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 deal with important economic issues. This is reflected in the jobs that our students accept in business, academics and the public sector. Our faculty was ranked number one in the 2015 accreditation of Dutch economic departments and the Master's programme was received a top ranking by the students in the most recent “nationale studenten enquête” (NSE).

Specializations

Taking a specialization (consisting of a specific combination of elective courses and a related thesis) is optional. The possible specializations are

Students with a strong interest in public policy, may consider applying for the Economics Programme in Public Policy.

Students can also decide to freely pick and mix from our extended list of elective courses. In addition, students can choose one elective course from outside the programme (subject to prior approval from the examination board).

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 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 about 28 hours studying.

Three compulsory Economics core courses (6 EC):

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

Three elective 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
  • Urban Economic Challenges and Policies
  • Labour Economics
  • Human Development (UvA)
  • Time Series Econometrics
  • Macro and International Finance

One elective course can be substituted by a course outside the programme, but only after prior approval from the examination board. Specialization courses could be subject to change.

Research Project (6 EC)

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

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

The programme has a relatively small scale, with a large range of elective courses. Since many teachers are involved, there is a lot of personal interaction between students and teachers. The teachers are internationally well-known specialists in their field and are associated to the economics department at the VU Amsterdam, which is the best economics department in the Netherlands. The programme is highly esteemed by its students and is one of the top Economics programmes in the Netherlands. Finally, the programme provides excellent job opportunities and many different sectors.

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 / 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

Admission with a Dutch degree

The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics. 

Admission requirements

Direct admission is granted to students who pass the courses Microeconomics II, Macroeconomics II and Quantitative Research Methods III (Economics/Finance), who obtain a Bachelor's degree in econometrics, or who complete the Minor Economics @ VU with a grade point average of at least 7.5. The entry requirement for students with a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics and Econometrics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are summarized in this document (will be provided soon).

Students who do not meet these admission requirements are not necessarily declined to enroll in the MSc Economics, but can file an admission request, which shows their background in economics and quantitative research methods.

Application procedure

To enroll in the programme submit your enrollment application via Studielink. More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

Students who do not meet the admission requirements mentioned above and wish to file an admission request, do so before 1 June by sending an email to toelating.sbe@vu.nl stating their situation and attaching a transcript of all courses passed.

Services for International (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If your 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.

The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students with a university degree from either a Dutch or international university who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

Admission requirements
The MSc programme Economicsis open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in microeconomics 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:

Microeconomics    
Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Northon, 9th ed., 2014
Macroeconomics
Gärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, eth ed., 2016
Econometrics and Statistics
Stock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, Updated 3rd ed., 2015 (chapters 1-7)
Mathemetics for Economists    
Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond et al., Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 5th ed., 2016

Approval is in most cases gives to students who hold a:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics or econometrics
  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, social sciences and sciences with sufficient elective courses in economics
  • Bachelor's degree from a University College with a specialization in sciences or social sciences and sufficient economics courses
  • Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) or in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) with sufficient economics and quantitative courses
  • Bachelor's degree and who completed the Minor Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with an average grade of at least 7.5


Application procedure

Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Economics 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 via VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading a formal transcript of your bachelor grades in VUnet (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 admissable. You will be informed about this decision via email.

Students who do not meet the admission criteria can be:

  • admitted conditional on passing one or more Bachelor courses
  • requested to take an admission test after self-study of the literature
  • admitted to the transfer programme (a minimal GRE score may be required)

The admission test takes place in June at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Note that participation in the transfer programme may substantially increase the time to completion.

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

Admission requirements and application

Students with a HBO degree in economics related fields can enroll in the MSc Economics, but only after completing a transfer programme. 

If you have a Dutch higher vocational (HBO) degree you need to enroll in a transfer programme, which is specifically designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university-level education.

To apply for admission you should send a request and a transcript of your HBO courses and grades by email to toelating.sbe@vu.nl. The admission board then will decide whether admission is possible via the transfer programme. 

For more information about the transfer programme contact toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

Students wishing to attend the transfer programme may be required to submit scores from a recent GRE test prior to start and admission may be conditional on achieving a set of minimal scores (information is available on request). Note that participation in the transfer programme may substantially increase the time to completion.

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
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Other questions
contact@vu.nl

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Admission with an international degree

The MSc programme in Economics welcomes ambitious students who are interested in studying key policy challenges from an economics perspective. Students should have an interest in thinking about societal problems and should start with introductory knowledge in economics and sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics. 

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 academics study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

Microeconomics    
Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Northon, 9th ed., 2014
Macroeconomics
Gärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, eth ed., 2016
Econometrics and Statistics
Stock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, Updated 3rd ed., 2015 (chapters 1-7)
Mathemetics for Economists    
Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond et al., Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 5th ed., 2016

Applications not providing proof of having passed course work at the minimally required level may be rejected, or applicants may be requested to make up for deficiencies by means of self-study. Good students with technical backgrounds (Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics, and possibly Engineering) are encouraged to apply.

International degree holders from Universities of Applied Sciences (polytechnics, vocational colleges, etc.) cannot be admitted.


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 writing score 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

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.

Approval is in most cases given to students who hold a:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics and econometrics
  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, social sciences and sciences with sufficient elective courses in economics
  • Bachelor's degree from a University College with a specializaiton in sciences of social sciences and sufficient economics courses

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.

•    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 e-mail.

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 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.

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.

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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.

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