Advanced LL.M in Public International Law

* More information here
** More information here
*** Program of courses here

 1. 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.

  • Organized during the day over a period of one year, the LL.M. offers many benefits and will guarantee a tailor-made training, according to your profile and your career aspirations.
  • You will be trained in the heart of Europe by a teaching team distinguished by its academic and practical experience (lawyers before the International Court of Justice, advisers of governments, embassies, organizations international organizations, etc.). All in a group of maximum 35 students, which will guarantee you a unique environment.
  • Finally, this LL.M. program offers many opportunities for those who have followed the training in international law provided by ULB, from which members of the International Courts and Tribunals (CIJ, ICTR, African Court of human rights, …), NGO leaders international and local (ICR, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Handicap International, …), diplomats, parliamentary attachés, university professors, etc.

2. Teaching method

The courses are taught in French and in English, in the form of interactive seminars, ex cathedra lessons and practical exercises in small groups. Special emphasis is placed on the practical practice of international law through exercises and mock trials where your knowledge and advocacy skills will be put to use. You will be invited to take part in prestigious international moot court competitions, during which students of the ULB distinguish themselves regularly (Pictet, Rousseau, Lachs).
Students in this LL.M. have the opportunity to choose subjects on which more than half of their credits (courses and work included), which allows to modulate the program according to the interests and the profile of each.

3. Program

In order to successfully complete the LL.M. program, students must obtain 60 credits (ECTS). These credits are divided into three components:

  • Compulsory courses: 20 credits ( 4 courses of 5 credits).
  • Optional courses: 25 credits (5 courses of 5 credits).
  • Dissertation (TFE): 15 credits.

Through compulsory courses, students are asked to study in-depth questions of public international law, to become familiar with the methodological and theoretical principles of international law as well as with the techniques of legal argumentation in international law, including through participation in mock trials. Optional courses allow students to focus their studies on subjects of particular interest to them. The curriculum offers two areas of specialization:

  • « Peace and Security / Security and Conflict »
  • « Human Rights »

At the end of their studies (end of the second semester), students must write a thesis dissertation (TFE) on a subject of public international law of their choice and defend it orally before a jury (guidelines relating to the work of end of study, in French).

Find the program of courses offered here.

4. Admission requirements

In order to apply to the Advanced LL.M, you have to:

  1. Hold a Master’s degree or equivalent, representing 300 ECTS credits (or 5 distinct years of studies) with a minimum average of 13/20,
  2. Have a background in public international law (acquired either during the undergraduate studies or otherwise), and,
  3. Have a recommendation letter (to join to the admission application).

The courses are taught in either English or French. Thus, the program requires an active knowledge of one of the two languages, and a passive knowledge of the other one.

The number of places is limited and admission to the program is delivered after evaluation of the application file, taking into account the candidate’s academic background and records. It is recommended to apply to the program with anticipation.

Please note that the application form is only available online here.
A list of all the documents necessary for your application is available here.

Finally, the deadlines for applications are:

  • From 16 February 2023 to 31 March 2023 for residents outside of EU
  • From the 1 April 2023 to 15 June 2023 for EU residents outside of Belgium
  • From the 1 April 2023 to 11 September 2023 for Belgian residents

 Remark: applications introduced before the candidate’s graduation will be evaluated subject to said graduation. 

For further information, do not hesitate to contact the Director of the LL.M. program, Professor Vaios Koutroulis :

5. Available scholarships 

1453428_663235717079508_4108172134726605971_nUnfortunately, 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).