Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved into My study choice.
This programme cannot be saved.
You are not logged in yet to My study choice Portal. Login or create an account to save your programmes.
Something went wrong, try again later.

Business law for a better world

Understand the implications of law in the international arena

International Business Law is a full-time, one-year graduate programme in law (LLM). It is taught in English and consists of two specialisations, with compulsory and optional courses.

These courses are taught by both legal practitioners and academics. 

As well as following these courses, you will complete the IBL Master's programme by researching and writing a Master's thesis. You will select the topic of the Master's thesis in cooperation with a supervisor who is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law. The topic of the Master's thesis must relate to one of the subjects taught during the academic year. A Master's thesis requires between eight and ten weeks of research and writing.

If you need an extra challenge, the programme offers the possibility to take part in extra-curricular activities. You may participate in international moot court competitions, law clinics, a faculty-based research track, editorial work with the student law journal and internships. Students usually find their own internships at an international company or law firm located in the Netherlands, although some companies approach the programme board, who publishes the offers on the educational digital platform just for you. You may obtain 6 or 12 extra credits for the respective activity, which will be printed on a diploma supplement.

International classroom 

The IBL Master’s programme is designed as an international and dynamic graduate programme. The relatively small number of international students in the class guarantees a highly interactive character of the courses. Students as well as lecturers coming from different countries and different legal and educational cultures strongly contribute to the special and a truly global character of the IBL Master’s programme. It all offers a unique intellectual atmosphere for group discussions, presentation of views on legal matters and exchange of ideas.

Although the IBL Master’s programme is an internationally oriented programme which attracts students from all over the world, it is also very attractive to Dutch students. First of all, together with a Dutch bachelor’s in law the IBL Master’s degree provides for so-called ‘civiel effect’. Moreover, given the far-reaching internationalization of businesses nowadays, it is crucial for a lawyer or an in-house legal counsel to be able to work in English and understand lawyers and legal systems elsewhere in the world. You’ll start building your personal network as soon as you start IBL!

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Which specialisation do you choose?

Find out what the different possibilities are within the master's programme

Summary

Previously known as International Business Law: Climate Change and Sustainability

It's the climate, stupid! 

Climate change threatens humanity. The purpose of law is to protect legitimate human interests. You want to join the new generation of lawyers who engage constructively with these problems. They see practicing law in the context of the wider developments in society -- such as climate change and sustainability -- as the way forward for the legal profession.

Anyone running a business successfully today, cannot ignore sustainability. And, anyone wanting to devote themselves to tackling climate change must have knowledge of how businesses function.

VU Amsterdam is the first university in Europe to offer an International Business Law degree that combines an outstanding, all-round Master’s programme in Business Law with a specific focus on one of the most complex legal challenges of our day: climate change.

During this Master's programme, you will be seeking answers to highly important, yet complex, questions such as: What are the legal means to fight climate change? What rights and responsibilities do businesses and governments have in terms of sustainability? Can states be forced to bring their policies in line with the Paris 2015 Agreement? How can corporate law facilitate green startups?

Climate change provides a clear lens through which we can study a range of fundamental legal concepts. In the process of studying law and climate change, you will become an all-round lawyer. The programme concentrates on private law (company law, contract law and liability law) but will also address financial regulatory law, administrative law (European legislation in particular) and international public law.

Investors, company boards, governments and society are all demanding more sustainable business models. This creates a need for more professionals versed in sustainability, including lawyers.

A study of the law’s role in climate change means looking at how the law functions. To build up a picture of the law in action, you will meet practicing professionals during this Master's programme. Lawyers, but also experts from regulatory authorities, banks and environmental organizations. These experts give guest lectures and provide input on the content of the curriculum.

Read more about this programme

Follow us at Instagram @ibl_climatechange_vu

Subjects

  • Master's Thesis - International Business Law
  • International Law on Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change
  • Anatomy of Corporate Law
  • Problems of Market Regulation
  • Climate Change and Financial Regulation
  • Climate Change Liability
  • The Energy Transition in Legal Practice

Please consult the Study Guide or more information

Summary

Global business law and its societal and environmental challenges.

The globalization of the economy creates untold opportunities but also creates interdependencies that can be destabilizing and exploitative. Firms, governments and international organisations try to ride the wild horse of globalization and maximise the benefits for themselves, their clients and their populations.

Yet increasingly they have to be aware of the risks and responsibilities that are attached. If businesses and investors are associated with environmental damage, human rights violations, or labour exploitation this creates liability risks, but also commercial ones. A firm that cannot show it is having a positive impact on the world risks losing customers and employees, and looking dangerously out-of-date.

On the government side, regulators and international organisations which create the law of trade and investment find that their legitimacy is constantly under challenge. They too need to find a way to link prosperity to societal and environmental progress, and build this into the law. In the world of global trade today there are few certainties, and the firm or organization that thinks it can ignore current global crises is doomed to fail and die.

The trade and investment specialization of IBL focusses on the international and European law regulating international trade and goods and services, and international investment. It will make you an expert in the law of these areas, but distinguishes itself from other masters in this field by its explicit focus on creating lawyers with a conscience. The mission of the programme is to create future lawyers who can take a leading role in the world of international business, trade and investment law, and shape that law so that it makes the world a better place. We believe that this serves not just the interests of humanity, but also of the firms and organisations that you will advise and represent.

This means that our courses teach all the traditional trade and investment law that you need to become an expert, including practical issues such as the psychology of negotiations, and cutting-edge topics like the role of behavioural science in financial markets, the use of blockchain in trade, and the regulation of quasi-monopolistic mega-firms.

However, the courses also pay particular attention to the representation of environmental and societal interests in that law. You will also be encouraged to think beyond the existing law, and compulsory courses will include consideration of how trade and investment impact on democracy, inequality, identity, the happiness of populations, and global stability.

Where does the law need to go in the future, and how can businesses navigate a path that balances their need for profit with their need to stay on the right side of global trends?

Subjects

  • Master's Thesis - International Business Law
  • Contract Law and Psychology of Negotiations  
  • Fundamental Issues of International Economic Law
  • Private International Commercial Law 
  • EU Internal Market Law 
  • Problems of Market Regulation 

Optional courses (you must choose 3 from the following list)

  • International tax law
  • International arbitration
  • Blockchain and disruptive business tech
  • European consumer law in a digital society
  • Competition law
  • International intellectual property law
  • E-commerce law
  • Financial Law: Governance and Behavior

Please consult the Study Guide for more information (note: the study guide is not yet updated for 2023-24 and for the TI specialization. However, individual course descriptions in the study guide will be mostly unchanged from 2022-23)

  • Climate Change and Corporations

    Summary

    Previously known as International Business Law: Climate Change and Sustainability

    It's the climate, stupid! 

    Climate change threatens humanity. The purpose of law is to protect legitimate human interests. You want to join the new generation of lawyers who engage constructively with these problems. They see practicing law in the context of the wider developments in society -- such as climate change and sustainability -- as the way forward for the legal profession.

    Anyone running a business successfully today, cannot ignore sustainability. And, anyone wanting to devote themselves to tackling climate change must have knowledge of how businesses function.

    VU Amsterdam is the first university in Europe to offer an International Business Law degree that combines an outstanding, all-round Master’s programme in Business Law with a specific focus on one of the most complex legal challenges of our day: climate change.

    During this Master's programme, you will be seeking answers to highly important, yet complex, questions such as: What are the legal means to fight climate change? What rights and responsibilities do businesses and governments have in terms of sustainability? Can states be forced to bring their policies in line with the Paris 2015 Agreement? How can corporate law facilitate green startups?

    Climate change provides a clear lens through which we can study a range of fundamental legal concepts. In the process of studying law and climate change, you will become an all-round lawyer. The programme concentrates on private law (company law, contract law and liability law) but will also address financial regulatory law, administrative law (European legislation in particular) and international public law.

    Investors, company boards, governments and society are all demanding more sustainable business models. This creates a need for more professionals versed in sustainability, including lawyers.

    A study of the law’s role in climate change means looking at how the law functions. To build up a picture of the law in action, you will meet practicing professionals during this Master's programme. Lawyers, but also experts from regulatory authorities, banks and environmental organizations. These experts give guest lectures and provide input on the content of the curriculum.

    Read more about this programme

    Follow us at Instagram @ibl_climatechange_vu

    Subjects

    • Master's Thesis - International Business Law
    • International Law on Climate Change and Sustainability
    • Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change
    • Anatomy of Corporate Law
    • Problems of Market Regulation
    • Climate Change and Financial Regulation
    • Climate Change Liability
    • The Energy Transition in Legal Practice

    Please consult the Study Guide or more information

  • Trade and Investment

    Summary

    Global business law and its societal and environmental challenges.

    The globalization of the economy creates untold opportunities but also creates interdependencies that can be destabilizing and exploitative. Firms, governments and international organisations try to ride the wild horse of globalization and maximise the benefits for themselves, their clients and their populations.

    Yet increasingly they have to be aware of the risks and responsibilities that are attached. If businesses and investors are associated with environmental damage, human rights violations, or labour exploitation this creates liability risks, but also commercial ones. A firm that cannot show it is having a positive impact on the world risks losing customers and employees, and looking dangerously out-of-date.

    On the government side, regulators and international organisations which create the law of trade and investment find that their legitimacy is constantly under challenge. They too need to find a way to link prosperity to societal and environmental progress, and build this into the law. In the world of global trade today there are few certainties, and the firm or organization that thinks it can ignore current global crises is doomed to fail and die.

    The trade and investment specialization of IBL focusses on the international and European law regulating international trade and goods and services, and international investment. It will make you an expert in the law of these areas, but distinguishes itself from other masters in this field by its explicit focus on creating lawyers with a conscience. The mission of the programme is to create future lawyers who can take a leading role in the world of international business, trade and investment law, and shape that law so that it makes the world a better place. We believe that this serves not just the interests of humanity, but also of the firms and organisations that you will advise and represent.

    This means that our courses teach all the traditional trade and investment law that you need to become an expert, including practical issues such as the psychology of negotiations, and cutting-edge topics like the role of behavioural science in financial markets, the use of blockchain in trade, and the regulation of quasi-monopolistic mega-firms.

    However, the courses also pay particular attention to the representation of environmental and societal interests in that law. You will also be encouraged to think beyond the existing law, and compulsory courses will include consideration of how trade and investment impact on democracy, inequality, identity, the happiness of populations, and global stability.

    Where does the law need to go in the future, and how can businesses navigate a path that balances their need for profit with their need to stay on the right side of global trends?

    Subjects

    • Master's Thesis - International Business Law
    • Contract Law and Psychology of Negotiations  
    • Fundamental Issues of International Economic Law
    • Private International Commercial Law 
    • EU Internal Market Law 
    • Problems of Market Regulation 

    Optional courses (you must choose 3 from the following list)

    • International tax law
    • International arbitration
    • Blockchain and disruptive business tech
    • European consumer law in a digital society
    • Competition law
    • International intellectual property law
    • E-commerce law
    • Financial Law: Governance and Behavior

    Please consult the Study Guide for more information (note: the study guide is not yet updated for 2023-24 and for the TI specialization. However, individual course descriptions in the study guide will be mostly unchanged from 2022-23)

Alumni Testimonials

"This programme is unique at the moment because it offers a well-rounded and profound insight into climate change law. With the small number of students and pleasant atmosphere, everybody can participate in class. By including other fields, such as psychology, sociology, economics and climate science, the programme offers a perspective on law that can be eye-opening to law students, who often develop a tunnel vision during their time in law school. Participating in this programme made me see the law as a tool and showed me many ways in which it can be used to mitigate climate change.”

     - Martyna Bajer (Climate Change and Corporations)

 

"What intrigued me in the programme was the currently rarely observed combination of business- and climate change law. The former influences the latter, and it is primordial to look for solutions to climate change issues in business reforms. This is why I believe that this programme is essential for future legal practitioners that want to deal with the ever-increasing threat of climate change. The course has so far taught our rather small, yet very invested and motivated class a lot about the psychological and behavioural aspects of consumers' decision-making processes, but also about the scientific, political, and extensively about the legal international state of affairs concerning the climate change issue.”

     - Daisy Ivanova (Climate Change and Corporations)

 

"This is a highly recommendable LLM programme, with small but interactive classes taught by reputable academics and practitioners. Upon graduation, I had acquired the theoretical and the practical knowledge required to perfectly perform in the business arena as a legal counsel. Everything I had learned during classes became of use during my job and I could see the connection with the requirements and expectations of my position. Personally, the highlight of my year as a student, was my participation in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, offered as an extracurricular course. Together with some of my fellow students, as a team, we got to practice and refine our legal skills solving a complex legal problem, and although it was a fictitious one, it could have very well been real. It was a great opportunity to refine my legal writing skills, as well as my oral advocacy skills, competing against the most reputable universities in the world.” 

     - Wendy Gonzales (Commercial Transactions – this specialization has now been merged into Trade and Investment)

 

The programme was an inspiring academic experience which provided me with valuable insights into the international and EU law regulating cross-border trade. Its rich curriculum tackles all aspects necessary for developing key legal competencies in international business. Apart from offering a comprehensive understanding of the legal framework in relation to international commercial transactions, the remarkably interesting lectures and seminars prepare students to anticipate and adapt to the dynamics of a legal environment in business. What I also highly value about the programme is the dedication of the teaching staff, top academics, and legal practitioners, who inspire and guide students during their academic journey.

     - Madalina Stavar (Commercial Transactions - this specialization has now been merged into Trade and Investment)

 "Not only were the lectures interesting and interactive but they opened my eyes to the interconnectivity and overlap between such subjects as behavior economics, the law, finance and the realm of negotiations. I got to meet people from all different-cross sections of the world and to interact with professors and lecturers of the highest caliber..... The course and what it had to offer far exceeded my expectations."

     - Georgina McKenzie (Markets & Behavior - this specialization has now been merged into Trade and Investment)

Change your future with the International Business Law programme

Change your future with the International Business Law programme

Students who successfully completed the IBL Master's programme have a wide range of career choices. They can work as professional business lawyers, in-house legal counsels for companies, government officials, corporate executives, legal professionals for an international (intergovernmental) organization or NGO, legal researchers, and more.

Our alumni have jobs at, e.g., multinational companies, international law firms, banks, and international accounting companies in their home countries or in the Netherlands. Others pursue a career as a legal counsel in government institutions or international organizations. Some alumni choose to further develop their academic legal research skills by enrolling into a PhD programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam or elsewhere.

The Master's degree International Business Law, when combined with a Dutch academic Bachelor of Laws degree, fulfils the requirements for civiel effect.

Explore your future prospects
People at the airport