Postgraduate Certificate in EU policy making

Programme

The Postgraduate Certificate (PGC) in EU Policy Making is a fully online programme which focuses on the European integration process, the European Union, its institutions, and policies. This innovative educational programme in European studies, offered by the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), is geared towards professionals as well as students with a daytime schedule. Its curriculum can be flexibly followed over the course of one academic year or two.

 

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Curriculum

The PGC in EU Policy Making includes three compulsory courses:

​Students must also follow two elective courses, from a choice of four:

 

Summer / Winter School

Finally, as an integral part of the PGC in EU Policy Making, students have to participate in the Jean Monnet Summer School (on-site, in July) or Winter School (online, in February), both jointly organised by the BSoG, the Diplomatische Akademie Wien — Vienna School of International Studies and the University of Vienna.

The Jean Monnet Summer and Winter Schools have a similar curriculum and play a complementary role to the five courses taught in the PGC in EU Policy Making, in that they offer an in-depth analysis of the institutional set-up and decision-making process in the European Union. In addition, they offer participants the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice as these modules include a simulation game of the negotiation process between EU institutions.

 

ECTS

In total, the PGC in EU Policy Making is worth 25 ECTS, as students must take a total of five courses, each worth 4 ECTS, and participate in the Summer School or the Winter School, which are worth 5 ECTS.

 

Programme Director

Success stories

  • “The human aspect of the programme really impressed me. Even though the classes were online, there were many occasions to interact with fellow students and the lecturers were understanding when other responsibilities took precedence. The cherry on top is definitely the summer school where we had the chance to meet each other, to share our knowledge and experiences as well as to network.”

    Evelyne Beaupain (Belgium)
    Postgraduate Certificate alumna (2019)
  • "This postgraduate certificate provides a comprehensive and practical overview of the roles of each institution. You will also have the chance to learn a lot about external relations, security and a variety of public policy topics. Having already worked as a communication consultant for several years, I loved how many of the assignments were practical tasks rather than purely academic exercises. The summer school was definitely the highlight, where the simulation game proved to be a great way of learning negotiation and leadership skills. Attending lectures by EU officials and advisors in Brussels and Vienna was also a fantastic opportunity to learn about the current challenges faced by international organisations."

     

    Liam Forbes (Ireland)
    Postgrad Certificate alumnus (2022)
  • “I enrolled in the Postgraduate Certificate to supplement my legal background with a stronger understanding in EU affairs. The program delivered as expected – I am very satisfied.”

    Michael Ristaniemi (Finland)
    Postgrad Certificate alumnus (2019)
Admission requirements and application

Academic requirements

Candidates must possess a university degree equivalent to an undergraduate degree in social, economic or political sciences, business, law and/or contemporary history of at least 180 ECTS. If your degree is not within these disciplines, relevant work experience in these or related fields may qualify.

 

Language requirements

The language of instruction for the programme is English. Non-native English speakers must provide proof of proficiency in English:

  • Proof that you have studied or work in English
  • TOEFL-test (min. score 233 [computer-based] min. score 90 [internet-based] min.score 577 [paper-based])
  • IELTS (min.7)
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English – CPE
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English – CAE (grade B)
  • ITACE (at the VUB) – C1

 

How do I apply?

To apply, please click the ‘Apply here’ button at the top of this page, which will take you to a page on a website dedicated to this programme, on which you will find the application form, as well as a checklist of the documents and information that we require to assess your application.

 

Application deadlines

For enrolment in early July (starting with the Jean Monnet Summer School):

  • Early-bird deadline: 15 March
    Candidates applying by 15 March will receive a 10% early-bird discount, provided that they are accepted and pay by 31 March.
  • Application deadline: 1 May

For enrolment in late September (starting with the online courses):

  • Early-bird deadline: 1 August
    Candidates applying by 1 August will receive a 10% early-bird discount, provided that they are accepted and pay by 15 August.
  • Application deadline: 31 August
Flexible planning

The online courses of the PGC in EU Policy Making follow the academic calendar of VUB

You have the choice, however, between two starting dates for this programme:

  • Early July (application deadline 1 May), if you choose to start with the Jean Monnet Summer School and then continue with the online courses taught during the following academic year.
  • Late September (application deadline 31 August), if you choose to start directly with the online courses. You can then choose either to participate in the Winter School that is organised in February, between the first and second semesters of the academic year, or to end the academic year with the Summer School in July.

In addition, students have the possibility to complete the PGC in EU Policy Making over the course of one academic year (full-time students) or two (part-time students).

Part-time students will follow the compulsory courses on EU Institutions (first semester) and on EU Decision-Making and Law (second semester) during their first academic year. They will then follow the compulsory course on the History and Theories of European Integration (third semester) and their two elective courses (fourth semester) during their second academic year. Part-time students can start their curriculum with the Jean Monnet Summer School or participate in the latter at the end of their first or second academic year. Alternatively, they can follow the Winter School in the middle of their first or second academic year.

Below is an overview of the different formulas available for the PGC in EU Policy Making:

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Tuition and scholarships

The tuition fee for the PGC in EU Policy Making depends on (1) whether you decide to complete the programme over the course of one or two academic years, and on (2) whether you opt for the Summer School or the Winter School

For students who apply for this programme for the 2023-2024 academic year, the following fee structure is applicable:

one-year track:

  • 3900 EUR for students opting for the Summer School if the latter is organised physically
  • 3600 EUR for students opting for the Summer School if the latter is organised online (due to Covid-19 health situation in Belgium/Austria)
  • 3600 EUR for students opting for the Winter School

two-year track: 

  • 2900 EUR for year 1 and 1400 EUR for year 2, for students opting for the Summer School if the latter is organised physically
  • 2600 EUR for year 1 and 1400 EUR for year 2, for students opting for the Summer School if the latter is organised online (due to Covid-19 health situation in Belgium/Austria)
  • 2600 EUR for year 1 and 1400 EUR for year 2, for students opting for the Winter School

 

What does the tuition fee cover?

How can I apply for a tuition fee waiver?

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What does the tuition fee cover?

The tuition fee covers the students’ enrolment in the postgraduate certificate programme, including their participation in the five online courses and the two-week Winter or Summer School.

If students opt for the Summer School, it also includes daily breakfast in Brussels, daily lunch in Brussels and Vienna, the flight from Brussels to Vienna on the Sunday at the end of the first week, as well as the study visits. However, it does NOT cover accommodation, breakfast in Vienna, evening meals, and flights to Brussels and from Vienna.
The Summer School organisers can recommend accommodation both in Brussels and Vienna. The participants are however free to take care of their own accommodation arrangements.

 

How can I apply for a tuition fee waiver?

Every academic year, the school can grant a very limited amount of tuition fee waivers, amounting to reduced tuition fees. If you think you may be eligible for such a reduction, you will need to provide:

  • a clear motivation letter (to be handed in together with your application)
  • a copy of your academic record (transcripts of records)
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FAQ

Which entity awards the degree of this programme?

Are lectures in this programme to be attended ‘live’?

Which teaching and exam regulations are applicable?

What are the cancellation terms?

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Which entity awards the degree of this programme?

The degree for this Postgraduate certificate in EU policy making will be issued by the VUB.

 

Are lectures in this programme to be attended ‘live’?

No, the lectures in this programme are organised in an asynchronous format, meaning that they can be followed by the students at their preferred time, no matter which time zone they are in, or whether they are available to follow lectures during the day.

 

Which teaching and exam regulations are applicable?

The VUB Teaching and Exam Regulations apply, complemented by a set of regulations specifically applicable to programmes organised by the Institute for European Studies / Brussels School of Governance. The latest version of the VUB Teaching and Exam Regulations can be consulted here (in Dutch - official version) and here (in English). The latest version of the VUB Teaching and Exam Regulations with Institute for European Studies / Brussels School of Governance complements can be consulted here (in Dutch).

 

What are the cancellation terms?​

The applicable cancellation policy depends on whether a student starts the PGC in EU Policy Making with the Summer School in early July, or with the online courses in late September:

  • For students starting the programme with the Summer School, the cancellation policy of the Summer School applies. This policy is different from the September cancellation policy, as Summer School preparation includes the booking of flights, accommodation, etc.
  • For students starting the programme directly with the online courses, the following cancellation policy applies. In case of cancellation before the start of the academic year, an administrative fee of €350 will be charged. Cancellations after the start of the academic year but before 1 December will result in an administrative fee of €350 and a reimbursement of 50% of the total tuition fee. Cancellations after 1 December will not be reimbursed.
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Have a question about this programme? Ask our alumni...

If you want to know more about our Postgraduate Certificate programme, who better to ask than the people who have recently finished it? The alumni below are available to provide you with their honest, first-hand feedback!

Year of graduation: 2019
Year of graduation: 2018

...or get in touch with us directly!

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