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Explore human knowledge and morality

Are you fascinated by the connections between your research field and societal issues? Are you looking for a career in research? And do you have a Bachelor’s degree in a discipline that’s related to your chosen track?

Then the Humanities (Research) Master’s: Philosophy might be the programme for you.

Check whether you meet the admission requirements and find out how to apply.

Admission requirements

  • 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)

    The Humanities (Research) Master programme is aimed at talented students who are exceptionally motivated to be trained in academic methods in their specific field of humanities. To be admitted to the programme, you should have:

    • a Bachelor’s degree in an academic degree related to their chosen specialisation.
    • a proficient level of academic English, 
    • proof of excellent study results: outstanding grade for your bachelor’s thesis (7.5 or higher), and an average of no less than 7.5 for a relevant selection of your bachelor’s programme (to be decided by the Admission Board). 
    • and clear motivation for doing academic research.

    The two-year (Research) Master's is a good option for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD after their MA, but also more in general for students who cherish critical attitude, arrive at original lines of questioning based on a profound knowledge of their research subject, and wish to develop their research skills.

    Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. For further details regarding the admission requirements, see the Teaching and Examination Regulations.

    To be admitted to the programme, the student should have a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy or a related academic degree.

    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.

    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;
      Note: the IELTS Online Academic and the online IELTS Indicator tests are not accepted.
    • TOEFL paper based test: 600, with a minimum of 55 on each component and 4.0 in TWE;
      Note: TOEFL ITP tests are not accepted
    • TOEFL internet based test: 100, with a minimum of 20-23 on each component.
      Note: TOEFL Essentials and TOEFL iBT Home Edition are not accepted. MyBestScore is also not accepted.

    The TOEFL ITP will not be accepted

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

    • 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
  • I have a Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree (pre-master's)

    Students with a higher professional education qualification cannot proceed directly to the (Research) Master’s programme. You will have to complete a Bachelor’s degree programme first.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    Dutch students and international candidates with a Dutch degree can apply via Studielink before 1 June for the master programme Humanities (research).

    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. Don’t forget to fill in your specialization.

    In your personal dashboard you are required to upload an 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.

    Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of the Faculty of Humanities. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink. Admission may also depend on the results of a personal interview with the Admission Board about your motivation.

  • I have an international degree

    The Humanities (Research) Master's programme is aimed at talented students who are exceptionally motivated to be trained in academic methods in their specific field of humanities.  

    To be admitted to the programme, you should have:

    • a Bachelor’s degree in an academic degree related to your chosen specialisation.
    • a proficient level of academic English, 
    • proof of excellent study results: outstanding grade for your bachelor’s thesis (7.5 or higher), and an average of no less than 7.5 for a relevant selection of your bachelor’s programme (to be decided by the Admission Board). 
    • and clear motivation for doing academic research.

    The two-year (Research) Master's is a good option for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD after their Master's, but also more in general for students who cherish critical attitude, arrive at original lines of questioning based on a profound knowledge of their research subject, and wish to develop their research skills.

    Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. For further details regarding the admission requirements, see the Teaching and Examination Regulations.

    To be admitted to the programme, the student should have a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy or a related academic degree.

    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 an overview of all accepted tests and scores that can be used to demonstrate your English language proficiency on the language requirement page.

  • Application with an international degree

    Application documents

    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!

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

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

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 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

Also, make sure to take a look at our FAQ page - you might already find your question answered there.

Contact

  • Nina Vredegoor
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • masters.hum@vu.nl