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Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) Program in Belgium

PLEASE NOTE: As a result of Brexit, from Autumn 2021 postgraduate students from the European Union studying at a UK university will be charged the same tuition fees as international students. UK students studying their postgraduate course at a European university are also likely to incur higher tuition fees than their EU counterparts. It is advisable to check with the individual universities in the UK and Europe for up-to-date information on tuition fees for all postgraduate programs.

Find LLM programs in Belgium

There are several reasons why international students may wish to consider studying in Belgium – here are our Top Five:

1. Central position in Europe

LLM in BelgiumBelgium is often referred to as the heart or the “de facto” capital of Europe. Located in north-west Europe and sharing borders with FranceGermany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands, Belgium is a dynamic and vibrant country. Its population of about 10.7 million people comprises of groups that speak French, German and Dutch as well as citizens from nearby EU countries.

Belgium is the centre of Europe and its capital city Brussels functions as the European seat for NATO. It is also the residence of the Council of Ministers which hosts meetings of the European Parliament.

As per the International Monetary Fund Belgium’s GDP is the 24th largest in the world and has a highly developed infrastructure. Therefore, for law students wishing to undertake an LLM in European or International Law Belgium is a top choice.

2. Highly recognised universities, research & academic facilities 

Universities in Belgium have international recognition and rank highly on a global scale. Belgian universities feature among the top 200 universities worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2012). Belgium also fosters world class research institutions. The academic strength and teaching experience of the Belgian universities are enhanced by its solid culture of research which enriches students’ learning experience.

3. Career opportunities

Due to the close proximity to the main European institutions and international organizations, there are excellent opportunities to gain work experience in the form of internships during a Master of Laws program, or indeed after graduation. There are EU competitions organised by the European Personnel Selection Office in Belgium in which students may participate. Also, many major corporations choose to base their European headquarters in Belgium, give the students many networking and career opportunities. For example, students may consider working in European head offices of multi-national companies, national government department, consultancies, NGOs, private law firms etc.

4. Diverse & multicultural society

Belgium is multilingual and has an international outlook. French, German, English and Dutch are widely spoken in the country. Belgium offers a rich culture of art (featuring names like Magritte and Delvaux), famous architecture, scenic beauty and excellent nightlife. Participating in cultural activities will allow you to interact with other students outside your educational institute and will enhance your learning experience. It also has a well-developed and systematic public transport system that makes travelling easy and convenient. Given its geographical location it is well connected to other European countries and interesting capital cities like Amsterdam, Paris and London are all easily accessible.

5. Great education & learning experience at an affordable price

The Belgian LLM program is much affordable as compared to its UK and US counterparts. Hence, it allows students to gain a master’s qualification without incurring significant amounts of debt.    

Belgium universities

There are various institutions that offer Master of Laws programs in Belgium on a full-time, part-time basis as well as on a distance-learning basis. There are general LLM programs offered as well as various specialisations for those who wish to focus on a particular area of law.

The universities offering LLMs in Belgium include Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent (BSIS), Ghent University, Katholieke University of Leuven, University of Liège , University of Notre-Dame de la Paix NamurUniversity of AntwerpUniversité Catholique de Louvain, Brussels School of Competition and College of Europe.

Specialisations include: General LLM; Company Law; Public International Law; Competition Law; Economic Law; Business Law; European Law; Intellectual Property; International Law; Public Law; Taxation; Legal Theory and History; IT and Communications.      

Admission criteria for an LLM program in Belgium

In order to gain admission into LLM Program students are required to have:

  1. A bachelors degree in law or equivalent (entitling them to practice law in their country of origin). Students with degrees other than law may also be admitted subject to examination of their educational background and competencies.
  2. Proficiency in English language demonstrated by TOEFL (590 for paper-based, 95 for internet-based for most universities) or IELTS scores (7 and above).

Tuition fees & living costs for an LLM in Belgium

The tuition fees vary depending on the choice of course as well as the institution. However, on average the tuition fee ranges from €10,000-€15,000. Please note that this does not include the cost of accommodation or maintenance. The cost of living in Belgium is dependent on the individual student’s lifestyle but it is advised that a student should set aside a monthly budget of € 900-950 for living costs.  

Scholarships and bursaries are also available. It is advised that students check the university scholarship/grants page as well as consider their local government educational grants. Generally, however, students are expected to finance their own studies. Please note that while part-time work opportunities may be available you will be expected to demonstrate full proof of sufficient finances to be granted a study visa.  

Visa requirements for an LLM in Belgium

Students can obtain detailed information on visa procedures from the Belgian embassy/consulate in their country of residence. Students should also refer to the website of Belgian Ministry of Affairs for information regarding visa procedures.

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