Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.

Lay the foundation for your legal career

Immerse yourself in law

After getting your Bachelor’s degree in Law, you can go in many different directions. For example, you can opt for the specialisation in European and International Law and develop an understanding of the role of law in a globalising world. Or do you want to focus on issues like big data, human rights and information security by choosing the specialisation in International Technology Law?

The possibilities are almost endless. Thanks to the wide range of specialisations, you can immerse yourself in the issues that appeal to you the most.

The start dates of this programme are September 1st and February 1st.

Which specialisation do you choose?

Find out what the different possibilities are within the master's programme

Summary

Within the Law master's degree you can choose different specialisations. Click on the name of the specialisation to learn more about it.

Summary

You will study the core principles of European and international law in depth, and go beyond this to understand the role of law in a globalizing world, and the challenges that it raises to our traditional ideas of sovereignty and democracy. Optional courses allow for specialization, and whether your interests are in human rights, economic law, constitutional principles, security and terrorism, equality and justice, or cross-border phenomena such as global warming and the internet, the friendly and diverse department of Transnational Legal Studies will help you achieve a Master of Law degree (LLM) which takes you further in your career.

Issues the programme deals with

Some examples of issues the Master's programme deals with are: 

  • Can international and European law help address the challenges of our time, such as climate change, migration, new technologies,  and conflicts between cultures?
  • How are ideas of risk and security used in international law? Do states use these ideas to promote peace, or justify aggression?
  • Is the EU effective and democratic? Can it provide security and freedom to its citizens? Does it undermine the sovereignty of its Member States?

How are economic interests and human rights balanced in European and international law? Does free trade help states develop, or encourage exploitation? 

Skills on graduation 

You will have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the core elements of EU and international law; you will have specialist knowledge of a number of fields of EU and international law, such as international and EU trade law, EU integration, climate change law, human rights, the law of war, or EU discrimination law. You will be able to conduct research, and present your results orally and in writing. You will be able to construct and criticise legal arguments based on cases and situations. You will therefore be able to advise clients, help make new regulation, or do academic research within your fields.

For more information, please consult our study guide.

Curriculum details

Summary

Refugees from the Syrian Civil War who have escaped warfare are subsequently forced to navigate urgent and complex legal issues. A Filipino mother seeking reunification with her family in Europe faces similar obstacles. Both are confronted with the inter-relationships between humanitarian and human rights law, and the interactions between international and domestic legal systems.

Due to the complex interrelation between different jurisdictions and fields of law, international migration and refugee law must be analyzed from a multitude of angles and disciplines. This specialization studies international migration from the perspective of international and European law, and focuses on how they function in domestic legal orders.

The interplay between international, European and domestic law is a specific focus of this specialization and enables you to understand and analyze the complexity of the key issues of contemporary International Migration and Refugee Law.

During the master program you will also have plenty opportunity to work on your skillset. Clearly you will train your academic skills in all courses offered during the master. You can enhance your writing skills in the compulsory course Refugee and Family Migration Law (in which you write a paper) and in the courses Irregular Migration, Philosophy of international law and migration and the Migration Law Clinic. You can use these writing skills while writing your master thesis. Oral skills will be practiced during the moot courts and working groups of the compulsory course Migration and Legal Remedies. The Migration Law Clinic offers students the chance to define and work on their own learning goals, such as cooperation skills or communication skills and reflect on the development of those skills during the course. Master students are encouraged to enhance their skills by taking part in extracurricular activities, such as Know Your Rights (becoming a buddy of a refugee/asylum seeker), writing blogs, taking part in moot court competitions or presenting work experiences to their fellow students. 

Are you interested in a close and rigourous scrutiny of legal instruments involved in migration and refugee law and their relation with fundamental human rights law? Then the Master’s in International Migration and Refugee Law is the programme for you.

Research

For fifteen years now, the Amsterdam Centre of Migration and Refugee Law of VU Amsterdam has been one of the most prominent programmes in the field. It aims at tracking the multiplicity of complex developments in migration law that take place at the global, European and national levels. Research topics include asylum and refugee law, and family reunion law. This extends to research into the human costs of border control, the intersection between the family and migration law, the role of the judiciary, the meaning of time for residence entitlements, the relation between (irregular) migration and the welfare state, the EU principle of mutual trust and the role of time in migration law. Methods are varied, focusing on legal doctrinal, sociological, philosophical questions as well as more practice-oriented matters.

The excellent quality of the programme is reflected in the scholars’ numerous publications and in two VICI grants from NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) in 2010 (Van Walsum) and 2013 (Spijkerboer), two NWO VENI grants in 2010 (Brouwer) and in 2018 (Slingenberg), a NWO Research Talent grant in 2012 (Battjes and Stronks) and in 2019 (Spijkerboer and Dez), an NWO Comenius grant in 2019 (Reneman) and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2017 (De Hart). Members have conducted research for the European Commission, the European Parliament, UNHCR, WODC and Vluchtelingenwerk.

The research group is very visible in the public debate, and its scholars are active in advisory committees to the government and non-governmental organizations and publish frequently on Verblijfblog.nl, where topical migration law issues are explained for a broader public.

Career prospects

On completing this Master’s programma, you can start working or do more research. Our graduates, work for international (non-governmental) organizations involved in migration, e.g. UNHCR, the European Commission and  EASO and national and local NGO’s. Moreover, they are employed as immigration lawyers, clerks at national courts and employees for national immigration services and ministries as well as PhD students at universitities.

As international and national law on migration are profoundly intertwined, solid knowledge of international migration and refugee law is also most valuable for national institutions and organizations dealing with migration law, such as migration law firms, the judiciary, national and local governments or NGOs.

Summary

Technology creates situations that were the stuff of fantasy when most of our laws were created. Robots, biotech, autonomous vehicles and weapons, and the endless amassing and crunching of data - what does it mean to be a human being? And how do we relate to each other and to the natural world? These are questions we are forced to ask ourselves again in the face of technological progress. Law shapes and reflects the answers that we find.

Alongside core courses in international technology law, and big data, human rights and security, you will choose from subjects including: international weapons law, biotech and law, robots and artificial intelligence, and blockchain and disruptive tech.

You will be part of a friendly, accessible and international group of teachers and students interested in exploring the frontiers of regulation and technology, and you will graduate as a specialist with in-demand knowledge and skills.

Skills on graduation and future ahead 

You will have an overview of the major fields where law and technology interact and be familiar with the core legislation and legal principles; you will have in-depth knowledge of the law concerning data and privacy, as well as a number of other fields, such as e-commerce, bioethics, cybersecurity, robot and algorithm law, blockchain law, and regulation of tech giants. You will be able to do research and present oral and written arguments in these fields, and you will be aware of how technology law is created and shaped, and the issues it will face in the coming years. You will therefore be able to advise clients, make legal arguments, or conduct research, within the field of technology law. Your knowledge will be primarily of the law applying in the Member States of the EU, but you will also be aware of global trends, and differences and similarities with the US.

As an ITL graduate, you will use, develop or research the regulation of emerging technologies. Typically, you will work in law firms, international organizations such as the UN, EU or international technology regulators, governments, or NGOs.

There are relatively few lawyers with a solid understanding and knowledge of the law concerning emerging technologies, so graduates will be part of a specialized and in-demand group.

The career opportunities are as fascinating as they are wide-ranging. After graduating, you will be prepared for a career in:

  • Law firms – both large commercial firms and smaller specialised ones, including technology, IP and human rights firms.
  • Industry, banking or commerce – as a legal advisor dealing with privacy, cybersecurity, data, blockchain, liability or other issues
  • Government regulators – as a specialist helping regulate the tech industry
  • University research or NGOs – contributing to further understanding and debate and technology and law

For more information, please consult our study guide.

Curriculum details

  • Choose your specialisation

    Summary

    Within the Law master's degree you can choose different specialisations. Click on the name of the specialisation to learn more about it.

  • European and International Law

    Summary

    You will study the core principles of European and international law in depth, and go beyond this to understand the role of law in a globalizing world, and the challenges that it raises to our traditional ideas of sovereignty and democracy. Optional courses allow for specialization, and whether your interests are in human rights, economic law, constitutional principles, security and terrorism, equality and justice, or cross-border phenomena such as global warming and the internet, the friendly and diverse department of Transnational Legal Studies will help you achieve a Master of Law degree (LLM) which takes you further in your career.

    Issues the programme deals with

    Some examples of issues the Master's programme deals with are: 

    • Can international and European law help address the challenges of our time, such as climate change, migration, new technologies,  and conflicts between cultures?
    • How are ideas of risk and security used in international law? Do states use these ideas to promote peace, or justify aggression?
    • Is the EU effective and democratic? Can it provide security and freedom to its citizens? Does it undermine the sovereignty of its Member States?

    How are economic interests and human rights balanced in European and international law? Does free trade help states develop, or encourage exploitation? 

    Skills on graduation 

    You will have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the core elements of EU and international law; you will have specialist knowledge of a number of fields of EU and international law, such as international and EU trade law, EU integration, climate change law, human rights, the law of war, or EU discrimination law. You will be able to conduct research, and present your results orally and in writing. You will be able to construct and criticise legal arguments based on cases and situations. You will therefore be able to advise clients, help make new regulation, or do academic research within your fields.

    For more information, please consult our study guide.

    Curriculum details

  • International Migration and Refugee Law

    Summary

    Refugees from the Syrian Civil War who have escaped warfare are subsequently forced to navigate urgent and complex legal issues. A Filipino mother seeking reunification with her family in Europe faces similar obstacles. Both are confronted with the inter-relationships between humanitarian and human rights law, and the interactions between international and domestic legal systems.

    Due to the complex interrelation between different jurisdictions and fields of law, international migration and refugee law must be analyzed from a multitude of angles and disciplines. This specialization studies international migration from the perspective of international and European law, and focuses on how they function in domestic legal orders.

    The interplay between international, European and domestic law is a specific focus of this specialization and enables you to understand and analyze the complexity of the key issues of contemporary International Migration and Refugee Law.

    During the master program you will also have plenty opportunity to work on your skillset. Clearly you will train your academic skills in all courses offered during the master. You can enhance your writing skills in the compulsory course Refugee and Family Migration Law (in which you write a paper) and in the courses Irregular Migration, Philosophy of international law and migration and the Migration Law Clinic. You can use these writing skills while writing your master thesis. Oral skills will be practiced during the moot courts and working groups of the compulsory course Migration and Legal Remedies. The Migration Law Clinic offers students the chance to define and work on their own learning goals, such as cooperation skills or communication skills and reflect on the development of those skills during the course. Master students are encouraged to enhance their skills by taking part in extracurricular activities, such as Know Your Rights (becoming a buddy of a refugee/asylum seeker), writing blogs, taking part in moot court competitions or presenting work experiences to their fellow students. 

    Are you interested in a close and rigourous scrutiny of legal instruments involved in migration and refugee law and their relation with fundamental human rights law? Then the Master’s in International Migration and Refugee Law is the programme for you.

    Research

    For fifteen years now, the Amsterdam Centre of Migration and Refugee Law of VU Amsterdam has been one of the most prominent programmes in the field. It aims at tracking the multiplicity of complex developments in migration law that take place at the global, European and national levels. Research topics include asylum and refugee law, and family reunion law. This extends to research into the human costs of border control, the intersection between the family and migration law, the role of the judiciary, the meaning of time for residence entitlements, the relation between (irregular) migration and the welfare state, the EU principle of mutual trust and the role of time in migration law. Methods are varied, focusing on legal doctrinal, sociological, philosophical questions as well as more practice-oriented matters.

    The excellent quality of the programme is reflected in the scholars’ numerous publications and in two VICI grants from NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) in 2010 (Van Walsum) and 2013 (Spijkerboer), two NWO VENI grants in 2010 (Brouwer) and in 2018 (Slingenberg), a NWO Research Talent grant in 2012 (Battjes and Stronks) and in 2019 (Spijkerboer and Dez), an NWO Comenius grant in 2019 (Reneman) and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2017 (De Hart). Members have conducted research for the European Commission, the European Parliament, UNHCR, WODC and Vluchtelingenwerk.

    The research group is very visible in the public debate, and its scholars are active in advisory committees to the government and non-governmental organizations and publish frequently on Verblijfblog.nl, where topical migration law issues are explained for a broader public.

    Career prospects

    On completing this Master’s programma, you can start working or do more research. Our graduates, work for international (non-governmental) organizations involved in migration, e.g. UNHCR, the European Commission and  EASO and national and local NGO’s. Moreover, they are employed as immigration lawyers, clerks at national courts and employees for national immigration services and ministries as well as PhD students at universitities.

    As international and national law on migration are profoundly intertwined, solid knowledge of international migration and refugee law is also most valuable for national institutions and organizations dealing with migration law, such as migration law firms, the judiciary, national and local governments or NGOs.

  • International Technology Law

    Summary

    Technology creates situations that were the stuff of fantasy when most of our laws were created. Robots, biotech, autonomous vehicles and weapons, and the endless amassing and crunching of data - what does it mean to be a human being? And how do we relate to each other and to the natural world? These are questions we are forced to ask ourselves again in the face of technological progress. Law shapes and reflects the answers that we find.

    Alongside core courses in international technology law, and big data, human rights and security, you will choose from subjects including: international weapons law, biotech and law, robots and artificial intelligence, and blockchain and disruptive tech.

    You will be part of a friendly, accessible and international group of teachers and students interested in exploring the frontiers of regulation and technology, and you will graduate as a specialist with in-demand knowledge and skills.

    Skills on graduation and future ahead 

    You will have an overview of the major fields where law and technology interact and be familiar with the core legislation and legal principles; you will have in-depth knowledge of the law concerning data and privacy, as well as a number of other fields, such as e-commerce, bioethics, cybersecurity, robot and algorithm law, blockchain law, and regulation of tech giants. You will be able to do research and present oral and written arguments in these fields, and you will be aware of how technology law is created and shaped, and the issues it will face in the coming years. You will therefore be able to advise clients, make legal arguments, or conduct research, within the field of technology law. Your knowledge will be primarily of the law applying in the Member States of the EU, but you will also be aware of global trends, and differences and similarities with the US.

    As an ITL graduate, you will use, develop or research the regulation of emerging technologies. Typically, you will work in law firms, international organizations such as the UN, EU or international technology regulators, governments, or NGOs.

    There are relatively few lawyers with a solid understanding and knowledge of the law concerning emerging technologies, so graduates will be part of a specialized and in-demand group.

    The career opportunities are as fascinating as they are wide-ranging. After graduating, you will be prepared for a career in:

    • Law firms – both large commercial firms and smaller specialised ones, including technology, IP and human rights firms.
    • Industry, banking or commerce – as a legal advisor dealing with privacy, cybersecurity, data, blockchain, liability or other issues
    • Government regulators – as a specialist helping regulate the tech industry
    • University research or NGOs – contributing to further understanding and debate and technology and law

    For more information, please consult our study guide.

    Curriculum details

Internship opportunities

Doing an internship is a good way to figure out what career path you want to take. During your internship, you will gain relevant work experience which will increase your chances of finding the right job.

The Law programme does not require you to do an internship. However, you are encouraged to do an internship, for example, at one of the following organisations:

  • law firm
  • public prosecutor’s office
  • court clerk’s office
  • notary’s office
  • police department
  • private company
  • government agency

You can also gain international experience by doing an internship abroad. In general, you will take the initiative for your own internship. You will receive guidance from a faculty supervisor, but the daily supervision will be provided by a supervisor from the organisation where you are conducting your internship.

Combining specialisations

It is also possible to follow two specialisations simultaneously. You can learn about how this works and what is involved in the manual (pdf). In this document, you can also read about what to do if you want to follow an extra specialisation after you graduate, and what to do if you want to put together your own unique curriculum.

Have you read the document carefully and do you still have questions? If so, please contact one of the academic advisors.

Please note that if you combine two specialisations within one Master's programme, you will receive one degree certificate in which both specialisations are mentioned.

Research Talent Track

Are you looking for an extra academic challenge, next to this one-year Master's programme? Are you interested in research? The Research Talent Track might be a good fit for you as well. It’s a selective programme aimed at motivated and talented masterstudents who want to further develop their analytical research skills. You will learn and experience how to do scientific research. This will help you in deciding whether you want to pursue a career in the academic world, and/or will improve your opportunities on the labour market outside academia. 

More information 

Change your future with the Law programme

Change your future with the Law programme

The Master's programme is an important step in preparing for your career. A Master's degree is not only required for admission to the programmes for becoming a judge, lawyer or public prosecutor, but it is often required outside of these so-called robed professions as well. During the Master's programme in Law, you will further sharpen your legal skills. And you will have plenty of room to put your own stamp on the programme. 

Explore your future prospects