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

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


The Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is an academic Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and a policy think tank that focuses on the European Union in an international setting. Based on its research, the IES constitutes the focal point for teaching European Studies at the VUB.


It coordinates relevant study programmes, including the renowned Master in International and European Law (LLM) and the Master in European Integration. Both are Advanced Master programmes. The IES also co-organises an annual Summer School on EU Policy Making, as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in EU Policy Making.


Click here to go to the application form for this programme.


The LLM in International and European law is a one-year 60 ECTS Advanced Master's degree obtained in one academic year (i.e. two semesters of four months each, from end September until early July). It is a demanding full-time day programme which is composed of compulsory courses and three specialisation options: Public Law, Business Law, and Data Law.  Students also have to carry out legal research as part of their Master's thesis (worth 18 ECTS credits).

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel... at home in Brussels

Brussels is a lively city that buzzes with activity day and night. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel, for whom Brussels is its natural biotope, sees it as its duty to participate actively in this animated social and cultural life. 
Knowing for its international diversity, Brussels is ranked 45th Best student city by the QS World university ranking: http://bit.ly/2kqpWF8


First, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel is part of a network of first-rate Dutch-speaking social facilities in Brussels. Dutch-speaking (and French-speaking) Brussels citizens and commuters have access to the infrastructure of the campuses for events, sports facilities, cultural events and healthcare. The UZ Brussel (academic hospital) even plays a pioneering role in this respect, as it is the only Dutch-speaking hospital in Brussels.


The close involvement of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel with the city of Brussels is also apparent at academic level. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel conducts research into the pressing issues facing Brussels and organises activities that contribute to the social and cultural life in the capital.


A good example is the Centre for Information, Documentation and Research on Brussels (BRIO). Another initiative through which the Vrije Universiteit Brussel stays in close touch with current trends and sensibilities in society (and in particular the Brussels community) is the Science Shop.


With more than 6,000 employees (including the UZ Brussel) and more than 9,000 students, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel plays a crucial role in emphasising the Flemish presence in the capital of Flanders, Belgium and Europe.

Academic Requirements


A selection of 40 students from all over the world are admitted annually, after a careful selection process. The Master in International and European Law is in the terminology of the Bologna European educational area a post-graduate "Master after Master" programme. 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. The equivalence of foreign degrees will be decided by the Academic Board of the Programme. Students are selected on the basis of their academic qualifications, as well as their work experience as shown by their study results and recommendations.



Language Requirement


The language of instruction of the programme is English. Non-native English speakers need to provide proof of knowledge of English:


- TOEFL-test [min. score 233 (computer-based) min. score 90 (internet-based) min.score 577 (paper-based)]

- IELTS: 7

- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English - CPE

- Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English - CAE (grade B)




Tuition Fee


5400€ (including e.g. a field trip to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg)

Study materials: ca. 500€





A number of scholarships are available. 

Click here for more information (go to  bottom of page).



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Presentation of the University

The Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is an academic Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and a policy think tank that focuses on the European Union in an international setting. The Institute advances academic education and research in various disciplines, and provides services to policy-makers, scholars, stakeholders and the general public.

The IES specifically explores EU institutions, policies and law within the context of globalization and global governance, including a focus on the EU in international affairs and institutions. The disciplines applied at the IES include law, social/political sciences, economics and communication sciences, and the Institute’s activities focus on the various ways in which institutions, law and politics intersect with each other in the EU, its member states and at the international level.

Based on its research, the IES constitutes the focal point for teaching European Studies at the VUB. It coordinates relevant study programmes, including the renowned Master in International and European Law (LLM) and the Master in European Integration. Both are Advanced Master programmes. The IES also co-organises an annual Summer School on EU Policy Making, as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in EU Policy Making.

Types of courses

The programme offers a balanced, versatile package that requires students to successfully complete:


  • compulsory, traditional courses that give a broad overview (18 credits) as well as deepening insights (12 credits) into international and EU law, including a short research paper by teams of up to four students;
  • optional courses in either the public, business, or data law option (12 credits), including practical exercises and a real life case study simulation, for instance in the field of European competition law;
  • a compulsory Master's thesis (18 credits) 


This has been a very rewarding experience for me, academically as well as personally. The LLM is a well designed programme. Its classes are taught by highly qualified and successful professors and practitioners, who equip their students with valuable skills necessary to pursue a career in European and International Law.



Friederike Hammwöhner, 2016-17 student

Some of the VUB's international students

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel explains why it considers itself a gateway to the future with firm historical foundations.



Public Law Option



Business Law Option



Data Law Option

  • International and European Data Protection Law
  • Data Policies in the European Union
  • Case Study on Global Privacy and Data Protection


Sub-total: 12 credits

Master's Thesis

  • Thesis: compulsory legal research within one of the fields covered by the Programme (first and second semester,18 credits)


Total: 60 CREDITS