What does the programme entail?
A common first semester with fixed mandatory courses and methodological research and communication skills.
The courses are focused on the foundations of International and European legal disciplines, to create a level playing field for students and prepare them for the subsequent semester modules.
In the second semester of year one, you choose one of the modules 'Commercial Transactions and Disputes', 'European Constitutionalism and Fundamental Rights' or 'Sustainable Development and Global Justice'.
You also write the research proposal for the thesis in year two and engage in a legal clinic.
In the first semester of year two, you choose one of the modules 'Commercial Transactions: Rights and Governance' or 'Diversity and the Law' or opt for a mobility window (semester abroad).
In the second semester of year two, you choose one of the modules 'Commercial Transactions and Disputes', 'European Constitutionalism and Fundamental Rights' or 'Sustainable Development and Global Justice' or opt for a mobility window (semester abroad).
During the first and or second semester of year two, you take one or two elective courses.
During year two you write and defend the master thesis.
Are you eligible to start the programme?
You hold a Bachelor of Laws (academic degree, minimum 180 ECTS).
If your degree was not issued by a recognized educational institution in Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg, you will also have to provide evidence of your level of English.
You can do this in two ways:
- by proving that you took classes in English for at least one academic year during your Bachelor's or Master's degree. The selection committee may require additional proof of your command of English.
- by submitting your results on a TOEFL or IELTS language test, with the following minimum scores:
- paper-based TOEFL: minimum 550
- internet-based TOEFL: minimum 80
- IELTS: minimum total score of 6.5 and minimum score of 6.0 for each individual component
- Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR): minimum B2.
Results obtained on other language tests will not be accepted.
Going abroad during your studies
Going abroad during your studies
In the second year of your Master’s programme, you will have the opportunity to go abroad for one semester to study from a course selection at one of our partner universities in and outside of Europe.
Every module in the Master of Laws programme has a limited number of preferred partners. In case you choose for mobility to a partner from a module in which you also enrolled in Antwerp, the subject of this module will be mentioned as a ‘major’ on your diploma.
If you study at one of our partner institutions in Europe, and you are not a citizen of that country, you are eligible to receive an Erasmus grant.
If you study at one of our partners outside of Europe, you can apply for grants.
Timing and selection
Students will be fully informed on the conditions, destinations and selection criteria in the month of December of their first year in the Master of Laws programme. Applications take place in the first half of February, during the second semester of the first year.
For students who have applied and have been selected, and who passed all the courses of the first year of the programme, the mobility takes place during the first or the second semester of the second year.
Research in the programme
Research skills receive special attention during the first semester of the Master of Laws. They are further developed and refined during the subsequent module semesters and Master Thesis.
Under supervision of your thesis promotor, you learn to translate a problem into a legal question, to take a legally supported standpoint and to formulate civil-legal solutions. You are challenged to choose a research subject, formulate a research question and theoretical framework, decide on an appropriate research question, design a research plan, collect sources, perform a legal analysis and formulate substantiated conclusions.
Opportunity to attend seminars for researchers
Visiting researchers and internationally renowned speakers are frequently invited to the Faculty. Our students are welcome to attend faculty lectures, courses and seminars given by these scholars.
Master students will be invited to indicate an interest in linking up, with one of the faculty’s research groups for the duration of the master. At the time of writing, these research groups are: Business & Law, Government & Law, Personal Rights & Property Rights Law & Development, and Law Enforcement.
After your degree: joining our doctoral school?
If you are fascinated by scientific research and earned your Master in Laws degree with good results, you can consider writing a doctoral thesis.
As a doctoral student you perform research during 4 to 6 years, under supervision of a professor. Your research results and conclusions are written in a doctoral thesis which you will defend in a public hearing in front of a jury.
During your doctoral track you attend readings, seminars and conferences to enhance your personal and research competences.
These activities take place in an inspiring work atmosphere in one of our research groups.
Practice in the programme
The legal clinic is based on one or more assignments, based on real life questions and needs from the legal field and prepared by a group of students.
The assignment is developed in close cooperation with a partner in the legal field. This may be an NGO, a law firm, an international organization, a company... that presents a real case or research question it is dealing with.
A representative of this partner serves as the mentor, and will:
- introduce the assignment(s) to the students at an initial meeting (at the university)
- host a meeting with the student group at the organizations’ premises
- facilitate a final meeting during which the students orally present the end product to relevant stakeholders
A Faculty staff member will also assist the group of students and will:
- provide contacts with the partner
- facilitate student group meeting on the planning of the work, the students themselves organize meetings in the course of the project
- review a draft of the written end product
- attend the oral presentation
Groups are assessed both by the mentor and the staff member based on the written document and the oral presentation by the group. The assessment is a collective one (per group), although individualization through intra-group assessment may be applied.
More practice in the programme
The programme as a whole is problem-based. We do not look at law in isolation, but are interested at how law responds to contemporary problems. The interaction between different fields of the law and between law and other social sciences and the humanities is therefore of primary concern.
You are encouraged to spend a semester abroad, and experience a different international environment, and perhaps a different approach to law than we offer in Antwerp. We will help you to adapt to working environments that are different from the one that you are used to at home.
During the first year, some courses are explicitly practice oriented, i.e. the skills courses (research and communication skills) and the legal clinic (that focus on assignments developed in cooperation with law firms, NGOs or international organisations). The four course modules are, however, also case-based, and will include assignments that prepare you for what will be required from you in your later career.
In addition, the open space in the programme offers the opportunity to participate in an international moot court, to get recognition for a summer school that is of professional interest to you, or take a course in Antwerp at another faculty.
Previous partners of the LL.M include:
General information for international students
Find out about housing, health and other insurances, social services, finances, etc. from our International Students Office.
Dutch language courses
We strongly recommend our international students to take Dutch language courses. Understanding the language of Flanders will enable you to enjoy our culture, people and city a lot more.
Linguapolis, the University of Antwerp’s institute for language and communication, offers a whole range of Dutch courses.