Accounting and Control

Serious games need good scorekeeping

To survive and to succeed, all organizations need reliable systems for generating financial information that is relevant to managers, investors and other stakeholders. Even if accounting and control are not the most glamorous aspects of business, they are indispensable. Designing, operating and auditing financial reporting systems for complex organizations is a challenge for the finest minds, and requires a much broader range of skills than the ability to add and subtract.

The Accounting and Control programme draws on the strengths of VU Amsterdam both as an established research university and as one of the major providers of postgraduate professional education in accountancy. With a strong academic core, an openness to the world of practice, and an international outlook, the programme is an effective starting point in your development as a professional preparer, user, or auditor of financial information, and a gateway to further specialized training.

The programme will give you a solid basis for pursuing a career in accounting and control. The programme is designed in particular for students aiming for positions as financial manager or controller in major organizations, as well as for those who seek to work as an internal or public auditor.

Admission and application details

School of Business and Economics

The Master in Accounting and Control is a one-year programme consisting of a minimum of seven courses and a thesis. The programme sets a quick pace, with short, focused teaching periods of six weeks, followed by exams. The core of the programme consists of required courses in financial reporting, management accounting, corporate law and empirical research in accounting. In addition, you will have the opportunity to take a range of electives on subjects such as auditing, accounting information systems, management control, corporate finance and accounting theory. Courses typically consist of a mixture of lectures and active teaching methods, involving both individual and group work.

Finally, you will write a Master's thesis worth 18 credits. Your thesis will demonstrate that you possess both the knowledge of the discipline expected of an aspiring professional, and the research, analytical and reporting skills required of a competent researcher.

Accounting and Control courses in study guide.

Graduates of the programme find employment in a wide range of functions in accounting, broadly defined. The most comment trajectories after completion of the programme is for graduates to take up positions in audit firms as trainee or assistant auditor, or with business, government or non-profit entities as (junior) controller, and then to continue with the relevant postgraduate education. However, you also find employment in other functions requiring a good knowlegde of accounting, for instance in finance, consultancy, with tax authorities or regulatory agencies.

The programme is an excellent springboard for further professional education. VU Amsterdam offers a range of postgraduate programmes leading to qualifications such as Certified Controller, Registered Auditor (Netherlands), EDP Auditor, Financial Analyst (CFA), Management Consultant, Change Manager or Public Sector Controller. For more information, visit the website of our Executive Education programmes.

In addition, the university offers PhD programmes for those students who wish to pursue an academic career, or who wish to deepen their knowledge even further prior to embarking on a professional career.

The Master's programme in Accounting and Control does not have formal specializations, yet gives you the opportunity to choose electives as well as the topic of your thesis to give your studies an individual flavour according to your own interests, and in order to prepare for the career of your choice.

Controlling
Remaining in control of operational and financial processes is one of the major challenges facing the management of all enterprises. In large corporations, the control function is now a vital part of the organization, and the chief financial officer is frequently a key member of the management team. If you are interested in pursuing a career in this area, either in the private or public sector, you will find the core course in management accounting of interest. In addition, you can choose electives relating to corporate finance and management control.

Auditing
In a globalizing economy, companies are under increasing pressure to provide high-quality public accountability in the form of reliable and transparent financial information. In response, the accountancy profession has developed into one of the major and most internationalised professional service industries. The legal audit of published financial statements remains the core of the auditor's work, and it is also central to the curriculum of the Master's programme. If you are thinking about a career in auditing, you will appreciate the thorough grounding in International Financial Reporting Standards, which is a standard course in this programme. Additional electives will help you to deepen your understanding of auditing, the economics of financial accounting and accounting regulation, and information risk management.

Rooted in research
VU Amsterdam is actively involved in research in the area of Accounting, Control and Auditing via ARCA, the Amsterdam Research Centre in Accounting. Almost all of the department's teaching staff are connected with ARCA and are therefore closely involved in the Center's specialized research.

Seamless postgraduate transition
VU Amsterdam offers a range of renowned postgraduate programmes which follow on seamlessly from the Master's programme in Accounting and Control. These programmes lead to qualifications such as Certified Controller, Registered Accountant (Netherlands), EDP Auditor, Financial Analyst, Management Consultant, Change Manager or Controller in the non-profit and government sector.

Understanding a vital business process
The Master’s programme in Accounting and Control deals with all aspects of generating, reporting and using financial data in organizations. The subjects covered include the internal use of financial information for decision-making and control, preparing published financial statements and financial auditing, as well as the general context of company law and corporate governance of which accounting is a crucial component. The Master’s programme at VU Amsterdam will deepen your academic knowledge of the practice of accounting and control, and introduce you to the latest rules and regulations in the field.

Carlijn Schneiders

Student

Testimonial Carlijn Schneiders

"This master’s programme really gave me a feeling for the accounting profession. Lecturers with much working experience in accounting and auditing brought many real-life examples, which made classes lively. My original enthusiasm for the accounting profession has only increased during this master’s programme."

Overview Accounting and Control

Language of instruction

English

Duration

1 year

Deadline

1 June / International degree students: 1 April.
Different deadlines may hold for other category students

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Specializations

Management Control and Accounting/Financial Accounting and Auditing/Information Management

Field of Interest

Economics, Business and Law

Jolanda Slof

Thomas van Rosmalen

Alumnus

Thomas van Rosmalen - MSc Accounting & Control

"For me this Master's programme was the year I needed to achieve a professional level. The lectures that are offered were a great help in my preparation for the accounting and audit profession. This study also stimulates you to go out and meet the employers and to get hands-on experience. There are a lot of events throughout the year to help you to get in contact with these future employers and to help develop skills needed besides your academic level. For me this combination was a great success, this study helped me to find the job I wanted at the company of my choice."

VU Amsterdam also offers the Master's programme Accounting and Control in a parttime programme. The parttime programme is taught mainly in Dutch, using the same English-language teaching materials as used in the fulltime programme. The parttime programme is offered in combination with the postgraduate programmes for Accountancy (Registeraccountant). For more information on the parttime Master's programme Accounting and Control and postgraduate Accountancy we refer to: www.hetbetereweten.nl

As a one-year programme, the Masters’s programme in Accounting and Control does not include an internship for which study credits are granted. In practice, many students do spend some time with audit firms and other organizations in various arrangements.  We attempt to facilitate this with our scheduling in the Spring semester, but it is your responsibility to arrange the combination of such an internship with class attendence. When the experience is relevant in the context of the programme and basic formal conditions are fulfilled, such an internship can be included on your diploma supplement as a 0-ECTs componentn.

I want to send my application form to apply for a Master's programme before the first of April. I expect to graduate before the end of this academic year. Is it possible to apply without having my Bachelor's diploma yet?
Yes, that is possible. Your eligibility can be assessed without the actual diploma. After (conditional) admission to one of our MSc programmes, we will contact you and ask for the original and official documents for registration at the university. One of these documents is the official diploma (or certified copy of it).

I have graduated from a Dutch HBO. Is it possible for me to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?
Unfortunately, if you hold a HBO BSc diploma you cannot get direct admission to one of our Master's programmes. We have a specific Premaster’s programme for some of our Master’s programmes. The Premaster’s programmes are entirely Dutch taught, you need a NT2-2 certificate to get admission and your GMAT score has to be at least 550. Some Master’s programmes have other entry requirements if you hold a Dutch HBO. Please check ‘admission and application’ on the Master’s page to see if there is a specific Premaster’s programme available.

Is it possible to study one of the Master's programmes part-time?
All Master's programmes open to international students are full time programmes, which means that you are expected to spend at least 4 days a week at the university. There are two part-time Master's programmes both taught in Dutch.

Can I apply for a MSc programme starting in February?
No, all our Master's programmes start in September.

Can I apply online?
International students can apply online. See the webpage "Admission and application" of your respective master's programme for more information.

Application deadline
International degree students: 1 April (different deadlines may hold for other category students). Dutch degree students: Admission request before 1 May, application in Studielink before 1 June.

Do you require work experience to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?
No, we do not require work experience. Sometimes it might help to have some work experience to get admission if your Bachelor's diploma does not cover all the academic requirements (see admission requirements in the left menu).

Do you require GMAT or GRE to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?       
In some cases we might require a GRE or GMAT. For the Master’s programmes in Economics and Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics a GRE might be required. The admission board will let you know if a GRE is required. At other Master’s programmes a GMAT or GRE is not required. This does not mean that we do not pay any attention to your grades. If you have obtained a good GMAT or GRE score it is recommended to mention this in your application and to enclose a copy of the results. 
 
Please note: To be admitted to one of our specific Dutch taught pre-master's programmes you have to score at least 550 on the GMAT. 

Is it possible to pay the tuition fee in installments?
Yes, that is possible. The registration period is in August after your arrival in the Netherlands. You can pay the tuition fee either at once before 1 September or you can choose to sign a contract that you will pay it in installments during the academic year.

Suzan Vink

Graduate 2016

Suzan Vink MSc Accounting & Control

"The master’s programme Accounting and Control at VU Amsterdam is a challenging and internationally oriented course that focuses on theoretical concepts and technical standards within the accounting discipline. Furthermore, current developments in both academic research and the profession are interactively discussed. You are taught to adopt a critical academic attitude in order to conduct research and review existing literature. Learning material, lectures and supervision is of high standards. Moreover, the master’s degree in Accounting and Control at VU Amsterdam provides you with a solid foundation of knowledge and competences for practice and offers excellent career prospects."

Admission with a Dutch Degree

We look for motivated and ambitious students who have decided that the broad and challenging field of accounting and control is the direction they want to take. You may already have a firm idea of your future career path, but you may also still be considering the many different professional profiles in this area.  We welcome you in either case, and will help you to find your way forward.  We expect that you have a solid academic basis in economics or business.  You have a good grounding in accounting and finance, but you also have the ability and the curiosity to see these disciplines in their wider context.

Admission requirements

With a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics or Econometrics and Operations Research from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you are admissible provided you successfully meet the requirements in this document (will be provided soon).

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink.

Step 1:
Apply for the MSc programme Accounting and Control via Studielink before 1 June.

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading  a recent transcript of your bachelor grades. (You can create a pdf of your grades via the application results on VUnet yourself.)
 
More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for further information and specific questions about the offered services for international students like extending your residence permit. You will need to apply for extension of your residence permit if you continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
We look for motivated and ambitious students who have decided that the broad and challenging field of accounting and control is the direction they want to take. You may already have a firm idea of your future career path, but you may also still be considering the many different professional profiles in this area.  We welcome you in either case, and will help you to find your way forward.  We expect that you have a solid academic basis in economics or business.  You have a good grounding in accounting and finance, but you also have the ability and the curiosity to see these disciplines in their wider context.

Admission requirements

The master programme Accounting and Control is open to students with a university Bachelor’s degree in economics, business or related disciplines. Apart from general academic and research skills, the programme should include quantitative research methods (statistics) of at least an intermediate level.  We are not necessarily looking for students who have specialized in accounting, but we do expect that you have a solid grounding in the discipline. This means that your programme must include a significant element  (as an indication, at least 40-45 EC) of accounting and finance with much of it at least at intermediate level.  Accounting is meant broadly and may include, in addition to the essentials of financial and management accounting, topics such as auditing, accounting information systems, and elements of corporate governance.  Apart from corporate finance, it may also include financial analysis and financial management.

This means that we expect you to have successfully completed courses based on the following literature, or equivalent:

o    Financial Accounting
Elliott & Elliott, Financial Accounting and Reporting (Pearson Education), recent edition,
o    Management Accounting
Rajan, Datar & Horngren, Cost Accounting , Global Edition (Pearson Education), recent edition.
o    Finance
Berk & DeMarzo  Corporate Finance, Global Edition (Pearson Education), recent edition
o    Statistics
Doane & Seward, Applied Statistics in Business & Economics (McGraw-Hill), recent edition.

And preferably one more courses based on the following:
o    Financial Statement Analysis
Healy & Palepu, Business Analysis Valuation: Using Financial Statements (Cengage Learning), recent edition.
o    Accounting Information Systems
Romney & Steinbart, Accounting Information Systems, Global Edition (Pearson), recent edition
o    Auditing
Principles of Auditing’ by Rick Hayes, Hans Gortemaker, and Philip Wallage, (Pearson), recent edition

Subject to the requirements above, approval is in most cases given to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in
•    Business Economics,
•    Business Administration,
•    Financial Management,
•    Economics or
•    Econometrics.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink.

Step 1:
Apply for the MSc programme Accounting and Control via Studielink before 1 June.

Step 2:
After applying for the programme in studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and  uploading a formal transcript of your bachelor grades,
Please note: we can only process your application when your transcript is uploaded.

Step 3:
The admission committee will assess your application and decide whether you are admissible. You will be informed about this decision via email.

More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

We look for motivated and ambitious students who have decided that the broad and challenging field of accounting and control is the direction they want to take. You may already have a firm idea of your future career path, but you may also still be considering the many different professional profiles in this area. We welcome you in either case, and will help you to find your way forward. You have a solid basis in business or economics. You have a good grounding in accounting and finance, but you also have the ability and the curiosity to see these disciplines in their wider context and to consider them in terms of theory and research. You’re keen to develop your academic skills.

Students with higher vocational qualifications (Dutch HBO or equivalent) in business, economics or related disciplines are admissible to our Pre-master's programme. All HBO students follow the same Pre-master’s programme, with limited modifications depending on your prior education. This is offered on a part-time basis, as part of a track including also the part-time master Accounting & Control and the Postgraduate Accountancy Programme, as this is the track chosen by most HBO students. However, after completion of the Pre-master’s programme, you can choose to continue your studies in the full-time master Accounting and Control. After completion of the master Accounting and Control, either in full-time or in part-time, you are not required to continue with the postgraduate programme, admission and registration of Pre-master students are handled by the Postgraduate Accountancy programme. More information can be found on the website HetBetereWeten.nl (in Dutch).

The Premaster’s programme includes elements in both English and Dutch and is therefore not available to international students.

Information days and activities
contact@vu.nl
Admission requests, admission requirements and admission questions
toelating.sbe@vu.nl
(can only be reached by e-mail)
Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet
Central Student Desk
Application
Studielink
Other questions
contact@vu.nl

Visit our information day
Master’s EveningThursday 7 December 2017Register
Master's DaySaturday 10 March 2018
Please register later

Admission with an International Degree

We look for motivated and ambitious students who have decided that the broad and challenging field of accounting and control is the direction they want to take. You may already have a firm idea of your future career path, but you may also still be considering the many different professional profiles in this area.  We welcome you in either case, and will help you to find your way forward.  We expect that you have a solid academic basis in economics or business.  You have a good grounding in accounting and finance, but you also have the ability and the curiosity to see these disciplines in their wider context.

Admission requirements
In order to gain admission to our Master’s programme, you 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 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score
Your degree should be in economics, business or related disciplines. Apart from general academic and research skills, the programme should include quantitative research methods (statistics) of at least an intermediate level.  We are not necessarily looking for students who have specialized in accounting, but we do expect that you have a solid grounding in the discipline. This means that your programme must include a significant element (as an indication, at least 40-45 EC) of accounting and finance with much of it at least at intermediate level. Accounting is meant broadly and may include, in addition to the essentials of financial and management accounting, topics such as auditing, accounting information systems, and elements of corporate governance. Apart from corporate finance, it may also include financial analysis and financial management.

This means that we expect you to have successfully completed courses based on the following literature, or equivalent:

o    Financial Accounting
Elliott & Elliott, Financial Accounting and Reporting (Pearson Education), recent edition,
o    Management Accounting
Rajan, Datar & Horngren, Cost Accounting , Global Edition (Pearson Education), recent edition.
o    Finance
Berk & DeMarzo  Corporate Finance, Global Edition (Pearson Education), recent edition
o    Statistics
Doane & Seward, Applied Statistics in Business & Economics (McGraw-Hill), recent edition.

And preferably one more courses based on the following:
o    Financial Statement Analysis
Healy & Palepu, Business Analysis Valuation: Using Financial Statements (Cengage Learning), recent edition.
o    Accounting Information Systems
Romney & Steinbart, Accounting Information Systems, Global Edition (Pearson), recent edition
o    Auditing
Principles of Auditing’ by Rick Hayes, Hans Gortemaker, and Philip Wallage, (Pearson), recent edition

English language proficiency
The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.

VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can already apply online without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:

IELTS (academic):
•    Minimum general score 6,5
•    Minimum score speaking 6,0
•    Minimum score listening 6,0
•    Minimum score writing 6,5
•    Minimum score reading 6,5

TOEFL:
•    Paper based test 580
•    Internet based test 92-93

Cambridge English:
•    Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
•    Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl

Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.

If you have read the admission requirements 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.

Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

•    Curriculum Vitae
•    Transcript of records
•    Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
•    A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education
•    A list of all the main literature used during your previous higher education

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail. Please refer to our application page to see which application deadline applies for you.

Step 2: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 3: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!


Further information about:

Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees

Some international students are happy to tell you about their experiences 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!

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

Visit our information days
More information about Master's programmes
Visit our information days

Central International Office
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:

Leanne Schrijver
Tel +31 20 59 83032
E masters.sbe@vu.nl

Paul Steeman
Tel +31 20 59 88739
E masters.sbe@vu.nl  

Amu Shrestha
masters.sbe@vu.nl 

For general information about VU Amsterdam:

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00).
You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl.

Paul van der Weijden

Student

Testimonial Paul van der Weijden

"This master is very dynamic and it covers all the fields of interest in the area of accounting and control. I gained a very good understanding of the related professions and I perceived this study as a good preparation before starting to work. The master challenges you to think about and to debate new developments in the field."


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