Master's Thesis - International Business Law


Course Objective

The aim of the thesis is first and foremost for you to demonstrate your
capability to apply the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired on
the programme as described in the learning objectives in the IBL
Academic and Examination Regulations . This means that you are capable
of independently formulating a problem definition, identifying relevant
source materials and/or data, critically analyzing and interpreting
them, drawing conclusions, evaluating and, where applicable, making
recommendations and suggestions for further research.

A secondary aim of the thesis involves acquiring in-depth and specialist
knowledge and understanding of a subsidiary area within law. For this
purpose, you must conduct an academic legal study in accordance with the
research methods that apply in the discipline. You must then present the
results and outcome in a clear and consistent argumentation, in which
you demonstrate that you can formulate your own perspective.

Course Content

The Master’s thesis is the final stage of the Master’s programme. It is
a report of research conducted independently by you, the student, as an
integrated part of your programme. Many students consider writing the
thesis to be the most interesting, but also a challenging part of the

The thesis is an extended piece of writing that is the culmination of
in-depth research. It takes the reader through the relevant issues,
providing research evidence to back up competing viewpoints and
providing a final answer to the research question. The aim of writing a
master thesis is to complete an independent research project on a
substantial topic in the field of international business law and within
the curriculum of the IBL programme. The master thesis is intended to
draw upon the master student’s unique curriculum and intellectual
experiences encountered while at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Excellent writing skills are essential for any lawyer. Ultimately,
written language will be your working tool. Future employers sometimes
wish to consult an applicant’s thesis in order to gain an impression of
his or her writing skills. The thesis presents you with an opportunity
to showcase yourself. Therefore, make sure to take the writing of your
thesis very seriously.

Writing a master’s thesis is compulsory within the IBL LLM programme.
The thesis counts for 12 ECTS, i.e. approximately 340 hours of research
and writing.

Teaching Methods

The information in this document is intended to assist you in the
process of writing and to clarify the conditions that you will be
expected to meet and what you can expect from your thesis supervisor.
The research and writing is overseen by a supervisor who is a lecturer
at the faculty of law and the thesis must be completed during the
specified timeframe. Specific requirements and guidelines regarding (i)
writing the master thesis, and (ii) presenting orally the results of the
master thesis, are provided in the course manual.

Method of Assessment

The final grade will be determined as follows:

• The grade for the written thesis counts for 80% of the final grade.
The supervisor determines the grade for the written thesis after
consulting the second assessor. The completed assessment form (see
Appendix C) is sent to the thesis coordinator who will print two copies
and bring them at the oral presentation seminar.
• The grade for the oral presentation counts for 20% of the final grade.
All grades will be announced individually in an argued manner at the end
of each oral presentation session. The student will sign the two copies
of the final assessment form and receive one copy.

The assessment will be recorded, even if it is a fail.
A thesis that has been awarded a pass mark cannot be reworked.
If the thesis is not awarded a pass mark, you can write a new thesis. It
must have a different problem definition and be supervised by a
different supervisor from the one who supervised the thesis that was
awarded a fail mark.

The assessment form will be submitted online separately by the
supervisor and the second reader and it will be visible to the student.

Additional Information

Ioana Ciobanasu - coordinator IBL and thesis coordinator -
Rik Mellenbergh - director IBL -

The Master’s graduate has thorough knowledge and understanding of the
main areas of international business law.

The Master’s graduate understands the relationships between the main
areas of international business law and recognizes which legal issues
are involved and how these influence each other.

The Master’s graduate knows who the actors of the international business
law environment are and how they interact with each other, while
acknowledging legal and cultural differences.

The Master’s graduate understands the role of governments and the
horizontal economic relationships between them, the vertical
relationship between them and private business and, finally, the
horizontal relationships between private companies. Consequently, the
graduate discerns the legal position of various parties and understands
how the conduct of these parties can influence legal positions.

The Master’s graduate possesses analytical skills to apply acquired
knowledge and insights to concrete problems in the area of IBL.

The Master’s graduate ‘translates’ practical problems into legally
manageable problems.

The Master’s graduate can analyse and assess scholarly literature, case
law and legal and policy documents and critically reflect upon them.

The Master’s graduate shows evidence of an independent, critical
attitude with regard to existing theories and knowledge.

The Master’s graduate possesses the necessary knowledge of research
methodologies in international law and the necessary research skills to
independently prepare and carry out a jurisprudential study of some

The Master’s graduate can critically assess the value of research
findings, draw conclusions from them and relate research results to
theoretical debates within the domain and adjust them when necessary.

The Master’s graduate should be able to analyse complex issues in
relation to international business and make useful legal
recommendations. A Master’s graduate can formulate an independent and
well-substantiated opinion on complex legal issues and take a
substantiated position within the existing debates on various
international business law topics.

The Master’s graduate should have the ability to present orally and/or
in writing the setup, research methodology, theoretical foundations and
findings of their research to both experts and non-experts. The Master’s
graduate has a good command of English legal terms which are used within
international business law.

The Master’s graduate has a self-critical attitude that enables them to
independently acquire new knowledge and to improve their analytical,
research and communicative skills.

General Information

Course Code R_MThIBL
Credits 12 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 600
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator I.C. Ciobanasu LLM
Examiner I.C. Ciobanasu LLM
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself