Why this programme?
The European Law School (ELS) bachelor's programme combines courses in European law with courses on comparative law and deals with the legal systems of some of the major EU Member States. The ELS programme is taught completely in English by expert staff members. The programme will give you a thorough understanding of EU law and national legal systems as well as contemporary skills and excellent legal English skills.
You will study using the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) educational method. By focusing on a central question or problem in each meeting, PBL sharpens your ability to solve problems and think critically. You and your fellow students look for solutions independently and systematically under the expert guidance of a staff member. This helps you develop self-discipline, argumentation techniques and communication skills. PBL has been used since the university was founded and it is regularly evaluated and refined.
Problem-based learning video
In our education Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is central. It requires you to be proactive in setting learning goals and encourages you to work with your fellow students on legal issues. In this way, you build up the social skills you need for future legal practice. What do our students think about Problem-Based Learning? They explain it in this video!
Our students on Problem Based Learning - UK - interactive
From day one of the programme, you’ll be challenged with differing viewpoints and experiences as you interact with staff and students from all over the world. Your worldview will be enhanced by this interaction. The students in the European Law School programme represent close to 60 different nationalities, and 41% of the academic staff at the Faculty of Law come from abroad. Such diversity creates an international atmosphere that is strengthened by the international orientation of the programme. You'll focus on European law, European legal systems and comparative law, which are taught by leading international experts. Staff members are generally linked to one of the Faculty’s research institutes. In this way the faculty implements state of the art research results into the teaching programmes. You'll also study legal English. Moreover, you can do part of your studies or an internship at a university abroad.
You can choose to study at another university, in the Netherlands or abroad. The grades and credits you obtain as part of the exchange can be used towards your European Law School degree.
You will primarily be taught in small groups using the Problem-Based-Learning method and you will be trained in many different skills, such as writing briefs and academic papers, presenting and pleading cases. There is a lot of emphasis on developing contemporary skills such as mediation, negotiation and leadership.
The Maastricht University law School has a strong reputation in international moot court competitions (in several languages), which demonstrates the effectiveness of this way of teaching.
Specific legal skills
In addition to the skills that you gain in the tutorials, a great deal of attention is paid to developing specific legal skills like working with reference books, academic literature and legal texts such as statutes and case law. You'll work on real-life legal cases. You'll also learn advanced legal writing skills, which you can put into practice when you write your bachelor’s thesis.
Education at the Faculty of Law
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) - Maastricht Double Degree Programme
If you are interested in Spanish law and want to obtain a double degree, you might be interested in the Double Degree Programme we offer in cooperation with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). Maastricht University and the UAM offer a Double Degree combining the LL.B in European and Comparative Law from the European Law School and the LL.B in Spanish law from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM).
In an exciting 4-year programme (a selection procedure applies), you will spend two years in Maastricht, after which you will spend two years in Madrid. If you complete the programme, you will be awarded two degrees. In the first two years, you will follow selected courses from the European Law School bachelor programme, which provide for an early specialisation in comparative and European law. In the third and fourth year, you will gain more in-depth knowledge of one legal system, Spanish law, which you will be able to combine with the previously acquired comparative and European law knowledge. Skills training, such as presenting, pleading, research and writing is a continuous part of this double degree programme.
Students who wish to pursue the double degree programme via Maastricht University, first enrol in the bachelor European Law School. In the second year of the ELS programme, there is a selection procedure, including interview, which takes into account study progress and results (including GPA), Spanish language abilities and the motivation to participate in the double degree programme.
Access to professional qualifications
The Bachelor European Law School does not constitute a qualifying law degree. This means that it does not provide automatic access to the professional qualifications needed to practice law as a lawyer, public prosecutor or judge. Generally, access to the professional training phase for these professions requires detailed knowledge of the national law in the relevant jurisdiction. This is not the focus of the bachelor European Law School which has a European and comparative law orientation. Consequently, if you want to become a practising lawyer, you will need to pursue additional education in the national law of the country in which you want to qualify to practice.
To obtain access to professional qualifications in the Netherlands, it is possible to enrol in the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid at the end of the second year of the bachelor European Law School. Upon successful completion of both bachelor programmes, you can graduate with two bachelor degrees: the bachelor European Law School and the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid. Completion of the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid combined with a Master in Dutch Law in the Netherlands meets the requirements for accessing professional qualifications in the Netherlands, known as “civiel effect”.
Students who are enrolled in both degrees, may apply to the Board of Examiners for exemptions for elective courses in the third year of the European Law School bachelor and for courses in the first year of the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid. Students who are exempted from first year courses in the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid will still need to complete an introductory programme on Dutch private law, constitutional and administrative law, and criminal law before starting the second year courses of the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid. As the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid is taught entirely in Dutch, minimum language requirements apply. Please check the website for further information.
Moot court competitions
Each year, student teams from the UM Faculty of Law participate in the most prestigious national and international moot courts competitions, where teams vie against each other in simulated proceedings to present a convincing legal case to an expert jury. Our Law Faculty has built an excellent reputation for performing outstandingly and has been awarded the first prize in competitions such as the European Law Moot Court Competition, the VAR Moot Court Competition and the National Round of the Philip Jessup Moot Competition.
Participation in moot courts and legal clinics is extracurricular, no credits are granted within the programme.
Through the MaRBLe programme, we offer talented third-year bachelor’s students the opportunity to conduct their own research within a Research-Based Learning project. You will be guided by experienced academic staff who will help you further develop your critical thinking and research skills. This will help prepare you for a career in scientific research or research positions in business.