The LLM in International and European law at the Institute for European Studies (IES) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has been an internationally renowned programme for more than 45 years. Created in 1971 as the Programme on international and Legal Cooperation (PILC), it is one of the most established LLMs of its kind. And it has a dedicated website: www.llminbrussels.eu
The programme offers each year a selection of 40 international postgraduate students a demanding and versatile curriculum that opens fascinating career paths in European and international legal affairs. The programme has for 40 years been successful in combining academic rigor with the latest practical insights and cultural diversity. International audits and the leading positions of its graduates in various international organizations attest to the programme's excellence.
The home of the programme is at the Institute for European Studies (IES). The IES was named by Study International as one of the 5 leading European law schools (June 2016): http://bit.ly/2jvFYAh
The IES is a thriving Jean Monnet Center of Excellence in European Studies, located from February 2011 onwards in brand new facilities at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The students join the international staff at the IES, which comprises more than 80 people from over 25 nationalities, over 20 of whom are doctoral researchers in international and EU affairs. The extended family of the IES also includes the 40 post-graduate students of the IES’s sister programme, the MSc in European Integration). In addition, the students are linked to the staff and students of the programme’s co-organisers, the Law faculty of the VUB.
The location of the IES at the VUB in Brussels gives the programme the opportunity to benefit from the immediate vicinity of EU institutions and numerous international organizations, law firms and companies during the course of the year.
What can I study?
The educational techniques of the programme include, in addition to the more traditional forms of lecturing, interactive class teaching as well as practical case studies that simulate day to day professional life. The programme offers a balanced, versatile package.
EU Institutional Framework and Judicial Protection (6 ECTS)
International and Comparative Law (6 ECTS)
Globalization, International Law & Sustainable Development(3 ECTS)
EU Economic Law (3 ECTS)
International and European Protection of Human Rights (3 ECTS)
International Economic Law and Organizations (3 ECTS)
International and EU Competition Law (3 ECTS)
EU External Relations (3 ECTS)
Sub-total: 30 ECTS
Optional courses (Second Semester)
- Public Law Option:
Case Study on Public International/EU Law (6 ECTS)
EU Environmental Law in an International Context (3 ECTS)
International and European Criminal Law (3 ECTS)
- Business Law Option:
Case Study on European Competition Law (6 ECTS)
European and International Private Law (3 ECTS)
International and European Taxation (3 ECTS)
Sub-total: 12 ECTS
Master Thesis (compulsory)
Legal research in one of the fields covered by the Programme (18 ECTS)
Total: 60 ECTS
Who can apply?
To qualify for admission you need to have:
• a law degree (J.D., LLM or equivalent), which entitles you to practice law in your country of origin
• excellent academic results and references
• proven proficiency in English
The teaching staff is a unique mixture of renowned EU scholars, top-level EU practitioners and practicing lawyers that combine academic rigor with the latest practical insights and cultural diversity.
Applications and scholarships
Visit our website for details on how to apply.
The programme offers a limited number of scholarships that take the form of a reduced tuition fee. These are awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need.
Career & alumni
Our students are offered personalized coaching and career advice at the VUB Career Centre. Clients of the VUB Career Centre include major law firms, the European Commission, the European Parliament, European Agencies, and consultancies. We have over 1200 highly successful alumni who are now working in international institutions such as the European Union, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in national administrations, diplomatic services, the judiciary, as well as in major law firms, corporations and NGOs. Here are some examples!
Institute for European Studies
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 5 (1st floor)
T: +32 2 614 8051
This school offers programs in:
Last updated January 21, 2018