How do I apply for the LL.M?
Can I get an opinion on my application before submitting it?
No. The jury will only decide on applications that have been formally submitted, and will not give an informal opinion outside the application procedure. It is also not possible to have a preliminary interview before submitting an application.
I have sufficient credits but I did not study law. Can I apply for the LL.M in EU Law?
The LL.M is a specialised Master's degree in law which focuses on European Union law. Therefore, it covers quite specific subjects (competition law, external relations law, etc.) for which it is necessary to have a basic knowledge of law and in particular of EU law.
Access to the specialised Master's programme is therefore reserved for students with a law degree or a degree offering adequate legal education. The latter may have been acquired in European studies, political science or other courses, or in the context of professional practice. There are strict rules for the evaluation of professional experience: you must demonstrate at least 5 years of relevant professional experience before the jury will consider you eligible.
In general, candidates must demonstrate a good understanding of law, as well as basic knowledge of European law, and the ability to follow the specialised Master's programme is assessed by the jury on the basis of the application file.
Do I have to be perfectly bilingual?
The LL.M is a bilingual programme in French and English, which means that classes are taught in one of both languages.
An insufficient command of either language may hinder good understanding and participation in the courses. Therefore, students must have at least a B2 level in each language. This knowledge can be proven by any means (e.g. a certificate of language courses, a DELF/TOEFL/IELTS test, or Erasmus experience).
Is it possible to combine the Master's with a professional activity? Is the load not too heavy?
The LL.M is a full-time, day-time programme. The workload related to course preparation, preparatory and additional reading and assignments is not negligible, and it may be difficult to combine with a full-time professional activity.
Moreover, for some courses and seminars, attendance is compulsory and student participation is an integral part of the assessment. No exemption from compulsory classes is possible for professional reasons.
Two possibilities are likely to be of interest to those working full-time. On the one hand, it is possible (subject to payment of higher registration fees) to spread the completion of the LL.M over two academic years (more information here). On the other hand, it is also possible (with the agreement of the professor and the payment of reduced registration fees) to follow certain courses individually (more information here).
How are the year, the courses and the exams organised?
The year is divided into two main periods during which courses are taught: the first term from September to December, and the second term from February to May. The courses are taught according to the modalities chosen by the teacher (ex cathedra courses, mock trials, reversed classrooms, ...), and may be accompanied by practical seminars in smaller groups.
At the end of each term, an examination period is organised. These may be written or oral exams, or consist of the submission of assignments and/or presentations. The modalities are communicated in the course sheet and by the professor.
Exams take place in January for the courses of the first term, and in May and June for the courses of the second term. In the event of failure of one or more exams of the first or second term, students have the possibility of taking them a second time in August.
I have already followed some of the courses offered in the LL.M during my previous studies. Do I have to retake these courses?
If you have already followed one of the compulsory core courses, the professor may decide to exempt you from following their course. This depends on the convergence of subjects and teaching methods.
Please note that this does not mean that you have automatically validated the course and its associated credits. In order to ensure that you get 60 ECTS credits in the year, you must choose an additional elective course.
It is not possible to get an exemption for a course offered as an elective.
I studied law abroad and do not have the title of lawyer. Is it possible to become a lawyer in Belgium after completing the LL.M?
The LL.M in European Law does not allow for the recognition of equivalence for a law degree obtained in another country. This is a result of the constant practice of the Equivalence Commission. The LL.M degree does not give the possibility to register as a trainee lawyer at the bar in Belgium.
Indeed, among the conditions necessary to register as a trainee lawyer, there is in particular the fact of having obtained, in Belgium, a PhD or Master’s diploma in law. Candidates with a foreign degree have two options.
Either they can take the aptitude test organised by, among others, the French- and German-speaking Bar Association. This aptitude test is only open to candidates who have all the professional qualifications to exercice the legal profession in another EU Member State and who have at least 18 months of full-time professional experience. This experience may be acquired in a law firm, either in Belgium or in another Member State of the European Union, or in any other legal function considered equivalent. A sheet summarising this information is available here.
They can also follow a university equivalence programme at a Belgian university. These equivalence programmes are shorter and allow students to get familiar with the core of Belgian law (such as constitutional law, civil or criminal law, or procedural law), subjects that are essential for practising as a lawyer in Belgium. The Faculty of Law and Criminology of the ULB offers this type of programme and further details are available here.
What is the cost of living in Brussels? Is it possible to get financial aid from the University or a scholarship to follow the specialisation master?
The University does not provide financial aid for students following LL.Ms. There is also no scholarship programme.
Estimates of the cost of study are available here.
Are there any accommodation facilities for students?
The University offers on-campus accommodation to rent for students, and the Accommodation Service has compiled information about accommodation available to students, which you can find here.
Please note that accommodation offered by the University is limited and applications must be made by mid-April for the following academic year.
How to get to the campus?
By public transport:
From Wallonia, Flanders or Brussels, the main public transport services drop you off at the campus gates or within walking distance:
STIB: The campus is served by bus lines 71 and 72, as well as trams 8 and 25 (ULB stop). Bus 95 to the Ixelles cemetery, and tram 7 to Buyl are accessible in 8 minutes on foot. More information on www.STIB.be
TEC: Line 366 (Court-Saint-Etienne/Rixensart) drops you off 2 minutes' walk from Avenue de l'Orée. Line C (Louvain-la-Neuve) can be reached at the Fraiteur stop in 13 minutes on foot. More information on www.Infotec.be
De Lijn: Lines 341 (Wavre), 343 (Malaise), 348 (La Hulpe) and 349 (Ottenburg) can be reached at the Fraiteur stop in 13 minutes on foot. More information on www.Delijn.be
Regional: Etterbeek, Watermael and Boondael stations are served by several regional S lines. They can be reached in a few minutes on foot, by bicycle or by public transport.
National and international connections: most of the lines connect with public transport at the city's main stations (Nord, Central, Midi).
More information on www.Belgianrail.be
Regional lines: several regional S railway lines stop at the Etterbeek, Watermael, and Boondael stations. From there, the campus is a few minutes away on foot, by bicycle, or by public transportation.
National and international lines: with most railway lines, you can transfer at Brussels’ main stations (North, Central, South).
Learn more at Belgianrail.be
Life on campus
The campus offers a wide range of facilities for students: a wide range of restaurants, sports halls and group sports courses, cultural and festive events and outings, a medical service, etc. For more information on campus life, please see here.
have another question that does not appear here, and I can’t find the answer elsewhere online. Who may I contact?
You can contact the administrative coordinator of the LL.M, Mrs. Françoise Vanden Broeck, via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org