Law in Society

Becoming a different kind of lawyer

Studying Law in Society?

How can the law pave the way for a sustainable future? And how is the law sometimes used to prevent it? Is terrorism a matter for international criminal law or international security law – or both? And what’s a lawyer’s moral responsibility in these cases?

The Law in Society Bachelor’s programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is unique – you won’t find law taught this way anywhere else. Instead of the traditional approach to public, private and criminal law, this programme starts with real societal problems and looks at how different legal perspectives can be applied. Using a multi-disciplinary approach with a strong social sciences component and a cross-cultural emphasis, you’ll work in groups to carry out empirical research on real-world cases. And you’ll come out ready to work in an international environment – think NGOs, ministries and big law firms.

The Law in Society programme centres around four themes that are hyper relevant in today’s society: security, globalisation of markets, migration and sustainability. You will address each theme at both global and local levels, from different legal perspectives, using relevant social sciences tools and research methodologies.  

Year 1
You’ll dive into one of the biggest issues of our age: security – including global terrorism, as well as libel and assault cases. Alongside the philosophy and law of security, you’ll learn about criminology and empirical research. In the second semester, you’ll immerse yourself in the globalisation of markets, and will use psychology and statistics to deepen your understanding of how these markets work.

Year 2
You’ll explore migration – not just from an abstract point of view, but by meeting and interviewing those involved. In small groups, you’ll learn qualitative research methods like interview techniques and negotiation skills that would make great preparation for a legal career. You’ll also investigate topics like climate change and artificial intelligence – and the ethical dilemmas that lawyers face as a result.

Year 3
For your minor in your first semester, you’ll get the opportunity to go abroad and put your international curiosity to good use. For those staying in Amsterdam, there are interesting minors on offer. You’ll also write your Bachelor’s thesis, and do a series of recap courses that compare different legal systems and add depth to your legal knowledge.

Programme overview.


 

  • Law in Society at VU Amsterdam is completely unique – nowhere else in the world are the lawyers of the future trained from a multi-disciplinary, practical perspective. 
  • You’ll be learning in a mixed classroom with students from all different backgrounds.
  • You’ll come out with a qualification that allows you not only to use the law, but also to see how changing legal perspectives leads to shifting responsibilities and ethical dilemmas.
  • At VU Amsterdam, the greatest legal minds work alongside renowned criminologists and social scientists – all united in one faculty, and all researching topics taught in the programme.
  • Both VU Amsterdam and the city are known for their diversity – we’re looking for open-minded people from diverse backgrounds!

  • You’re naturally curious about new perspectives, new cultures and new experiences.
  • You’re happiest working in groups with other people, and love to cooperate on tasks.
  • You’re engaged in big social issues, and love to discuss them with others.
  • You’re proactive – perhaps you’ve done some volunteer work at your local community centre or at a refugee centre?
  • You have a high level of English (the programme is taught in English only).
  • You have at least a basic level of Maths (the programme involves some statistics work).
  • You’re ambitious and thrive on a challenge.

Does this sound like you? Then come along to one of our Open Days where you can find out more and try out the programme for yourself! If you’re keen to apply and meet the entry requirements (see below), tell us why you’re a great fit.

Master’s programmes
An LLB in Law in Society will set you up perfectly for a Master’s programme with a similarly multi-disciplinary international approach. A few of the options available to you include:

  • International Business Law
  • International Conflict and Criminology
  • International Migration and Refugee Law
  • International Technology Law
  • Law and Politics of International Security 
  • Transnational Legal Studies

Job opportunities
As a graduate from the Law in Society programme, there are many paths open to you. You’d be well suited to roles involving international cooperation – for instance, in NGOs or government ministries, working at international level. The big law firms are also looking for graduates with more than just a legal background – they want diverse thinkers who can match their legal training with problem solving on cross-border issues. And, if your ambition is to go into one of the Dutch “toga professions” (barrister, judge, public prosecutor, etc.), the programme aims to develop additional courses for your minor (in year 3) and pre-Master’s courses to enable you to reach the civiel effect.

Admission with a Dutch degree

Law in Society is a selective programme.

VWO diploma
You can study Law in Society at VU Amsterdam if you have one of the following VWO profiles:
  • Natuur en Gezondheid, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level
  • Natuur en Techniek, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level
  • Economie en Maatschappij, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level
  • Cultuur en Maatschappij, with a minimum grade of 7 for English at 5 VWO or 6 VWO level

HBO propaedeutic year
You will be eligible for admission to this bachelor programme if you obtain an additional modular certificate at 6 VWO level in the following subject: Mathematics A or B or C* and English with a minimum grade of 7.

HBO completed programme
You will be eligible for admission to this bachelor programme if you obtain additional modular certificate at 6 VWO level in the following subjects: Mathematics A or B or C* and English with a minimum grade of 7**.

* Does not apply to the HBO study programme Toegepaste Wiskunde/Mathematical Engineering.
** Does not apply to an English-taught HBO study programme.

Aged 21 or over?
Dutch applicants who do not meet any of the above educational requirements and who are aged 21 or over, may be admitted by way of colloquium doctum. This requires obtaining the following modular certificates at 6 VWO level:

  • English
  • Dutch
  • History
  • Mathematics  A or B or C

Meet the prerequisites?
You can obtain your certificates from various institutions.

Application steps

  1. Check if you match the entry requirements.
  2. Register for the Bachelor before the application deadline via Studielink
  3. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet
  4. Then upload the following documents:
    • assesment form tell us why you’re a great fit, we use the assesment form instead of a letter of motivation. Please upload this completed document in VUnet under Motivation letter.
    • certified transcript
    • optionally: you may include a letter of reference with your application (in Dutch or English). You can choose the referent yourself; we suggest, however, that you pick someone who knows you professionally (teacher, supervisor, boss, etc.)
      Upload the letter of reference together with the certified transcript or the questionnaire, as one document.
  5. When all your documents have been submitted, wait for a decision by the admissions committee.

A Skype interview may be part of the selection procedure.

Ready to apply?
Great! Start your application.

Do you have questions?

  • You can call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00).
  • Or email us at contact@vu.nl.
  • Furthermore, you can also send us a text message on Whatsapp on +316 107 87 317.

Do you have a question about admission?

  • Please contact the Student Desk on +31 20 5985020 from 10.30 – 12.30 or 14.00 – 17.00).
  • Or email them at studentdesk@vu.nl.

VU Bachelor's day
Come join our Open Day on 9 February and see for yourself what it’s like to study Law in Society at VU Amsterdam! Register here.

Taster day
Find out what it’s like to be a student for a day at the campus in Amsterdam’s Zuidas on 11 March 2019. Apply here.

Matching
The VU Matching system allows you to check whether you’re making the right degree choice. For Law in Society a digital questionnaire will be used.

If you have any questions about matching, email matching.rechten@vu.nl.

Admission with an international degree

Law in Society is a selective programme. In addition to a strong motivation, your educational qualifications are assessed as part of the selection procedure.

Applicants holding a pre-university diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements. If you do not yet meet the requirements but expect to do so in the future (such as obtaining your diploma), you can already apply. We will evaluate your application and inform you of our admission decision. All outstanding requirements need to be met in full by the time you enrol for the programme.

Admission to the programme will remain conditional until your diploma is awarded and your admission becomes unconditional.

Requirements that apply:

A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma
See the Diploma Requirement List for examples of accepted diplomas per country. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

Applicants who have completed their (English-taught) education in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia are exempted from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programmes only).

All other international applicants must provide test scores from either IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge English, completed no more than two years before September 1st of the year their studies would begin.

We accept the following tests and minimum scores:

  • IELTS (academic) ≥ 6.5 (with at least 7.0 for reading)
  • TOEFL paper-based test ≥ 580
  • TOEFL ITP (VU Amsterdam) ≥ 580 (with at least 64 for reading)
  • Revised TOEFL PBT ≥ 92 (with at least 24 for reading)
  • TOEFL iBT ≥ 92 (with at least 24 for reading)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) : grades A, B or C
  • C2 Proficiency (formerly: CPE) : grades A, B or CFor verification of your test results, please upload your results in VUnet or send it to us by email.

For online verification of your Cambridge test result please also include your ID-number and your ‘secret number’ (check the Candidate Results Online Service).

If you require a visa to study in the Netherlands, you must submit your test results before June 1st. If you do not need a visa to study in the Netherlands, you will need to show proof before August 31st. Your acceptance to the Law in Society programme will remain conditional until we have received proof of English proficiency. Please note that it can take a long time to receive your results, so plan your date accordingly, since you may want to leave yourself time to retake the exam.

Useful links
www.ielts.org
www.toefl.org
www.cambridgeenglish.org

Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics
After you apply for the programme and upload the required documents in our Student Portal VUnet, the admission officer will evaluate your qualifications to determine whether your mathematics level is sufficient.
These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the required level of mathematics:

  • International Baccalaureate: Math Studies, Math Standard Level or Math Higher Level.
  • British GCE A-Levels: A-levels or AS-level in Mathematics with a grade A, B or C.
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife
  • European Baccalaureate: Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 3 hours during the Orientation Cycle.

If you do not meet the mathematics requirement but have an otherwise strong application, you could still be selected and accepted with a conditional offer. You would then be asked to participate in an entry test in mathematics (Dutch VWO mathematics C). I f participation in the exam is necessary this will be communicated to you in the offer letter.

Mathematics Exams (available in English and accepted by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam):

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides a Mathematics course in English with exams in December, May and July.
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers Mathematics exams equivalent to the Dutch VWO Mathematics C level for Dutch-speaking and English-speaking applicants.

Application steps

  1. Check if you match the entry requirements.
  2. Register for the Bachelor before the application deadline via Studielink.
  3. After registering you will receive log-in details for VUnet.
  4. Then upload the following documents:
    • Curriculum Vitae; the curriculum vitae should include your personal details and list your previous education and relevant work experience.
    • Transcript of records; a transcript in English of the grades obtained in your high school and further education (if applicable). If you have already graduated please include a scan of your diploma.
    • Copy of valid passport.
    • English language test results (if already obtained).
    • Assessment form;tell us why you’re a great fit. We use the assessment form instead of a letter of motivation. Please fill it in and upload it in the application where a motivation letter is requested.
    • Optionally: you may include a letter of reference with your application (in Dutch or English). You can choose the referent yourself; we suggest, however, that you pick someone who knows you professionally (teacher, supervisor, boss, etc.).
  5. Pay the application fee and submit your application.
  6. Wait for decision on admission.

A Skype interview may be part of the selection procedure.

Ready to apply?
Great! Start your application.

Do you have questions?

  • You can call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00).
  • Or email us at contact@vu.nl.
  • Furthermore, you can also send us a text message on Whatsapp on +316 107 87 317.

International Student Advisors
For questions about admission, entry requirements and other matters, please contact the International Student Advisors via bachelors.law@vu.nl

Contact a Student Ambassador
Would you like to hear from an international VU student about their student journey, what it is like to study at VU, the programme that they are doing and/or their student life in Amsterdam? Contact our student ambassadors! Our Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and would be happy to answer all your questions.

VU Bachelor's day
Come join our Open Day on Saturday 9 February, and see for yourself what it’s like to study Law in Society at VU Amsterdam! Register here.

Taster day
Find out what it’s like to be a student for a day at the campus in Amsterdam’s Zuidas on 11 March 2019. Apply here.

Matching
The VU Matching system allows you to check whether you’re making the right degree choice. For Law in Society a digital questionnaire will be used.

If you have any questions about matching, email matching.rechten@vu.nl.


 

Overview Law in Society

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years (full-time)

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 April (students requiring visa and/or housing services) / 1 May (students who do not require visa and/or housing services)

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

VWO Profile

NG/NT/EM/CM

FIELD OF INTEREST

Behavioural and Social Sciences
Economics, Business and Law