Accounting and Control

The fast track to your accounting career

Are you looking to fast-track your way to a career in accounting? Whether you’re on our full-time one-year programme or our two-year part-time programme, this Master’s in Accounting & Control is the way to get there.

The programme content is the same in both the full-time and part-time programmes. From an accounting perspective, you’ll look at the financial information required to run any organisation, and the information flow needed for managers to make business decisions. And of course control is a key element here: you’ll learn how to use monitoring and reporting to make sure that organisations are governable and performing in the right way. Because accounting touches every part of any business, the programme will prepare you for many different roles – from controller or external/internal auditor to tax inspector or banking supervisor. Whichever path you choose, you’ll need to know how to put your accounting skills to good use professionally, responsibly and ethically.

Part-time programme
The VU’s School of Business and Economics offers the Master’s in Accounting & Control as a part-time programme designed to be followed by professionals who are already working in the field, with lectures taking place on Fridays only. Although the course content and exams for both the full-time and part-time programmes are the same, the full-time programme is taught fully in English while the part-time programme is taught partially in Dutch. Students on the part-time track need to understand Dutch fluently, although they may write their assignments in English.

Seamless transition to postgraduate professional programmes
Both the full-time and the part-time Accounting & Control programmes give you access to the strong portfolio of postgraduate professional programmes in accountancy, controlling and EDP auditing offered by the VU’s School of Business and Economics.  The part-time programme is often taken in combination with the postgraduate Accountancy programme.  A carefully coordinated curriculum structure offers you an efficient track to complete the Master’s programme, any deficiency courses you may have to take, and the postgraduate programme.  For personal advice on how to combine the Accounting & Control (full-time or part-time) Master’s with one of the postgraduate programmes, based on your prior education, please visit Het Betere Weten.

AACSB

The Accounting & Control Master’s programme requires you to take four core courses that cover advanced accounting and reporting skills as well as corporate law. You’ll also choose electives in your area of interests, write your Master’s thesis, and attend inspiring career events that will train you for the job market. Throughout the programme, there’s a combination of the subject matter itself and the theory and research methodologies that allow you to dive deeper into it.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take four mandatory courses:
    • Advanced Financial Reporting – Get up to speed in preparing financial statements, and understand the issues that reporting standards are trying to solve.
    • Empirical Research in Accounting – Understand how research offers insights into accounting issues, and develop the skills needed to contribute to research yourself.
    • Advanced Management Accounting – Understand how to design accounting information systems that managers will find useful when making business decisions.
    • Corporate Law – Dutch students will study Dutch corporate law, while international students will follow a tailor-made course on their own legal system.
  • You’ll take at least three electives. For example:
    • Management Control – Understand how to design incentive systems that have the desired effect on employees. The course integrates general accounting principles with both an integrity/ethics component and an IT component.
    • Advanced Auditing – Learn to consider key issues in auditing practice, by drawing on a rich toolbox of theoretical insights.
  • You’ll also write your Master’s thesis on a relevant topic of your choice.

Want to know more? Check out the Study Guide!

  • The programme is a stepping stone to a career in accounting – it’s the fastest and most efficient way to get on track for your professional qualification.
  • VU Amsterdam is not just about academic theory – it’s genuinely engaged with businesses from a practical perspective. Many of the programme’s teachers also work part-time in corporate firms.
  • The size and breadth of the VU’s offering in terms of post-graduate programmes – for example, in auditing, controlling, EDP auditing, risk management, etc. – is huge.
  • The programme is truly international – with the exception of the corporate law course, it avoids national regulations in favour of a broader approach, such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
  • VU Amsterdam has a reputation for integrity, which means the programme also covers ethics and compliance when it comes to accounting.
  • You have good analytical skills.
  • You have an affinity for numbers.
  • You have strong ethical standards, and a drive for fairness, transparency and reliability.
  • You love to impose order on chaos, ensuring that you’re steering in the right direction to meet your goals.
  • You have a Bachelor’s degree in a business- or economics-related field; if you come from a different background, you’re prepared to make up for any knowledge gaps quickly.

Does this sound like you? Then come along to our Master’s Evening where you can find out more and try out the programme for yourself! If you’re keen to apply and meet the entry requirements (see below), then take a look at our application procedure and deadlines.

What skills make you interesting to potential future employers?

The Accounting & Control programme will furnish you with many skills over and above those relating directly to the qualification: you’ll learn teamwork, presentation, commercial and client-facing skills.

What kinds of jobs are available to you?

Accounting jobs both in the Netherlands and internationally would make the perfect fit – whether as an auditor, analyst, financial manager or controller.

What have alumni of the programme gone on to do?

Around 50% of programme graduates start their career in one of the Big Four or other audit firms. Some of these continue a career in auditing, while others use their audit experience to become business controllers at corporations, smaller companies or government institutions (although some embark on a career in controlling right from the start). Roles at the Dutch Central Bank or tax authorities are also often filled by our graduates. And some graduates even go into financial journalism or work in the non-profit sector.

How does the programme help prepare students for the job market?

The programme offers a number of career-oriented events to choose from, such as interview training.

Bernard Lintel

Bernard_Lintel_

"This master’s programme covers all relevant aspects of the accounting profession. The courses are given by high quality lecturers, who regularly link the subject material with practice. I especially appreciated the way the programme prepared me for writing my master thesis. Concluding, this master’s programme has been an excellent preparation for my working life."

Overview Accounting and Control

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

APPLICATION

1 April for international degree holders from non-EU/EEA countries (different deadlines may hold for other category students);
15 July for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries




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

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."

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.

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 15 July.

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).
 
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 15 July.

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. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).
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).

The MSc Accounting & Control has its own admission requirements for students with a HBO degree which differ significantly from those of other SBE master programmes.

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 Accounting & Control Premaster’s programme includes elements in both English and Dutch and is therefore not available to international students. No GMAT score is required to enter this premaster’s programme. This premaster includes its own mandatory assessment.

Visit our Master's Events.

Information days and activitiescontact@vu.nl
Admission questions
toelating.sbe@vu.nl
or on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h: Tel. 020 5985873
Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnetCentral Student Desk
ApplicationStudielink
Other questionscontact@vu.nl

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:

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

And preferably one more courses based on the following:

  • Financial Statement Analysis
    Healy & Palepu, Business Analysis Valuation: Using Financial Statements (Cengage Learning), recent edition
  • Accounting Information Systems
    Romney & Steinbart, Accounting Information Systems, Global Edition (Pearson), recent edition
  • 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
  • A motivation letter
  • 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 Master's Events

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 masters.sbe@vu.nl





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

 




Shrestha_Amu_86x129Amu Shrestha
Tel +31 20 59 84296
masters.sbe@vu.nl

 




For general information about VU Amsterdam:

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00).
You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl.


Karina Harjanto

Karina_Harjanto_

“I came to the Netherlands in search of a high-quality master’s programme that would help me advance my career. The master Accounting and Control definitely didn’t disappoint me. The lectures focuses on theoretical concepts but also incorporate guest lectures and active discussion of current events. The programme challenges you to think critically and innovatively. Furthermore, the combination of interesting choices of courses, experienced lecturers, and a well-organized programme was a great way to further my knowledge and competencies.”