Economics

Solving the challenges of tomorrow

The master's in Economics has been developed for the prospective professional economist who aims to pursue a career either in the public or the private sector. It teaches you the essentials of modern economic theory and data analysis and how to apply them to everyday problems. Areas of focus include poverty and inequality, financial markets, economic growth and the environment. As a Master’s student, you will become a versatile, all-round economist with the ability to independently tackle important economic issues. This is reflected in the jobs that our students accept. Our faculty was ranked number one in the 2015 accreditation of Dutch economic departments and the Msc programme was ranked number one by the students in the “nationale studenten enquête”.

The master's in Economics is a high-quality one-year programme. The first part of the programme consists of three compulsory core courses focusing on the foundations of the discipline at an advanced level. You will also take three elective courses that can be combined into a specialization. Two pieces of independent academic work, a research project and a final thesis, complete the programme requirements. Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff.

The programme is highly esteemed by its students and is one of the top Economics programmes in the Netherlands. The academic year is divided into six teaching periods: four periods of eight weeks and two periods of four weeks. The programme’s study load is 60 credits. Credits are expressed in EC: European Credit (Transfer System). Each credit amounts to circa of 28 hours studying.

Three compulsory Economics core courses (6 EC):

  • Advanced Methods for Applied Economic Research
  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Advanced Macroeconomics

Two specialization courses (6 EC):

  • Economics of Climate Change
  • Economics of the Welfare State
  • Globalization, Growth and Development
  • Industrial Organization and Competition Policy
  • Macroeconomic Policy in the EU
  • Microeconomics for Development

One free elective (6 EC), options including:

  • Regional and Urban Economics
  • Strategic and Cooperative Decision Making
  • Labour Economics
  • Human Development
  • Transport Economics
  • Time Series Econometrics
  • Financial Markets and Institutions

Research Project (6 EC)

Thesis (18 EC): an in-depth study on a topic in Macro, International Economics or related subjects

Specializations
Taking a specialization (consisting of a specific combination of elective courses and a related thesis) is optional, and students with highly varied interests or who would prefer to exercise a range of talents can freely pick and mix from our extended list of elective courses. In addition, students can also choose one elective course from outside the programme (subject to prior approval from the examination board).

A graduate of the Master’s programme in Economics is a well-trained economist, with extensive knowledge of economic techniques and economic policy.

Graduates become policy economists at consultancy firms or with government agencies, or work in various positions in financial and non-financial industries. Others start working as market analysts at, for example, the Netherlands Competition Authority, or De Nederlandsche Bank. Still others go to work for multinationals such as banks and insurance companies. Some graduates work at economic research institutes or join PhD programmes at highly competitive research universities before continuing with their academic career.

Apart from focusing on high-profile job opportunities, programme participants develop an eye for economic issues of societal and scientific relevance, and develop a critical attitude for analysing and judging these issues. Economics is at the very heart of the social sciences. Economists are therefore involved and committed members of society.

Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff. The programme is highly esteemed by its students and is one of the top Economics programmes in the Netherlands.

Josephine de Vries

Graduated in 2008, Lead Corporate Strategy Office at Deloitte

Josephine de Vries

"The MSc Economics at the VU has a quantitative focus and this is a big plus in most professional areas, including mine. Watching the world through the lense of an economist is very useful for many types of business problems. None of this however, was a reason for me to choose economics. I just thought it amazingly interesting to understand why the EU exists, whether I should vote left or right wing and why it was impossible to find a descent rental apartment in Amsterdam. In short, I just wanted to understand the world a bit better. "

MSc Economics at VU Amsterdam

Overview Economics

Language of instruction

English

Duration

1 year

Tuition fee

Application deadline

1 June via www.vu.studielink.nl (students with direct admission) / International degree students: 1 April (different deadlines may apply to other category students)

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Field of Interest

Economics, Business and Law

Study in Holland

Raphie Hayat

Graduated in 2007, Macro Economist at Rabobank

Raphie Hayat

"The Master in Economics is of great value. It is rigorous, taught by an excellent and internationally recognized faculty and attracts students from all over the world. The degree definitely helped me in getting my current job as a macro economist at Rabobank (which I love), but it opens up opportunities in the public sector as well." 

Sabine de Bruijn

Graduated in 2012, International Labour Organization, Geneva

Sabine de Bruijn

"It is with great enthusiasm that I look back at my time as a student at the MSc in Economics programme at the VU. Struggling with formulas, working hard for the exams; it was all worth it and I would not hesitate to do it again. Without my MSc in economics I would not be where I am now: at the International Labour Organization (specialized agency of the UN) in Geneva. The textbook models have now turned into real life questions. I cannot think of any work that is more exiting."

Emilie Berkhout

Graduated in 2015, Junior Researcher at AIID

Emilie Berkhout

"During my Bachelor at the University of Amsterdam I became interested in Development Economics and the Master in Economics at VU Amsterdam taught me the right knowledge and skills to work in this sector. It is a challenging programme, but after graduation you will have great analytical skills and a broad range of job opportunities. The degree provided me the opportunity to work as a Junior Researcher at the Amsterdam Institute for International Development (AIID), which fits perfectly with my interests."

Dutch students

There are two principal ways of admission: direct admission and admission after application and approval.  
There are strict admission criteria. These are set by the Admissions Board, which also decides on individual applications. The requirements distinguish between Master specific requirements and general requirements. Please read them both carefully.

General requirements for holders of a(n):

  • Dutch University degree
  • International degree
  • Dutch HBO degree    

Specific admission requirements Master's programme Economics:  

  • Direct admission to the Master's programme in Economics is only possible with a Bachelor's degree in economics and business administration or econometrics from VU Amsterdam. In these cases, students must have successfully completed the following 3rd year bachelor courses: Research Methods for Economics and Finance, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and a tutorial Micro- or Macroeconomics.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in Economics (or very closely related) from an accredited university must have a sufficient knowledge in both Micro- and Macroeconomics and a solid background in mathematics and statistics for economists. Specifically, students ought to be familiar with mathematics (calculus and algebra), intermediate economics and econometrics at a level commensurate with all of the following texts:
    MicroeconomicsVarian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Norton, 8th ed., 2010
    MacroeconomicsGärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, 4th ed., 2013
    Econometrics and StatisticsStock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, 3rd ed., 2012 (chapters 1-7)
    Mathematics for EconomistsSydsaeter, Knut and Hammond, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 4th ed., 2012

  • Other applicants, already studying in the Netherlands or with a Dutch HBO degree, not meeting these criteria may be required to successfully complete additional preparatory courses, possibly in Dutch (e.g. pre-Master), before they can be admitted to the programme, which may substantially increase the total expected time to completion.

If you did not take your Economic or (international) Business Administration Bachelor's degree (IBA students, see paragraph for IBA students below) at VU Amsterdam you must submit a request for admission to the admission board. You have to fill out the Form Evaluation admission Master and add to it the following documents: a description of the subjects you passed, your transcript, the study load and a list of the literature studied.

You could send your request per email until 1 May.

The Admission board will then decide whether you can be admitted directly to the Master's or whether you first need to compensate for any mismatches between your qualification and our admission requirements. Possible outcomes of your application are direct admission to the Master's programme, admission under the condition that you must also pass one or more Bachelor's courses, admission to one of the pre-Master's programmes or admission to one of our Bachelor's programmes.

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

Students with direct admission from VU Amsterdam
If you have direct admission to the Master's programme of your choice you need a new enrollment in Studielink.

International IBA students (3rd year students)
Students with a Bachelor's degree in International Business Administration from VU Amsterdam and direct admission to the Master's programme (for Master's specific entry requirements see the related IBA pages) of their choice can go to Apply for Diploma and follow the instructions. Additionally, you will need to register yourself through Studielink as a Master's student. If it is uncertain if you finish your Bachelor before the 1st of September, you need to both register yourself as a Master’s student and re-register as a Bachelor’s student IBA. Once your application for the Master's programme of your choice has been accepted and your registration as a Master’s student is complete, you can cancel your registration as an IBA student. Reminder: you are officially registered as a student if you have filled in your re-registration form and paid the tuition fee.

Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit
When you are planning to continue your studies at VU Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of VU 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 VU Amsterdam.

 

 

If you did not take your Economic or (international) Business Administration Bachelor's degree at VU Amsterdam and if you have a HBO degree (higher vocational education) you must submit a request for admission to the admission board. You have to fill out the Form Evaluation admission Master and add to it the following documents: a description of the subjects you passed, your transcript, the study load and a list of the literature studied.

You could send your request per email until May 1st, to toelating.feweb@vu.nl.
      
The Admission board will then decide whether you can be admitted directly to the Master's or whether you first need to compensate for any mismatches between your qualification and our admission requirements. Possible outcomes of your application are direct admission to the Master's programme, admission under the condition that you must also pass one or more Bachelor's courses, admission to one of the pre-Master's programmes or admission to one of our Bachelor's programmes.

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

Deadline for an admission request is May 1st.

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

emptyempty
Visit our information day

Master’s EveningTuesday 6 December 2016Register
Master's DaySaturday 11 March 2017Please register later

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.

In order to gain admission to one of our 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 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

Specific admission requirements for the MSc programme Economics:

Applicants need to have successfully completed the following courses:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Econometrics and Statistics
  • Mathematics for Economists

The material from these courses is also covered in textbooks such as:

  • Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Norton, 8th ed., 2010
  • Gärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, 3rd ed., 2009
  • Stock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, 3rd ed., 2012 (chapters 1-7)
  • Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 3rd ed., 2008

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:

IELTS (academic):

  • Minimum general score 6,5
  • Minimum score writing 6,0

TOEFL:

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

Cambridge English:

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


TOEFL ITP:
VU-test English-language proficiency: 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 criteria 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: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: 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.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU residents)
  • 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
  • Motivation letter
  • Reference letter (one or two)

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 email. 

Step 3: 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 4: 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 VU Amsterdam!

Further information about: 
Accommodation 
Visa 
Tuition fees

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

Contact a student ambassador
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 on the webpage below. Reach out to them and get their stories about being a student at VU Amsterdam!

Information for international students > International degree holders > Contact our student ambassadors


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:

Foto Leanne Schrijver Leanne Schrijver
Tel +31 20 59 83032
E Admissionsfeba@vu.nl


 

 

 

Foto Paul SteemanPaul Steeman
Tel +31 20 59 88739
E Admissionsfeba@vu.nl
 

 

 

 


Foto Floris KorbeeFloris Korbee
Tel + 31 (0)20 598 3944
E Admissionsfeba@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.

Sjoerd ten Wolde

Graduated in 2011, Policy Officer Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sjoerd ten Wolde

"I’m glad I used my resources on the MSc Economics at VU Amsterdam. I was afraid I was ill prepared for this programme. Despite its demanding nature, however, the professors were always willing to help out. I thrived in the programme, graduated cum laude in 2011, and learned the building blocks for my current occupation as a policy economist for the Dutch Ministry of the Interior. I still use the knowledge I got in the MSc Economics every day, and highly recommend it."

Facebook - Faculteite der economische wetenschappen en bedrijfskundeTwitter - Faculteite der economische wetenschappen en bedrijfskundeYoutube- Faculteite der economische wetenschappen en bedrijfskunde