The Master in Marketing programme takes you on a journey in which you challenge yourself to look further in areas of marketing theory, research, and practice. You will learn to think strategically, create an understanding of how superior value can be created for customers and other stakeholders while achieving organizational goals.
We also offer a part-time Master of Science Marketing (Dutch taught)
The journey begins by understanding how a sustainable competitive edge is obtained by creating value for customers and society. Rather than focusing on ‘recipes for success’, the emphasis is on looking further: Understanding why something works. This not only calls for profound comprehension of analytical techniques, but also leads to a journey which takes you deeper in the worlds of consumer and business-to-business marketing, either product or service, thus enabling you to address marketing challenges in an increasingly complex international environment.
Academic skills are developed throughout the programme, enabling you to analyze, comprehend and reflect. Practical skills are developed as well, by solving (real-life) cases, playing a management game and working in teams. You will apply these skills during specialization courses and seminars on topics that you choose, such as strategy, innovation, cross-cultural research, geomarketing and consumer decision making. The Master’s thesis is the ultimate part of your journey, enabling you to research an exciting problem and make a real difference in the field.
Knowing HOW by understanding WHY
|September-October||Marketing Strategy||Firms increasingly seek ways to provide superior value to their customers and stakeholders that is innovative and sustainable, while satisfying their own objectives as well. The course delivers the analytical and creative skills that are necessary to define and develop superior value to customers and other stakeholders, while sustaining both the value and the firm’s profitability in the face of ever-changing customer needs, competitive offerings and societal demands and constraints.||Ruud Frambach|
“Marketing strategy is a great subject as it provides the concepts and tools to increase the well-being of consumers, employees and society at large by focusing on value. I love to discuss and practically apply marketing strategy theory to real-life cases in an interactive way with my students. Together creating a learning experience in the classroom in which we challenge each other, makes learning both more effective and more fun.”
|Customer Intelligence||In this post information-revolution era firms have gathered terabytes of information about consumers and their customers. The plethora of information stems from multiple sources, such as consumer and customer surveys, client-lab experiments, transaction databases and the Internet. This course presents state-of-the-art techniques and approaches for transposing the abundant data into actionable information for marketing managers and other top-level decision makers.||Leo Paas|
“As a teacher, I like to rely on interactive hands-on teaching methods, practice based cases, next to the utilization of state-of-the art knowledge about the discussed techniques and approaches. The practical nature of the course also makes it fun to teach and follow."
|November-December||B2C||Business-to-Consumer marketing requires the skill not only to understand the consumer’s mind, but also the ever changing environment of innovations and social interactions in which this mind operates. The course shows how knowledge on consumer decision making can help companies in their communication and interaction with consumers through various channels. This knowledge is applied to a real-life case during the course, in cooperation with a FMCG company.||Remco Prins|
“B2C Marketing is something students can easily relate to, as we are all consumers ourselves. During the lectures, my aim is not only to discuss separate articles, but also to draw the bigger picture and show practical examples that we all encounter in our daily lives.”
|B2B||B2B is the key area of employment for marketing students. Scouting through job advertisements reveals positions such as category manager, sales manager, or business development manager, where key buyers are businesses. Therefore, gaining knowledge on B2B is highly relevant. In the course, recent insights are applied to real-world cases and guest lectures from prominent B2B firms such as Unilever and Microsoft.||Erik Mooi|
"Since B2B knowledge is not always intuitive or obvious, courses in B2B can be highly rewarding."
|January||Managerial Integration Project Marketing||A 4-week intensive course featuring guest speakers from various companies, in which marketing theory and practice are integrated and in which students get a taste of what their future job might look like. The real-life business cases are translated into team assignments that require students to gather market information and apply knowledge from previous courses. The best teams get the opportunity to present their case solution to the companies.||Remco Prins|
“The Managerial Integration Project is unlike any course you’ve had before. The challenges you get may be similar to those you will encounter in your future job. Use your knowledge, skills and teamwork to come up with unique solutions to the cases.”
|February-March||Academic Seminar||This course is about research strategy and vision and discusses which choices you are confronted with when conducting research, particularly in an academic environment. In preparing you for the final step of your Master, writing a thesis, we take a completely different perspective on research and scientific papers. We will teach you how to take a critical perspective, how to review papers, and to use these new found perspectives to translate them in to interesting research ideas for the future. During the special topic sessions you do not only study new interesting theories regarding very specific, recent marketing topics, but you also learn to critically evaluate the value of those theories, to identify the gaps in research, and how to develop your own research ideas within those themes.||Mirella Kleijnen|
“This is a great course to teach, because students always experience it as an eye opener. They are used to studying theories as a given, something that is true within a certain context. Now they learn how to critically asses own knowledge and how they themselves can make a contribition to that body of knowledge. Initially, students struggle, but it always exciting to see how enthousiastic they get once they realize they can do it and see what kind of contributions they can make!”
|GeoMarketing (elective)||Most vital marketing information is somehow all about place and location. Outlets of retail chains need to be opened, moved or closed, but which ones and where; e-commerce is booming, but how and where to deliver all those online purchases is still agony #1; and how can you target customers through their mobile phones with location specific information and offers when they ‘check in’? Next to theory about space, location and movement, this course is, above all, about the use of digital maps to display and analyze marketing information; with a lot of real life examples and practical ‘how to’ training.||Jaap Boter|
“It’s always fascinating to watch how students and companies get excited when they see customers, outlets, competitors and other data charted out. It gets something of a War Room or CSI feeling when you see all that marketing information displayed on digital maps. It’s really true how a picture (map) says more than a thousand words."
|Cross-Cultural Consumer Research (elective)||In the current globalizing world, marketing to people with a different cultural background is becoming more and more common. Many companies are selling products in markets that are economic, regulatory and culturally different. Understanding these markets and the consumers in these markets is essential for success.
The Cross-Cultural Consumer Research course presents state-of-the-art theory and approaches to obtain insight into the effects of culture on marketing models. Topics in the course are illustrated by guest lectures and cases to enhance the understanding of research and marketing in a cross-cultural context.
|Hester van Herk|
“The world is globalizing rapidly. In this the globalizing world, cultural diversity needs to be taken into account, not only in the Western world, but also in the fast growing emerging markets. I strongly believe in culturally conscious marketing strategies for current and future sustainable growth. Enhancing cross-cultural awareness in marketing and business my passion!”
Wondering what your career potential could be after graduation? A Master of Science in Marketing at the VU University opens many different career opportunities*:
- Many bachelor students believe that marketing mainly serves the creative industry and industries related to communication services. However, many of our alumni come to work in fast moving consumer goods, consulting, and banking industries.
- Most alumni are active in management positions going from management traineeships to brand -, account -, process -, product -, project - and general management. Further, our alumni population is also well represented by positions in consulting (e.g. data analyst, intelligence manager, research consultant and sales & marketing analyst).
- Many of our alumni work for large organizations, (e.g. ABN AMRO Bank N.V., ING Group, PostNL, Henkel and FrieslandCampina), but also many alumni decided to start their own company after graduation.
*Source: LinkedIn, group “VU Marketing Alumni”.
We are LOOKING FURTHER…
... Education with a view
The Master of Science in Marketing at VU University Amsterdam is a specialized programme with an intrinsic emphasis on strategic issues. Understanding the long-term impact of marketing beyond short-term profits is essential to the programme. As a marketing department, we want to look further and offer education with a view: It is not only ambitious in its aim to develop clear and conceptual thinking, to improve analytical skills and to strengthen project management skills, but it is also geared toward translating marketing theory into practice. We believe that the development of both practical and academic skills paves the way to a successful professional career. In addition to that, we care about and are strongly involved with our students and the marketing community.
... Being part of the Marketing Community
The Master of Science programme is characterized by a stimulating working environment in which interaction with fellow students and student involvement of our faculty members will help you achieve your highest intellectual potential.
As a marketing department that is strongly engaged with its students, we are keen on remaining involved after our master students finish the programme and develop their professional career. Therefore, we have initiated an active VU Marketing Alumni Society.
... Work with experts
Our faculty members stand for the highest quality in teaching. In the last 3 years (2011-2013), our department delivered 4 FEWEB finalists, 1 VU finalist and 1 FEWEB's Best lecturer Award.
By interacting with our professors you will be encouraged, inspired and challenged to innovate and look beyond current wisdom. Our faculty members are active researchers who publish in leading academic business journals about a broad range of topics. Topics range from classical marketing topics on innovation, services, and marketing channels to managerial decision making, social marketing and consumer psychology. Moreover, we do not believe in marketing as a science that is strictly separated from the real world. Instead, we view marketing as a challenging field of scientific inquiry that needs to influence – and be influenced by – the dynamic society we live in. Combining research excellence and practical relevance is essential to the faculty, and it will be of tremendous benefit to you as a student in the programme.
"Students in the Master of Science in Marketing are encouraged to look beyond the surface: Professors teach them not to be satisfied with the most obvious and simple answer, but challenge them to reflect on different solutions and to evaluate carefully before drawing a conclusion."
Language of instruction
1 June via www.vu.studielink.nl (students with direct admission) / International degree students: 1 April (different deadlines may hold for other category students)
Various areas of marketing including - but not limited to - B2C, B2B and Customer Intelligence. Faculty interests include - but are not limited to - Innovation Adoption and Diffusion; Managerial and Consumer Decision Making; Geo-Marketing; Cross-Cultural Marketing; Social Marketing. You could also opt to take the honours programme.
Field of Interest
Economics, Business and Law
"Data can make or break you - analyze and act upon the right things, don't over-analyze."
Sharpen your marketing insight with your Master's thesis
In the second half of the programme you will embark on your specialization, choosing electives that reflect your own interests. But the ultimate specialization, of course, is your Master’s thesis. Under the close supervision of one of our researchers, you will study and deepen your knowledge of your own topic of interest within our field of research. Sample topics from current theses include:
All courses are very interesting and highly relevant. Next to all essential courses (B2B, B2C, Marketing, Strategy) innovative topics are covered as well (e.g. GeoMarketing). In that way students receive an excellent overview of the different areas that shape the field of Marketing. The quality of the classes is also very high as all the instructors are very experienced and passionate about their field of expertise. During the year students are equipped with essential theoretic knowledge and they also learn how to carry out good research. Moreover, VU University aims to fill the gap between theory and practice by cooperating with well-known companies. In 2011, for example, we worked in small teams on a project task given to us by Henkel. Within the framework of the project we had to translate our theoretic findings into practical advice that could be implemented by Henkel. By this we learned how to build the link between Marketing theory and everyday Marketing practice. Considering all aspects mentioned above, I can say that the Master Programme covers all important areas of Marketing and serves as an excellent preparation for students’ future careers.
Within the framework of the master courses students are continuously challenged to be critical and to put any kind of conclusion or finding into question. By this they learn how to work with and analyze scientific material and to view articles from different perspectives. The aim is not to simply scratch the surface but to dig deeper and understand the details. By steadily exercising with important scientific articles, students improve their skills on a continuous basis. However, students do not only learn to review materials in a good way, they also learn how to contribute to the academic community with their own proper research: Throughout the year, students are equipped with all the essential knowledge and skills they need to successfully set up and carry out their own piece of research.
Travix International - Head of Search Marketing
Class of 2007
"During the master I learned how to apply the concept 1+1=3, by combining skills and different ways of thinking. The master stimulates you to look further and stimulates to think out of the box.”
During my Bachelor Business Administration, the courses I was best at were accounting and economics related. However, I chose the Master Marketing because it is a perfect mixture between data research and more creative courses.
I've experienced the master Marketing as the thoughest year of my studies, much harder than the master BA (Transport, Distribution, Logistics) and my bachelor. Although it was the thoughest year, it was also the year I enjoyed most as I was constantly challenged and obtained a lot of new skills. The focus on data research, and how to use this for business decisions, has really changed my way of thinking and is the most valuable asset I obtained during my studies. I also liked the classes and atmosphere better, as everybody was really motivated. During the bachelor you had a combination of people with different interests what caused a less focused and motivated atmosphere for some courses.
The most important skills I obtained are 1 - working under pressure, the master was a real step up after the bachelor, and 2 - how to perform and apply data analysis to make the best marketing decisions. Every day I notice data is key: each decision is data driven and data are necessary to measure the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns. So this skill has been very important for my career.
After the master Marketing I studied another master as I had to be chairman of "de Nationale Marketing Strijd" for another 9 months. During my second master I visited a lot of marketing events and in-house days, which made it easier for me to chose what kind of role I wanted, what company I wanted to work in, and also resulted in companies contacting me. I chose to work for an internet company as online marketing was not really touched upon during my master, and I wanted to develop those skills. Although I did not have knowledge of online marketing when I started, I was able to do the job well due to the general marketing background I obtained during the master.
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.
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.
Below, you can find the strict admission criteria. These are set by the Admissions Board, which also decides on individual applications. The requirements are split up into Master specific requirements and general requirements (faculty website). Please read them both carefully:
General requirements for holders of a(n):
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 University Amsterdam
If you have direct admission to the Master's programme of your choice you need a new enrollment in .
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 University Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of VU University 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.
Depending on your higher vocational qualifications (Dutch HBO or equivalent) you can gain admission to one of our Pre-master's programmes. In order to do so, you also have to score at least 550 on the GMAT. These Pre-master’s programmes are designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university level.
Please note: these Pre-master's programmes are taught in Dutch only. For more information about the Pre-master's programmes see 'Master na HBO'.
Deadline for an admission request is May 1st.
Contact our Programme Coordinator
Prof. dr. Jaap Boter
T +31 (0)20 598 7145
Any questions about the content of the MSc Marketing? E-mail me!
Any other questions? Take a look below for contact details.
Please visit the Studyguide Master Marketing for detailed information about the various courses.
Find out more about the Master Marketing programme by visiting the FEWEB Information Days
Would you like to receive a brochure from the Master in Marketing programme or do you have unanswered questions about the Master in Marketing? Send an e-mail to …
for DUTCH degree students:
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Graduate School of Economics and Business
De Boelelaan 1105, Room 2A-24
1081 HV Amsterdam
T +31 (0)20 598 6116
About VU University Amsterdam:
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00).
You may also e-mail us at email@example.com
|Information days and activities
|Admission requests, admission requirements and admission questions
(can only be reached by e-mail)
|Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet
||Central Student Desk
|Master's Day||11 March, 2017||Please register later this year|
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 or 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 in Marketing:
Applicants must have completed courses in (Services) Marketing, Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Research Methods (including substantial experience in using SPSS), witnessed by thorough knowledge of standard literature in these areas, for example:
Considering statistical knowledge we expect the following background:
To give an idea of the level of your statistical knowledge you can take a look at the following example of an exam (3rd year bachelor).
VU University 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 Marketing programme:
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. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.
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 University Amsterdam!
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
|More information about Master's programmes
||Visit our information days|
Tel +31 20 59 83032
Tel + 31 (0)20 598 3944
For general information about VU University Amsterdam:
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00).
You may also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.