Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Institute for European Studies (IES)

Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels


LL.M. in International and European Law facts

  • Tuition 5,400

  • Duration 12 months

  • Class Size 40

  • Intakes September

  • Minimum TOEFL 90

  • Minimum IELTS 7.0

Full Profile

The Program

The program offers a new Data Law option as of 2018-19

The program offers a new Data Law option as of 2018-19

Join our free webinar, coming up on Mon 28 May at 12:00 CET - Find out more (Youtube video)


Check out this Youtube video to see what professors, alumni and students have to say about the program!

Why this LLM?

LLM in International and European Law is a postgraduate LL.M. Program renowned since 1971 for its outstanding quality, international character, and a carefully developed curriculum that combines international and European law, on the one hand, and academic excellence and the latest practical insights, on the other. It thereby excels in preparing students for international legal career paths for a sustainable global society.

In a nutshell, the Program offers the following key advantages:

- Central location in Brussels, the heart of the EU: excellent research, networking and job possibilities;
- Demanding, exclusively advanced master (i.e. post-graduate) level curriculum;
- Experience: 45 years of excellence with an alumni network of over 1,200 lawyers of 108 nationalities;
- Perfect for the global work market: the curriculum covers the essential areas of international and European law in parallel;
- Part of the IES which, as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, constitutes a hub of cutting edge research and activities on EU in the international context and is currently presided by former trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht;
- The Chairs are nominated exclusively for this Program;
- The Chairs are an international mixture of high-ranking practitioners and leading academics;
- Limited class size ensures high interaction and close contacts amongst students and with the professors, helping create true bonds that last;
- brings together students of truly versatile international backgrounds and of outstanding quality;
- An affordable tuition fee
- State-of-the art facilities and educational tools;
- Special career development and job application workshops with the staff and the alumni ensure outstanding employability: 50 % of our alumni received a job within a month, 95 % within 6 months of completing the program (Alumni survey 2011-2013).

The applications for the 2018-2019 academic year are will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.


The LLM in International and European law is a 60 ECTS Advanced Master's degree obtained in one academic year (from end September until early July).
The program offers a balanced, versatile package that consists of compulsory and optional courses as well as a Master thesis:
- Compulsory courses (30 credits);
- Optional courses on either Business Law, Public law, or Data Law (12 credits)
- Master Thesis (18 credits).

The compulsory courses give a broad overview of the main topics of international and European law, and serve as an introduction/refresher. In preparation for the Thesis writing and to gain experience in teamwork in an international context, the students write a short research paper in multinational groups of three to four students.
For a full overview of courses (compulsory as well as the Public Law, Business Law, and Data Law options), please visit https://www.llminbrussels.eu/academics/

The writing of the Master Thesis continues in multiple steps throughout the year and culminates in an oral defence of the thesis at the end of June. Thesis writing offers students a further element of choice: the wide expertise of all the supervising LL.M. Professors as well as that of the Institute's research staff allows for specializing in numerous issues of international or European law, including in topics not covered by the Program curriculum itself.

The University

Located at the heart of the European Union in Brussels, the Institute for European Studies (IES) is exceptionally positioned for students in European and international law.

Our campus is only a few metro or tram stops away from the EU institutions, NATO headquarters, the Commission's outstanding library as well as dozens of think tanks, law firms and corporate headquarters. Our location offers the possibility to study the EU not just through courses, but also through the living lab of scores of policy related events and a maze of contacts in the Brussels policy hub.

The Program is located at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel's (VUB) green and leafy campus, which reflects the international atmosphere and diversity of Brussels itself. On the campus there is a full range of amenities including extensive sport and leisure facilities, banks, libraries and a cafeteria.


The Law School

The Institute for European Studies atPleinlaan 5, 1050 Brussels

The Institute for European Studies at
Pleinlaan 5, 1050 Brussels

The home of the program 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 program, the MSc in European Integration). In addition, the students are linked to the staff and students of the program’s co-organizers, the Law faculty of the VUB.


The Faculty

The LLM is organized in cooperation with the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the VUB. 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.

Entry Requirements

Orientation day

Orientation day

The Master in International and European Law is in the terminology of the Bologna European educational area a post-graduate "Master after Master" program. Our courses are not part of the regular Master degree programs of the university.

Each year we make a careful selection of maximum 40 students from all over the world.

Students are eligible to apply when they have completed their study of law and have received, in accordance with the requirements in their host country, a final law degree that provides access to the legal profession or to the qualifying exams for admission to the Bar.

Students are selected on the basis of their academic qualifications as well as work and other relevant experience.

The Program's language of instruction is English. Non-native English speakers need to provide proof that their knowledge of English meets one of the following requirements:
- TOEFL- test: min. score 233 (computer-based), min.score 90 (Internet-based), min. score 577 (paper-based)
- IELTS: 7.0
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: CPE
- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: CAE (grade B)

Visit our website for an overview of entry requirements:


Application Procedure

We accept and review applications on a rolling basis, starting 1 October. We recommend prospective students to apply as soon as possible, as the selection will be closed once the full quota of maximum 40 qualifying candidates is reached. Applicants who need to apply for a visa (non-EHEA* students) are strongly encouraged to send their application before 1 April.

Visit our website for details on how to apply:


Tuition and Fees

Owing to governmental support our tuition fee represents excellent value. For the period 2018-2019 IES is able to cap the tuition fee at EUR 5400 (including e.g. field trip to the European Court of Justice). The cost for study materials is approx. EUR 500. 

Financial Aid

The program offers a limited number of scholarships that take the form of a reduced tuition fee (full or partial waiver) for cases of merit and/or demonstrable need. For more information visit the LLM website:



Brussels voted as best student city in Belgium

Brussels voted as best student city in Belgium

Brussels is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is officially bilingual (French and Dutch), although it boasts an astonishing variety of cultures, styles and nationalities. Being the capital of an expanding Europe, Brussels is an international city like no other. 31% of its population is of foreign origin, and this makes for a unique atmosphere in which cultures interact easily with one another. A great many people work in Brussels. It is the headquarters of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and also plays host to NATO's European headquarters. The reason for this is Brussels' specific advantages: its central location in Europe, the fact that it is a multilingual city, the presence of different cultures and the population mix.


For all questions about accommodation visit the accommodation page of the VUB:


Summer Program

IES Summer School on European Policy Making

This intensive two-week programme is held one week in Brussels and one week in Viennafrom Monday 2 to Friday 13 July 2018. The Institute for European Studies joins forces with the Diplomatische Akademie and the University of Vienna to bring you this ‘crash course’ in EU Policy Making.

Packed with interactive seminars and study visits, this programme attracts students and young professionals who wish to broaden their knowledge of the European institutions, European law and the European decision-making process in general.

The first week of the summer school takes place in Brussels and reviews the main EU institutions and decision-making procedures, while theoretically exploring questions of governance, participation and legitimacy. During the second week students learn more about EU foreign relations, while enjoying the beautiful city of Vienna.

New to our programme in 2018 is an empirical focus on one current policy issue. This year, Brexit is in the spotlight, as we invite experts to shed light on the consequences of the UK’s departure from the EU. Students will take active part through the production of a news item on Brexit.

For more info visit: https://www.eu-summerschool.eu 

For further questions contact us at: summerschool@ies.be

Upcoming Events

LLM webinar 28 May 2018
May 28, 2018
Join our webinar on 28 May (12:00 to 13:00 CET) about our LLM in International and European Law! Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Programs at VUB - IES


12 months
Business Law
Public Law
  • Applications are accepted beginning October 1st until the maximum number of qualifying candidates (40) are reached.

Discussions About VUB - IES (27)

New Post
LLM IES VUB 2016-2017
May 13, 2016  131  katerina_a...
LLM European Law
Jun 01, 2015  868  Ave
LLM at Vrije University Brussels or at Amsterdam University?
May 12, 2015  478  dominika_s
LLM in International and European Law in Brussels
Feb 12, 2015  556  Iana_G
LLM Europa-Insitut Saarbrücken or LLM Institut Etudes Europé...
Aug 05, 2014  222  David33
PILC 2012-2013
Sep 27, 2013  607  Freya
Exchange Vub
Aug 16, 2013  45  Julie r
Prospective students at IES
Jun 10, 2013  123  bfede
LLM in European Law, but which one and where?
May 18, 2013  6964  Faustine
Leuven vs. Ghent vs. VUB
Jun 11, 2012  1499  GerryMc

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