How do I apply for a pre-master’s programme?
- Many faculties offer a standard 30 EC pre-master's track for students with an appropriate HBO preparatory education. Do you want more information on the specific content of the different tracks per programme? Check the programme page of your Master's programme.
- You can only participate in the pre-master's programme once.
- As a pre-master's student, you can only enrol on 1 September, with the exception of the pre-master's programmes of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and the bridging programme of the Faculty of Law. The programme must be successfully completed before 1 September of the following year. Is this not possible? Then you cannot continue your studies: you cannot transfer to the Master's programme and you cannot redo the pre-master's.
- If you decide to quit during the pre-master's programme, there will be no refund of the pre-master's fee. You owe the entire pre-master's fee.
- Follow the steps on this page to apply for a pre-master's programme. Pay attention to all deadlines!
Pre-masters per faculty
Faculty of Law
The pre-master's track for the programmes of the Faculty of Law differs from the other pre-masters. The Faculty of Law offers the pre-master's track SchakelzoneRecht in cooperation with the Open Universiteit for some of its Master's programmes. The pre-master's track is Dutch-taught.
More information can be found on pre-mastertraject Rechten (Dutch only).
Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
Zigma (a lateral entry programme for the Medicine Master's programme) is specially designed for students with a university Bachelor's degree other than medicine, who want to become doctors and want to profile themselves as scientific researchers. The programme is Dutch-taught.
All information the pre-master programme, including the different application procedures, can be found on the respective webpages (Dutch only).
Faculty of Science
The pre-masters of the Faculty of Science start in September. To be able to start a pre-master's you need to have completed your HBO Bachelor's degree before 1 September. If you want to follow a pre-master's at the Faculty of Science, it is in most cases compulsory to pass the English Language Test. The other admission requirements may differ per pre-master's programme, please check the (pre-)master's page of your choice to see what is applicable to you.
More information about the pre-master's programmes of the Faculty of Science can be found here: pre-masters Faculty of Science.
Faculty of Social Sciences
The Faculty of Social Sciences has 'blended' pre-master's programmes, which make it possible to follow a pre-master's next to your job (with the exception of the pre-master Communicatiewetenschap, Dutch-taught). The education for these pre-master's programmes is partly online and the lectures take place on a fixed day in the week (Friday).
The study load of the pre-master Communicatiewetenschap is spread over half a year (February - June). The lectures are spread over the whole week (Monday to Friday).
More information about the content of the pre-masters can be found on the pages below:
- Pre-master Beleid, Communicatie en Organisatie (Dutch-taught)
- Pre-master Bestuurskunde (Dutch taught)
- Pre-master Communicatiewetenschap (Dutch taught)
- Pre-master Culture, Organization and Management (Dutch taught)
- Pre-master's Political Science (English-taught)
- Pre-master's Social and Cultural Anthropology (English-taught)
- Pre-master Sociologie (Dutch taught)
Faculty of Religion and Theology
The Faculty of Religion and Theology offers a Dutch-taught pre-master's. More information on the pre-master's can be found here.
Faculty of Humanities
At the Faculty of Humanities, you can follow different pre-masters (some exclusively Dutch-taught). More information on the application and admission of these programmes can be found on the pages below:
- Pre-master Archaeology (English-taught)
- Pre-master's Communication and Information Studies (English-taught)
- Pre-master Erfgoedstudies (Dutch-taught)
- Pre-master Geschiedenis (Dutch-taught)
- Pre-master Kunst- en Cultuurwetenschappen (Dutch-taught)
- Pre-master Letterkunde (Dutch-taught)
- Pre-master Taalwetenschappen (Dutch-taught)
School of Business and Economics
The pre-master's programme of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) differs from the other pre-master's programmes. The pre-master's programme of SBE starts in February. If you want to follow a pre-master's at the School of Business and Economics, it is in most cases compulsory to pass the English Language Test and the GMAT. The admission requirements may differ per pre-master's programme, please check the (pre-)master's page of your choice to see what is applicable to you.
More information about the pre-master's programmes of the School of Business and Economics can be found here: SBE Pre-master's Programme.
Apply for a pre-master's programme
Most pre-masters have an application deadline of 1 May or 1 June at the latest. Always check the relevant study programme page; there you will find the exact deadline and any additional information. For some programmes you have to participate in an assessment. For all information, see the pre-master's assessment page.
Faculty of Law
The application procedure for the Law programme runs through the Open University (OU). Applying for this programme is possible throughout the year. Payment of tuition fees is via the OU and for the pre-master's courses via the faculty's contract education system. Those interested in this Law programme need not read any further on this page.
School of Business and Economics
The pre-master's programme of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) differs from the other pre-master's programmes. The pre-master's programme of SBE starts in February. Hence different deadlines are applicable for the pre-masters of this faculty.
Costs pre-master's programme
The costs for a pre-master's programme can be found on the tuition fees page.
Step 1: apply in Studielink
See the deadlines as described above and on the relevant study programme page. Are you applying in Studielink for the first time? Then consult the Studielink step-by-step plan. You can log in with your DigiD. Don't have one yet? Then apply for it as soon as possible, because it takes a few days before you receive it.
What else do you need to keep in mind?
- Under Type of programme, choose 'Bachelor's or other non-master's programme'. You will recognise the pre-master's programmes by the suffix (pre-master's).
Step 2: login to your personal dashboard on VU.nl with your obtained VUnetID and complete your application
Within two working days after your application you will receive login details for your personal dashboard on VU.nl by e-mail. Didn't receive any login details? Please check your spam folder first. If you don't find them there either, you can contact the UCIT Servicedesk via email@example.com or 020 - 598 0000.
Make sure you go through all the steps of the application portal and confirm your application, because only then your application can be assessed by the faculty.
Step 3: check your admission
Do this as soon as possible after completing your application. You will receive a message from Studielink as soon as your admission has been processed. It is advisable to already check the study programme page to see if you meet the admission requirements. Do not hesitate to contact the Admission Board if you have any questions.
For the contact details per programme, please check the programme overview.
Step 4: submit missing documents
Most Dutch HBO Bachelor's degrees are already registered in Mijn diploma's (digital diploma register by DUO), in which case you do not have to submit anything manually. However, this is not always the case. You will be informed by VU Amsterdam whether you need to submit proof of your previous education. The following documents will be accepted:
- Original certified copy of diploma. Submit the document by post (Student Administration, de Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands) or to the Student Desk (Main Building, ground floor). You can have your diploma authenticated at the Student Desk; do not forget to bring your original diploma and a copy.
- Graduation statement. Request this from your current faculty's Educational Office. The declaration must state the study programme and the examination date and must be signed by the Examination Board. Submit the original by post (Student Administration, de Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands) or to the Student Desk (Main Building, ground floor).
- Digital extract from the Diploma Register. Download the extract from DUO and submit it digitally to firstname.lastname@example.org. You cannot submit a printed version of the extract as it is not valid. Please note: this option is only valid if you do not have an original certified copy of your diploma or graduation statement before the deadline. Unless stated otherwise, we only process documents that are handed in by post or at the Student Desk. If you submit a digital document, we may ask you (at a later moment) to submit a hard copy.
Step 5: pay the pre-master's fee
Make sure you pay the pre-master's fee before the deadline, otherwise you will not be enrolled and cannot start your study programme. You can read more about the (payment of the) pre-master's fee on the tuition fees page.
The pre-master's fee is not refundable if you cancel your registration after 31 August or 31 January (applicable for SBE).
Step 6: check if you're enrolled
Your enrolment is only complete when you receive a message from Studielink and VU Amsterdam that you are enrolled in the pre-master's programme. Until that time, you are not enrolled.
Do you have any questions?
Please contact the Student Desk.