

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to over ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to over 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 122 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors. Read less