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.
Immerse yourself in the material culture of Europe’s past
Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply
I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor’s degree, VU pre-master's 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, (with a minimum of 30 EC taken in the field of Archaeology or Material Culture Studies), or a similar degree programme with a relevant specialisation.
- Admission to the Master’s programme is also possible for applicants who have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology at the Saxion university of applied sciences and have completed the minor Archaeology for Saxion students at the Vrije Universiteit
- You are expected to have an awareness of basic theoretical notions in Archaeology, Ancient Studies and Heritage Studies.
- Student who apply for the track Digital Archaeology and Heritage are furthermore expected to have demonstrable experience in GIS, 3D modelling and/or handling digital databases.
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.
An applicant should demonstrate that he or she has sufficient level of proficiency in English by meeting at least one of the following standards, no more than two (2) years before the start of the programme at VU Amsterdam:
- (academic) IELTS: 7.0, with a minimum of 6.5 on each item;
- TOEFL paper based test: 600, with a minimum of 55 on each component and 4.0 in TWE;
- TOEFL internet based test: 100, with a minimum of 22-23 on each component.
The TOEFL ITP will not be accepted!
- 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, or
- have a Dutch VWO diploma, or
- have obtained a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or a Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with a score of A, B, C are exempted from the above requirements
I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (pre-master's)
If you do not meet the entry requirements above, for example if you have a relevant degree from a Dutch University of Applied Sciences (HBO) or an equivalent thereof, you can eliminate your deficiencies by completing the pre-master’s programme Archaeology.
Dutch students of the HBO programme Archaeology at Saxion University of Applied Sciences are eligible for admission to the Master’s programme Archaeology if they have followed the 'doorstroomminor' Archeologie voor Saxion-studenten (in Dutch) (30 EC) as a part of their Bachelor's. Students from Saxion who wish to follow the ‘doorstroomminor’, need to register as secondary subject student at VU Amsterdam.
This pre-master's programme prepares students for an English specialisation of the MA Archaeology. It is required to present official test results proving your proficiency in English before the start of the pre-master's programme. 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.
Prospective students of the pre-master’s programmes will need to prove their English is sufficient by satisfying at least one of the following criteria, no more than two years before the start of the pre-master's programme:
a. (academic) IELTS: 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 on each item;
b. TOEFL paper-based test: 600 with a minimum of 55 on each component and 4.0 in TWE;
c. TOEFL internet-based test 100 with a minimum of 22-23 on each component.
The TOEFL ITP will not be accepted!
Exemptions from providing the English test scores are applicable to students, who:
a. have completed their secondary or tertiary education in English in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.
b. hold an English-language degree from a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme in the Netherlands that has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).
c. hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an accredited English-language degree programme in an EU country.
d. have a Dutch VWO diploma
e. have passed the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) and have achieved a score of A, B or C.
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 your personal dashboard on vu.nl by email within two days. Please complete your application in your personal dashboard.
- Transcript of records (scan of original)
- Curriculum vitae
- Literature list
- Course description
- Motivation letter
Please prepare these documents before you're going to complete your application in your personal dashboard.
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
If you are applying for one of our English-taught Master's degree programmes you will have to demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency by submitting English test results.
Although complete applications are preferred, you can begin your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted.
You can find which test types and scores are accepted, the deadlines for submitting test results and all other relevant information on our application page under the Language Proficiency Requirements tab.
Application with an international degree
To apply you are required to provide the following documents:
- Scan of your passport or national ID card (ID for EEA students only) valid at the start date of the programme
- Master Application File please download the correct file from this page. In this file you can see which documents are required to apply for your programme.
- Proof of English language proficiency (if already obtained): upload your proof of English language proficiency or English language test results. Please find the English language requirements here.
After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure.
Application fee & deadlines
All students seeking admission to an international 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.
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!
International diploma applicants