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LLM European Law

Course Description

European Law is a one-year Master’s specialisation at the internationally renowned Leiden Law School at Leiden University. The programme distinguishes itself by its multidisciplinary approach, covering substantive and institutional EU law as well as economic law and human rights within a EU perspective.

Visit the website: http://en.mastersinleiden.nl/programmes/european-law/en/introduction

Course detail

European law is an exciting and rapidly developing discipline. There are few areas of national law and policy within Europe that remain untouched by the influence of European legislation. The scope of EU law, however is even wider, as Europe is becoming an increasingly important actor on the international stage.

In this programme, you will focus on the various aspects of European Law, as well as the European protection of human rights. You will study topics ranging from EU competition law to EU external relations law, from European social policy to internal market regulations and EU institutional law. You will gain in-depth knowledge about these aspects, while at the same time developing the professional skills needed in a EU-related legal career.


Our aim in this programme is to provide you with in-depth academic knowledge, and to equip you with the professional skills needed in a EU-related legal career. For this purpose, teaching is done in small, seminar-style classes, with ample attention for practical skills in special `privatissimum’ and `practicum’ classes. Our programme attracts students from within and outside of the EU, which makes for a truly international atmosphere.


The European Law Master’s specialisation is founded on the Europa Institute’s research, ‘Securing the Rule of Law in a World of Multi-level Jurisdiction’. This has three components (‘Trias Europea’): the institutional structure of the Union, the protection of fundamental rights in an integrated Europe, and the regulation of economic relations. These three topics are included in every component of this programme, addressing the question as to how the rule of law (i.e. democracy, protection of human rights, adequate legal remedies) can be maintained while the law is developed at several levels.

Treaty of Lisbon

You will study the institutional structure of the Union (looking at the present Treaty structure as well as at proposed reforms in the Treaty of Lisbon) and the manner in which compliance with the fundamental rights within the legal order of the Union is ensured. In addition, you will learn about the position of the European Union in the world, the relation between EU law and national law, and the way in which trade and commerce is regulated by the EU.


The European Law Master’s programme offered by Europa Institute at Leiden will provide you with the skills necessary for a successful legal career in the private or public sector. Our alumni have found employment in:
• European institutions, such as the Council of Europe;
• international organisations, such as the United Nations, the OECD and the OCSE;
• national and local government;
• governmental and non-governmental organisations, such as UNHCR, IOM, Amnesty International and Greenpeace
• corporate companies;
• major law firms in Amsterdam, London, Brussels and Luxembourg;
• academia.

How to apply:



For information regarding funding, please visit the website: http://prospectivestudents.leiden.edu/scholarships

Visit the LLM European Law page on the Leiden University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Andrada Turcu

4834.jpg Before deciding for this master programme I checked the ranking, of course. But then, I saw the Leiden University team pleading at the European Law Moot Court Competition and that was what convinced me.

I was not disappointed, because this master really strikes the balance between the theoretical knowledge needed to work in the EU environment and the practical skills needed to apply EU law.

While you have a broad view on how the institutions work, the power play between them, you also have the freedom to choose your own area of interest and to conduct further research on that.
This is what actually gives you the chance to gain in depth knowledge on the currently debated topics and to discuss any further issues you might encounter with your lecturers.

It’s a very dynamic programme where you learn how to write submissions and how to plead in a moot court. You do not only have the traditional perspective of the applicant or defendant, but you also learn how to write and talk like an Advocate General and a judge. And the crucial aspect for your evolution is the feedback received for your work that allows to improve your skills.


Housing is a crucial aspect that you need to take care of. It is not easy to find accommodation in Leiden, this is why is recommendable to start early. You can apply to the housing offered by Leiden University or you can search on your own. The first option are agencies, which will help you find something suitable in exchange of a fee. The other option is the Facebook group called “Leiden Housing” where people leaving the city rent their rooms.
If you don't find something available in Leiden you can also choose to live in Hague, which is a lively city only 10 minutes away by train.

(Student Profile)

Anya Yohana Aritonang

4835.jpg Choosing to study abroad is one of the most important and bravest decisions students can make during their lives. The experience is surrounded by all kinds of assumptions, so don’t be a victim to the “expectations vs. realities” syndrome that can dampen your time studying abroad. For those who will study in Leiden, let’s start with a warning: you are expected to write several “never know that saying goodbye would be so hard” posts in the following months, especially when you like nostalgic and a little emotional. So, be prepared!

I remember one day I was cycling around in Leiden and I saw a friend walking and saying “Hellooo!!”. As I greeted him back, I was smiling since this was not the kind of thing that would happen in Jakarta since the population is so crowded. In another day, you will jump into public transportation like bus or train and the driver or official will welcoming you with “hello” or “goedemiddag” (good afternoon in Dutch). They are very kind and friendly which make you feel warm, far away from feeling insecure with stranger. This feeling make me realize that I will miss this kind of belonging and peaceful community. You may not know people around you when you are strolling around alone in Leiden, but you will never feel lonely.

I am a Jakarta-born and I love its chaotic vibe. One year living in Leiden makes me admit that this past year have changed me to appreciate what a small city gives. You will comfortably appreciate your time, enjoying nature, walking and biking, smiling to stranger and care with your surroundings without curiosity. When and if you do come to study in Leiden, I can guarantee that you will be part of wonderful community and have big family before you know.

(Student Profile)

Florence Theis

4836.jpg As a Luxembourgish law student, the choice of completing a Masters in European Law at Leiden University was without a doubt a valuable contribution to my academic path. The LLM covers numerous subjects, ranging from European Human Rights to Competition Law thus allowing to gain an overview of the entire European legal framework.

The set up of the programme provides students with the opportunity to visit the main European Institutions and grow in a cosmopolitan environment while getting acquainted with an academic staff invested in their students' success. The Masters struck me by its flexibility, enabling students to combine extra-curricular activities with their studies, such as Model United Nations conferences, while at the same time requiring discipline.

For those who are seeking a challenging course in a truly international environment, I can wholeheartedly recommend Leiden University. It will allow you to explore the Netherlands through academic, cultural and maybe even professional lenses.

My housing experience

The small city of Leiden in the Province of South Holland is hosting over 20'000 students. This inevitably brings about concerns when it comes to providing a studio or shared housing to each and everyone of them. Luckily for international students, the number also includes a considerable amount of Dutch nationals who may reside in cities nearby such as The Hague or still live in their family homes.

My advice to prospective students comes down to this: Look for an apartment as soon as you are accepted at the University, and do not hesitate to pay rent a month early if you have to. In August, you do not wish to be part of the remaining couple of students that have to settle for the tiniest (and often dirtiest) overpriced last studio offered by a housing agency.
When it comes to the location, everything in Leiden is easily reachable by bike (for which you should by a decent lock), so even if your future house is outside the Leiden river walls, it won't stop you from having a fun experience in this beautiful city.

In the hope that this advice will allow you to comfortably start you year and enjoy the OWL week to its fullest, good luck !

(Student Profile)

Manuela Ruegger

4838.jpg There are many activities provided at Leiden University to supplement the regular requirements of the different programmes. During my LL.M. Public International Law studies at Leiden University I had the chance to be selected for two of those. I can highly recommend both of them, which is why I will briefly introduce them here.

The first one is the International Humanitarian Law Clinic of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum of Leiden University. Every semester there is a new call for participants and this semester there was an intake of nine students. Selected students are split up in teams and work on a project which is commissioned by an external actor, such as for example the Netherlands Red Cross or the ICRC. My two team members and I have recently submitted our project, which was commissioned by Amnesty International. In the process of researching and drafting our final report we are gaining valuable experience in applying IHL theory to the practical issues raised by our commissioner. It is very gratifying to know that our research is valued and that it serves Amnesty International in their work.

The second one is the International Leiden Leadership Programme (ILLP) of the Leiden University Honours Academy. While the Dutch version (LLP) runs for the whole year, the ILLP is directed at international students and lasts for more or less one semester. Additionally to the analysis of our personalities and leadership styles we have become familiar with our strengths and weaknesses and matters such as team work, communication, types of conflict management and listening. During the ILLP students have the chance to work on two different projects, which are a self-evaluation and a “personal roadmap for leadership”. The seminars and the two projects have provided me with a solid framework for my personal development and have allowed me to become a more empathic and confident person.


Leiden Excellence Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

This scholarship is intended for: 1. Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme starting February 2017 or September 2017. All MA, MSc and LLM programmes that are mentioned on the website Master's programmes in Leiden are eligible for LExS, but note that some programmes have a start date in September only.
2. Students of all nationalities enrolling in the Advanced Master programmes in the list below starting February 2017 or September 2017. Note that the programmes listed below have a September start date only, with the exception of Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law: ◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Air & Space Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Business Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Public International Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Civil & Commercial Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in Law & Digital Technologies
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European Tax Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in European & International Human Rights Law
◦Master of Laws: Advanced Studies in International Children's Rights
◦MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy

Additional requirements1.In his or her prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad. We do not need proof of this, it is just to indicate the competitiveness of the scholarship. 2.The applicant will hold a non-EU/EEA passport and will not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans ("Studiefinanciering"; more information). This requirement does not apply to applicants who apply for a LExS for programmes mentioned under point 2 "For whom". 3.Scholarships will not be awarded to applicants who have already obtained a Leiden University master’s degree with the exception of students applying for a Master programme for which a specified previous Master programme or work experience is mandatory (the LLM advanced masters qualify as such). 4.Students who are granted a LExS must comply with and confirm in writing their agreement with the Rules and Regulations attached to the scholarship prior to the granting of the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



For excellent Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in a Leiden University master's degree programme and for excellent students of all nationalities enrolling in a Master of Law Advanced Programme or MSc in International Relations & Diplomacy.The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship programme has three awards: •€ 10.000 of the tuition fee •€ 15.000 of the tuition fee •Total tuition fee minus the statutory tuition fee The number and type of award of the scholarship depends on the budget available for each Faculty department. The type of award has no reflection on the students' academic level of excellence. Please be aware that the LExS is not a full scholarship.

Application Procedure

1. Fill in your online application for admission to Leiden University. Deadline 1 October 2016 for all programmes starting in February 2017.
Deadline for programmes starting September 2017 •All programmes except law:
1 February 2017 •Law programmes:
1 March 2017 2. Upload all required documents. 3. Indicate clearly that you would like to apply for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page. Please note that if you apply for more than one master's programme, you have to indicate that you apply for the LExS scholarship for all these programmes seperately.
4. Upload your letter of motivation for the LExS scholarship on the scholarship page.

5. Submit your online application.

6. Pay the application fee of € 100.

7. The selection committee of the relevant faculty will review the applications. Students are selected on the basis of academic merit.

8. All LExS applicants will be informed by the scholarship department of Student Educational Affairs about the outcome of the selection procedure.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from a university, equivalent to the level of a Dutch academic bachelor’s degree, or demonstrate to meet the requirements for such a degree. Sufficient command of English (IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 100 (internet-based) or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)). This language requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada (except Quebec), USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate, or a Dutch VWO-diploma.

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