Programme Structure

EDLE presents a combination of course work and research. The curriculum is devised to provide advanced and challenging education both to lawyers and economists. Where applicable/possible candidates will be able to choose between basic and advanced courses depending on their educational background.


EDLE Empirical Track

Empirical research is becoming more and more prevalent in legal scholarship. Although theory is important in the economic analysis of law, some questions require an evidence-based approach that would test the theories. The aim of the EDLE Empirical Track is to provide the PhD researchers with the necessary tools to understand empirical studies, to develop a critical perspective on such methods and finally, to conduct their own empirical research. This track is designed both for lawyers and for economists. Lawyers without prior background in statistical analysis will attend introductory courses before continuing to empirical studies. Economists, even with background in statistics, will benefit from this track by learning how to apply those methods to legal questions.


Research Topics

The EDLE network counts on a large faculty able to offer supervision on a very large set of topics. Depending on the academic background, the thesis can be more economically or legally oriented. Some theses are rather theoretically focused, others more policy-oriented and some are empirical. Research topics may be proposed by the candidate or by the faculty. More detailed information on research topics of interest to the Partner Universities can be found here.

From the first day onwards the candidates start working on their thesis, based upon the research proposal on the basis of which they were admitted to the EDLE programme. The candidate is assigned a (provisional) supervisor who will help to identify (and in many cases narrow down) a suitable thesis topic.





Timeline for the EDLE

Task Time
Upon arrival The candidate is assigned a provisional supervisor who will help her to identify a suitable thesis topic.
by December 1st year at the latest The candidate has decided the thesis topic and is assigned two supervisors.
June 1st year The candidate submits first chapter with introduction containing problem definition, research questions, methodology adopted and table of contents.
First semester 2nd year The candidate presents her work in dedicated seminars in front of external experts.
June 2nd year The candidate submits two full chapters of the thesis.
First semester 3rd year The candidate presents her work in dedicated workshop in front of external experts.
June 3rd year The candidate submits first draft of the thesis.
When ready
(starting from October 3rd year)
The candidate submits final draft of the thesis.
Upon approval by the Coordination Board and Defence Committee The candidate defends the thesis and obtains the EDLE doctoral degree.

Candidates who meet the conditions set by the programme and successfully defend their thesis are awarded the EDLE doctoral degree. Candidates can submit their thesis after three academic years. The defence takes place at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Candidates who successfully defend their thesis will obtain a doctoral degree from the University of Bologna, the University of Hamburg as well as the Erasmus University Rotterdam.


50th EDLE PhD thesis defence!arrowmore ...

EDLE 3rd Year Seminararrowmore ...

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