Law and Politics of International Security

Develop a broad view of international security

Security in a changing world

This one-year Master's programme aims at transferring to students the knowledge, skills and insight necessary to operate as a professional or academic researcher in the area of international peace of security. Issues of international peace and security are becoming increasingly important in legal, political and administrative practice. The concept of ‘international security’ is no longer confined to traditional issues of war and peace, but now also covers topics such as terrorism, criminal law, the protection of human rights and ‘human security’.

Develop a broad view of international security

The programme is based on the assumption that international law cannot be properly understood outside its political context, whereas contemporary international politics cannot be fully grasped without a solid knowledge of international legal institutions. It offers a multidisciplinary approach to the rapidly changing field of international peace and security. It includes topics such as the United Nations system of collective security, the transformation of war (including catastrophic terrorism and other forms of political violence), human rights protection, the development of international criminal tribunals and humanitarian law.

The programme has three basic characteristics:

  • a multidisciplinary approach, combining international law and international relations;
  • a thematic focus on international security;
  • an interactive and international academic community where staff and students are engaged in research and the development of knowledge.

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Research

There is a close link between this multidisciplinary master's programme and research at the Centre for Politics of Transnational Law.

The Master’s programme in Law and Politics of International Security is an interdisciplinary, one-year programme that is offered jointly by the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social Sciences.

In addition to lectures and seminars, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of all sorts of interesting activities that are organized regularly, such as guest lectures, conferences and excursions. Field trips to international organizations and international tribunals are an integral part of the programme. You will be encouraged to participate in extra-colloquial seminars with experts and practitioners in the field of international peace and security. The programme is taught entirely in English and consists of:

  • Four compulsory courses
  • Two elective courses
  • A Master’s thesis

If you do not have sufficient background in International Relations Theory or Public International Law, then we strongly recommend selecting these two courses as electives. 

PROGRAMME

The Master’s programme in Law and Politics of International Security offers a curriculum that focuses on international security from the perspectives of international law and international relations. Moreover, it provides insight into the common foundations of the two disciplines, the different methods and theories as well as the interplay between the two in the area of international security. Below you will find a couple of examples of topics that are covered in the programme.

Civil wars and terrorism
The laws of armed conflict have been made by nations for nations. However, most armed conflicts these days are no longer inter-state wars but civil wars or armed repression of international terrorism. How can the laws of armed conflict be applied to these struggles?

The United Nations and humanitarian interventions
To what extent is the collective security system established under the UN Charter effective? Should the rules and principles governing the conduct of war be reconsidered in the light of new types of conflicts as they are taking place today? How should the international community deal with genocide or gross human rights violations?

Other subjects:
  • Historical doctrines and theories of war 
  • UN system of collective security 
  • Role and powers of the Security Council 
  • The changing nature of war 
  • Legal constraints on warfare 
  • Principles and limits of humanitarian law 
  • International terrorism 
  • Counter-terrorism, human rights and humanitarian law 
  • Security dilemma 
  • Arms control and disarmament 
  • Building of security communities 
  • Democratic politics and war 
  • Democratization processes and conflict 
  • Human security


      
Calendar

Credits and title 
Credits are listed according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This system is based on student workload, which includes hours spent in class, studying, writing papers and completing assignments. A full academic year is equivalent to 60 EC, one semester to 30 EC. The degree of Master in Law (LLM) is conferred upon students who satisfactorily achieve a minimum of 60 credits.   
 
Schedule
The regular academic year in the Netherlands runs from September through June and is divided into a semester system. July and August are holiday months. Remember that all schedules are subject to change!

Law and Politics of International Security courses in the study guide.

Earning a Master’s degree in Law and Politics of International Security means you will have a unique interdisciplinary qualification. Your knowledge of international public and humanitarian law will qualify you for a career in one of the many fields where the concept of security is most significant. At the same time, your analytical skills and understanding of international politics will make you uniquely qualified to find solutions to complex problems.

Graduates from the programme have found positions in the broad field of international security, such as:

  • Ministries
  • Parliament
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (incl. Transparency International, Global Witness, Oxfam Novib)
  • International Organizations (OSCE; United Nations; European Union)
  • Private Security Firms (e.g. Legal Advisor for Maritime Security Provider)
  • Law firms
  • A court (judge in training / rechterlijk ambtenaar in opleiding)
  • Universities (PhD positions at the European University Institute at Florence and the universities of Aarhus, Berlin, Prague, Westminster, Duisburg-Essen, Amsterdam)
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross


Facebook and LinkedIn

Former and current students have created a Facebook group and a LinkedIn group for exchanging news, experiences and professional opportunities. Here you can see what students and alumni are up to.  

International
The Master’s programme in Law and Politics of International Security brings together a select group of international students who share a keen interest in international law and international politics. It has attracted students from all over the world, including students from Afghanistan, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Uganda and the United States. If you enjoy discussing international security in a truly international environment, then this is the ideal programme for you. Because of the limited number of students admitted each year, you will get to know your peers from many different countries very well.

Small-scale
Compulsory courses are delivered in a seminar-like format to classes composed of a limited number of students and have an interactive character. Students are expected to actively contribute to the discussions, to elaborate and present their personal views, to write assignments on specific topics and to make oral presentations.

Research-oriented
Research is emphasized throughout the programme. You will be introduced to different methodologies for carrying out independent research. Your Master’s thesis will give you the opportunity to really go in-depth in examining an international security topic that is of particular interest to you. Research is combined with practical activities and exercises such as role-playing and moot courts. You will be encouraged to become a member of the editorial board of the journal Amsterdam Law Forum.

Interdisciplinary
Contemporary issues in international security are impossible to understand without a solid understanding of both international law and international politics. This is why only an interdisciplinary programme is suitable for providing future analysts and practitioners with the skills needed to work successfully in today’s security environment. The Master’s programme in Law and Politics of International Security is unique in offering an interdisciplinary approach, taught by staff from the departments of international law, political science and criminology.

Experienced lecturers
Lecturers are primarily drawn from the Faculties of Law and Social Sciences of the VU Amsterdam. International scholars, senior professional and recognized experts in the field of security participate both as regular lecturers and as guest lecturers.

Unique location
VU Amsterdam benefits from its unique location, right in an international city in the heart of Europe and a few miles from The Hague, where the Peace Palace, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and many international courts and tribunals are located.   

Ingrid Johansen

Student

Ingrid Johansen

"You study armed conflicts both from an international relations angle and an international law angle. That's what makes the programme so interesting."

Overview Law and Politics of International Security

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 April for students from outside the EU. 1 June for all other students.

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS


n.a.

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law
Behavioural and Social Sciences

The Master's programme offers a curriculum that focuses on international security from the perspectives of international law (especially conflict and security law) and international relations (especially security and conflict studies). Moreover, it provides insight in the common foundations of the two disciplines, the different methods and theories of both disciplines as well as the interplay between international law and international politics in the area of international security. 

Contemporary international security is characterized by new threats and problems that are becoming ever more complex. This is why we offer an interdisciplinary programme that provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to understand current challenges to international security and to work as a professional in this field. The programme takes a clear, interdisciplinary approach: it combines knowledge and modes of thinking from international law and politics with a view to advancing understanding of security issues in ways that would not be possible when taking a mono-disciplinary approach. 

New wars 
The armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Western Africa or the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the war on terror do not follow the same inner logic as the wars of the 20th century. The failure to understand the different objectives of the warring parties and the economics of war have often rendered the international community’s response fruitless. We discuss the differences between ‘new’ and ‘old’ wars as well as the consequences for peacemaking and consolidation. 

Private military companies 
Private Military Companies not only assist many national militaries in armed conflicts; they also frequently have an impact on which side wins and the conditions for ending the conflict. The rise of Private Military Companies as important actors in armed conflicts around the world cannot be understood without knowledge of international humanitarian law on the one hand, and the interaction between democratic politics and international conflict on the other. As a consequence, any attempt to regulate the activities of Private Military Companies requires a profound insight into political as well as legal complications and options.

The Master’s programme in Law and Politics of International Security is an integral part of a vibrant research community at VU Amsterdam. We bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Regular workshops, guest lectures and staff presentations will provide you with opportunities to gain insights into cutting-edge research on international security.
      
There is a close link between this multidisciplinary Master's programme and research at the Centre for Politics of Transnational Law.

At VU Amsterdam we regularly organize interesting activities for our students, like guest lectures, conferences and excursions. 

Upcoming and past guest lectures

  • Alumni Day 2016 with former Minister of Defense, Eimert van Middelkoop, 9 April 2016. 
  • Prospects and limits of international law in times of conflict. The International Criminal Court and beyond. Special Lecture by Professor Beth Simmons (Harvard University), 26 September 2014 (watch the lecture and the subsequent discussion with students on Youtube). 
  • Alumni Day 2015 with keynote speaker Prof. Ciaran Burke (Jena University), 20 April 2015.  European Security Policy in the Age of Drones, lecture by Ana Juncos (University of Bristol), 9 September 2014.    
  • Workshop on elections in post-war societies with Prof. Matthijs Bogaards (University of Bremen) and Manuel Vogt (ETH Zürich) on Friday, October 12, 2012.
  • Inaugural lecture to the 2012-13 academic year by Professor Carlo Focarelli (University of Perugia) on Cyberwar on Tuesday 18 September 2012.
  • Alumni Day Lecture “Global security: can we escape the madness of sanity?” by Prof. Ken Booth (Aberystwyth University) on 20 April 2012 at 4 PM in the Atrium.
  • Seminar on Climate Change and Conflict with Prof. Halvard Buhaug (Peace Research Institute Oslo), Prof. Wolfgang Wagner (VU Amsterdam) and Dr. Laurens Bouwer (VU Amsterdam) on 19 March 2012 at 2 PM in the Aurora Room, Main Building.
  • The International Use of Force: Regulation through Constitutionalization? Inaugural lecture to the 2011-12 academic year by Professor Lothar Brock (Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main) Monday 19 September 2011, 4 PM in the Aurora (Main Building).
  • "The Implementation of International Humanitarian Law: Recent Developments", inaugural Lecture 2010-2011 by Professor Robert Kolb (University of Geneva) on Thursday 9 September 2010, Room 2D-16 at 3.30 PM. The lecture will be followed by an informal reception.
  • "The Rise and Fall of Universal Jurisdiction", guest lecture by Luc Reydams, Associate Professor at Notre Dame University (United States) on Wednesday 24 February 2010, Room D1-05 at 2 PM.
  • “Shaping U.S. Foreign Policy in Time of Crises”, guest lecture by Michael Scharf, professor at Case Western Reserve University Law School, 16 December 2009.
  • “The Security Council, the Security Imperatives and International Law”, Master Inaugural lecture by Nigel D. White, Professor of International Law at the University of Nottingham, 10 September 2009.


Conferences

  • Conference “Liberal Internationalism and European Security: Challenges and Contradictions” with, among others, former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, former EU special Representative Pieter Feith, Prof. Mary Kaldor, Prof. Roger MacGinty, Prof. Valsamis Mitsilegas, October 19/20 2015. 
  • Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation on International Security, Dutch Parliament, 21 November 2014 with Simon Lunn (former Secretary General to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly), Michiel Servaes (MP), Anna Herranz-Surralles (University of Maastricht). 
  • Piracy and Counter-Piracy, 20 February 2014 with, among others, Ursula Daxecker (University of Amsterdam) and Freek Marchal (alumnus of the program and legal advisor at the Netherlands Maritime Headquarters)  
  • Necessity Across International Law, Amsterdam, 24-25 April 2009. Main speakers: Prof. M. Fizmaurice, Prof. G. Venturini, Prof. Koutrakos, Prof. Reinisch, Prof. Qureshi, Dr, Tsagourias. Papers to be published in 41 Netherlands Yearbook of International Law (2010).
  • Visit to the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on January 29th, 2010. 
  • Excursion to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Dutch Foreign Office, The Hague, 10 November 2009.    


Competitions

Frits Kalshoven Competition
Three students attending International humanitarian law will represent VU Amsterdam at the Frits Kalshoven Competition. The competition is organized every year in The Hague by the Dutch Red Cross, with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the T.M.C. Asser Institute, and the Ministry of Defense of The Netherlands. It is and aims to be a practical experience of the application of international humanitarian law in various situations of an imaginary armed conflict and includes a moot court competition. Teams representing Dutch universities – including VU Amsterdam – take part in the competition.
More information on the competition

Frits Kalshoven Competition 2010:

Kalshoven1 Kalshoven2 Kalshoven3

Kalshoven4 Kalshoven5

Amsterdam Law Forum 

Students enrolled in the Master's programme can join the editorial board of the VU Amsterdam international and European law journal, the students-run online journal of the Faculty of Law. 
More information on the Amsterdam Law Forum 

Student experiences

040 Eva Entenmann

"Coming from a background in international relations, the Law and Politics of International Security Master's programme was the ideal way to build on my political science knowledge and to explore a field completely new to me: international law. While I thoroughly enjoyed learning new theories, it was especially the way the programme is taught, which made it stand out for me. The focus is on critical thinking and understanding how law, politics and security are not separate spheres, but all influence each other. At the same time, the programme was flexible enough for me to discover and pursue my own interests through electives and the final thesis. The professors were incredibly engaged and constantly encouraged us to think outside the box and apply what we learnt through case studies, discussions and a moot court. Since completing the course, I have undertaken an internship in international criminal law and am currently doing research work."

Eva Entenmann, former Law and Politics of International Security student

040 Freek Marchal

"I took part in the programme as an officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy and even as an active military employee, I felt the content of the courses were ever relevant to my work. I have worked for the navy ever since and I will be assigned a post as Legal Advisor to the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Maritime Forces as of January 2013. This means working in an environment where legal knowledge and political insight into complex international matters is required. The programme as well as the many possibilities we got to participate in extra curricular activities (such as seminars, competitions like Kalshoven/WorldMUN/SIMOTAN, excursions to NATO Headquarters, etc), prepare you for responsible jobs like this in a professional way."

Freek Marchal, former Law and Politics of International Security student

040 Sofie Dreef"A year and a half after graduating from the Master's programme, I can say the programme is of a very high standard. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in international affairs who is not only keen to gain new knowledge and insights but also to develop skills such as critical thinking, writing and debating. After I finished my courses, I did a fulltime internship at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which gave me the opportunity to put my newly gained knowledge into practice. Writing my thesis was probably the most challenging, but also the most enjoyable part of the programme. It allows you to explore a topic of your interest in-depth and become an expert in the field. I was so proud when I handed in my final version! My supervisor was equally enthusiastic and together we have successfully applied for a research grant. I am currently finishing up my second Master's programme at the London School of Economics, but I will be back at VU Amsterdam in September. This time not as a student, but as a researcher!"

Sofie Dreef, former Law and Politics of International Security student

Amina Ndifi

"As a German lawyer with professional experience in the field of development cooperation, the Law and Politics of International Security Master's programme was the perfect contribution to both my theoretical and practical background. On the one hand, I could deepen and extend my knowledge about international law, and on the other hand, I could fill the gap in regard to contemporary international politics and its underlying theoretical background. Throughout the programme I discovered my strong interest for International Humanitarian Law - and luckily was able to participate in the 'Frits Kalshoven Competition on IHL', promoted by the Faculty of Law and organised by the Netherlands Red Cross. As a logical consequence for me, I finalised the programme by writing my thesis on a topic related to the International Committee of the Red Cross. After having completed the programme, I directly entered a position in the field of development cooperation, and am currently working as a Project Manager for EU funded legal reform projects all over the world."

Amina Nfidi, former Law and Politics of International Security student

Admission with a Dutch degree

This Master is selective and open to a limited number of students only. The Admission Board selects on merit. Selection is based on

  • GPA or an overall grade average. Minimum requirement: B+ or 7.8 as an overall average or a GPA of at least 3.25
  • a student's level of interdisciplinarity
  • mark and content of the bachelor or master thesis
  • relevant extra-curricular activities (e.g. internship and (voluntary) work)
  • general impression of the candidate based on shown interest in international law, politics and security; letter of motivation; letter(s) of recommendation, and proof of academic writing

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Law (LLB) can apply.

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences or Liberal Arts and a basic knowledge of international law or international relations theory may apply.

Applicants who do not have a background in either International Law or International Relations requirement(s) are also invited to apply, provided that they have good grades, considerable experience in the field of Law, Social Sciences or Liberal Arts and can show their interest in the subject field of the programme.

You cannot apply with an HBO degree. The faculty does not offer a pre-master for the LPIS Master.

For the master Law and Politics of International Security a minimum C1 proficiency in English is required. This requirement is met if no longer than two years before the start of the programme, the applicant has successfully completed one of the following examinations with at least the scores indicated:

  • IELTS: minimum total score ≥ 7.0, minimum score per test section: 6.5
  • TOEFL paper based test: 600 
  • Revised TOEFL PBT: minimum total score 68, minimum score per test section: 22 
  • TOEFL iBT (internet based test): minimum total score ≥ 100, minimum score per test section: 22 
  • Cambridge Advanced English: minimum score B 
  • C2 Proficiency (formerly Cambridge English: Proficiency): minimum score C

Exemption is granted to students who:

  • have completed their secondary education or an academic degree in the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand or Australia; or
  • have an English-language ‘international baccalaureate’ diploma.

The proof of English proficiency can be submitted after the application deadline, but must have been received by the faculty before the start of the programme. Without an English proficiency test score which meets the specifications mentioned above or a waiver, you cannot start the programme.

Application is possible from 11 October. The application deadline is:

1 April for students from outside the EU
1 June for EU students

Application steps

  1. Register via Studielink.
  2. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet.
  3. Upload the following application documents via VUnet (preferably PDF format):
    1. certified copy of academic degree or if not yet graduated: declaration from your home university with an expected graduation date;
    2. certified transcript in English of grades obtained so far;
    3. curriculum vitae;
    4. letter of motivation, explaining your reasons for wishing to participate in the programme;
    5. proof of academic writing in English:
      • As part of the admission procedure, you are kindly asked to write a short essay, in which you discuss a current issue of ‘law and politics in international security'. Please argue in about 750 words how this issue is relevant to the LPIS program, making use of relevant academic literature.
      • Upload your proof of academic writing in a Word or PDF document on VUnet as document type thesis;
    6. 2 letters of recommendation from academic referees (including the ranking position of the applicant and information on how they know the prospective student). We prefer digital copies uploaded in VUnet, but referees may also mail their references directly to admission.law@vu.nl
    7. copy of passport and copy of residence permit (if applicable);
    8. optional: course descriptions of relevant courses completed; please note that the admission board may ask for these at a later stage if deemed necessary for reviewing your application;
    9. optional: literature list or bibliography of relevant books and articles used during your studies); please note that the admission board may ask for this at a later stage if deemed necessary for reviewing your application.
  4. Send proof of English proficiency to admission.law@vu.nl. This may be sent at a later stage (see Language requirements for details).
  5. As soon as all required application documents have been received, your dossier is submitted to the Admission board. Please note that your dossier must be complete on the application deadline! Incomplete dossiers cannot be taken into consideration.
  6. You receive a decision according to the schedule below.
  7. If you have been admitted: finalize your application

More information on the application process + documents.

You will receive practical information regarding the start of the programme during the summer.

Decision schedule
The Admission board starts reviewing applications and accepting students in February.

As this is an interdisciplinary Master with a limited number of students, the admission board pays special attention to the heterogeneity of the cohort. An overall balance in terms of disciplinary and geographical origins is a specific consideration for selection. In order to achieve this balance, the board can decide to put their decision on a specific application on hold.

Application dossier complete by 1 Februarydecision in week 7
Application dossier complete by 1 March decision in week 11
Application dossier complete by 1 April decision in week 15
Application dossier on hold on 1 Aprildecision in week 15
Application dossier complete by 1 Maydecision in week 19
Application dossier complete by 1 Junedecision in week 24
Application dossier on hold on 1 Junedecision in week 24
Admission / Applicationadmission.law@vu.nl (Rianne van Empelen/Anneke de Laaf)
Details programmecontact@vu.nl
Contact programme
Prof. Dr. T.E. (Tanja) Aalberts
Dr. M. (Marijn) Hoijtink
Tuition, Studielink, VUnetStudent Desk
Information days, general questionscontact@vu.nl


Information days
Visit our VU Master's event and get acquainted with our Master's degree programmes. Our students and staff are available to help you with all your questions during the information sessions and at the information market.

Admission with an international degree

This Master is selective and open to a limited number of students only. The Admission Board selects on merit. Selection is based on

  • GPA or an overall grade average. Minimum requirement: B+ or 7.8 as an overall average or a GPA of at least 3.25
  • a student's level of interdisciplinarity
  • mark and content of the bachelor or master thesis
  • relevant extra-curricular activities (e.g. internship and (voluntary) work)
  • general impression of the candidate based on shown interest in international law, politics and security; letter of motivation; letter(s) of recommendation, and proof of academic writing

Applicants with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in Law (LLB) can apply.

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 could not be sufficient to enter into this LLM programme and their application could result in a rejection.

The faculty does not offer a pre-master for the LPIS Master.

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree Social Sciences or Liberal Arts and a basic knowledge of international law or international relations theory may apply.

Applicants who do not meet the abovementioned requirement(s) are also encouraged to apply, provided that they have a sound academic background and considerable experience in the field of Law, Social Sciences or Liberal Arts (which they can support with documentary evidence).

Your 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 factor in the possibility that a relevant Bachelor’s degree could not be sufficient to enter into this LLM programme and their application could result in a rejection.

The faculty does not offer a pre-master for the LPIS Master.

For the master Law and Politics of International Security a minimum C1 proficiency in English is required. This requirement is met if no longer than two years before the start of the programme, the applicant has successfully completed one of the following examinations with at least the scores indicated:

  • IELTS: minimum total score ≥ 7.0, minimum score per test section: 6.5
  • TOEFL paper based test: 600 
  • Revised TOEFL PBT: minimum total score 68, minimum score per test section: 22 
  • TOEFL iBT (internet based test): minimum total score ≥ 100, minimum score per test section: 22 
  • Cambridge Advanced English: minimum score B 
  • C2 Proficiency (formerly Cambridge English: Proficiency): minimum score C

Exemption is granted to students who:

  • have completed their secondary education or an academic degree in the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand or Australia; or
  • have an English-language ‘international baccalaureate’ diploma.

The proof of English proficiency can be submitted after the application deadline, but must have been received by the faculty before the start of the programme. Without an English proficiency test score which meets the specifications mentioned above or a waiver, you cannot start the programme.

Application is possible from 1 October. The application deadline is:

1 February for international students who wish to apply for one of the VU scholarships.
1 April for students from outside the EU
1 April for EU students not residing in the Netherlands who wish to apply for housing
1 June for EU students

Application steps

  1. Register via Studielink.
  2. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet.
  3. Upload the following application documents via VUnet (preferably PDF format):
    1. certified copy of academic degree or if not yet graduated: declaration from your home university with an expected graduation date;
    2. certified transcript in English of grades obtained so far;
    3. curriculum vitae;
    4. letter of motivation, explaining your reasons for wishing to participate in the programme;
    5. proof of academic writing in English:
      • As part of the admission procedure, you are kindly asked to write a short essay, in which you discuss a current issue of ‘law and politics in international security'. Please argue in about 750 words how this issue is relevant to the LPIS program, making use of relevant academic literature.
      • Upload your proof of academic writing in a Word or PDF document on VUnet as document type thesis;
    6. 2 letters of recommendation from academic referees (including the ranking position of the applicant and information on how they know the prospective student). We prefer digital copies uploaded in VUnet, but referees may also mail their references directly to masters.law@vu.nl
    7. copy of passport and copy of residence permit (if applicable);
    8. optional: course descriptions of relevant courses completed; please note that the admission board may ask for these at a later stage if deemed necessary for reviewing your application;
    9. optional: literature list or bibliography of relevant books and articles used during your studies); please note that the admission board may ask for this at a later stage if deemed necessary for reviewing your application.
  4. Send proof of English proficiency to masters.law@vu.nl. This may be sent at a later stage (see Language requirements for details).
  5. As soon as all required application documents have been received, your dossier is submitted to the Admission board. Please note that your dossier must be complete on the application deadline! Incomplete dossiers cannot be taken into consideration.
  6. You receive a decision according to the schedule below.
  7. If you have been admitted: finalize your application

More information on the application process + documents.

You will receive practical information regarding the start of the programme during the summer.

Decision schedule
The Admission board starts reviewing applications and accepting students in February.

As this is an interdisciplinary Master with a limited number of students, the admission board pays special attention to the heterogeneity of the cohort. An overall balance in terms of disciplinary and geographical origins is a specific consideration for selection. In order to achieve this balance, the board can decide to put their decision on a specific application on hold.

Application dossier complete by 1 Februarydecision in week 7
Application dossier complete by 1 March decision in week 11
Application dossier complete by 1 April decision in week 15
Application dossier on hold on 1 Aprildecision in week 15
Application dossier complete by 1 Maydecision in week 19
Application dossier complete by 1 Junedecision in week 24
Application dossier on hold on 1 Junedecision in week 24
Admission / applicationmasters.law@vu.nl (Laura Smit)
Details programmecontact@vu.nl
Contact programme
Prof. Dr. T.E. (Tanja) Aalberts
Dr. M. (Marijn) Hoijtink
Tuition, Studielink, VUnetStudent Desk
Information days, general questionscontact@vu.nl


Information days
Visit our VU Master's event and get acquainted with our Master's degree programmes. Our students and staff are available to help you with all your questions during the information sessions and at the information market.

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