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Immerse yourself in the material culture of Europe’s past

Are you fascinated by the material culture of Europe’s history? Looking for practical experience as well as theoretical knowledge? And do you have a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology, Geo-archaeology, Ancient Studies, Anthropology, History or a related discipline?

Then the Master’s in Archaeology could be the programme for you. Check whether you meet the admission requirements and find out how to apply.

Academic year 2021-2022
VU Amsterdam expects all students to be able to attend classes on campus again as of September 2021. We look forward to meeting you on campus. Should the current events concerning Covid-19 in the Netherlands give rise to changes in (online) education, we will report it on the website.

Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply

  • Coronavirus: additional information admission

    Generally speaking, students* must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Ba-before-Ma rule’. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

    Under certain conditions exceptions to this Ba-before-Ma rule can be made for Master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam. This means that students who meet these conditions and are lacking credits for no more than a few courses, will still be able to start their Master’s at VU Amsterdam next year. The missing credits must be completed during the 2021-2022 academic year, in other words no later than August 31st 2022. Please read carefully below which rules apply for admission into this Master’s programme.

    The following rules apply this year for admission into this Master’s programme:

    • You have earned at least 162 EC of the wo Bachelor’s programme that confers entitlement to admission, 216 of the hbo Bachelor’s programme that confers entitlement to admission or at least or at least 80% of the total EC of the bridging or pre-Master’s programme. In all of these cases you must have completed your bachelor thesis or other final work in order to qualify for this scheme.
    • You must complete all educational components of your current programme before 1 September 2022 or before you obtain the Master’s degree certificate, whichever comes first. If this condition is not met, you will not be able to continue or complete the Master’s programme.
    • Are you enrolled in a switching or premaster program? Then you must have completed the module Academic Skills/Academische vaardigheden before the start of the master’s degree.

    For students who come in through an integrated programme, an additional requirement is that a maximum of 6 EC may still be open at the start of the master's programme.

    *The above supplements do not apply to non-EEA students who must complete a Bachelor’s programme outside of the Netherlands.

    All conditions can be found in the Addendum Pertaining to the 2021-2022 Teaching and Examination Regulations

    Request exceptional admission
    Do you meet these conditions or do you expect to meet these conditions by 31 August at the latest? If so, you can request exceptional admission no later than 1 August.

    • Do you want to start a Master’s programme in September? Complete and submit this form.
    • Do you Do you want to start a Premaster’s programme in September? Complete and submit this form.

    Do you not yet meet all of the criteria, but do you expect to meet them by August 31st at the latest? Please apply for exceptional admission already.

    This scheme is meant for students that were faced with unavoidable study delay as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please note that you are expected to obtain all missing credits in the academic year 2021-2022 (before 1 September 2022), and will therefore have a higher study load.

  • I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor’s degree, VU premaster or Bachelor’s degree at another university)

    As a student in the Master's programme in Archaeology

    • you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in Archaeology or you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in Geo-archaeology, Ancient Studies, Anthropology, History (with demonstrable relationship to Ancient Studies) and have taken academic courses equivalent to at least one full-time semester of academic studies (30 EC) in Archaeology.

    As a student in the Master’s programme in Archaeology you are expected to have the following knowledge, insight and skills:

    • You are able to conduct research independently and know how to formulate consistent and functional research questions, collect material, apply theory, and write a thesis.
    • You are familiar with archaeological fieldwork and the historical frameworks of the European and Mediterranean past.
    • You are interested in the multifaceted meanings of archaeological remains in modern society.

    Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

    New Master's students should be able to speak, read, write and understand English at an advanced academic level. Please check carefully whether you already meet the English language requirements or whether you need to arrange to take an official English language test.


    If you are unsure whether you meet the entry requirements, you are advised to get in touch with the programme coordinators before applying (See: Contact).

  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (premaster)

    It is not possible to apply to this programme with a degree from another Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO). We do not offer a pre-Master’s programme (schakelprogramma) for this Master's programme.

    Doorstroomminor Saxion

    Dutch students of the HBO programme Archaeology at Saxion (Deventer) are eligible for admission to the Master’s programme Archaeology if they have followed the 'doorstroomminor' Archeologie voor Saxion-studenten (30 ECTS). Students from Saxion who wish to follow the ‘doorstroomminor’, need to register as ‘bijvakstudent’ at VU Amsterdam.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    You can apply for the Master's programme Archaeology under the label Archeologie (Archaeology) via Studielink. The application deadline is: 1 June. If you have a Dutch diploma, follow this application procedure.

    What happens after I have applied?
    After you have applied for the master in Studielink, you will receive your login details for VUnet (VU student portal) by email within two days. Please complete your application in VUnet.

    Your application for the Master's programme should contain the following documents. Submit these documents via Studielink and via e-mail: toelating.fgw@vu.nl:

    • Transcript of records (scan of original)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Motivation letter

    Please prepare these documents before you're going to complete your application in VUnet!

    Please note: students of the Faculty of Humanities at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam do NOT need to upload these documents.

    Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of Faculty of Humanities. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink.

  • I have an international degree

    The Master’s programme Archaeology is open for application to students with a Bachelor’s degree in:

    • Archaeology, or
    • Geo-archaeology, Ancient Studies, Anthropology, History (with demonstrable relationship to Ancient Studies), or a similar degree programme with a minimum of 30 ECTS (equivalent to a full-time semester of academic studies) taken in the field of Archaeology.

    You must demonstrate the following knowledge, understanding and skills:

    • Knowledge and understanding: knowledge and understanding of current research methods and theories within the field of Archaeology or Ancient Studies
    • Knowledge and understanding: basic knowledge and understanding of the material culture and historical frameworks of Mediterranean or European Archaeology
    • Skills: the ability to carry out a survey of (material) sources and secondary literature and to derive from this a ‘status quaestionis’

    English language requirements

    You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English-taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

    • TOEFL score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 (in each of the subtests).
    • IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
    • Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam with score A, B, or C; or Cambridge Advanced Exam with score A, B, or C.

    Exemptions from providing the English test scores are applicable to students, who:

    • have completed an English-taught secondary or higher education degree in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia; or
    • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an English-taught programme accredited by NVAO in the Netherlands, or
    • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited English-taught programme in another member state of the European Union

    The required evidence should, if possible, be included with the complete application. If either unsatisfactory or no evidence of English language proficiency has been provided with the application, admission will be conditional upon the provision of such evidence. This condition will be clearly indicated on the offer letter and must be fulfilled before enrolment at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    See the Admission and language requirements page for further information on the general requirements.

  • Application with an international degree

    If you have read the admission criteria and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your original documents are required.

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 June for non-Dutch EU/EEA students
    • 1 June for holders of a Dutch Bachelor’s degree (with a Dutch or EU/EEA nationality)
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*

    *non-EU/EEA students who do not need a study visa and/or a residence permit can still apply until 1 June.

    Step 1: Review the admission criteria

    Step 2: Prepare your documents and apply online  
    Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

    • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents)
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Motivation Letter
    • Two Letters of Recommendation
    • Transcript of records
    • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
    • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education and a list of all the main literature. You can use this format

    After preparing the required documents, please follow the  online application procedure. Once you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

    Step 3: Await the decision on admission
    The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted to the programme, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. 

    Step 4: Finalise your registration!
    Make sure to finalise your registration as a student before the start of the programme. When all of the conditions are met, you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

    Application fee & deadlines

    All students seeking admission to an international Bachelor’s or Master’s programme with an international degree are required to pay a non-refundable €100 application fee. Only after you have paid this fee will we be able to start the evaluation of your application file. If you are applying for more than one programme, you will only need to pay the application fee once. Your application fee payment is valid for two years.

    Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here.
    For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisor: masters.hum@vu.nl.

    Grants and scholarships

    As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries. Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl.

    International Student and Alumni Ambassadors

    Our International Student and Alumni Ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU Amsterdam and living in Amsterdam.

    • Our Student Ambassadors are current students at VU Amsterdam that represent a wide variety of programmes and countries.
    • Our International Alumni Ambassadors are VU Amsterdam graduates who are currently either working in the Netherlands or abroad, or doing a PhD or (second) Master's.

    You will find the full overview of our Ambassadors here: vu.nl/ambassadors. There you can chat with them directly.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Are you applying with a Dutch diploma? You can contact the Educational Office of the Faculty of Humanities for questions and practical information: toelating.fgw@vu.nl

For general questions, please send an e-mail to contact@vu.nl.

Call us on +31 20 5985000 (on working days from 10.00 till 16.00)

International diploma applicants

International diploma applicants are welcome to send an e-mail to masters.hum@vu.nl or book a phone appointment to get in touch with the International Student Advisor of this programme

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on vu.nl, please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl.

Contact