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European Social Security

Course Description

The Master of European Social Security is a one-year advanced master's programme organised by KU Leuven's Faculty of Law of the KU Leuven dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense, including cash benefit schemes, pensions and health care systems. The programme comprises 60ECTS and starts with the summer school in August. The programme concludes the following academic year (July of next year).

The programme provides an in-depth study of social security and social protection from a legal, economical, sociological, administrative and philosophical perspective. In addition to being multidisciplinary, the curriculum contains a strong comparative and multinational component focusing on the provision of social protection rights across Europe. This gives you the opportunity to understand the many different approaches to social security that co-exist within our old continent. At the same time, you will gain a better understanding of your own national system. The programme also includes careful study of the role of international bodies such as the European Union.

The Master's programme is offered in two options: one a more practice-oriented track and a research-oriented track. Admission to the research-oriented track is based on your end results of the examinations organised at the end of the Executive Summer School and is subject to the decision of an Academic Selection Committee. Only a maximum of six students are admitted to this track every year. The two tracks share 30 ECTS in common coursework and 30 ECTS in specialised, track-specific coursework. The classes and workshops organised in Leuven (Belgium) are grouped into a limited number of weeks. Remaining coursework is completed via digital learning platform. The platform connects you to Europe's best lecturers who guide you through their specially designed course materials remotely.

This unique teaching platform worldsoffers the best of both worlds: an authentic university experience at one of Europe's foremost universities during your two stays on campus and the flexibility to complete the majority of the programme from home. This enables you to carry on with your normal family and professional life for the largest part of your studies. Throughout the programme, you will be connected to a unique international network of universities and be in contact with teaching staff and fellow participants from all over Europe.

The programme can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The programme is a specialised, research-based education, dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense. It provides the students with an in-depth study of social protection from a legal, economic, sociological and administrative perspective, confronting the students with the most recent research and several national backgrounds, thus stimulating individual reflection.

At the end of the programme the participants should be able to :
- design and carry out individual research projects in the area of social security, as well as participate in the conception, execution and supervision of team research;
- put their national/monodisciplinary approach in a broader perspective by including other disciplines and abandoning a merely national point of view;
- recognise national and temporal contingencies from essential social security boundaries;
- take up unfashionable positions if their research so demands;
- take part in and position themselves on a good multidisciplinary and comparative basis in any debate concerning social security issues;
- deliver results and opinions that contribute to the advancement of social security related research in Europe;
- translate research results to the broader public;
- make research results relevant for policy making; be able to translate questions from policy-makers into research questions, deal with them and explain the results to policy-makers.

[[Career paths]]

Graduates are professionally active in areas related to social security (social or private insurance institutions, social administrations, social and economic policy-makers).

Entry Requirements


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