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Expand your perspective on the human brain

Do you want to understand how a variety of neurological and psychiatric diseases disrupt the regulation of our mental processes?

Then the Master's Neurosciences is the programme for you.

Academic year 2021-2022
VU Amsterdam expects all students to be able to attend classes on campus again as of September. We look forward to meeting you on campus. If you live abroad and are unable to come to the VU Amsterdam campus in September due to strict travel restrictions, we are unfortunately unable to offer an online alternative for this study programme. We advise you to start your study at VU Amsterdam a year later. 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

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

    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. If you have read the admission criteria below 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 relevant documents are required.

    Meet admission criteria
    In order to gain admission to one of the VU University’s Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    Specific admission requirements for the MSc Neurosciences programme
    To be considered for admission to the Master’s programme in Neurosciences you must meet the following requirements:

    1. Hold an academic Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or Psychology with a Biological Psychology or Neuropsychology profile. If you hold a BSc degree in a closely related discipline (e.g. Movement Sciences, Life Sciences, (Bio)Medical Engineering, or Medicine) you are also eligible to apply if you completed courses in at least two of the following topics: neuro-anatomy and/or physiology, cell biology and/or biochemistry, genetics and/or genomics, neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders, statistics.
    2. Have good grades: A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 7.5 (or international equivalent, e.g. a B+, or a GPA of 3.4); and a minimum grade of 8 (or international equivalent, e.g. an A, or a GPA of 4.0), for both the Bachelor’s thesis and neuroscience-related courses.
    3. Possess well-developed academic skills including writing and presenting abilities, the ability to evaluate and apply knowledge, and the ability to engage in critical thinking. Having completed a BSc thesis to show well-developed academic skills is considered a plus.
    4. Have an active interest in neuroscience research and have clear ideas about a future career in neuroscience.

    Only in exceptional circumstances the Admissions Board may deviate from the specific admission requirements. If you believe your case is subject to such exceptional circumstances, then please explain so in your motivation letter. 

    Admission procedure
    The Admissions Board assesses and decides whether a student can be admitted to the program. They will apply the following admission procedure:

    1. The Admission board evaluates whether an applicant meets the admission requirements based on review of their CV, transcript, motivation letter, and reference letters. The applicant is awarded a score of 0 to 10 according to the following weight factors: CV/transcript (60%), motivation letter (25%), reference letters (15%). Applications with a score of <7.5 will be rejected.
    2. Only applicants with a score of >= 7.5 will be invited for an interview. During this interview, the admission board will discuss the applicant’s previous education, expectations of the program, potential knowledge gaps, and research interests. The applicant is awarded a score of 0 to 10 for this interview.
    3. A ranking will be made based on the combined score of the applicant’s documents (60%) and interview (40%). The top students in this ranking will be admitted to the MSc Neurosciences program at VU University with a maximum capacity of 60 students

    PLEASE NOTE that the final decision on your admission is only communicated when all applications are reviewed. The Admission Board strives to communicate this decision to all applicants before July 1st.

    You can find all general information on admission and application to Master's programmes here.

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

    A Bachelor's degree obtained at an applied university or higher vocational education (HBO in Dutch) does not grant direct access to the programme.

  • Application with a Dutch degree

    Enthusiastic about this programme? And do you meet the admission requirements? Find out how to apply.

    If you want to apply for a Master's programme at VU Amsterdam, the application procedure depends on your previous degree(s) and whether you obtained your diploma in the Netherlands or abroad. You find all information about the application procedure with a Dutch degree on the application page.

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 February for international students applying for one of the VU scholarships
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*
    • 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)

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

    Required documents 

    This Master’s programme requires students with a Dutch bachelor's degree to upload the following documents on VUweb. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page for international students. All documents should be provided in English.

    • Letter of Motivation*
    • Curriculum Vitae*
    • Bachelor's transcript (including your GPA)*
    • Course descriptions of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education, including the literature used*
    • 2 letters of recommendation*
    • HBO students need to send in a sufficient English language test result

    For documents marked with an *: these need to be uploaded before the application deadline mentioned above. If one or more of these documents are missing, the application cannot be assessed by the Admission Board. Documents submitted after the application deadline will not be accepted.

  • I have an international degree

    The Neurosciences programme is open to both Dutch and International students. 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. If you have read the admission criteria below 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 relevant documents are required.

    Meet admission criteria
    In order to gain admission to one of the VU University’s Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

    Specific admission requirements for the MSc Neurosciences programme
    To be considered for admission to the Master’s programme in Neurosciences you must meet the following requirements:

    1. Hold an academic Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or Psychology with a Biological Psychology or Neuropsychology profile. If you hold a BSc degree in a closely related discipline (e.g. Movement Sciences, Life Sciences, (Bio)Medical Engineering, or Medicine) you are also eligible to apply if you completed courses in at least two of the following topics: neuro-anatomy and/or physiology, cell biology and/or biochemistry, genetics and/or genomics, neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders, statistics.
    2. Have good grades: A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 7.5 (or international equivalent, e.g. a B+, or a GPA of 3.4); and a minimum grade of 8 (or international equivalent, e.g. an A, or a GPA of 4.0), for both the Bachelor’s thesis and neuroscience-related courses.
    3. Possess well-developed academic skills including writing and presenting abilities, the ability to evaluate and apply knowledge, and the ability to engage in critical thinking. Having completed a BSc thesis to show well-developed academic skills is considered a plus.
    4. Have an active interest in neuroscience research and have clear ideas about a future career in neuroscience.

    Only in exceptional circumstances the Admissions Board may deviate from the specific admission requirements. If you believe your case is subject to such exceptional circumstances, then please explain so in your motivation letter. 

    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this template.
    Please check here which documents you need to submit for this specific programme.

    Admission procedure
    The Admissions Board assesses and decides whether a student can be admitted to the program. They will apply the following admission procedure:

    1. The Admission board evaluates whether an applicant meets the admission requirements based on review of their CV, transcript, motivation letter, and reference letters. The applicant is awarded a score of 0 to 10 according to the following weight factors: CV/transcript (60%), motivation letter (25%), reference letters (15%). Applications with a score of <7.5 will be rejected.
    2. Only applicants with a score of >= 7.5 will be invited for an interview. During this interview, the admission board will discuss the applicant’s previous education, expectations of the program, potential knowledge gaps, and research interests. The applicant is awarded a score of 0 to 10 for this interview.
    3. A ranking will be made based on the combined score of the applicant’s documents (60%) and interview (40%). The top students in this ranking will be admitted to the MSc Neurosciences program at VU University with a maximum capacity of 60 students

    PLEASE NOTE that the final decision on your admission is only communicated when all applications are reviewed. The Admission Board strives to communicate this decision to all applicants before July 1st.

    English language requirements
    VU Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test. You can, however, begin your application without having the test results. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

    Name of examinationOverall scoreSub-score
     IELTS (Academic):  
    Due to Covid-19 the IELTS Indicator will also be accepted for admissions in 2020
    Minimum Overall Band Score 6.5- Minimum Sub-score Listening 6.0
    - Minimum Sub-score Reading 6.0
    - Minimum Sub-score Writing 6.5
    - Minimum Sub-score Speaking 6.0
    TOEFL paper based test580Minimum Sub-score Structure/Written Expression: 59  
    TOEFL Internet-based test92- Minimum Sub-score Reading 18
    - Minimum Sub-score Listening 19
    - Minimum Sub-score Speaking 19
    - Minimum Sub-score Writing 24
    Cambridge EnglishCambridge Advanced Exam        A, B, C
    Cambridge Proficiency Exam      A, B, C

    Please note that students who need a study visa must submit their English test results before 1 June. All other students have to submit the test certificate before 31 August (preferably sooner).

    TOEFL and IELTS tests must have been completed no more than two years before 1 September of the year in which your course starts. Note that TOEFL MyBestScore is not accepted. Our institution code is 7947.

    A PDF copy of your English test result can be sent to the following email (for non-Dutch degree holders): masters.fs@vu.nl

    The general requirements regarding language proficiency are found here

  • Application with an international degree

    Enthusiastic about this programme? And do you meet the admission requirements? Find out how to apply.

    General application information
    Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here. You will also find an explanation for each required application document on this page. After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure.

    Required format and required documents
    Please note: you will need to upload all required documents in one PDF file, using this template.
    Please check here which documents you need to submit for this specific Master's programme.

    For more information, international students may also contact the International Student Advisors: masters.fs@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.

  • Coronavirus: additional information admission

    IMPORTANT: CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

    Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’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 to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

    There has been examined how an exception to this BSc-before-MSc rule can be made possible for Master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam. This means that, under certain conditions, students who are lacking credits for no more than a few courses including their bachelor project, will still be able to start their Master’s at VU Amsterdam next year. This is a one-off measure. The missing credits must be completed during the 2021-2022 academic year, in other words no later than August 31 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:

    Target group

    Number of EC at least achieved / % EC achieved


    Bachelor students at a Dutch University (incl. VU)150 EC
    Current premaster students24 EC
    HBO bachelor students210 EC

    Please note that, apart from the rules above, the following passages are still applicable and must be met to be considered for admission into the Master’s programme:

    • Admission criteria / requirements that are not EC related
    • English language proficiency requirements

    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 form. 

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 Science for questions and practical information: toelating.beta@vu.nl

For questions about the programme, please send an e-mail to programme coordinator Marissa Zwan: neurosciences.master@vu.nl. For more 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)

Do you have any other questions?

International diploma applicants are welcome to send an e-mail to masters.fs@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

  • Marija Bosnić
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl
  • Sandra van Daalen
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl
  • Jasper Oosterveld
  • International Student Advisor
  • Faculty of Science
  • masters.fs@vu.nl