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Combining two specializations Law

Last updated on 16 November 2022
For the VU Master’s programmes Law and International Business Law (IBL) it is possible to combine two specializations.

In article 10 of the TER of the programme you can find the curricular requirements for combined specializations. In short you must complete all compulsory components of both specializations, including two master theses.
When you combine two specializations you receive only one diploma.

Applying for two specializations
You apply to the Master’s programme via Studielink. After this you specify in your VU Dashboard which specialization(s) you wish to pursue. You can also apply for a second specialization at a later date after you have started the first specialization.

The Admissons Board checks if you meet the admission requirements, such as language requirements. For IBL you will be asked to submit a motivation for both specializations, or the second specialization if you apply at a later date.

Combined graduation

Please note that when you meet the requirements for graduation for one of the specializations, the VU is legally obliged to issue a degree certificate. If you have almost completed the requirements for the second specialization, you can submit a request for deferral of the graduation.  However, conditions apply. More information is available in the Regulations for issuing degree certificates.

If you do not meet the conditions for deferral of graduation, you can still complete the second specialization, but as an extra specialization after graduation (see below).

Extra specialization after graduation

Besides a combined graduation you can also pursue or complete a second specialization after graduation.

For the second specialization you must meet the curricular requirements as specified in article 10 of the TER. Please note: previously completed subjects can only be included for the curricular requirements if the results obtained are still valid. After 4 years a result may become (partially) invalid if the skills and knowledge obtained are demonstrably outdated (article 8.2 TER). If you have obtained a result more than 4 years ago, you can send a request to the Examination Board to check the validity of your results.

It is legally not allowed to issue more than one degree for the same Master’s programme. This means that if you complete the second specialization after having already received a degree certificate (diploma) for the first specialization, you will not receive a second diploma. Instead, you will receive an official signed certificate as supplement to your diploma, specifying which second specialization you have completed and which subjects you have (additionally) completed for the specialization.

Please be aware that completing a second specialization after graduation may affect the tuition fee. More information is available on the Tuition fee rates page.  For questions you can contact the VU Student Desk.  

Curricular requirements

The curricula of the Master’s programmes consist of a mandatory part with the core compulsory subjects and thesis and in the case of the Law and IBL programmes, an elective part.

When a subject is compulsory for both specializations and there is no other subject which can be chosen in its place, then the subject can be included for both specializations and need only be completed once. For example a methodology subject. In all other cases a subject can usually not be included for both specializations. If an alternative subject can be chosen, in most cases you will have to choose a different subject for each specialization. In the TER you can read what is the case for your programme.

Examples Master’s in Law programme

For the Master’s in Law programme, only one integration subject needs to be completed if the integration subject is listed as an integration subject for the curricular requirements of both specializations. For all other components the standard requirements apply.

Example I: A compulsory subject of specialization 1 is also a restricted elective for specialization 2. Choose a different restricted elective for specialization 2.

Example II: An integration subject of specialization 1 is also a restricted elective for specialization 2. You can choose A: a different integration subject for specialization 1 or B: a different restricted elective for specialization 2.

Example III: An integration subject of specialization 1 is also an integration subject for specialization 2. The integration subject can be included for both specializations, you need only complete one integration subject.