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Studying organizations from a cultural perspective

Do you have the empathy to build relationships with people, but the distance to take a critical perspective? Do you have the social skills to work in the field, as well as the technical skills to analyse the data? And do you have a Bachelor’s degree in humanities, psychology, anthropology, public administration, organisation science or an economics or management discipline?

Then the Culture, Organization and Management programme is for you. 

Candidates with a degree in a related scientific Bachelor's programme (BSc) are directly admissible to FSS master’s programmes. This also applies to candidates who -regardless of their Bachelor's (BSc) programme- have completed a minor of 30 EC in the field of the desired FSS Master's programme.

All candidates with an academic Bachelor's (of science) or Master’s programme that is not content-related to the Master’s programme they want to apply for, must complete a bridging programme. The exact content and scope of this bridging programme depends on the Bachelor's or Master's programme already completed. The bridging programme includes one or more academic courses in the field of methods & techniques of social scientific research (quantitative and/or qualitative) and at least one academic course that relates to the subject content of the Master's programme in question.

Check if you meet the admission requirements and apply

  • I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree

    To successfully follow the Master’s programme in Culture, Organization and Management (COM), you need to have sufficient knowledge of qualitative research methods and insight into the field of organization sciences at the level and load of an academic Social Science Bachelor’s programme.

    Directly admissible

    You are directly admissible to the Master’s programme in Culture, Organization and Management (COM) with one of the following Bachelor’s degrees:

    • Bedrijfskunde
    • Bestuurs- en organisatiewetenschap
    • Organisatiewetenschappen
    • Psychologie afstudeerrichting Sociale- of Arbeids- & Organisatiepsychologie*
      *please add proof of the track you follow(ed) to your VU-application portal

    Furthermore you are admissible to the Master’s programme in COM with any Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree including a minor programme in organization sciences, such as the VU FSS Minor Bestuurswetenschap (30 EC) or the Minor Organisatiewetenschap (30 EC).

    Conditionally admissible

    You are admissible to the Master’s programme in Culture, Organization and Management (COM) with other academic Bachelor's or Master's programmes after finishing a bridging programme of max. 30 EC.
    Depending on the degree you are finishing, this bridging programme consists of academic courses in the field of (quantitative and/or qualitative) methods and techniques of social scientific research (minimum 12 EC) and/or academic courses in the field of organisation science  (minimum of 6 EC).

    The Admissions Committee of the Master's programme in COM will determine which additional courses you will have to take. These courses can be taken at any Dutch university, but you can also choose to take them at FSS-VU.

    At FSS-VU the following relevant courses are offered in the field of methods and techniques of social scientific research:

    • Social Research Methodology (S_SRM): introduction to the process of social scientific research, including its key methods (qualitative and quantitative) and approaches (interpretative vs positivist).
    • Ethnographic Research Methodology (S_ERM)
    • Methoden en technieken van kwalitatief onderzoek (S_PMMTKOZ): to acquire knowledge and skills in the field of qualitative methodology.
    • Pre-Master Fieldwork (S_PMF): to acquire qualitative research skills.

    FSS-VU offers the following relevant subjects in the field of organisation science:

    • Kernthema’s bestuurs- & organisatiewetenschap (S_KBO)
    • Sociaal Kapitaal en Netwerken (S_SKN)
    • Organizational Culture and Change (S_OCC)

    In case your previous education has no connection at all with the Masters’ programme, the Admissions Committee might refer you to the pre-Master’s programme in Culture, Organization and Management.
    In individual cases exemptions for part of this programme may be appropriate and applied for, consult with the Admissions Committee if you think this applies to you.

    Reading list

    To prepare for the Master’s programme the  Board of Admissions advices you to read the following titles:

    - Alvesson, M., Understanding Organizational Culture. London: Sage.
    - Neyland, D., Organizational Ethnography. London: Sage.
    - Grey, C., A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations. London: Sage.

    It is to your advantage to read these titles before starting the Master’s programme, but it's not a binding condition and therefore
    will not be tested.

    English language requirements

    To be admitted to the English-taught Master’s programme, all students must meet the following results in the English language test (no older than 2 years):

    • IELTS score with a minimum of 6.5
    • TOEFL score internet based test: 92
    • VU TOEFL-ITP: 580 (only valid for VU Amsterdam)
    • CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE in Advanced English (CAE): A or B
    • CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B or C

    Exemptions from the language test requirements are granted in the following cases:

    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-language university programme in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK or USA.
    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme at a Dutch university.
    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme in a different EU-country.
    • You have a Dutch vwo-diploma (level 6 vwo-nieuw)
    • You are a premaster student and have passed the premaster's assessment before entering the programme.

    Make sure to register on time at Taalloket for the VU TOEFL-ITP, as the possibilities are limited, especially during the busy summer period. If you have a Dutch Bachelor's degree obtained at a Dutch university, the first take of the VU TOEFL-ITP is free of charge.

    Please upload a scan of the result of your test to your VU-application portal before 31 August at the latest.

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

    The following information is in Dutch, since the premaster programme is partly taught in Dutch and therefore not accessible for students who don't speak Dutch.

    Als hbo'er kun je starten met de Master Culture, Organization and Management nadat je het bijbehorende premasterprogramma met succes hebt afgerond. Ieder hbo-bachelordiploma geeft toegang tot de premaster, mits aan de eisen van het premasterassessment is voldaan.

    Aanmeldprocedure
    1. Meld je uiterlijk 31 mei in Studielink aan voor het premasterprogramma.
       Na aanmelding ontvang je inloggegevens voor het VU-aanmeldportal.
    2. Rond je aanmelding in het portal af, incl. aanmelding voor het premasterassessment.
    3. Premasterassessment en hbo-bachelordiploma moeten uiterlijk 31 augustus behaald zijn.
    4. Regel de betaling van het premastertarief en rond je inschrijving af uiterlijk 31 augustus

    Voor aanvang van het premasterprogramma ontvang je praktische informatie over de start van de studie.

    Doorstroomminor SWO van de Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA)

    Beschik je over een afgeronde hbo-opleiding inclusief de doorstroomminor Sociaalwetenschappelijk Onderzoek van de HvA, dan word je toegelaten na het behalen van één van de volgende bachelorvakken van de VU:

    • Kernthema’s bestuurs- en organisatiewetenschap (S_KBO)
    • Organizational Culture and Change (S_OCC)
    • Organisaties in de 21e eeuw (S_O21)

    Je hoeft geen premaster te volgen en dus ook geen assessment te maken.
    Voor aanvang van de Master moet je hebben voldaan aan de taaleis Engels, zoals hieronder vermeld.

    Kijk op de webpagina voor informatie over aanmelden als bijvakstudent.

    English language requirements

    To be admitted to the English-taught Master’s programme, all students must meet the following results in the English language test (no older than 2 years):

    • IELTS score with a minimum of 6.5
    • TOEFL score internet based test: 92
    • VU TOEFL-ITP: 580 (only valid for VU Amsterdam)
    • CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE in Advanced English (CAE): A or B
    • CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B or C

    Exemptions from the language test requirements are granted in the following cases:

    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-language university programme in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK or USA.
    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme at a Dutch university.
    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme in a different EU-country.
    • You have a Dutch vwo-diploma (level 6 vwo-nieuw)
    • You are a premaster student and have passed the premaster's assessment before entering the programme.

    Make sure to register on time at Taalloket for the VU TOEFL-ITP, as the possibilities are limited, especially during the busy summer period. If you have a Dutch Bachelor's degree obtained at a Dutch university, the first take of the VU TOEFL-ITP is free of charge.

    Please upload a scan of the result of your test to your VU-application portal before 31 August at the latest.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    How to apply

    Directly admissible

    1. Registration for the Master’s programme in Studielink is open until 31 May at the latest.
       After registering in Studielink you’ll receive login data for your VU-application portal.
    2. Finish your VU-application portal. As your admissibility doesn’t have to be assessed, you don’t need to add any documents (just tick the box “I upload this later”).
    3. Arrange payment of the tuition fee and complete your registration before 31 August at the latest.
    4. Please upload a scan of the result of your English language test to your VU-application portal before 31 August at the latest.

    Before the beginning of the programme you’ll receive practical information about starting your studies.

    An application is not the same as enrolment. If you register for a programme in Studielink (before 1 June), you will not immediately be enrolled. You will only be enrolled once you have been notified by Studielink. To this end, you must have arranged for payment of the tuition fees before 31 August. An application does not commit you to anything and can be cancelled free of charge until 31 August.

    More information about the registration procedure.

    Conditionally admissible

    To apply for the programme, you need to register in Studielink before 31 May at the latest. After completing your registration in Studielink, you will receive log in details for your VU-application portal. Please complete your application a.s.a.p. by uploading the following required documents (in English):

    • a curriculum vitae (résumé), listing your previous education and relevant work experience.
    • a certified transcript of the grades you obtained in your Bachelor’s programme in English or translated into English by your university or a sworn translator. If you have followed or are following a master’s programme and/or more than one bachelor’s programme, please include transcripts of all these programmes.
    • a description of the relevant courses/modules followed and literature used during your previous higher education, that were part of your Bachelor's (and Master's, if applicable) programme, with a short description of the contents of these courses and the literature used (bibliography) to assess the theoretical background of the programme. You can either copy this from a study guide or type a 5-10 line description for each relevant course, if a study guide is not readily available. For the literature please mention the most relevant academic textbooks or articles used during your previous education.

    In order to determine whether your choice for the Master’s programme is a good match, please also add the following documents (in English):

    • a (short) letter motivating your choice;
    • a proof of academic writing, such as (parts of) a thesis, paper or essay, that includes a clear research question, an explicit research methodology, a theoretical framework and academic literature references.

    The Admissions Committee will determine whether you are directly admissible to the Master’s programme or whether you first have to follow a bridging programme and if so, which courses you should take.

    The Committee might contact you for additional information and/or explain content and level of the Master’s in Culture, Organization and Management.

    Please upload a scan with the result of your English language test to your VU-application portal before 31 August at the latest.

    Registration procedure

      1. Registration for the Master’s programme in Studielink is open until 31 May at the latest.
        After registering in Studielink you’ll receive login data for your VU-application portal.
      2. Finish your VU-application portal a.s.a.p. by adding the required documents.
      3. After your application has been processed and assessed you’ll receive notice about your admissibility.
      4. Arrange payment of the tuition fee and complete your registration before 31 August at the latest.
      5. Upload a scan of the result of your English language test to your application in VUweb before 31 August at the latest.

    Before the beginning of the programme you’ll receive practical information about starting your studies.

    An application is not the same as enrolment. If you register for a programme in Studielink (before 1 June), you will not immediately be enrolled. You will only be enrolled once you have been notified by Studielink. To this end, you must have submitted all the required documents a.s.a.p. after registering and have arranged for payment of the tuition fees before 31 August. An application does not commit you to anything and can be cancelled free of charge until 31 August.

    More information about the registration procedure.

  • I have an international degree

    Directly admissible

    You can apply to the Master’s programme in Culture, Organization and Management (COM) with one of the following Bachelor’s degrees:

    • Business Administration
    • Management and Organisation Science
    • Organisation Studies
    • Psychology track Social- or Work and Organisational Psychology*
      *please add proof of the track you follow(ed) to your VU-application portal

    Furthermore you are admissible to the Master’s programme in COM with any Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree including a minor programme in organisation sciences, such as the VU FSS Minor Bestuurswetenschap (30 EC) or the Minor Organisatiewetenschap (30 EC).

    NUFFIC regularly compares universities around the world in order to estimate academic levels of the universities abroad in relation to the acquired level of the Master’s programmes in the Netherlands. The Admissions Committee relies on the list provided by NUFFIC in order to estimate whether your level of academic writing and methodological training is expected to be sufficient. If your level of academic writing and/or methodological training is deemed insufficient, you must complete a bridging programme which consists of courses in academic writing and/or methods and techniques. You may decide to take this course at any university. FSS-VU offers courses in academic writing in the pre-Master’s programme in Culture, Organization and Management (PM Tutorial Academic Writing COM and PM Fieldwork) and in methods and techniques (see below).

    *Please be aware that international students should not apply for the premaster’s programme directly.

    The Admissions Committee will refer you to the premaster’s, in case you are not directly eligible for the Master’s programme.

    Conditionally admissible

    You are admissible to the Culture, Organization and Management (COM) with other academic Bachelor's or Master's programmes after finishing a bridging programme of max. 30 EC.
    Depending on the degree you are finishing, this bridging programme consists of academic courses in the field of (quantitative and/or qualitative) methods and techniques of social scientific research (minimum 12 EC) and/or academic courses in the field of organization science (minimum of 6 EC).

    The Admissions Committee of the Master's programme in COM will determine which additional courses you will have to take. These courses can be taken at any Dutch university, but you can also choose to take them at FSS-VU.

    At FSS-VU the following relevant courses are offered in the field of methods and techniques of social scientific research:

    • Social Research Methodology (S_SRM): introduction to the process of social scientific research, including its key methods (qualitative and quantitative) and approaches (interpretative vs positivist).
    • Ethnographic Research Methodology (S_ERM)
    • Methoden en technieken van kwalitatief onderzoek (S_PMMTKOZ): to acquire knowledge and skills in the field of qualitative methodology.
    • Pre-Master Fieldwork (S_PMF): to acquire qualitative research skills.

    FSS-VU offers the following relevant subjects in the field of organisation science:

    • Kernthema’s bestuurs- & organisatiewetenschap (S_KBO)
    • Sociaal Kapitaal en Netwerken (S_SKN)
    • Organizational Culture and Change (S_OCC)

    In case your previous education has no connection at all with the Masters’ programme, the Admissions Committee might refer you to the pre-Master’s programme in Culture, Organization and Management.
    In individual cases exemptions for part of this programme may be appropriate and applied for, consult with the Admissions Committee if you think this applies to you.

    Reading list

    To prepare for the Master’s programme the Admissions Committee advices you to read the following titles:

    - Alvesson, M., Understanding Organizational Culture. London: Sage.
    - Neyland, D., Organizational Ethnography. London: Sage.
    - Grey, C., A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations. London: Sage.

    It is to your advantage to read these titles before starting the Master’s programme, but it is not a binding condition and therefore will not be tested.

    English language requirements

    To be admitted to the English-taught Culture, Organisation and Management Master’s programme, students must meet the following results in the English language test (no older than 2 years):

    • IELTS score with a minimum of 6.5
    • TOEFL score internet based test: 92-93
    • VU TOEFL-ITP: 580 (only valid for VU Amsterdam)
    • CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE in Advanced English (CAE): A or B
    • CAMBRIDGE CERTIFICATE of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B or C

    Exemptions from the language test requirements are granted in the following cases:  

    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-language university programme in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK or USA. 
    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme at a Dutch university. 
    • Your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma was obtained in an English-taught programme in a different EU-country.
    • You have a Dutch vwo-diploma (level 6 vwo-nieuw).
    • You are a premaster student and have passed the premaster’s assessment before entering the programme.

    Make sure to register on time at Taalloket for the VU TOEFL-ITP, as the possibilities are limited, especially during the busy summer period. If you have a Dutch Bachelor's degree obtained at a Dutch university, the first take of the VU TOEFL-ITP is free of charge.

    Please send a scan of the result of your test by email to masters.fss@vu.nl, including your name and student number. 

    The deadline for non-EEA students is 1 June. EEA students can send their test results before 31 August at the latest.

  • Application with an international degree

    To apply for the programme, you need to register in Studielink. After completing your registration in Studielink, you will receive log in details for your VU-application portal. Please complete your VU-application portal a.s.a.p. by uploading the following required documents (in English):

    • a curriculum vitae (résumé), listing your previous education and relevant work experience;
    • a certified transcript of the grades you obtained in your Bachelor’s programme in English or translated into English by your university or a sworn translator. If you have followed or are following a master’s programme and/or more than one bachelor’s programme, please include transcripts of all these programmes;
    • a description of the relevant courses/modules followed and literature used during your previous higher education, that were part of your Bachelor's (and Master's, if applicable) programme, with a short description of the contents of these courses and the literature used (bibliography) to assess the theoretical background of the programme. You can either copy this from a study guide or type a 5-10 line description for each relevant course, if a study guide is not readily available. For the literature please mention the most relevant academic textbooks or articles used during your previous education. You can use this format

    In order to determine whether your choice for the Master’s programme is a good match, please also add the following documents (in English):

    • a (short) letter motivating your choice;
    • a proof of academic writing, such as (parts of) a thesis, paper or essay, that includes a clear research question, an explicit research methodology, a theoretical framework and academic literature references;

    The Admissions Committee will determine whether you are directly admissible to the Master’s programme or whether you first have to follow a bridging programme and if so, which courses you should take.

    The Committee might contact you for additional information and/or explain content and level of the Master’s in Culture, Organization and Management.

    To complete your application please add the following documents before 31 August at the latest:

    • a certified copy of your original Bachelor’s degree certificate. The certified degree must be in English or be translated into English by your university or a sworn translator. If you have yet to obtain your degree, you can ask the registrar of your university to provide an official statement to the effect that you are certain to graduate before 1 September;
    • a clearly legible copy of the page(s) in your passport (or ID-card if you are an EU student) that contain(s) your personal data. A copy of a passport or ID card that is no longer valid will not be accepted.
    • a scan with the result of your English language test.

    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.fss@vu.nl.

    Self Check Tool

    Are you curious if you meet the admission requirements for the programme? Then you can fill out the online Student Self Check tool to find out more about your chances to be admitted to the Master’s programme Culture, Organization and Management. 

    In the tool you will be asked some questions about your previous education and background. Based on your answers you will receive a personal preliminary advice on your eligibility for admission and the next steps you can take to continue your application.

    Please note: no rights can be derived from the Self Check tool results. For a definite admission decision you will have to complete the official application procedure for this programme.

    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.

    Student Ambassadors

    Some International students are happy to tell you about their experience with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various Bachelor's and Master's programmes.

    Our Student Ambassadors are listed here on this webpage: vu.nl/ambassadors. Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam.

  • Academic year 2021-2022

    VU Amsterdam expects that all students are able to attend classes on campus again as of September. We look forward to meeting you on campus! If you live abroad and you are unable to come to the VU Amsterdam campus due to strict travel restrictions, an online alternative for lectures and exams for this study programme will be provided during at least the first semester. If the situation regarding COVID 19 necessitates online teaching in the second semester, we will continue offering online alternatives.

  • Coronavirus: additional information admission

    Generally, students must complete their Bachelor’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had an unfortunate delay. If you get stuck between your Bachelor's and Master's programme due to the corona measures, it might still be possible to start from September 2021.

    The following conditions apply to the Culture, Organization and Management Master's programme:

    Master's degree in Culture, Organization and Management:

    • To be able to start this master's programme, you must have completed a minimum of 90% (162 EC) from a three-year university Bachelor's programme.
    • If you want to start this master's programme from the premaster's programme, you must have completed at least 80% (24 EC).

    If you enroll in the Culture, Organization and Management Master's programme you can only start the Master's thesis once you have obtained the EC’s for their Bachelor's thesis (or equivalent). Entering premaster students may only start their master's thesis once they have successfully completed the course PM Textwork.

    The rule above applies to students with a Dutch Bachelor’s degree and EEA students. Are you an EER student? Please check whether participation in our Master’s can be combined with the courses you still have to do for your Bachelor's degree. Are you a non-EEA student? Then the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’ is still valid. Are you a non-EEA student and have you completed a Bachelor's degree at a Dutch educational institution? You can start the master's programme in Culture, Organization and Management if you have a maximum of 18 EC of your bachelor's programme open.

    Apply for the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’

    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. You can do this by completing and submitting the relevant the form for exceptional admission to a Master’s programme.

    Please note: all missing courses must be completed during the 2021-2022 academic year, i.e. no later than the 1st of September 2022. This means your study load will increase next year. To start with this Master before finishing your Bachelor is in particular meant for students who have experienced an unavoidable study delay due to the corona measures.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Are you applying with a Dutch diploma? If you want to know whether you are admissible, please register in Studielink, adding the documents as mentioned in the paragraph above to your application in the VU-application portal. If you have any questions concerning the pre-master’s assessment, the payment of your tuition fee or your application in your VU-application portal, please contact the Student Desk.

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.fss@vu.nl or book a phone appointment to get in touch with the International Student Advisor of this programme

Send an email to: studentdesk@vu.nl

Contact

  • Irena Paap
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • masters.fss@vu.nl