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About the Master of Advanced Studies in International Tax Law

The one-year full-time program consists of ten months of courses (September through June) and two months of the research and writing of the paper (July and August). The course work comprises a total of ten courses which vary in length from 1 to 12 weeks. Courses are not taught parallel but consecutively, i.e. the new course will not start until the exam of the previous course has been held. Each week typically comprises 16 to 20 class room hours. Because of the socratic format, the students are expected to actively participate in the classroom sessions and may be required to prepare oral and written presentations. It should be emphasized that the preparation work is often quite time-demanding, and that the average Adv LLM student should expect a total preparation time for 4 hours of class to be between 8 to 12 hours. In order to cope with the requirements of the Program, students should make their studies their first priority and are dissuaded from taking up part-time employment during the Program.

For research undertaken during the Program and for the preparation of the Adv LLM paper, students will be able to use – in addition to the online research facilities of ITC Leiden – the library facilities of the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation in Amsterdam.

The Program’s academic year traditionally  begins in the last week of August or the first week of September. The Program is divided into two terms. The first part of the Program (Fall term) begins with the comprehensive ‘Fundamentals’ course, aimed at bringing the students, who have a quite varied background, up to the same starting level for the substantive courses that follow. During the first days of the Program, the students are required to take an English writing test to demonstrate their skill in English drafting, needed for later submissions of written work and ultimately, for their Adv LLM paper. The balance of the Fall term is devoted to the most comprehensive course of the Program: Tax Treaties. Followed then by the Customs Duties & Excise Taxes course. 

The second part of the Program (Spring term) is dedicated to a series of varied courses on subjects from different corners of the very large area of international tax law. The first course of the Spring term is (Basic) Transfer Pricing, followed by (Basic) EU Tax Law. In addition to two further courses for all students (International Estate and Trust Taxation and Corporate International Tax Planning), there are three further courses in the Spring term for which the students have a choice: US Domestic Tax Law or EU Tax Law (Advanced), VAT or Transfer pricing (Advanced) and US International Tax Law or EU Fiscal State Aid.

Upon successful completion of the ten months of courses, the student will prepare during July and August an Adv LLM paper on a topic agreed upon with the Program Director. The  Adv LLM paper must address and analyse a substantive issue of international tax law, and may not be merely descriptive or comparative. The Adv LLM paper ought to be of publishable quality.

Students who have successfully completed the examinations and whose Adv LLM paper has been approved will be awarded the diploma of Master of Advanced Studies in International Tax Law during a graduation ceremony which is held at the end of August.

The courses in the Program are taught by professors from universities in the Netherlands and abroad and by prominent experts who in addition to their professional practice have a strong interest in academic teaching and research. An intensive interaction between students and teacher is fostered, typically resulting in greater involvement on the side of the students and, consequently, better results. For those students for whom the Program proves to be very demanding, tutorials may be offered. In addition, for students who comfortably deal with the heavy study burden, non-compulsory seminars are given in which the students are expected to actively participate.

Students may also register for individual courses. For further information please contact the ITC Leiden Admissions Office by email or use the feedback form.

For the Course and Examination Regulations of the Adv LLM Program in International Tax Law click here.