The purpose of Human Resource Management is to mobilize people. However, this is not a straightforward process considering the ever changing organizational environment in which contemporary HRM performs. To account for critical organizational challenges such as employee development, staffing, performance and diversity, our HRM programme aims to help you develop skills and competencies needed to mobilize employees in contemporary organizations.
The philosophy of our programme is to focus on HRM in a contemporary perspective, thereby explicitly highlighting the changing HRM environment. This changing environment is characterized by an increasing emphasis on innovation, proactivity, and multidisciplinary analysis, propelled by key societal and organizational changes, such as increasing flexibility of work, changing employer-employee relationships, digitalization, and international mobility of staff. Our philosophy implies that the current HRM environment impacts all HR-related processes. In this programme we focus specifically on four key processes: employee development, staffing, performance, and diversity. These processes subsequently link to our courses, and will be integrated throughout the programme, thereby creating a multidisciplinary approach to studying HRM.
You are in the right programme if your interest is triggered by questions such as:
We believe that the contemporary HRM environment can only be fully grasped by openness about multiple research philosophies, as this will help to better understand and examine today’s complex business challenges. Therefore, we use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, using scientific literature, practical cases, and quantitative data to learn about HRM-related topics. Throughout the programme, we will attempt to bridge the gap between science and practice as effectively as possible, for example by organizing assignments in cooperation with and at organizations, by having guest speakers come over to the VU, and by learning how to systematically analyse practical problems. As teachers in this programme, we apply the principle of co-teaching, which means that each course will be coordinated by at least two HRM staff members, who are complementary in expertise. We believe this makes our teaching of higher quality and more innovative, and it will allow you to enjoy double the experience from their teaching staff.
"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 with 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."
The specialisation has the following learning goals:
Have the advanced and original academic and research skills to contribute to the body of knowledge
We help you to develop necessary competencies to solve practical HRM issues and challenges based on theoretical arguments. Throughout the programme, you will learn to review and analyze critically the state of the art research related to human resource management to get acquainted to the contemporary debate in the field. In addition, you will contribute to the field of HRM by writing an innovative Master thesis with individual, organizational, and societal impact.
Have thorough knowledge of relevant theory and methods
This programme will cover the core concepts and theories of all the basic HRM activities in organizations, such as recruitment and selection, training and development, and performance management. In addition, these theories and practices will consistently be analysed in their context. Finally, the programme will explicitly feature the changing HRM environment as a core theme. Both quantitative (e.g., surveys) and qualitative methods are used in this programme. To deepen your knowledge, you can additionally choose from several electives that each are strongly based on fostering your ability to act in response to strategic and organizational challenges. To broaden your horizon beyond the core of human resource management, you can also choose electives from other Business Administration programmes such as International Management, Leadership and Change Management, Management Consulting, and Strategy and Organization. Several interdisciplinary electives offer an additional opportunity to deepen your knowledge of a topical issue in business and management beyond the boundaries of the HRM programme.
Have an academic approach to solving complex [business/economics] problems
The courses in the HRM programme will consistently search for links between science and practice through on-site visits, guest lectures, and assignments aimed to bridge the gap between science and practice. We will focus on theoretical and systematic analyses of problems as the foundation for coming up with fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. Finally, to build practical knowledge and skills, it is also possible to do an internship, thereby learning valuable professional skills.
Have the professional social skills to interact with other professionals
Our courses have a strong focus on enhancing your communicative skills, your ability to speak up and defend your arguments, and position in front of a critical audience. This will be practiced during team-based presentations with your peers and with invited managers that assess your performance and provide valuable feedback. Working in teams and performing assignments in and with organizations will be core activities throughout the HRM programme. These activities will improve professional social skills both as a student and as a future professional. This contributes to the development of so-called ‘soft skills’, which are crucial in today’s labour market, as core outcomes in our programme.
Have an horizon beyond the professional area
One of the core processes this programme focuses on is diversity. This process entails becoming more aware and appreciative of all kinds of diversity issues in organizations and society, thereby helping you to develop a broader horizon, and the role that HRM can play in such issues. In addition, we also explicitly includes ethics as an important foundation of the programme.
Are self-reflective professionals
The HRM programme is about mobilizing people. To be able to achieve this, it is crucial that you also have a good understanding of their own strengths, development opportunities, and behaviour. Therefore, self-reflection is an important learning goal that is tied in to many activities and courses in the programme. This once again contributes to the development of crucial ‘soft skills’, for example by writing a portfolio that encompasses your efforts during the Master programme. Finally, we work intensively with Career Services to offer you additional opportunities to develop yourself in various ways.
Aspirational job (far future)
This programme aims to develop the captains of industry of the future, including HR managers, HR business partners, and HR strategic partners. In addition, our programme could lead you to become CEO or successful entrepreneur with strong knowledge of human behaviour in organizations.
Actual placement (near future)
The HRM Master can lead to a large variety of jobs directly after finishing your HRM Master's programme, ranging from HR generalist to recruiter, and from junior manager to a job in operations management.
The programme and VU Amsterdam are characterised as follows:
People are at the core of every major business process and, as such, it is crucial to have a strong understanding of how to mobilize them using an academic attitude and based on scientific facts, thereby enhancing individual and organizational well-being and performance. Hence, we believe that theories are important to understand and analyse practical problems, and you will therefore develop such important academic skills. This Master’s programme provides a multidisciplinary perspective on mobilizing people, incorporating knowledge from HRM, management, organizational behaviour, and strategic management.
Experts on human behaviour in organizations are crucial everywhere as they hold the key to a productive organization. After finishing this Master’s programme, you will be an expert who is able to optimize the human capital in organizations. The programme specifically focuses on this by incorporating case studies and actual problems from companies, and by organizing both guest lectures and on-site visits and assignments throughout the programme. This will help you to develop practical but theoretically informed solutions, and thereby enhance your skills as a critically thinking “reflective professional”.
With the rise of issues such as sustainable employability, digitalization and diversification, and corporate social responsibility, it is clear that the world is rapidly changing for everyone. Becoming an expert in human resources enables you to make a difference in society, thereby enhancing your role as a citizen in today’s labour market and society.
Students of the HRM Master's programme are curious and open-minded, and they come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Half of our students typically are from international backgrounds. Prior education is not restricted to Business programmes, as HRM is a multidisciplinary field that can be analysed from different perspectives. In general, this programme is mostly suited for students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. In addition, if you are interested in joining the programme but have a different educational background, you are welcome to apply and we will decide based on your profile whether admission to the programme is feasible.
Challenge to distinguish
Our programme allows you to distinguish yourself through several ways. First, there is an honours programme that you can register for, which will provide you with extra learning opportunities and a formal distinction. Second, there is the possibility of doing additional courses during the programme, thereby allowing you to specialize (i.e., focus on HRM) and generalize (i.e., explore other disciplines) during your Master’s programme.
The HRM programme features many social and professional activities that you can be part of. We aim to form a strong community that will help you both during your studies and afterwards In terms of professional activities, we start each academic year with a formal introduction during which you will meet your fellow students and are introduced to the faculty members that you will work with during the programme. In addition, we organize an alumni event at the start of the year, during which (recent) alumni from the VU HRM Master's programme will join you to discuss their experiences during their studies and in finding their first jobs. Our goal is to support you as much as possible in preparing for your transition to the labour market. The programme includes other activities as part of our community as well, such as a LinkedIn group that features alumni and current students, our student organization Aureus that organizes interesting meetings, and a graduation ceremony at the end of year during which we celebrate your successes.
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: 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.
"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."
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
1 April for international degree holders (different deadlines may hold for other category students);
1 June for Dutch degree holders
Specialization in Business Administration
FIELD OF INTEREST
Economics, Business and Law
"I majored in Human Resources because I have always had a keen interest in the human factor within an organization. From the start it was clear to me that the workforce plays a vital role in an organization’s success. An engine simply cannot run without fuel."
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.
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.
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.
Apply for the MSc programme Business Administration via Studielink before 15 July. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2)
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and affirming your choice for the specialization. Furthermore you need to upload:
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 (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.
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.
The premaster programme has 30 EC and consists of five courses. These courses involve both content as well as academic skills and knowledge, and research methods.
The premaster programme has two admission requirements:
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.
Tuition fee 2018-2019: EUR 1030.00
Deadlines and application
The programme starts 1 February, and you must have completed your application before this date!
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or on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h: Tel. 020 5985873
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If you have read the admission requirements and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.
Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the application fee, a non-refundable €100 application fee applies. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.
• Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU residents)
• Curriculum Vitae
• A motivation letter
• Transcript of records
• Thesis (or another sample of academic writing)
• A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education
• A list of all the main literature used during your previous higher education
After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. In Studielink you can apply for the Master in Business Administration and in VUnet you can select your choice of specific programme. 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!
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.
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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 email@example.com.
"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."