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Obtaining a PhD

The Faculty of Law of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam provides a fruitful research environment for PhD students: both for those students with a position within the faculty itself (internal PhD candidates) as for external PhD students who do research in their own time.

The faculty employs PhD students on an individual basis. They write a PhD dissertation under tutorship of a professor in the applicable Law or Criminology subject. All PhD students (internal and external) in the Faculty of Law participate in one of the research programmes of the faculty and are automatically enrolled into the Graduate School. A full-time PhD programme takes four years and consists of conducting research and writing a dissertation independently.

The recruitment of PhD students is done by actively approaching students and through advertisement on the website of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

For more information on obtaining a PhD, please contact the Graduate School.

External PhD candidates

  • Externa PhD candidates

    If your research proposal is of outstanding quality and will contribute to one of the research programmes, it is possible to write a thesis at your own expense under tutorship of a faculty professor. As an external PhD candidate you are not officially a VU Amsterdam employee or student.

    External PhDs candidates undertake a PhD at VU Amsterdam with a (foreign) funding or scholarship scheme, or are self funded professionals or students.

    External PhD candidates should formally request admission through our online application portal.

  • Doctorate regulations

    The Doctorate Regulations of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam officially establish the rules to which the PhD track is bound. These regulations are applicable to all individuals conducting PhD research under the supervision of a VU-based promoter and intend to defend their thesis at VU Amsterdam. The regulations include:

    • Steps a PhD candidate must take to be admitted to the PhD tract;
    • The 30 EC PhD training requirements;
    • Conditions regarding the (number of) supervisors;
    • Composition of the Thesis Committee;
    • Final terms for acquiring a PhD;
    • Requirements for cum laude award;
    • Procedure concerning double degrees and joint doctorates.

    Thesis Directive
    At the Faculty of Law it is possible to acquire your PhD on the basis of a scientific monograph, or a collection of separate articles. In both cases, the guideline for the size of the thesis is a maximum of 300 pp. (100.000 words). For candidates attaining their PhD on the basis of articles, there are a number of additional requirements. You can read more about these requirements in the Thesis Directive.

    PhD Programme at VU Amsterdam
    See additional and general information on doing a PhD programme on the VU Amsterdam website.