Master in Law: International Technology Law


Program Description

Remaking the world: remaking law?

Technology creates situations that were the stuff of fantasy when most of our laws were created. Robots, biotech, autonomous vehicles and weapons, and the endless amassing and crunching of data - what does it mean to be a human being? And how do we relate to each other and to the natural world? These are questions we are forced to ask ourselves again in the face of technological progress. Law shapes and reflects the answers that we find.

Alongside core courses in international technology law, and big data, human rights and security, you will choose from subjects including: international weapons law, biotech and law, robots and artificial intelligence, and blockchain and disruptive tech.

You will be part of a friendly, accessible and international group of teachers and students interested in exploring the frontiers of regulation and technology, and you will graduate as a specialist with in-demand knowledge and skills.

International Technology Law (ITL) is a specialization of the Law LLM programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Study programme

ITL is is a full-time, one-year specialization of the Law LLM graduate programme. Mandatory elements of the specialization are:

  • International Technology Law (12 EC)
  • Big Data, Human Rights and Human Security (6 EC)
  • Legal Methods (6 EC)
  • Graduation Thesis (12 EC)

You will additionally choose at least one of these courses:

  • Bioethics, Technology and Law
  • European Consumer Law in a Digital Society

And you will also choose at least one of these courses:

  • Law and Ethics on Robots and Artificial Intelligence
  • International Weapons Law (see picture below)
  • Blockchain and other disruptive business-tech challenges to the law

International technology law students and staff visit the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.

You have 12 EC to choose from the many electives offered as part of the master's programme, including the other courses above You can also do an internship or period of study abroad.

Here are two examples of courses offered in the programme; these are mandatory elements of the specialization:

International Technology Law
This course provides the framework for the specialization in international technology law, and considers how technology changes humanity’s relationship with the physical (including the social) world, and how law generates, facilitates or obstructs these changes. The aim at the end of the course is that you will have an informed idea, based on theory and examples, of the kinds of ways in which technology can change our relationship to nature, people, objects and society. You will also understand, based on examples, how laws and institutions can stimulate the development of technologies, and steer the direction of that development.

Big Data, Human Rights, and Human Security
This course addresses the question as to how digital technologies and big data are used to make decisions in human rights and security domains, and how these uses require us to rethink the basic tenets of existing legal norms and practices. The course focuses on three human rights and security domains in particular: big data and social and criminal justice; the use of digital technologies in warfare and the fight against terrorism; and the use of technology in border management and migration law.

Career prospects

As an ITL graduate, you will use, develop or research the regulation of emerging technologies. Typically, you will work in law firms, international organizations such as the UN, EU or international technology regulators, governments, or NGOs.

There are relatively few lawyers with a solid understanding and knowledge of the law concerning emerging technologies, so graduates will be part of a specialized and in-demand group.

Why VU Amsterdam?

VU Amsterdam is home to a significant and growing group of researchers and students in the field of technology, internet and law. You will have the chance to follow your interests, and study with like-minded students and teachers who share your enthusiasm.

The ITL specialization is brand new, and contains cutting-edge courses, some of which are offered in just a very few universities worldwide. You will be taught by academics and people from legal practice, who will help you understand how theories and ideas relate to technological and social developments.

Study association
Digi Juridica is the faculty study association for students of the Internet, ICT and Intellectual Property Master's degree and the Master in International Technology Law. By organizing substantive and social activities, Digi Juridica brings its members into contact with the business community and with each other. Students thereby increase their network and get a good picture of the legal labor market.

Digi Juridica was established in December 2015 due to a growing need among students for formal and informal, IP and IT-related activities. The initiative has been received with great enthusiasm by students and teachers from the faculty, with whom Digital Juridica maintains good contacts. Digi Juridica organizes career events, visits to law firms, other organizations and institutions and schedules informal events for members as well.

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: International Technology 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 February
  • Study type: Full-time
  • Specializations: International Technology Law is a specialization of the LLM programme in Law
  • 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