Why study international law at ULB?
The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) international law program is made for you if you have already followed a public international law course and would like to pursue your studies in this field. ULB offers the program as an Advanced LL.M (« Master Spécialisé »). It is intended for those already holding a Master’s degree, usually – although not exclusively – in Law or in Political Science. For more details please check “Who may apply” hereafter.
You want to attend a highly specialised training in the field of public international law, oriented towards your professional future! The LL.M enhances your professional prospects because:
- You will be joining a group of a maximum of 35 students, guaranteeing unique teaching conditions and a sense of community.
- More than half ECTS credits will be obtained through courses and essays on subjects of your own choice, allowing you to tailor your program according to your interests and the profile you want to acquire.
- You will be trained by a highly qualified and dynamic teaching staff, composed of academics and practitioners who have acquired internationally renowned experience by acting as counsels before the International Court of Justice, as counsels for governments, embassies, international organisations…
- You will study international law in a practical way. You will be given the opportunity to participate in moot court competitions and develop, or perfect, your pleading skills. ULB students frequently distinguish themselves in these competitions (Pictet Competition – ICC Moot Court – Rousseau Competition ).
- The program can be spread over two years.
- You will be notified of numerous job offers in international law and international relations.
- You will be in the heart of Europe, home to multiple international representations.
Former students of the ULB program in international law have had outstanding professional careers as members of international courts and tribunals (ICJ, ICTY, African Court of Human Rights…), officials in international and local NGOs (ICRC, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Handicap International …), diplomats, parliamentary assistants, professors at various universities…
What is the program of the Advanced LL.M in Public International Law?
In order to successfully complete the Advanced LL.M in public international law, students must validate 60 credits (ECTS) divided between :
- compulsory courses (20 credits, i.e. 4 courses of 5 credits each)
- optional courses (25 credits, i.e. 5 courses of 5 credits each)
- a dissertation (15 credits)
Through compulsory courses, students acquire an in-depth knowledge of public international law. They become acquainted with methodological and theoretical principles of international law as well as its argumentation techniques, mainly through participation in moot court competitions.
Optional courses allow students to direct their studies towards areas which are of particular interest to them. The program offers two specialisation tracks :
- Security and Conflicts
- Human Rights
At the end of their LL.M studies (end of the second semester), students are required to write a dissertation on a topic of public international law of their own choice and defend their dissertation before a jury.
The Advanced LL.M in public international law consists of day courses, spanning over a period of one year. The LL.M can be spread over two years, following a duly motivated request.
Language of the courses
Courses are taught in English or French. Students can communicate in whichever language they prefer, including during (written or oral) exams. Thus, the Advanced LL.M requires an active knowledge of one of the two languages and a passive knowledge of the other.
Who may apply to the Advanced LL.M in Public International Law?
In order to apply to the Advanced LL.M, you have to
- hold a Master’s degree or equivalent, representing 300 ECTS credits (or 5 distinct years of studies)
- have a background in public international law (acquired either during the undergraduate studies or otherwise)
- have sufficient knowledge of English and French (see the section on the languages of the courses)
Given the limited number of places, authorisation to join the program is delivered following an evaluation of the candidate’s file, based on the candidate’s profile and academic results.
The majority of students choosing the program hold a degree in either law or political science. However, the LL.M is not closed to people with other backgrounds. Holders of other degrees (for example history or journalism) have had access to the program and completed it successfully.
For any additional information, you may contact the Director of the LL.M, Professor François Dubuisson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How to apply?
Applying to the Advanced LL.M in public international law is a three-step process.
The first step consists of completing the application form available online (here, in French). If you are using this service for the first time, you need to create a user account in order to gain access to the form. A demonstration of the process is available here (in French).
The list of documents necessary to apply to the Advanced LL.M is available here (in French).
- For students who are nationals of a State non-member of the European Union, the application form can be submitted starting in February.
- For students who are nationals of a member State of the European Union, the application form can be submitted starting from April.
- However, deadlines for submitting the application form might vary depending on the profile of the candidates. These deadlines can be consulted here.
After completing the form, your application will be assessed by the LL.M jury in order to evaluate your aptitude to attend the program. For reasons bearing on your application or CV, or because of the limited number of places available, there is unfortunately no guarantee that all applications will be accepted.
If your application is accepted, you will receive an authorisation for admission. Once you have obtained this authorisation, you can proceed to the third step, which is the procedure of admission to the University. If you respect the practical modalities and deadlines, this third step should be a mere administrative formality.
Admission fees for the Advanced LL.M in public international law vary depending, among others, on your country of origin. For students who are nationals of member States of the European Union (or assimilated), admission fees are 835€.
More details on admission fees are available here.
Available scholarships and how to apply for them
Unfortunately, the Advanced LL.M in public international law is unable to offer any scholarships or to follow up on requests for scholarships. Students are advised to seek information concerning available scholarships at the Belgian Technical Cooperation (Coopération technique belge). In order to apply, students may contact the local representatives of the technical cooperation, whose addresses are available here.
One scholarship per year covering, totally or in part, the admission fees to the Advanced LL.M in public international law is offered by the Bruno Weinberg Grant. The scholarship is awarded to a student who is a refugee or a displaced person coming from a totalitarian country or who left his/her country by reason of political or religious opinion, race, or colour, or who is a victim of war or civil war. Requests for the scholarship should be presented directly to the Dean of the Faculty of Law (avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, 1050 Bruxelles – CP137).
Practical information on courses
The Faculty of Law of the University has a students’ portal. Through this portal you have, once enrolled, access, among others, to: