The best marketers prove themselves where it matters: at the heart of the business world. This is where your Master’s in Marketing at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam begins.
Each of your seven courses begins with a briefing at a leading national or international organization – such as Heineken, Microsoft, SuitSupply, FrieslandCampina and TUI. These global brands will present their current challenges and ask you to provide a solution.
As a team, you will tackle the most pressing issues of the day. How can Microsoft Office 365 compete when almost everyone uses a free service such as Google Docs? What sales and product strategy should FrieslandCampina adopt for its Chocomel brand in France, Germany and China – markets where chocolate drinks are perceived very differently?
You will be given the state-of-the-art knowledge and marketing theory you need to make a genuine difference in the field of marketing. You will be taught by the very best: leading experts who publish in the most prestigious international marketing journals. They will help you find your own way in the world of branding & advertising, digital marketing, geomarketing, marketing strategy, consumer marketing, retail and e-commerce, and cross-cultural consumer research.
Become a specialist, a critical thinker with a mind of your own and the academic skills to get to grips with complex issues. Learn to operate effectively in a team, to give inspiring presentations and above all to develop keen powers of observation: the ability to see what’s really going on in a company and to pinpoint precisely what needs to be done. This is what VU Amsterdam calls “Looking further”.
The one-year master's programme is divided into six periods, with the following compulsory and elective courses.
Effective marketing strategy leads to a sustainable competitive advantage. Explore how to create value, brand and relationship equity to generate the greatest financial return. Discuss state-of-the-art knowledge about market orientation, innovation, branding, customer loyalty and customer lifetime value.
Knowing the customer is key to success in the marketplace. Understand and solve consumer marketing problems by applying consumer behaviour and psychology theory.
Familiarize yourself with the fundamental and state-of-the-art approaches to marketing decision-making to collect, analyse and act on customer information.
Learn to work with different types of customer intelligence data and obtain rigorous knowledge of the data analysis techniques for solving salient customer intelligence questions.
The world is getting more digital every day. Catch up with the latest theories about digital consumer behaviour and psychology, digital marketing strategy, the digital marketing mix, strategic digital and multichannel communication and digital relationship management.
Retail and e-commerce
The world of retail – online and offline – has never been so challenging. Understand and solve offline and online retail problems by applying consumer shopping behaviour and retail management theories.
Discuss basic retail concepts, browsing behaviour, store and website management and more. And step into the future by looking at retailing in 2020.
Management Integration Project
Apply your knowledge of Marketing Strategy and Consumer Marketing to a number of real-life business cases presented to you by professionals.
Branding and Advertising
How to build a brand? Discuss literature about brand strategy and management, brand-related consumer behaviour and focus on topics such as internal branding and brand positioning, equity, extension, communication and communities.
Sales and Product Management
Effectively apply sales and product management theories to understand real-life marketing problems and to design better market-based product strategies. Focus on themes such as product decisions, going to market, pricing decisions, sales promotions, communication decisions and managing customers.
Which concepts and tools do you need for planning and designing laboratory experiments and for collecting and analyzing behavioural data? Learn to create conceptual and statistical hypotheses about the relationship between independent and dependent variables.
Cross-Cultural Consumer Research
Understand why people in different countries are less or more willing to, for example, buy products or to appreciate advertising messages. Apply cross-cultural frameworks to understand and solve real-life international marketing problems, and gain a critical understanding of the challenges in cross-cultural survey research.
Spatial (market) information is essential for many strategic and operational marketing decisions like assortment planning or micromarketing, location planning and direct marketing/CRM.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are an important tool for carrying out such analyses.
Wondering what your career potential could be after graduation? A Master of Science in Marketing at the VU Amsterdam 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”.
More than a Master’s degree
Digital, sustainable and diverse – this university embraces the key themes of the modern world with a view to building a better future. You will feel right at home with the benefits of our campus university and the personal approach of our dedicated staff. Find inspiration in our international setting and the cosmopolitan buzz of Amsterdam. Working on different teams for each course, you will quickly get to know students from many different countries and backgrounds.
During your studies, you will receive all the support and career guidance you need to become the master of your own destiny. The countdown to your future begins here; in one year you will be where you want to be, as a professional and as an individual. You will graduate with a first-rate degree and gain a strong alumni network, reinforced by interesting events and masterclasses we organize every year. After all, one of the keys to marketing is taking care of your personal brand!
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.
"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)
Digital Marketing, Branding & Advertising, Sales & Product Management, Retail & e-Commerce, Cross-Cultural Consumer Research, Geomarketing, Experimental Research
Field of Interest
Economics, Business and Law
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 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 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:
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.
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!
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 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.
The admission criteria are set by the Admissions Board, which also decides on individual applications.
Specific admission requirements Master's programme Marketing:
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 .
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.
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.
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 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
|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|
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 Amsterdam 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.