Institute for European Studies (IES)The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is the offshoot of the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) that was founded in 1834 by a Brussels lawyer with Flemish origins, Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen. He wanted to establish a university that would be independent from the state and the church and where academic freedom would reign.
Although some courses at the ULB's Faculty of Law were already being taught in Dutch in 1935, it was not until 1963 that almost all the faculties offered courses in Dutch. The Dutch-speaking university was finally split off from its French-speaking counterpart on 1 October 1969.
With the act of 28 May 1970, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Libre de Bruxelles officially became two separate legal, administrative and scientific entities.
The law school
The Institute for European Studies is an autonomous department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel ("VUB"). It was created in 2001 through an initiative taken by the Flemish Government. As a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, the IES teaches advanced Master programmes, and focuses on interdisciplinary research in European Studies, more specifically on the role of the EU in an international setting. Within this scope, the IES provides academic services to scholars, policy makers and the general public.
The Institute’s central location in Brussels, the capital of Europe, makes it an ideal workplace for both students and established scholars wishing to conduct research in an international and interdisciplinary setting. The IES provides also an ideal forum for conferences and workshops on European issues.
The tuition fee (including the examination fee) is approximately 4000 EUR. The fee includes the costs for copied materials, casebooks and expenses of a study trip.
Foreign students must make their own arrangements to be covered by health insurance during their stay in Belgium.
Only 40 students, selected from all over the world, are admitted annually. Students are eligible to apply when they have completed their study of law and have received, in accordance with the requirements in their host country, a final law degree that provides access to the legal profession or to the qualifying exams for admission to the Bar. The equivalence of foreign degrees will be decided by the Academic Board of the Program.
The IES is home to two advanced Master programmes: the prestigious LL.M. of International and European Law (full time law programme, ongoing for 35 years) and the renowned Master of European Integration and Development (politics and economics evening programme).
LL.M. in International and European Law
The LL.M. in International and European Law is obtained in one academic year (i.e. two semesters of four months each, from mid-September until early July).
The educational techniques of the program include traditional forms of lecturing, interactive class teaching as well as practical case studies that replicate day to day professional life. The program requires students to successfully complete:
• Compulsory, traditional courses -a broad overview (18 credits) as well as in-depth courses on international and EU law (12 credits).
- Including a short research paper by teams of up to four students.
• Optional courses in either the public or business law option (12 credits).
- Including practical exercises and a real life case study simulation.
• Compulsory Master's Thesis (18 credits).
At the end of the academic year the degree of Master (LL.M.) in International and European Law will be awarded upon candidates who successfully complete the following requirements:
• regular attendance in classes
• a final examination of sufficient level in all subjects
• a presentation of the Master's thesis in one of the fields covered by the Program