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

Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels


LL.M. in International and European Law facts

  • Tuition 4,900

  • Duration 12 months

  • Class Size 40

  • Intakes September

  • Minimum TOEFL 90

  • Minimum IELTS 7.0

VUB - IES - Full Profile

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 Programme 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 Institute for European Studies (IES) was named by Study International as one of the 5 leading European law schools (June 2016): http://bit.ly/2jvFYAh

The LLM in International and European Law (formerly known as "PILC") is organised by the IES in cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the VUB. Hosted at a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (IES-VUB) right at the heart of the European Union, this renowned Brussels-based LL.M. has offered excellence in the field for 45 years already.
Located close to the main EU institutions, and in proximity to international organisations and law firms, there are excellent networking and internship opportunities.
We frequently invite eminent guest speakers from these institutions to discuss topical policy matters at the IES.
The lES boasts state-of-the-art teaching facilities and a modern working space, within which the LL.M. students have a dedicated classroom right next to the amenities of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Etterbeek campus.


The Program

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

Why this LLM?

LLM in International and European Law is a postgraduate LL.M. Programme 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 Programme 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 100 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 Programme;
- 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: 4800 EUR (including e.g. field trip to the European Court of Justice);
- 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 programme (Alumni survey 2011-2013).

The applications for the 2017-2018 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 programme 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 or Public 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 and Business 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 defense 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 specialising in numerous issues of international or European law, including in topics not covered by the Programme curriculum itself.

The Faculty

The LLM is organised 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 rigour 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" programme. Our courses are not part of the regular Master degree programmes 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 Programme'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)

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.

The IES Selection Committee aims at providing a decision within two weeks from receiving all the application documents and letters of reference duly completed. You will receive the decision both by e-mail and by post.

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 2017-2018 IES is able to cap the tuition fee at  EUR 4900 (including e.g. field trip to the European Court of Justice)

Financial Aid

The programme 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:


students at the Justice Palace

students at the Justice Palace

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: http://www.vub.ac.be/english/infofor/prospectivestudents/housing.html

Student Life

Compared to London or Paris, Brussels is a relatively cheap city to live. A great number of activities (sports, concerts, music, museums, trips etc.) are available both on campus and in the city itself. The International Relations and Mobility Office of the university, among others, will organise and keep you informed about ongoing activities.

See also: http://www.vub.ac.be/english/infoabout/studentfacilities/

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 3th to Friday 14th July 2017. 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 2017 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

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  70  katerina_andr
LLM European Law
Jun 01 2015  815  Ave
LLM at Vrije University Brussels or at Amsterdam University?
May 12 2015  428  dominika_s
LLM in International and European Law in Brussels
Feb 12 2015  512  Iana_G
LLM Europa-Insitut Saarbrücken or LLM Institut Etudes Europé...
Aug 05 2014  192  David33
PILC 2012-2013
Sep 27 2013  590  Freya
Exchange Vub
Aug 16 2013  41  Julie r
Prospective students at IES
Jun 10 2013  112  bfede
LLM in European Law, but which one and where?
May 18 2013  6793  Faustine
Leuven vs. Ghent vs. VUB
Jun 11 2012  1326  GerryMc

More Discussions About VUB - IES

News About VUB - IES

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LL.M. Application Deadlines for Fall 2017 - European Schools

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News from VUB - IES

Event Mar 14, 2017

LLM webinar on 29 Mar 2017, 1-2PM CET - Unique opportunity for Q&A with profs, alumni, current students!! Register here: >more

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