Universiteit Leiden

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Master European Law - Leiden University

European Law (LL.M.)

Governance of Migration and Diversity - Legal

Become a master in the law of migration and diversity with a multi-disciplinary background! Contemporary societies are increasingly diverse and multicultural. Global migration and asylum mean that more and more people live outside their country of birth or nationality. Europe, once a continent of emigration, has become an important country of destination. This raises important legal questions on how to address the challenges posed by migration and diversity and to maximize the chances for the benefit of all. To do so successfully, this programme provides you with a unique multi-disciplinary component, to understand the law in its broader - political, societal and historical - context.

Jorrit Rijpma

Professor of European migration and asylum law

Jorrit Rijpma

Today’s diverse and globalised society requires lawyers that can think beyond the boundaries of national legal systems, and often even beyond the boundaries of the law.

Learn about the law in a multi-disciplinary programme

The legal programme of the master in the Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD-Legal) will provide you with advanced knowledge of the legal aspects of migration, asylum, non-discrimination, immigrant ‘integration’, and diversity. The GMD-Legal programme is embedded in the multidisciplinary programme Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD) and offers you insights from different academic disciplines at Leiden University, Delft University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam. Along with your legal classes, you will attend courses at all three universities and will gain expertise on governing migration and diversity from the perspectives of, for example, history, sociology, and political sciences. Within the GMD programme, you will build an extensive academic and professional network across academic disciplines during your time as an LL.M. student.

Explore migration law within its political, social and historical context

The GMD-Legal programme allows you to obtain a legal degree at master's level (LL.M) and study the governance of migration and diversity from a wider perspective at the same time. This will give you a unique profile - not merely for the classic legal professions, but also for an international career in migration and diversity.

Some of the questions you will address:

  • What are the (un)intended effects of the law on politics and society?
  • How have politics, society and history shaped the law?
  • How can the law improve the regulation of migration, including asylum?
  • How can the law contribute to inclusion and non-discrimination?
  • In which way do different levels of migration and diversity regulation (international, EU and national) interact?
  • What are the limits of the law in regulating migration and diversity?

Why choose Governance of Migration and Diversity (Legal)?

  • You will gain in-depth knowledge of the legal framework regulating migration, asylum, and non-discrimination at international and European level.
  • You will study the law in a multi-disciplinary programme leading to a recognised LL.M. title (European Law, specialisation Governance of Migration and Diversity).
  • You will train your legal presentation and writing skills in dedicated courses.
  • You will follow courses offered by leading experts from three LDE universities (Leiden, Delft, Erasmus) in five academic disciplines (law, history, sociology, political sciences, and development studies).
  • You will study in an international environment, with students from different disciplines, laying the foundation for your professional network.
  • You will study current issues with great societal relevance.
  • You will obtain the knowledge and skills for a successful (international) career in the field of migration and diversity.

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Programme structure

The Governance of Migration and Diversity (Legal) forms one of the five tracks of the multidisciplinary programme Governance of Migration and Diversity (GMD) organised within the framework of the cooperation between Leiden, Delft and Erasmus (LDE).

The programme consists of two parts: joint courses for all Governance of Migration and Diversity students (25 EC) offered by our partners in the GMD programme and legal track-specific courses for GMD (Legal) (35 EC).  

The joint courses are Governance of Migration and Diversity (5 ECTS), History of Migration and Diversity (5 ECTS), Sociology of Migration and Diversity (5 ECTS), Politics of Migration and Diversity (5 ECTS), Migration and Development (5 ECTS). You will follow these joint courses together with the students of the other tracks in either Leiden, Rotterdam or The Hague.

The law courses are: Multilevel Protection of Human Rights (5 ECTS), International and European non-discrimination law (5 ECTS), International and European non-discrimination law: Privatissimum (5 ECTS), International and European Migration and Asylum Law  (5 ECTS), International and European Migration and Asylum Law: Practicum (5 ECTS), LL.M. Thesis (10 ECTS). These are all offered by Leiden Law School in Leiden itself.

Upon completion of the programme, you will receive an LL.M. degree (Specialisation European Law). You will also receive a separate certificate stating that you have successfully completed the Governance of Migration and Diversity programme.


Graduates of the LL.M. Governance of Migration and Diversity, depending on their bachelor qualification, will obtain civil effect in the Netherlands and will be able to access the Dutch bar. The multidisciplinary nature of the LL.M. programme will also allow graduates to access positions in business organisations (e.g. HR, consultancy), governmental organisations (policymakers, policy advisors, lobbyists) and organisations in civil society (e.g. unions, political parties, research institutes) on a local, national or international level.


The GMD-Legal Programme starts in September 2024. Applications can be submitted from 1 October 2023.

 How to apply for this track:

  1. Go to Studielink
  2. Select ‘Leiden University'> 'WO Master'> and search for 'LAW'
  3. When asked for a specialisation, select ‘European Law’. 
    Note: you cannot apply separately for the specialisation ‘Governance of Migration and Diversity-legal’, as this track is officially a sub-track of the European law specialisation of the LL.M. 
  4. Please indicate your interest in this subtrack in your motivation letter.
  5. Check the Step-by-step guide

More information

For more information about this programme, contact us at:  GMD-Legal@law.leidenuniv.nl

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