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Masters in Law: International Migration and Refugee Law

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
1 year
Full time/part time
Master's degree
On campus
01 September 2022

About this program

Masters in Law: International Migration and Refugee Law

International migration is currently one of the most pressing social issues. The matter is not only urgent, but also highly complex for it can be analyzed from a multitude of angles and disciplines. The urgency and complexity are reflected in contemporary international migration and refugee law. Refugees fleeing warfare, such as the Syrian refugees, are not only confronted with the inter-relations between humanitarian and human rights law, but also with the interaction between international and domestic legal systems.

In this master track we will address international migration from the perspective of international and European law, and focus on how they function in domestic legal orders. The interplay between international, European and domestic law is a specific focus of the track and enables one to understand and analyze the complexity of the key issues of contemporary migration and refugee law.

The program in a nutshell

International Migration and Refugee Law is one of the full time, one year specializations within the VU Master of Laws Master's program, consisting of 60 EC in total. You will follow:

  • an in-depth course on Migration and Refugee Law, as well as a course on Legal Remedies for Migrants.
  • a range of elective courses, covering topics as diverse as irregular migration, human rights, European Union law and Dutch Migration Law (Migratierecht) so that you can tailor your Master's program to your particular interests
  • a special elective course is the Migration law Clinic
  • you will write a graduation thesis on a topic related to Migration and Refugee Law

Whatever your fields of particular interest, our aim is to stimulate depth of knowledge, breadth of vision, and intellectual curiosity. 

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Admission requirements

Admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree

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  • Tuition fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 15,546


Upon completion of this program, graduates will be awarded a Master's in International Migration and Refugee Law. 

Continuing studies

Career prospects

After completing this specialization, students can seek work in the numerous international (non-governmental) organizations involved in migration (e.g. UNHCR, IOM, European institutions such as the Commission, EASO and Frontex). As international and national law on migration are profoundly intertwined, solid knowledge of international migration and refugee law is also most valuable for national institutions and organizations dealing with migration law, such as migration law firms, the judiciary, national and local governments or NGO’s. And as migration law is particularly complex and intertwined with other areas of international law, students who completed the master are also perfectly well suited for careers outside migration law that require profound insight in most basic principles and the working of international and European law.

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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