International Business Law

Become a world-class business lawyer

International commercial transactions – Cross-border sales – Transfer of technology – Mergers and acquisitions of companies – Investment in complex construction projects abroad – International registration of trademarks 

These are just a few examples of legal work that business lawyers managing their international clients’ portfolio are faced with in their everyday practice. The increasing level of globalization and interconnectedness requires a flexible and open approach to the legal problems which accompany the international trade of products and services. Predominantly, it entails the knowledge of legal rules that apply to such transactions.

Students who successfully completed the International Business Law (IBL) Master's programme have a wide range of career choices. IBL alumni opt for a career as professional business lawyers, in-house legal counsels for companies, government officials, corporate executives, legal professionals for an international (intergovernmental) organization, etcetera. Our alumni have jobs at, e.g., multinational companies, international law firms, banks and international accounting companies in their home countries or in the Netherlands. Others pusue a career as a legal counsel in government institutions or international organizations. 

Together with a Dutch bachelor in law degree, the IBL Master's degree provides for the so called civiel effect. A Dutch IBL Master graduate may thus opt for a career at a law firm in the Netherlands and can become a member of the Dutch Bar Association (Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten).

The IBL Master’s programme of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was evaluated as the best business law related master programme in the Netherlands (Master Guide 2016).

Study and understand the implications of law in the international arena

The IBL Master’s programme was launched in 1999. Since then, it offers a comprehensive graduate programme to students who aim at a career in the field of international commercial and trade law. The IBL Master’s programme is designed to cover a wide range of legal aspects relating to international commercial transactions. The courses are structured and coordinated to complement each other in order to give you the broadest possible view of issues that appear in international legal practice. Because the courses are taught by academics who are often also practicing lawyers, you will learn how to anticipate the problems with which you will be confronted in your future work.
 
The curriculum of the IBL Master’s programme includes the following courses: 

• International Company Law (6 EC) - mandatory
• International Contract Law (12 EC) - mandatory   
• Research Seminar (6 EC) - mandatory
• Competition Law (6 EC)
• EU Internal Market Law (6 EC)
• International Business and Internet Law: Privacy, Security and Contracting (6 EC)
• International Arbitration (6 EC)
• International Intellectual Property Law (6 EC)
• International Tax Law (6 EC)
• International Trade and Investment Law (6 EC)
• Private International Law (6 EC)

Besides, all students must write a Master's thesis (12 EC)

The International Business Law (IBL) Master's degree programme focuses on rules and practices that are relevant for international business transactions and relations. You will study the main legal areas and the interaction between the actors involved in business transactions. In addition, you will develop skills to anticipate, analyze and address legal problems that may arise in practice. You will write several papers and prepare oral presentations during the academic year. The IBL Master's programme includes a mandatory Research Seminar and a mandatory Master's thesis which you must defend in June (see below).

THE IBL MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMME

The IBL Master’s degree programme is a full-time, one-year graduate programme in law (LL.M.). It is taught in English and consists of several compulsory courses and optional courses that explore different fields of international business law (for instance International Contract Law, International Tax Law, International Company Law and International Intellectual Property Law). In addition, it includes a compulsory Master's thesis. International students participating in student exchange programmes are also admitted to some of these courses. 

The 2017 - 2018 IBL Master’s programme consists of:

  • Three mandatory courses (24 EC)
  • One profile to be chosen between (24 EC): 
    - Regulatory 
    - Transactions
  • Master's thesis (12 EC)

Approximately three months from the start of the academic year, you must choose one of the profiles Regulatory or Transactions.

  • The Transactions profile focuses on the relations between companies. The courses relate to private international law, international intellectual property law, international tax law and international arbitration as a way to solve disputes between contracting parties.
  • The Regulatory profile, on the other hand, focuses on the interactions between (inter)governmental institutions and international business. You will explore national and international legislation and the way governments and institutions regulate and supervise companies. The courses relate to international trade and investment law, EU internal market law, competition law, internet law and international business.
  • The optional course (outside the chosen profile) must be selected from the courses of the other profile.
  • Between March and mid-June, you will work on your Master's thesis under the supervision of a lecturer.

The courses are taught by both legal practitioners and academics. Many lecturers at the Law School of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam also work in practice as lawyers or as business counsels. The curriculum is structured to form a comprehensive programme. The initial mandatory courses provide you with a general legal foundation, and the following courses develop your knowledge in more specific areas of law. 

Master of Laws (LL.M.) 
The Master of Laws degree (LL.M./Legum Magister) is conferred upon students who satisfactorily achieve a minimum of 60 ECTS credits. This includes writing a Master's thesis that you will defend at the conclusion of the IBL Master’s programme. The IBL programme board will monitor your performance during the IBL Master’s programme. The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam hosts the graduation ceremony of the IBL Master’s programme in July during which ceremony you receive your Master's diploma. Families and friends are warmly invited to join this special event. 

Credits 
Credits are listed according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). This system is based on student workload, which includes hours spent in class and hours spent on individual study, writing papers and completing assignments. A full academic year is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits (two semesters). 

Schedule 
The regular academic year in the Netherlands runs from 1 September through the end of June, followed by the graduation ceremony in July. Please notice that all schedules are subject to change.

Internship 
Some students opt for a student internship at an international company or law firm located in the Netherlands. Such internship is extracurricular. Although you must arrange such internships themselves, companies sometimes offer such internships directly to us. In such cases, relevant information will be published on Blackboard Learn. Moreover, the board of the IBL programme can provide advice to you with respect to an internship.

MASTER'S THESIS

You will complete the IBL Master's programme by writing and defending a Master's thesis. You will select the topic of the Master's thesis in cooperation with a supervisor who is a lecturer at the Law School. The topic of the Master's thesis must relate to one of the subjects taught during the academic year. A Master's thesis requires between eight and ten weeks of research and writing, and should count approximately 12.000-20.000 words.

All thesis supervisors will encourage the students to choose an appropriate topic, and the student will learn how to write an academic Master's thesis according to the accepted standards of legal research. During the research and writing process the supervisor will provide you with guidance and feedback on how to modify and improve the research. You will defend your Master thesis during seminar sessions attended by academic staff and other students. The Master's thesis will be reviewed by a second assessor who is a lecturer at the Law School of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The supervisor and the second assessor will decide jointly upon the final grade.

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International Business Law courses in the study guide

Students who successfully completed the IBL Master's programme have a wide range of career choices. They can work as professional business lawyers, in-house legal counsels for companies, government officials, corporate executives, legal professionals for an international (intergovernmental) organization, etcetera. Our alumni have jobs at, e.g., multinational companies, international law firms, banks and international accounting companies in their home countries or in the Netherlands. Others pursue a career as a legal counsel in government institutions or international organizations. Some alumni choose to further develop their academic legal research skills by enrolling into a PhD programme at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam or elsewhere.

LinkedIn Alumni Group
Former students of the IBL Master's programme are linked to each other by means of a LinkedIn Alumni Group. They exchange news, experiences and professional opportunities there.

See where alumni are working now

International classroom  
The IBL Master’s programme is designed as an international and dynamic graduate programme. The relatively small number of international students in the class guarantees a highly interactive character of the courses. Students as well as lecturers coming from different countries and different legal cultures strongly contribute to a special and a truly global character of the IBL Master’s programme. It all offers a unique intellectual atmosphere for group discussions, presentation of views on legal matters and exchange of ideas that are enriched by diverse national perspectives.

Although the IBL Master’s programme is an internationally oriented programme which attracts students from all over the world, this programme is also very attractive to Dutch students. First of all, together with a Dutch bachelor in law degree the IBL Master’s degree provides for the so called civiel effect. Moreover, seen the far-reaching internationalization of businesses nowadays, it is crucial for a lawyer or an in-house legal counsel to draft various legal documents in English, as well as to understand the legal systems of other countries and other international developments in (European) law.

Connect with legal practitioners  
Academic training is a key to understanding the theoretical and legal framework of (international) business law. The complexity of modern business transactions requires the development of analytical skills that allow you to identify and comprehend the relationships between different fields of law. However, learning how this knowledge can be applied in practice constitutes an important part of legal training. The IBL Master’s programme is designed to offer you the opportunity to acquire both theoretical and practical legal skills. Lecturers in the IBL Master’s programme are legal academics as well as legal practitioners. Practicing lawyers from leading law firms, judges and legal advisors participate in the IBL Master's programme either as regular lecturers or as guest lecturers. Lecturers also work as students’ tutors, helping you to write papers or to make presentations. Under their supervision you will improve your study methods and legal skills.

Located in the business district of Amsterdam  
The Law School of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam benefits from its unique location, right in the heart of Amsterdam’s business district, where many international law firms and companies are situated. Moreover, Amsterdam is the gateway to other important capitals in Europe, and you can easily travel by fast train to, for example, Brussels, Paris, London or Berlin. This offers a unique experience of studying in the neighborhood of a real international business environment. In addition to this, a limited number of high-achieving students may have the opportunity to pursue an internship at one of the firms or companies located in the Netherlands. This depends on available projects and openings. Internships must be arranged by students themselves. Completed internships will be awarded with 6 ECTS credits (additional to (i.e., on top of) the madatory 60 ECTS credits curriculum of the IBL Master’s programme).

Training skills  
The improvement of legal academic skills constitutes an important goal of the IBL Master’s programme. The courses require writing several papers and preparing oral presentations, which will improve your performance and will help you to communicate effectively in (international) business relations. You will also publicly defend your Master's thesis in June before a committee composed of academic staff at the Law School.

Overview International Business Law

Language of instruction

English

Duration

1 year

Tuition fee

Application deadline

1 April for students from non-EU/EEA countries. 1 June for Dutch students and EU students.

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Specializations

 

Field of Interest

Economics, Business and Law

Discover Legal Europe - The Legal Grand Tour was launched in September 2016. This tour consists of six trips to six European capitals: Rome, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, London and The Hague. It is an unique experience to visit international organizations such as FAO in Rome or OECD in Paris, to participate in a workshop at the London Stock Exchange, talk to arbitrators at the London Court of International Arbitration or human rights activists in Berlin, ask a European parliamentarian on the future of the EU and many more. You are invited to join if you are a student enrolled in the master’s programme IBL; Law, Markets & Behavior; or Ondernemingsrecht aan de Zuidas. The tour is not part of any curricula of these master's programmes. Participation is optional and there are costs involved.

For more information, please check the website: www.legalgrandtour.com


Alumni of the IBL Master's programme are united in a LinkedIn group in order to exchange news, experiences and professional opportunites.

See where alumni are working now

A limited number of high-achieving students may be able to go on an internship at an international law firm. By working alongside experienced practitioners, you will learn how theoretical concepts are adapted and used to suit practical purposes. The IBL programme board cannot guarantee each student an internship, since opportunities are subject to interviews and the projects available.


Ann_Fromont"I was looking for a programme which could offer me a better understanding of the issues of international trade and the International Business Law programme totally met my expectations. The huge mix of nationalities within the group makes the programme even more special. You’ll meet people from all around the world, with different cultures, religions, history, political preferences... The result of this nationality mix is simply beyond all expectations! Also, assignments have to be submitted regularly and are taken into account for the final mark. This forces you to work on a regular basis, which in my opinion is a much better approach than putting all the pressure on one final exam."
Ann Fromont (Belgium), student of International Business Law


Lubabalo Ntsonkota"I have always been fascinated by commercial law. Companies are increasingly operating on a global market and this requires commercial lawyers to be equipped with the necessary skills. With VU Amsterdam offering a programme of this magnitude, I didn’t hesitate to choose this Master's programme. The group is diversified with students from different legal backgrounds, which is excellent. This has helped me immensely to gain an insight into civil law. I admire the open door policy used by lecturers. At all times they are willing to go an extra mile in teaching students. Their personalities are inviting to such an extent that I feel comfortable participating in class activities without the fear of being embarrassed when raising a point that I am not sure of. To be successful in this programme you have to take initiative and be able to think out of the box. After completion of this programme I intend  joining one of the top commercial law firms in South Africa. I very much want to make use of the skills and knowledge that I have acquired during the programme."
Lubabalo Ntsonkota (South Africa), student of International Business Law


Nail Hassanov"The Master's programme International Business Law attracted me because of its challenging curriculum. Another reason for choosing this programme is its international character. This is not only shown by the curriculum, but also by the lecturers and students, who are from various countries and have various educational backgrounds. The Faculty of Law of VU Amsterdam is very professional and attentive to the individual needs of every student. The atmosphere at the university is very friendly and exciting. Students can choose from a variety of events, both academic and social, to enrich the time of their stay in the Netherlands. I always feel at home here."
Nail Hassanov (Uzbekistan), student of International Business Law


Lei Tong"I wanted to come to Europe to study law. Chinese law has more of a civil law approach, so I think it’s valuable to come to a civil law country. I also prefer an international environment and Amsterdam is a very good choice in this aspect. Most of the people here speak English, which makes it easy to communicate. The programme is well organized and the classes are small scale. Although the curriculum is quite intensive, I like almost everything about it. The international atmosphere I think is the highlight of this programme and I very much enjoyed the study trip to the European institutions in Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels. The facilities at the university are also great, I can find nearly everything I need for my study in the main building, so I usually spend the whole day in there. As for the atmosphere in the university, it is friendly, open-minded and busy. Students always get together to discuss assignments or go out and have fun. Some of us have even become close friends. We do not only help each other with our studies, but also in our daily life."
Lei Tong (China), student of International Business Law

Below you find answers to frequently asked questions from international and national students.

HBO (university of Applied Sciences) students
Q: Can I apply for this IBL Master's programme with an HBO diploma?
A: No, only students with a bachelor degree from a research university can be considered.

Q: Can my application be considered with a relevant pre-Master’s programme?
A: Yes, but the chances of admission are very small. Only if you have excellent results and considerable experience in the field, your application will be considered. Note that every year there are more applicants than there are places available. The Admission Board of the IBL Master programme gives preference to students with a Bachelor’s degree from a research university. The faculty does not offer pre-Master’s programmes for this specific Master’s programme.

English proficiency
Q: My Bachelor's/Master's programme was taught in English / I have obtained an IB-certificate (International Baccalaureate) – do I still have to hand in an English test result?
A: No, not if your Bachelor's/Master's programme was taught in the EU or an English speaking country outside the EU or if you have obtained an English IB-certificate.

Q: I have not yet done an English proficiency test. Can I apply without the test result?
A: Yes you can. Please note that you have to hand in a test result that meets the minimum before September 1, but preferably sooner.

Q: I have completed part of my bachelor studies in English (e.g. I’ve been on an exchange programme that was taught in English). Do I still have to hand in an English proficiency test result?
A: Yes, unless your entire Bachelor's/Master's programme was taught in English, you still have to include an English proficiency test result. Also, applicants who have obtained an English IB-certificate (International Baccalaureate) do not have to hand in the results of an English proficiency test. Please note that this explanation is not applicable to international students who have obtained one of their degrees (Master's / Bachelor's / IB-certificate) in English, in a non-EU, non-English speaking country. If this is your case, please contact your International Student Advisor.

Original (hard copy) documents
Q: Do I have to send original documents per postal mail?
A: Not for the initial application. If you get admitted based on the digitally uploaded documents, we will inform you about which original documents we will need you to send and by when.

Part-time
Q: Is it possible to study for a Master's course part-time?
A: No. The IBL Master's programme is clearly designed for full time students. In almost all courses, attendance is expected.

Deadlines
Q: What are the application deadlines?
A: For non-EU students: 1 April, for EU (including NL students): 1 June. Please note though that we strongly advise an early application as only a limited number of places are available for which we will start admitted people from mid November. Starting from April the competition for the last available slots will be high.

Required Grade Average
Q: Can I apply when my overall grade average is lower than the set minimum?
A: A lower grade average does lower your chances of being accepted but with a relevant background and excellent motivation, admission is still possible.

Tuition Fees
Q: I have a question about tuition fees, where can I find the answer?
A: Please check this website. If you cannot find the answer here, please contact the Central Student Desk.

If you did not find the answer to your question here, please feel free to contact us.

Dutch students

The International Business Law (IBL) Master's programme is open to Dutch as well as international students. The IBL Master's programme is selective, meaning that all applicants (including Bachelor students of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) need to apply by uploading additional application documents (see below: applicable application procedure). The IBL Master's programme is open to a limited number of students only. The Admission Board of this IBL Master's programme will make a merit based selection of students.

The admission requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree in Law.
  • Applicants who do not meet the abovementioned requirement can also apply, provided that they have a sound academic background and considerable experience in the field of (international) law (the Admission Board would select such applicants only in exceptional circumstances).
  • Language proficiency requirements: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia. For Dutch students or foreign exchange students already residing in the Netherlands it is possible to take the institutional TOEFL test offered by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Please read our FAQ for detailed information about possible waivers.

The applicant’s previous 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 consider the possibility that a relevant Bachelor's degree in Law might not be sufficient to enter into this IBL Master's programme, and their application could result in a rejection. The Law School of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam does not offer any (English or Dutch) pre-Master's programmes.

The Admission Board will need to receive your complete file in order to make a good assessment of the application and of the applicant’s ability to follow and to successfully complete the IBL Master's programme. In the case of doubts, the Admission Board can invite the applicant to provide other additional documents in order to make a final decision. Incomplete files and files handed in after the deadline cannot be taken into consideration.

Criteria for selection
The main focus of selection will be on GPA or an overall grade average. Students should have at least a B+ or 7.8 as an overall average, or a GPA of at least 3.25.

Application procedure and deadlines 

Both Dutch and international students can submit their applications from as early as November of the academic year preceding the academic year they would like to enter the IBL Master's programme. The Admission Board starts reviewing applications and accepting students in January, and continues to do so until all available places are filled. Therefore, early application is strongly advised.

The deadlines for application are:

  • 1 April for students from outside the EU.
  • 1 June for all other students.
  • Please note: in case international students would like to apply for a university housing, we cannot guarantee this housing if the application to the IBL Master's programme is made after 1 April.

Please note that the deadline for applying for the VU Fellowship scholarship programme is 1 March. If you wish to apply for this scholarship, both the scholarship application and the application for the IBL Master's programme should be completed simultaneously. 

If you have any questions regarding the application for this Master's programme, please read our FAQ or find our contact information below.

If you have an international (non-Dutch) degree, please scroll down to 'international students' for information about the application procedure.
If you have a Dutch degree, the following application procedure applies to you:

The Admission Board starts reviewing applications and accepting students in January, and continues to do so until all available places are filled. Therefore, early application is strongly advised.

Step 1 - Register via Studielink

First of all students will need to register through Studielink. You can find more information on (re-)registration here and on the payment of tuition fees here. The deadline for registration through Studielink is set to 1 June. Please note that registration through Studielink on time is mandatory in order to be registered at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. If you are not registered at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam before the deadline of 1 June you cannot participate in the Master’s programme International Business Law.

Step 2 – Upload your application documents onto VUnet before 1 June

After having completed you registration for the programme on Studielink you will be directed to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s student portal VUnet via an email. On VUnet you can complete your application. As this concerns a selective Master's programme, you are asked to upload a number of documents that are required for us to make a decision on whether or not you can be admitted. We will need a complete application before we can start processing your application.

List of required documents: 
 1. a certified copy of the appropriate academic degree in English or Dutch or if not yet graduated: a declaration from your home university with an expected graduation date (if available); 

 2. a certified transcript in English; if you have not yet completed your educational programme, please send temporary transcripts showing the grades you have received to date. In that case, please also send us a list of courses that are not on the temporary transcripts but that you will have to take to complete your programme 

 3. a curriculum vitae; a curriculum vitae that includes your personal details and lists your previous education and relevant work experience; 

 4. a one-page letter of motivation; a one-page letter stating your reasons for applying to the programme. Also, if aplicable, please also specify in this letter, the name of the specialization you are applying for. 

 5. a proof of academic writing: a maximum of three pages of a final paper or thesis for the academic degree which has been obtained (or any other paper in English that has been written for studies); 
 If your previous curriculum did not include the writing of a thesis, any other representable piece of academic writing will serve as an alternative. 
 If you have not written anything in English during your studies, you can write a 3-5 pages abstract of a piece of academic writing including bibliography, in English. Please note, we will always check application documents for plagiarism. 

 6. letters of recommendation from two academic referees. If possible including the ranking position of the student (i.e. whether students belong to the top 1, 5, 10, 25 or 50% of the entire class); 
 Digital copies, uploaded in VUnet are preferred. If referees prefer providing their references directly to the university, they can e-mail to admission.law@vu.nl

 7. a proof of proficiency in English (TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge). An Institutional TOEFL test done via VU language centre is also accepted. Please check the admission requirements and our FAQ to see if any reasons for a possible waiver of this requirement may apply to you.

The minimum English language proficiency requirements for admission to a Master's programme at VU Amsterdam are:
•IELTS: 6.5 - please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the General one!
•TOEFL paper-based test: 580
•TOEFL Internet-based test: 92
•Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C
•Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C
•Vu-test English-language proficiency: TOEFL ITP

For TOEFL and IELTS, the test must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the year in which your course starts.
 Be aware of the fact that it can take a long time before you get the results of the English tests, so plan your test in time! Please note that you have to hand in a test result that meets the minimum before September 1, but preferably sooner. There is no specific place to upload your English language test in VUnet, you can send a copy of the test score card per email to admission.law@vu.nl.

8. a copy of a passport

9. a copy of a residence permit (if applicable).

10. optional: a course descriptions (list of most relevant courses that your bachelor studies consisted of); please note that the admission board may ask for this document at a later stage if its members consider this necessary for reviewing your application.

11. optional: a literature list or bibliography (list of most relevant books and articles used during your bachelor studies); please note that the admission board may ask for this document at a later stage if its members consider this necessary for reviewing your application.

No decisions on admission can be made by the Admission Board, until VU Amsterdam has received all your supporting documents within the deadline of 1 June (with the exception of a certified copy academic degree and proof of proficiency in English).

Questions about the IBL Master's programme
If you have detailed questions about the contents of the IBL Master's programme, please contact one of the board members:

  • Dr. Rik Mellenbergh (director)
  • Drs. Ioana Ciobanasu LL.M. (coordinator)  

Questions on admission and application
If you are a student with a Dutch degree and you have any questions on admission or application, please contact admission.law@vu.nl.

If you have an international degree, please contact our Admission Officer, ms. Laura Smit: admissionsfl@vu.nl.

General questions
If you have any general questions after reading the website, please contact our Communications department: info.law@vu.nl.


PowerPoint Master's Day
Have a look at the presentation of the previous Master's Day.

International students

The International Business Law (IBL) Master's programme is open to Dutch as well as international students. The IBL Master's programme is selective, meaning that all applicants (including Bachelor students of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) need to apply by uploading additional application documents (see below: applicable application procedure). The IBL Master's programme is open to a limited number of students only. The Admission Board of this IBL Master's programme will make a merit based selection of students.

The admission requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree in Law.
  • Applicants who do not meet the abovementioned requirement can also apply, provided that they have a sound academic background and considerable experience in the field of (international) law (the Admission Board would select such applicants only in exceptional circumstances).
  • Language proficiency requirements: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia. For Dutch students or foreign exchange students already residing in the Netherlands it is possible to take the institutional TOEFL test offered by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

The applicant’s previous 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 consider the possibility that a relevant Bachelor's degree in Law might not be sufficient to enter into this IBL Master's programme, and their application could result in a rejection. The Law School of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam does not offer any (English or Dutch) pre-Master's programmes. 

The Admission Board will need to receive your complete file in order to make a good assessment of the application and of the applicant’s ability to follow and to successfully complete the IBL Master's programme. In the case of doubts, the Admission Board can invite the applicant to provide other additional documents in order to make a final decision. Incomplete files and files handed in after the deadline cannot be taken into consideration. 

Criteria for selection 
The main focus of selection will be on GPA or an overall grade average. Students should have at least a B+ or 7.8 as an overall average, or a GPA of at least 3.25.

Both Dutch and international students can submit their applications from as early as November of the academic year preceding the academic year they would like to enter the IBL Master's programme. The Admission Board starts reviewing applications and accepting students in January, and continues to do so until all available places are filled. Therefore, early application is strongly advised. 

The deadlines for application are:

  • 1 April for students from outside the EU.
  • 1 June for all other students.
  • Please note: in case international students would like to apply for a university housing, we cannot guarantee this housing if the application to the IBL Master's programme is made after 1 April.

Please note that the deadline for applying for the VU Fellowship scholarship programme is 1 February. If you wish to apply for this scholarship, both the scholarship application and the application for the IBL Master's programme should be completed simultaneously. 

If you have any questions regarding the application for the IBL Master's programme, please contact the Admission Officer

Please select the applicable application procedure

Scholarships

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers various scholarships to international Master's students. 

Other scholarships 

  • Students in China can contact their NESO office (Netherlands Education Support Office) in Beijing: NESO Office Beijing
  • Indonesian students can contact their NESO Office Jakarta for more detailed information.
  • All other students may contact Nuffic, the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education, or visit Grantfinder, about studying in the Netherlands and financial aid, or their local Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Visa/Residence permit

Students from non-EU/EEA and Visa required countries who will stay for a period longer than 3 months, are required to obtain a permit for temporary stay (MVV- Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) in order to enter the Netherlands. The university applies for this visa by a so-called ‘accelerated visa procedure’. Students can not apply for a MVV themselves. 
More information on the application for your residence permit 

Insurance

Before you come to the Netherlands, you should inquire whether your current health insurance will suffice in the Netherlands or if you need a supplementary cover. If you are insured with your own company for your stay in the Netherlands, take a proof with you that you are. 
More information on insurances

Contact a student ambassador

Some international students are happy to tell you about their experiences with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed on the webpage below. Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam!

Information for international students > International degree holders > Contact our student ambassadors 

Questions about the IBL Master's programme 
If you have detailed questions about the contents of the IBL Master's programme, please contact one of the board members:

  • Dr. Rik Mellenbergh (director)
  • Drs. Ioana Ciobanasu LL.M. (coordinator)  

Questions on admission and application 
If you are a student with a Dutch degree and you have any questions on admission or application, please contact toelatingscommissie.rechten@vu.nl.

If you have an international degree, please contact our Admission Officer, ms. Laura Smit: admissionsfl@vu.nl

General questions 
If you have any general questions after reading the website, please contact our Communications department: info.law@vu.nl.


PowerPoint Master's Day 
Have a look at the presentation of the previous Master's Day.