Business Administration: Human Resource Management

Learn how to mobilize people and business

Master Human Resource Management

What is the key to creating successful, sustainable careers? How can you ensure inclusivity and equality in recruitment and selection? How can organizations effectively manage their human capital, given major disruptions like digitalization and an ageing workforce? What’s the best way to find – and keep – the best possible people in the right jobs? How are contemporary HR challenges different, and how should you address them?

With your Master’s in Business Administration: Human Resource Management (HRM), you won’t just learn the answers to these and other key HRM concerns. You’ll also know how to put them into practice and develop a career of your own. The programme balances quantitative and qualitative research, hands-on experience and direct contact with major corporations to ensure you have the hard and soft skills you need to excel in the world of HRM. At VU Amsterdam, we focus on making sure you have all the tools and support you need to carve your own path to success.

AACSB

The HRM programme teaches you how to speak both the language of (strategic) HRM and that of the business, and shows you how to apply cutting edge scientific research to make employees thrive and companies more successful, better employers. More and more companies are beginning to realise how crucial recruitment, selection, retention, development and mobility are to business success. We’ll give you the tools to become an invaluable part of any company’s long-term business strategy. In addition to HRM courses, you’ll be able to take electives from other Business Administration specialization programmes.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take two mandatory courses:
    • The Changing HRM Environment – Learn about how external influences impact on contemporary HRM topics.
    • Contemporary Careers & Organisations – Explore the current challenges organisations and individuals face, and learn how to address them.
  • You’ll take three elective courses in period 2 and 3; these should include at least two of the following three courses
    • Performance Management – Get to know the theory and practice of performance management, appraisals and performance-driven behaviour.
    • Recruitment and Selection – Learn how to impact an organisation’s performance with the right recruitment, selection and assessment.
  • Talent Development and Analytics – Understand what evidence-based talent development entails, and get the analytical tools to help you deal with HRD. You’ll take a course in Business Ethics in HRM – Address a variety of ethical issues HRM managers and professionals may encounter.
  • In your second semester, you’ll learn academic research skills and put them straight into practice by writing your Master’s thesis.
  • Whatever your personal career ambitions, you can tailor your Master’s to ensure success. Select from many potential electives and three different types of internships to customise your Master’s. Choose to specialise exclusively in HRM, or generalise your degree with other BA courses from International Management, Leadership & Change Strategy, Management Consulting or Strategy & Organisation.
  • You’ll work in teams and with major international organisations, like Deloitte and Booking.com, to address and solve current HRM challenges.
Want to know more? Check out the Study Guide!
  • You will learn the keys to evidence-based Human Resource Management. That means being fully prepared to integrate research and practice as you address the complexities of contemporary HRM.
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is located in the Amsterdam Zuidas, the largest business district in the country. We have close partnerships with many of the international companies there, and you will have continuous contact with them in the form of guest lectures, site visits, team projects, workshops and more.
  • VU Amsterdam offers one of the few HRM programmes with a business-focused perspective that allows you to learn the language of business as you master the theories of HRM. This gives you a strong advantage in your career path.
  • You have a lot of control over your Master’s programme, and can select the electives and/or internships that are right for your career ambitions. Whether as an HRM specialist or a broader Business Administration generalist.
  • At VU Amsterdam, we practice what we teach. That means we select candidates for the programme not based solely on degrees and grades, but also on personality, drive, ambition, experience and skills. We can teach you the tools. You only need to bring the right toolbox.

Gabriella Rudolf Gabi_Rudolf_
"Choosing the HRM Masters was the best decision for improving my knowledge in HR that will be definitely providing me a stepping stone in my future career. This one year programme was a great challenge, covering various topics most of them being flexible to choose  from based on your interests within HR. The support and professionalism of the academic team were splendid and being part of a diverse group made this Masters an unforgettable learning experience.
I successfully finished the HRM Masters graduating in July 2017."

  • You are driven to build a sustainable and successful career path.
  • You recognise the impact that business has on society and aim to contribute to engaged and productive workers who make a true contribution.
  • You are motivated to find the best ways to mobilise people in today’s rapidly changing labour markets.
  • You strive to get the best out of yourself, so that you can help get the best out of others.
  • You want to use your skills and abilities to truly make a difference in the workplace

Does this sound like you? Then come along to our Master information sessions 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.

  • How employable will you be after completing the programme?
    • The vast majority of graduates (more than 80%) have a job before they finish the programme, or within a few months of graduating. And those who do not have often chosen to take a bit of time off before starting to work.
  • What kinds of jobs are available to you?
    • You will likely begin as a recruiter, HR-generalist, junior HR business partner, or consultant. But the knowledge and experience you gain at VU Amsterdam will prepare you for a long career trajectory with many prospects. Our ambition is to prepare you to one day become a CHRO, senior (HR) manager or senior HR business partner. 
  • What have alumni of the programme gone on to do?
    • Graduates of the programme go on to careers as diverse as the graduates themselves.  After all, corporations of every size and type need strong HRM support to guide their ambitions. But to give you an idea, many of our graduates go on to successful careers with major multinationals, including PWC, Deloitte, ING, Nike, Rabobank, Accenture, Booking.com and UBER. Graduates also get offers from a range of innovative start-ups.
  • How does the programme help students select the right career path?
    • We make sure you have as many job options available to you as possible. Our specialised programme opens the door to a wide range of employment opportunities, because you’ll have the business knowledge and essential soft skills that nearly every company needs. And our Career Services centre offers both general and specific support to ensure your employability in your chosen field.

Scilla Verheijde

MSc Business Administration, specialization in HRM

"The Master’s programme in Business Administration: HRM offered me the great opportunity to truly discover my interests. Many professors have tight business connections outside the academic world, which provides students the opportunity to broaden their professional network as well as contribute to practice with their academic skills. In addition to all the opportunities the programme offers to students, everybody who followed the programme was highly motivated to achieve the best possible results, which created an inspirational culture to be part of."

Overview Business Administration: Human Resource Management

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION

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

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Specialization in Business Administration

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Study in Holland

Admission with a Dutch Degree

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged and also taken into account.

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. Furthermore, we take into account your motivation, prior relevant work experiences, and any relevant volunteering experiences and/or citizenship behaviors.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select your specialization.

Step 1:
Apply for the MSc programme Business Administration via Studielink  before 1 June. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2)

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and affirming  your choice for the specialization. Furthermore you need to upload:

  • a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).
  • a motivation letter in which you explain why you want to pursue a Master’s programme in BA, Human Resource Management, at VU Amsterdam, and also explicitly elaborate on your vision about the role of BA graduates in society
  • a recent resume

Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and your documents are uploaded.

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

Services for international (EBE, EOR, IBA) students / Residence permit:
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your SBE Bachelor, 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 welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged and also taken into account.

Admission requirements
The masterprogramma Business Administration, specialization Human Resource Management is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in
Business Administration. Also, we take into account your motivation, prior relevant work experiences, and any relevant volunteering experiences and/or citizenship behaviors. Furthermore you need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

Organizational Behavior
•    Sinding et al. (2014). Organisational Behaviour. 5th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill
or
•    Kinicky & Fugate (2016). Organizational Behavior. A Practical, Problem-Solving Approach. 1st edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill

Human Resource
•    Management Noe et al. (2016). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. 6th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill
and
•    Boselie (2014). Strategic Human Resource Management

Concerning the specialization Human Resource Management, approval is in most cases given to students who hold an academic Bachelor’s degree in
o    (International) Business Administration,
o    Psychology (provided that  they have a sufficiently matching profile),
o    Sociology (provided that  they have a sufficiently matching profile),
o    Economics

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select your specialization.

Step 1:
Apply for the MSc programme Business Administration via Studielinkbefore 1 June. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2)

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 affirming  your choice for the specialization. Furthermore you need to upload:
-    a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).
-    a motivation letter in which you explain why you want to pursue a Master’s programme in BA, Human Resource Management, at VU Amsterdam, and also explicitly elaborate on your vision about the role of BA graduates in society,
-    a recent resume.
Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and your documents are 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).

You will gain direct admission after completing the premaster programme; this is a full-time programme with courses on at least three days per week.

Premaster programme
The premaster programme is a deficiency programme that provides the necessary knowledge and prepares you for this master's programme. It is a 30 EC program that takes place in the second semester, from February through July. These courses involve both content as well as academic skills and knowledge, and research methods.

Course details in the study guide

Admission requirements
The premaster programme has two admission requirements:

  1. You have an hbo degree
  2. You have a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative. Also note the following:
    • The score may not be older than 2 years, counted from the date you start with the premaster
    • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment score do not count for admission
    • You can use a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative to satisfy the GMAT score requirement. To convert your GRE score to its GMAT equivalent, use the GRE Comparison Tool!

GMAT and GRE
A GMAT score of at least 550 or an equivalent GRE score is a requirement to participate in the premaster programme. Please fill in the test that 'Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam' may receive your score. The official score will be sent by GMAT to VU. Please note that it may take up to 20 calendar days for the VU to receive your GMAT score, so plan GMAT on time.

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) offers a course in preparation for the GMAT, the GMAT preparation course. The preparation course starts each year in August. For more information, please visit the website of the GMAT preparation course.

Costs
Tuition fee 2020-2021: EUR 1.071,00

Deadlines and application
The programme starts 1 February, and you must have completed your application before this date!

Apply now

Information days and activities
contact@vu.nl
Admission questionstoelating.sbe@vu.nl or admissions.sbe@vu.nl
or on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h: Tel. 020 5985873
Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet
Central Student Desk
Application
Studielink
Other questions
contact@vu.nl

Admission with an International Degree

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged and also taken into account.

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, but we do take into account your motivation, prior relevant work experiences, and any relevant volunteering experiences and/or citizenship behaviors. Furthermore you need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

Organizational Behavior
•    Sinding et al. (2014). Organisational Behaviour. 5th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill
or
•    Kinicky & Fugate (2016). Organizational Behavior. A Practical, Problem-Solving Approach. 1st edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill

Human Resource
•    Management Noe et al. (2016). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. 6th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill
and
•    Boselie (2014). Strategic Human Resource Management

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 writing 6,0

TOEFL
•    Paper based test 580
•    Internet based test 92

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. You can already apply online without having completed your Bachelor’s degree. After admission, you will have until 31 August to send a proof of graduation by postal mail.

Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the non-refundable €100 application fee. You can find a more detailed explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English, and preferably in .PDF format.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU citizens)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Transcript of records
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education, with the main literature used for those course. You can use this format.
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing). If your thesis was not written in English, please submit the original with an added summary of about 3 pages 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 e-mail. Please refer to the application page to see which application deadline applies to you.

Step 2: Await decision on admission
After submitting your complete application, the Admission Board will review all your documents to assess your eligibility. In general, we can inform students of the admission decision within 4 weeks. Around deadlines, this can take a bit linger, so we always recommend to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted, you will receive your letter of conditional admission by email. After that, you can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 3: Finalize your enrolment and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your enrolment as a student before the start of the programme. Here on our website, you will find an explanation of all things to arrange after admission. When all enrolment requirements have been met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information about:

All international students are required to apply for the MSc programme of their choice first. If you do not meet the admission requirements directly, you could gain admission after completing the premaster programme.

The premaster programme is a deficiency programme that provides the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare you for this master's programme. It is a programme of 30 ECTS that is offered in the second semester, from February through July. Content details of the offered premasters can be found here.

Admission requirements for the premaster programme

  • You have a bachelor's degree from a non-Dutch university or from a non-Dutch university of applied science.
  • You have a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative. Also note the following:
    • The score may not be older than two years, counted from 1 February
    • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment scores do not count for admission
    • You can use a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative to satisfy the GMAT score requirement. To convert your GRE score to its GMAT equivalent, use the GRE Comparison Tool
  • You can demonstrate sufficient English proficiency by meeting the requirements listed above

More information on the requirements, including GMAT preparations, can be found on the central premaster website.

Deadlines and application
The programme starts 1 February. Because of visa application deadlines, non-EU citizens must have completed their application before 1 November. EU citizens can complete their application until January 31st.

Note: When applying, you can find the premaster programme in Studielink after selecting "Type of study programme: Bachelor's or other non-master programmes".

Our international student ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU and living in Amsterdam. Our student ambassadors come from all over the world and are currently attending various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed here.

Reach out to them and hear their stories about being a VU Amsterdam student!

International students can apply to several scholarships. For all VU scholarships, please see www.vu.nl/scholarships. Any available external grant or scholarship can be found through www.grantfinder.nl.

Visit our Master's Events

Central International Office
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure, please contact one of your International Student Advisors at the International Office: masters.sbe@vu.nl

Leanne Schrijver
Leanne Schrijver
Tel +31 20 59 83032
Paul Steeman
Paul Steeman
Tel +31 20 59 88739
Amu Shrestha
Amu Shrestha
Tel +31 20 59 84296
Lotte de Winter
Lotte de Winter
Tel +31 20 59 89072


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.

Marieke Huijskens

Student

BA_HRM_Marieke Huijskens

"The HRM programme is an exciting challenge that covers all aspects of human resources. It is great to receive expert guidance from thesis supervisors who are true specialists in their field. The support and information they provide is invaluable when it comes to completing your Master’s thesis."

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