Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Über Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The LL.M. in International Business Law at VU Amsterdam offers 3 specializations:

  • Climate Change and Sustainability: In this programme, the remedial power of the law is central. You will work for a better world and become the multi-disciplinary professional employers nowadays are in need of. VU Amsterdam is the first university in Europe to offer a specific International Business Law degree that combines an outstanding, all-round Master’s in Business Law with a specific focus on one of the most complex legal challenges of our day: sustainability.
  • Finance and Behaviour: This Master’s program delivers lawyers who know their way in the wider arena of the future. The law still is pivotal. Tort law, contract law, corporate law, regulatory law and insolvency law; the anatomy of these fields is explored in depth.
  • Transactions and Trade: It offers a comprehensive graduate programme to students who aim at a career in the field of international commercial and trade law. The IBL Master’s programme is designed to cover a wide range of legal aspects relating to international commercial transactions.

Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors.


  • Allgemeines Wirtschaftsrecht
  • Bank- und Finanzrecht
  • Compliance
  • Energierecht
  • Gesellschaftsrecht/Corporate und M&A
  • Grundgesetz
  • Handelsrecht
  • Innovation und Unternehmertum
  • Internationales Recht
  • Internationales Wirtschaftsrecht
  • Prozessführung und Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit
  • Regulierungsrecht
  • Soziales und Ethik
  • Wirtschaft & Business


  • Vollzeit


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Herr Alexander Lindemans



Number of professors

professors per specialization


Number of students

students per specialization

Professor-student ratio

Approximately 1:3

Sehr geringSehr hoch


VU Amsterdam is fully recognized by the Dutch Ministry of Education as a research university. All degree programmes at VU Amsterdam are either accredited by or in the process of being accredited by NVAO, the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders. This body was established by international treaty and guarantees the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flemish-speaking Belgium through the accreditation of study programmes.

Ranking and awards

The IBL Master’s programme of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was evaluated as the best business law related master programme in the Netherlands (Master Guide 2016 and National Student Survey 2018).

Renowned professors

  • Professors and guest speakers in the programme are law practitioners, physicists, judges, psychologists, economists and academics.
  • Their multi-disciplinary approach will ensure you the most well rounded view of the legal aspects of this topic.


Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors.


Program types


Click here to find our brochure.


Click here to find our brochure.

Degree to be obtained

LL.M. in International Business Law


  • Banking & Finance Law
  • Business Law
  • Commercial & Trade Law
  • Competition & Regulation Law
  • Compliance, Governance & Policies
  • Corporate and M&A Law
  • Economics & Business
  • Environmental and Energy Law
  • General Law
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • International Economic Law
  • International Law
  • Litigation & Arbitration
  • Social & Ethics

Winter semester




10 months

Practical relevance

  1. Connect with legal practitioners 
    Academic training is a key to understanding the theoretical and legal framework of (international) business law. The complexity of modern business transactions requires the development of analytical skills that allow you to identify and comprehend the relationships between different fields of law. However, learning how this knowledge can be applied in practice constitutes an important part of legal training. The IBL Master’s programme is designed to offer you the opportunity to acquire both theoretical and practical legal skills. Lecturers in the IBL Master’s programme are legal academics as well as legal practitioners. Practicing lawyers from leading law firms, judges and legal advisors participate in the IBL Master's programme either as regular lecturers or as guest lecturers. Lecturers also work as students’ tutors, helping you to write papers or to make presentations. Under their supervision you will improve your study methods and legal skills. 
  2. Training skills 
    The improvement of legal academic skills constitutes an important goal of the IBL Master’s programme. The courses require writing several papers and preparing oral presentations, which will improve your performance and will help you to communicate effectively in (international) business relations. You will also publicly defend your Master's thesis in June before a committee composed of academic staff at the Law School. 


LinkedIn Alumni Group
Former students of the IBL Master's programme are linked to each other by means of a LinkedIn Alumni Group. They exchange news, experiences and professional opportunities there. See where alumni are working now.

Located in the business district of Amsterdam  
The Law School of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam benefits from its unique location, right in the heart of Amsterdam’s business district, where many international law firms and companies are situated. This offers a unique experience of studying in the neighborhood of a real international business environment. In addition to this, a limited number of high-achieving students may have the opportunity to pursue an internship at one of the firms or companies located in the Netherlands. This depends on available projects and openings. Internships must be arranged by students themselves.

Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors.

Student profile

This Master’s degree is not for everyone. It takes a unique blend of empathy and ambition. Passion and drive. Compassion and intellect. You must be able to apply your legal mind to address some of the most complex and challenging legal issues of our day. For instance for the Climate Change and Sustainability specialization that means:You’re not only passionate about addressing climate change and sustainability, but also have an analytical mind that can apply the rules of law to help companies make the right decisions. You aspire to serve both your own interests and the common good.You’re hard working and dedicated.You are eager to study the law from many different perspectives: not only the letter of the law, but psychological, economic, political and social components, as well.

Average starting salary

Students who successfully completed the IBL Master's programme have a wide range of career choices.

Semester break

The regular academic year in the Netherlands runs from 1 September through the end of June, followed by the closing ceremony in July. Courses start in September, November, January, February, April and June.

Semesters and Semester

IBL is a full-time, one-year graduate programme in law (LLM). It is taught in English and consists of several compulsory courses and optional courses that explore different fields of international business law. Two semesters with a Winter break of two weeks and a Summer break of approximately two months.

International Business Law: Climate Change and Sustainability
In sustainability issues, the role of the law is complex. There are multiple jurisdictions, numerous areas of law and multiple actors. Scientific, economic, political, social and ethical questions feed into legal processes. We will ensure you’re ready to address those questions.
However, you must first be trained as an all-round attorney. High-level thinking about climate change and sustainability is only possible with a thorough understanding of classical fields of law, such as Corporate, Contract, Tort and Public International Law. This Master’s thus begins with a core curriculum that will make you a great lawyer. We then explore the sustainability question in depth, from a variety of disciplines.
We will delve into doctrinal issues, legislation and case law. You will visit law firms, welcome guest speakers and work on real-life cases. The combination of law in the books and law in action has proven to be highly successful – and the most fun. Want to know more? Check out the Curriculum.

International Business Law: Finance and Behavior
This legal Master’s program has deep-rooted multidisciplinary perspectives. Law is the vantage point of our thinking. Classical fields such as Contract Law, Tort Law, the Corporate Form, Insolvency Law and Regulatory Law will be taught in depth. In order for you to operate in an international context, we will focus on the principles; details of national laws will not be dealt with. Want to know more? Check out the Curriculum.

International Business Law: Transactions and Trade
The International Business Law (IBL) Master's degree programme focuses on rules and practices that are relevant for international business transactions and relations. You will study the main legal areas and the interaction between the actors involved in business transactions. In addition, you will develop skills to anticipate, analyze and address legal problems that may arise in practice. You will write several papers and prepare oral presentations during the academic year. The IBL Master's programme includes a mandatory Research Seminar and a mandatory Master's thesis which you must defend in June.

Kosten und Finanzierung

Tuitions fees

EU/EEA students
non-EU/non-EEA students


Cost of living (€)

Experience shows that it costs between €800 and €1,000 a month to live and study in the Netherlands, excluding tuition fees and other non-recurring expenses. Some students manage to spend less, but of course that depends on your individual lifestyle.
Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors.

Grants & Scholarships

With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer highly motivated students with excellent study results the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financial support provided by the university.

The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver.

The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands.

VU Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended for excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus.

As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries. Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl.



Application with an international diploma is possible from 1 October. The application deadline is:

  • 1 February for international students who wish to apply for one of the VU scholarships.
  • 1 April for students from outside the EU/EEA
  • 1 April for EU/EEA students not residing in the Netherland who wish to apply for housing
  • 15 July for EU/EEA students

Admission Requirement

This Master is selective and open to a limited number of students only. The Admission Board selects on merit.
Factors which will be taken into account are:

  • GPA at least 3.25 or an overall grade point average at least B+ or 7.2
  • talent and motivation
  • proficiency in research methods and techniques
  • relevant extra-curricular academic and/or work experience
  • sufficiently proficient in the English language (see language requirements for details)

Applicants with a Bachelor's or equivalent degree in Law (LLB) can apply. Applicants who do not have such a degree, but who have considerable experience in the field of law, are also encouraged to apply, provided that they have a sound academic background.
Your bachelor education is compared to and valued through the UK Naric comparison system and, if necessary, through the Nuffic comparison and validation programmes. Especially students from non-EU countries should factor in the possibility that a relevant Bachelor’s degree could not be sufficient to enter into this Master in Law programme and their application could result in a rejection.

Course Page

International Business Law: Climate Change and Sustainability
International Business Law: Finance and Behavior
International Business Law: Transactions and Trade

How to apply

  • Register via Studielink.
  • After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet.
  • Upload the following application documents via VUnet (preferably PDF format):
    certified copy of academic degree or if not yet graduated: declaration from your home university with an expected graduation date
    certified transcript in English of grades obtained so far;
    curriculum vitae;
    letter of motivation, explaining your reasons for wishing to participate in the programme;
    proof of academic writing in English:
  1. final paper or thesis for your academic degree (excerpt, maximum 3 pages);
  2. if no thesis in English available: any other 3-5 page piece of academic writing as an alternative;
  3. if no academic writing in English available: write 3-5 pages abstract of an academic paper, including bibliography, in English.
  4. Please note we check application documents for plagiarism.
  • 2 letters of recommendationfrom academic referees (if possible including the ranking position of the applicant); we prefer digital copies uploaded in VUnet, but referees may also mail their references directly to masters.law@vu.nl
  • copy of passport and copy of residence permit (if applicable);
  • optional: course descriptions of relevant courses completed;
  • optional: literature list or bibliography of relevant books and articles used during your studies).
    The admission board may ask for additional documentation at a later stage if this is deemed necessary for reviewing your application.
  • Send proof of English proficiency to masters.law@vu.nl. This may be sent at a later stage (see Language requirements for details).
  • As soon as all required application documents have been received, your dossier is submitted to the Admission board. Please note that your dossier must be complete on the application deadline! Incomplete dossiers cannot be taken into consideration.
  • The Admission Board decides monthly on applications.
  • If you have been admitted: finalize your application

More information on the application process + documents.
You will receive practical information regarding the start of the programme during the summer.
A Skype interview is part of the application procedure. 


Student facts

Focus is key in our master's program. The relatively small number of students in class guarantees a highly interactive character of the courses. Students as well as lecturers coming from different countries and different legal cultures strongly contribute to a special and a truly global character of the program. It all offers a unique intellectual atmosphere for group discussions, presentation of views and exchange of ideas that are enriched by diverse national perspectives. Last year’s class of the Finance and Behavior specialization consist of approximately 15 different nationalities and study backgrounds (e.g. History, Economics, Psychology).

International students

24,096 students, of which 4,088 are international, covering 130 nationalities.

Study location

  • Amsterdam
  • Netherlands



Finding good, affordable accommodation can be a problem in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam. Therefore we strongly advise you to apply for accommodation well in advance. The International Office of VU University Amsterdam is able to provide accommodation for short-stay foreign visitors (including PhD's and Post docs) at the university. The minimum period of rent is 1 month, with a maximum of 12 months. (Guests can apply for a second year of accommodation.)
Accommodation consists of furnished rooms, most with private facilities. The number of rooms and appartments is limited, so we cannot guarantee to find accommodation for everyone. Nevertheless, the International Office does its utmost to find suitable accommodation.
On the VU University website you can find all information about how to apply for accommodation.
All prices mentioned on the website are subject to change, you cannot derive a right from these prices. Please be sure you first check the rules and regulations.

Club & Society

Erasmus Student Network VU Amsterdam: ESN VU Amsterdam is the international student association of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Next to the international student association, there are numerous study associations for Law students, such as Q.D.B.D.

Leisure activities

As a student at VU Amsterdam, you will have a wide range of facilities at your disposal. You will have access to extensive libraries, a university wide wireless network and numerous computers and reading rooms. The university’s sport centre offers more than 35 different sports and the Griffioen cultural centre organizes a variety of courses in the arts as well as other cultural activities. In addition, in collaboration with a local movie theatre, VU screens the newest internationally awarded films in the main building.


Alumni of the IBL Master's programme are united in a LinkedIn group in order to exchange news, experiences and professional opportunities. See where alumni are working now.

Average age