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Graduate School Law

The Graduate School offers PhD candidates a framework for training, guidance and support.

The Graduate School offers PhD candidates a framework for training, guidance and support. But the Graduate School is more than that. Within the context of the Graduate School, seminars, master classes, courses and meetings take place that enable researchers from all corners of the faculty to engage in discussion about content, methods and ethics. Through these events the Graduate School aims to achieve the research mission of the Faculty and to contribute to an environment in which researchers show interest for each other’s work, inspire each other and keep each other focused.

Graduate School

  • Promovendiopleiding

    Anyone who started his or her PhD-research after April 1, 2015 with the goal to eventually defend the thesis at Vrije Universiteit, has to acquire a total of 30 EC (European Credits) worth of training during the PhD track. This requirement applies equally to PhD candidates employed by VU (internal PhD candidates) and to external PhD students who do research in their own time.

    At the Faculty of Law, the PhD training is offered by the Graduate School. The training consists of several mandatory, mandatory optional and optional components. Details of the training program can be found on the Graduate School webpage. PhD students can also choose to take courses offered by other Graduate Schools or research institutes. 

    It is possible to request an exemption from obtaining a number of credits and/or taking certain courses of the training program, for example because a PhD candidate has already acquired relevant knowledge or skills elsewhere or followed an equivalent training course previously. A request for a (partial or full) exemption should be submitted to the Graduate School by the PhD student and his/her supervisor.

    Hora Finita
    Each PhD candidate is responsible for registering his/her own training activities in Hora Finita, the registration system for PhD students, and to upload proof of participation if possible. The Graduate School shall then approve these activities and assign the appropriate number of credits (ECs).

    Training plan
    At the start of your PhD track, you are requested to draft a training plan in consultation with your supervisor(s). The training plan is a rough sketch of how you plan to obtain the mandatory 30 EC in the course of your PhD track and can always be adjusted at a later stage.


    The Graduate School of the Faculty of Law aims to offer research activities that act as a means to:

    • discuss one’s own research;
    • receive and give feedback;
    • talk about the strategic, ethical and professional aspects of doing research;
    • discuss broader developments in Law, Criminology and scientific research in general;
    • get acquainted with ‘big shots’ in the field;
    • develop a lasting professional network.

    Activities organized by the Graduate School are usually part of the PhD training, but they are always open to all researchers and interested parties.