The Institute for European Studies (IES), a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in Brussels, offers an outstanding research-focused environment in the heart of Europe. Located close to the main EU institutions, and in proximity to international organisations and law firms, there are excellent networking and internship opportunities. The lES boasts excellent teaching facilities and a modern working space, right next to the amenities of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) Etterbeek campus.
The LLM in International and European law is a postgraduate LLM renowned for its outstanding quality and international character. Hosted right at the heart of the European Union, this Brussels-based LLM (formerly known as “PILC”) has offered excellence in this field for 44 years.
The programme is tailored for demanding global career in law, as the professors are nominated specifically for each course in the Programme and are an international mixture of high-ranking practitioners and leading academics.
The courses are exclusively at advanced master (i.e post-graduate) level and the curriculum covers in parallel the essential aspects of international and European law.
We have made special efforts to maintain our tuition as affordable as possible to the students. Small class size ensures a true “family feel” on a global scale.
Our over 1200 PILC alumni are of 108 nationalities.
The LLM in International and European law is an 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.
Four compulsory courses (18 credits) giving a broad overview of the main topics of international and European law in the first semester:
- EU Institutional Framework and Judicial Protection (Profs. Devuyst and Arts);
- Globalisation, International Law and Sustainable Development (Prof. van Thiel);
- International and Comparative Law (Profs. Smis and Gosalbo);
- EU Economic Law (Prof. Joris);
These courses are accompanied by two compulsory courses (6 credits) which deepen the knowledge and insights in international and European law:
- International and European Protection of Human Rights (Prof. Gutwirth);
- International Economic Law and Organizations (Prof. Hoffmeister).
In addition, to help set the mood for the Thesis and to gain experience in teamwork in an international context, you are to team up at the start of the first semester in multinational groups of three to four students to write a joint research paper (for the ‘Globalisation, International Law and Sustainable Development’ course).
In the second semester you will follow the two remaining compulsory courses (6 credits):
- International and EU Competition Law (Prof. Smulders);
- EU External Relations (Prof. Martenczuk).
You also need to choose whether to complete the courses offered in the Public Law or the Business Law option.
The Public Law option:
- *Case study on Public International/EU law (Profs. Kalimo and Oberthür);
- EU Environmental Law in an International Context (Profs. Kalimo and Oberthür);
- International and European Criminal Law (Prof. Smis).
The Business Law option:
- *Case study on European Competition Law (Prof. Joris);
- European and International Private Law (Prof. Nuyts);
- International and European Taxation (Prof. van Thiel).
The teaching staff is a unique mixture of renowned EU scholars and top level EU and international law practitioners. They combine academic rigour with the latest practical insights in a context of cultural diversity.
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.
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 by both by e-mail and by post.
For the period 2016-2017, IES is able to cap the tuition fee at €5400.
Visit our website for details on how to apply.
All IES students can benefit from career advice, including interview preparation and CV review at the VUB Career Centre. This unique service offered by the VUB in cooperation with Randstad was launched in 2011. 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.
The two-year programme focuses on the study of canon law and provides an introduction into the law of other religions (comparative law) and the study of capita selecta. The skills obtained will be applied during the internship and improved through personal research. This general experience will be reflected in a research paper.
This is an advanced Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
Students in the Master of Canon Law programme:
Success in this master's programme leads to the canonical degree 'Iuris Canonici Licentiatus' (JCL), having preliminarily completed a course of study in theology.
A key objective of the programme is to study the seven books in the Code of Canon Law (CIC/83) in depth. Students also receive training in the various disciplines indicated in the 'Novo Codice' decree issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education. Knowledge of secular law will be improved. Research skills will be further developed and stimulated: students get acquainted with the process of conducting academic research on an advanced level, are able to develop an extensive research proposal, find all relevant sources and describe the state-of-the-art on a specific topic. The obtained knowledge and skills will be integrated while studying concrete cases, writing a thesis and participating in the internship. Students with promising results will be stimulated and prepared for the doctoral programme.
Graduates have been appointed as judges, promotors of justice and advocates in ecclesiastical tribunals. They have also been called to serve as chancellors, judicial vicars or experts in canon law in the diocesan Curia or in Catholic organisations. Others find employment as teachers in secondary schools, the seminary or the university.
Successful graduates may also move on to the doctoral programme, where successful completion of specialised study leads to the degree of Doctor of Canon Law and the canonical degree of Iuris Canonici Doctor (JCD). These degrees bring with them the opportunity to serve the People of God as a canon lawyer.