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Program description

Program description

Transnational Legal Studies: International and European Law in Context

You will study the core principles of European and international law in depth, and go beyond this to understand the role of law in a globalizing world, and the challenges that it raises to our traditional ideas of sovereignty and democracy. Optional courses allow for specialization, and whether your interests are in human rights, economic law, constitutional principles, security and terrorism, equality and justice, or cross-border phenomena such as global warming and the internet, the friendly and diverse department of Transnational Legal Studies will help you achieve a Master of Law degree (LLM) which takes you further in your career.

Some examples of issues the Master's program deals with are: 

  • Is there a way of achieving a Europe without barriers to movement while still preserving national identities and laws?
  • How are ideas of risk and security used in international law to create new legal regimes and justify interventions?
  • Is the European crisis of economics, society, and identity all about a dysfunctional EU, or is it a crisis of aimless and path-dependent nations?
  • Is law-making at the international and European level effective, democratic and necessary? Whose interests does it serve?
  • How are economics, politics and individual rights related at the transnational level?

The program in a nutshell

Transnational Legal Studies is a full-time, one-year graduate program, organized as a specialized track in the VU Master of Laws (LLM). Its curriculum should appeal to you if you want to pursue a career related to European and international issues and if you are passionate about exploring the political, economic and social context of law. You will follow: 

  • European and International Law, an intensive, advanced level course taught conjointly by international and European law scholars
  • Transnational Law in Social Context, an innovative course providing political and social perspectives on transnational legal processes
  • Further courses of your choice, allowing you to specialize in areas such as European economic law (EU internal market law, competition law), human rights law (European human rights protection, EU antidiscrimination law) or public international law (international humanitarian law, irregular migration)

The curriculum offers the possibility to undertake an internship or a period of study abroad. Former students have been working as interns in law firms, but also at international organizations, such as the UNHCR in Brussels.

Admission requirements

Applicants with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in Law can apply. To be admitted you need permission from the Admission Board.

Your bachelor education is compared to and valued through the UK Naric comparison system and, if necessary, through the Nuffic comparison and validation programmes.

Especially students from non-EU countries should factor in the possibility that a relevant Bachelor’s degree proves insufficient to enroll in this Master in Law programme.

If you have an academic degree which is relevant for the specialization you wish to do and you have knowledge of and insight into at least one area of law to at least the level of the end-terms of the VU Law bachelor, and you can prove this through at least 60 EC in completed courses in law or knowledge and experience in the field of law equivalent to this, you may also be eligible for enrollment. This is determined by the Admission Board.

Continuing studies

Career prospects

As transnational legal regulation is becoming more and more dense, both on the international and the domestic level, the need for transnationally trained lawyers continues to increase. Apart from the traditional legal professions (i.e. within the judiciary and national bars), transnationally trained lawyers can be employed by many organisations. Future employers include: EU institutions, the UN, international organizations, ngo's, national governments, and international and national law firms. In addition, the program is an excellent choice if you wish to pursue an academic career after graduating. All in all, students specializing in transnational law have good employment prospects: in the Netherlands, in their home countries, and on the international labor market. 

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About school

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880 . The university offers over 120 English taught programs at Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral level. Students and staff of 84 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The...


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Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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