If European trade rules are different than the German rules, which law governs the shipment of goods from London to Berlin? Can the United Kingdom restrict the number of refugees that wish to come to their country after being taken in by Greece or France?
If you enjoy finding answers to these types of questions, you should consider the European Law School programme. You’ll study European and international law as well as the legal systems from different EU Member States (comparative law).
This will prepare you to work as a legal professional at a regional, national and international level, both in the private sector as well as in government. With further training, which is also offered, you can also gain access to regulated professions such as a lawyer, public prosecutor or judge.
Why this programme?
The European Law School (ELS) bachelor's programme combines courses in European law with courses on comparative law and deals with the legal systems of some of the major EU Member States. The ELS programme is taught completely in English by expert staff members. The programme will give you a thorough understanding of EU law and national legal systems as well as contemporary skills and excellent legal English skills.
You will primarily be taught in small groups using the Problem-Based-Learning method and you will be trained in many different skills, such as writing briefs and academic papers, presenting and pleading cases. There is a lot of emphasis on developing contemporary skills such as mediation, negotiation, and leadership.
The Maastricht University Law School has a strong reputation in international moot court competitions (in several languages), which demonstrates the effectiveness of this way of teaching.
The European Law School bachelor’s programme uses the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) educational method. By focusing on a central question or problem in each meeting, PBL sharpens your ability to solve problems and think critically. You and your fellow students look for solutions independently and systematically under the expert guidance of a staff member. This helps you develop self-discipline, argumentation techniques, and communication skills. PBL has been used since the university was founded and it is regularly evaluated and refined.
From day one of the programme, you’ll be challenged with differing viewpoints and experiences as you interact with staff and students from all over the world. Your worldview will be enhanced by this interaction. The students in the European Law School programme represent close to 60 different nationalities, and 41% of the academic staff at the Faculty of Law come from abroad. Such diversity creates an international atmosphere that is strengthened by the international orientation of the programme.
You'll focus on European law, European legal systems and comparative law, which are taught by leading international experts. Staff members are generally linked to one of the Faculty’s research institutes. In this way, the faculty implements state of the art research results into the teaching programmes. You'll also study legal English. Moreover, you can do part of your studies or an internship at a university abroad.
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) - Maastricht Double Degree Programme
If you are interested in Spanish law and want to obtain a double degree, you might be interested in the Double Degree Programme we offer in cooperation with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). Starting in September 2017, Maastricht University and the UAM will be offering a Double Degree combining the LL.B in European and Comparative Law from the European Law School and the LL.B in Spanish law from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM).
In an exciting 4-year programme (a selection procedure applies), you will spend two years in Maastricht, after which you will spend two years in Madrid. If you complete the programme, you will be awarded two degrees.
In the first two years, you will follow selected courses from the European Law School bachelor programme, which provide for an early specialization in comparative and European law. In the third and fourth year, you will gain more in-depth knowledge of one legal system, Spanish law, which you will be able to combine with the previously acquired comparative and European law knowledge.
Skills training, such as presenting, pleading, research and writing is a continuous part of this double degree programme.
Moot Court Competitions
Each year, student teams from the UM Faculty of Law participate in the most prestigious national and international moot courts competitions, where teams vie against each other in simulated proceedings to present a convincing legal case to an expert jury. Our Law Faculty has built an excellent reputation for performing outstandingly and has been awarded the first prize in competitions such as the European Law Moot Court Competition, the VAR Moot Court Competition and the National Round of the Philip Jessup Moot Competition.
In these competitions, Maastricht University successfully competes with other excellent universities such as Harvard University, New York University and Paris-Sorbonne.
Our students regularly participate in competitions both in the Netherlands and abroad such as:
- Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot
- World Trade Organization Moot Court Competition
- Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
- Jean Pictet and Frits Kalshoven Competition on International Humanitarian Law
- European Law Moot Court
- National closing argument competition (requireerwedstrijd)
- European and International Tax Moot Court Competition
- International Client Counseling Competition
- DCFR International Arbitration Moot
- International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot
- Concours Européen des Droits de l’Homme rené Cassin
- Abraham de Pinto Competition
- Maastricht Mediation Clinic
- Corporate Social Responsibility Lab
- Student Parliament
- Nederlandse Vereniging voor Europees Recht (NVER)?
- ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO law
Access to professional qualifications
After you’ve obtained a law degree, you can be admitted into a post-graduate training programme for robed professions such as lawyer, judge or public prosecutor, provided that you’ve obtained the necessary qualifications ('civil effect'). Maastricht University’s Faculty of Law awards civil effect to students who have taken several specific courses during their bachelor’s and master’s.
If you’d like to become a lawyer in another country, you may need to obtain Dutch civil effect to be admitted into a post-graduate training programme. In other countries, however, a law degree alone is enough.
At the Faculty of Law, we have several international experts who offer individual guidance on the development of your future career.
The admission requirements for the bachelor’s programme European Law School depend on your prior qualifications. All applicants should meet the general requirements. Please check below whether additional requirements apply to you. A matching procedure is a mandatory admission requirement for all applicants.
Language requirements English
This bachelor is taught in English. You must, therefore, have a thorough active and passive command of English. No additional evidence of sufficient command of the English language is required if you meet any of the following criteria:
- you are a native English speaker
- you finished your secondary education in an EU/EEA country
- you have obtained an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
The required scores are:
- IELTS test: minimum score overall 6
- TOEFL test: overall, paper-based minimum score 550
- TOEFL test: overall, internet-based minimum score 80
- TOEFL test: overall, computer-based minimum score 213
If you do not meet any of these criteria, you have to provide evidence of sufficient command of the English language by either an IELTS or a TOEFL test. You have to prepare and register for one of these tests yourself.
At Maastricht University, we offer you guidance and counseling to help you choose a career path and the master’s programme that will help you reach your goals. Please note that when you follow a route that leads to professional qualifications to become a lawyer, public prosecutor or judge, your choice of a master’s programme will usually be bound to a certain country or continent.
When you graduate, you can start working in a legal environment in positions such as company lawyer, adviser or police officer. However, most of our students go on to earn a master’s degree.
With a bachelor’s degree from the European Law School (usually followed by a corresponding Master of Laws), you have a qualification that is unique in Europe. You show that you have a thorough knowledge of the concepts underlying legal systems and the way these concepts have been implemented in the major legal traditions in Europe (major civil law and common law systems). Moreover, you have deep knowledge of the law and functioning of the European Union. You are at home in a multi-linguistic and multi-cultural environment, and you have the ability to think and act flexibly across national borders.
Globalisation and the further development of the European integration process create a demand for graduates with a European Law School profile. After graduation, you can work in a legal environment, for example as a policy advisor or work for the government. When you gain access to the professional qualification process, you may also become a lawyer, public prosecutor or judge, but additional training will be needed for that. Please be aware that certain activities, such as giving legal advice and in-house counseling, are reserved for fully qualified lawyers in many jurisdictions.
Most of our students continue their legal education and specialize in a specific area, such as European law, business law, criminal law or tax law. Other graduates move outside the legal field and pursue a master’s degree in an area of political science, economics or international relations. We strongly recommend you think about your career prospects before entering any law school.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated March 8, 2018