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Studying an LLM (Master of Laws) program in the Netherlands

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 the Netherlands

LLM in the NetherlandsIf you are looking to gain an international LLM in the heart of Europe, why not consider studying your LLM in the Netherlands? Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a country situated in the west of Europe and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south and the North Sea to the north and west. If you are fond of travelling, the Netherlands provides you with a very handy base for exploring the rest of Europe, with European capitals including Brussels, London, Paris, Madrid and Berlin all within easy reach. Because of this Netherlands is often known as the gateway to Europe.

While the Netherlands is a small country, it has a lot to offer whether you are looking for cruises, boat trips on the canals, beaches, cultural festivals or great food. Amsterdam – the capital city – has grown into a global commercial center and has very developed infrastructure. Rotterdam is considered to be one of the largest sea ports in Europe, and global companies such as Shell, Akzo Nobel and Unilever all have a presence in Netherlands.

Dutch education

Dutch institutions offer internationally recognized degrees and their quality of education is ensured by means of being accredited from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders. Famous names of scientists and academic scholars are associated with the Netherlands, and the Erasmus Mundus scholarship takes its name from the best known Dutch philosopher and humanist, Desiderius Erasmus.

Although Dutch is the national language, a large percentage of the people speak and understand English and this makes communication for international students easy. Foreign languages such as German or French are also spoken hence, there are plenty of opportunities for language immersion. As the number of international students coming to study in the Netherlands is increasing the universities offer a unique, diverse and multicultural experience.

Law schools in the Netherlands

There are various universities and law schools which can be chosen from that offer LLM courses taught in English including Erasmus University Rotterdam, EMLE Rotterdam, Leiden University, Maastricht University, University of Amsterdam, Open University of Nederland, Tilburg University, VU University Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Tilburg University, Radboud University Nijmegen, Duisenberg School of Finance and University of Groningen.

The LLM at most of these institutions can be taken on a full-time or a part-time basis spread over two years for those looking for more flexibility or who wish to stay connected to their career while studying at the same time.

In terms of the Master of Laws structure, the academic year is divided into two terms comprising of lectures, followed by examinations at the end of the term. There is a great diversity of specializations offered including: Law and economics, International tax law, European law, Corporate Law, Globalisation and law, Criminal law, Human Rights and Criminal Justice, Labour Law and Competition Law.

Application procedures & requirements

Application Deadlines: Most of Dutch universities have enrolment twice a year in September (autumn) and February (winter). The deadlines vary from March-May for programs starting in September and November-December if the LLM course starts in February.

Required Documents: A bachelors degree in law is required to apply for a LLM program at any of the universities in Netherlands. As the LLM is taught in English, proof of competency in English is very important. Most universities require the following documents at the time of application:

  1. Proof of your bachelors degree.
  2. Proficiency in English demonstrated by results of TOEFL, IELTS tests or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English test for non-native speakers. Some universities accept results of other English language proficiency tests. Please check with the respective university for details. The required scores are at least 550 (paper based) or 213 (computer based) for TOEFL. For IELTS, a score of at least 6 is required.
  3. A Curriculum Vitae (Resume), reference letter(s) and a letter of introduction.
  4. Results of Dutch language test  may also be required but only for programs in Dutch language, although it would of course be useful to understand Dutch if you are going to be living in the country for a year.

Fees, finances & funding 

The tuition fees and other expenses for those who come to study in the Netherlands are comparatively lower than its UK and US counterparts. For EU nationals the tuition fees start at approximately €1,700 per year, while the cost for non-EU nationals is different and on average ranges from €10,000-€15,000. However, for some institutions the cost may be more or less (please consult the university you are intending on joining for the exact fee amount). There may also be a registration fees for some institutions. Generally, students will be required to pay this sum upfront before joining or they make payments in installments.

The tuition fee does not include accommodation, food, travel or books which must be paid for separately by the students. It is advised that students set aside €850-€900 per month for living expenses. Many institutions may require the entire amount of the tuition fees and living expenses to be transferred into a bank account in the Netherlands before the visa is granted.

There are some scholarships and grants available offered by individual institutions. Also, Dutch Ministry of Education offers scholarships to nationals of various countries. Check on the website of your preferred institution to see what financial help is available.

Visa requirements for the Netherlands

For citizens of the European Union member countries no visa is required, all that is required is a valid passport. International students from outside the EU require a student visa to gain entry into Netherlands (Authorisation for Temporary Residence (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf (MVV)). The procedure usually takes up to six weeks. The conditions, requirements and terms of the visa are subject to change so students are required to consult the embassy/consulate in their home country to obtain information prior to applying. By way of guidance the following documents are required for the entrance visa:

  1. Valid passport.
  2. Letter of acceptance from university of admission.
  3. Proof of finances by way of bank statements etc. or through scholarship letters.
  4. Health insurance.
  5. Vaccinations/health tests (this is applicable for citizens of certain countries).

Featured Institutions

DSFDuisenberg School of Finance

EMLE EMLE Rotterdam

GroningenUniversity of Groningen

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