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The moral philosophy behind legal systems

Are you brimming with questions about the mechanics behind legal systems? Are you an independent, critical thinker who enjoys reading and research? And do you have a Bachelor’s in Law or a subject with legal credits?

Then the Master’s in Philosophy of Law and Governance may be the programme for you. Check whether you meet the admission requirements and find out how to apply.

Academic year 2021-2022
VU Amsterdam expects all students to be able to attend classes on campus again as of September 2021. We look forward to meeting you on campus. Should the current events concerning Covid-19 in the Netherlands give rise to changes in (online) education, we will report it on the website.

Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply

  • I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor’s degree, VU premaster or Bachelor’s degree at another university)

    To be admitted to the programme, you should have a Bachelor’s degree in Law. With a broad university Bachelor's with a legal track of at least 60 EC (such as Liberal Arts and Sciences or PPLE) you may also be eligible for admission. The Admissions Committee will invest this. 

    Do you have another university Bachelor's degree that is relevant to the specialization you want to follow? And do you have knowledge and insight into a sub-area of ​​law, at least at the level of the final attainment levels of the VU Bachelor's Rechtsgeleerdheid? And can you demonstrate this with at least 60 ECs in legal courses or knowledge or experience gained in the legal field? Then you may be eligible for admission. This will be investigated by the Admissions Committee.

  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (premaster)

    Students with a higher vocational education qualification (hbo) cannot proceed directly to the Master’s programme in Philosophy of Law and Governance.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    Dutch students and international candidates with a Dutch degree can apply via Studielink before June 1st for the Master’s programme Philosophy of Law and Governance under the label Filosofie 2 jaar/Philosophy 2 years. 

    If you have a Dutch diploma, follow this application procedure

    What happens after I have applied?
    After you have applied for the master in Studielink, you will receive your login details for your personal dashboard on vu.nl by email within two days. Please complete your application in your personal dashboard. Don’t forget to fill in your specialization

    Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of Faculty of Humanities. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink.

  • I have an international degree

    To be admitted to the programme, you should have a Bachelor’s degree in Law. With a broad university bachelor with a legal track of at least 60 EC (such as Liberal Arts and Sciences or PPLE) you may also be eligible for admission. The Admissions Committee will invest this. 

    Do you have another university Bachelor's degree that is relevant to the specialisation you want to follow? And do you have knowledge and insight into a sub-area of ​​law, at least at the level of the final attainment levels of the VU Bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid? And can you demonstrate this with at least 60 ECs in legal courses or knowledge or experience gained in the legal field? Then you may be eligible for admission. This will be investigated by the Admissions Committee.

    English language requirements

    You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English-taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

    • TOEFL score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 (in each of the subtests).
    • IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
    • Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam with score A, B, or C; or Cambridge Advanced Exam with score A, B, or C.

    Exemptions from providing the English test scores are applicable to students, who:

    • have completed an English-taught secondary or higher education degree in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia; or
    • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an English-taught programme accredited by NVAO in the Netherlands, or
    • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited English-taught programme in another member state of the European Union

    The required evidence should, if possible, be included with the complete application. If either unsatisfactory or no evidence of English language proficiency has been provided with the application, admission will be conditional upon the provision of such evidence. This condition will be clearly indicated on the offer letter and must be fulfilled before enrolment at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    See the Admission and language requirements page for further information on the general requirements.

  • Application with an international degree

    If you have read the admission criteria and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your original documents are required.

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 June for non-Dutch EU/EEA students
    • 1 June for holders of a Dutch Bachelor’s degree (with a Dutch or EU/EEA nationality)
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*

    *non-EU/EEA students who do not need a study visa and/or a residence permit can still apply until 1 June.

    Step 1: Review the admission criteria

    Step 2: Prepare your documents and apply online  
    Please prepare the required documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

    Required format and required documents
    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this template.

    After preparing the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. Once you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

    Step 3: Await the decision on admission
    The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted to the programme, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. 

    Step 4: Finalise your registration!
    Make sure to finalise your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation on what to do after you are admitted. When all of the conditions are met, you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

    Application fee & deadlines

    All students seeking admission to an international Bachelor’s or Master’s programme with an international degree are required to pay a non-refundable €100 application fee. Only after you have paid this fee will we be able to start the evaluation of your application file. If you are applying for more than one programme, you will only need to pay the application fee once. Your application fee payment is valid for two years.

    Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here.
    For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisor: masters.hum@vu.nl.

    Grants and scholarships

    As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit 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.

    International Student and Alumni Ambassadors

    Our International Student and Alumni Ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU Amsterdam and living in Amsterdam.

    • Our Student Ambassadors are current students at VU Amsterdam that represent a wide variety of programmes and countries.
    • Our International Alumni Ambassadors are VU Amsterdam graduates who are currently either working in the Netherlands or abroad, or doing a PhD or (second) Master's.

    You will find the full overview of our Ambassadors here: vu.nl/ambassadors. There you can chat with them directly.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Are you applying with a Dutch diploma? You can contact the Educational Office of the Faculty of Humanities for questions and practical information: toelating.fgw@vu.nl

For general questions, please send an e-mail to contact@vu.nl.

Call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00)

International diploma applicants

International diploma applicants are welcome to send an e-mail to masters.hum@vu.nl or book a phone appointment to get in touch with the International Student Advisor of this programme

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on VU.nl, please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl

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