Business Administration: Human Resource Management

Mobilising people

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.

Admission and application details

HRM in a contemporary perspective

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:

  • What are key characteristics of the changing HRM environment and how does this impact individuals and organizations?
  • In which ways can individual performance contribute to organizational performance in today’s diverse workforce and across different markets?
  • How can innovative staffing methods contribute to organizational innovation?
  • What is the role of HR analytics and big data in making HRM more evidence-based?”

Multiple research philosophies

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.

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 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.

Download the Business Administration: Human Resource Management curriculum.

emptyBusiness Administration: Human Resource Management courses in study guide.

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:

Academic
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.

Professional
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”.

Citizen
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.

Community
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.

The Master’s programme in Human Resource Management covers the contemporary HRM environment and the many changes that are at the foundation of this environment. As a student in our programme, you learn all about HRM-specific knowledge but also learn how to place this in a broader perspective, as HRM is closely related to other disciplines and developments. For example, many external factors, such as a company’s strategic issues, internationalization policies, leadership, labour law, and diversity issues, all have strong influences on HRM. Although the main focus of this programme is on HRM, we will continually place this in its context, thereby broadening your horizon as an academic, professional, and citizen in the field of HRM.

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.

Application deadline
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.

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."

Studying at VU Amsterdam

Overview Business Administration: Human Resource Management

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION

1 April for international degree holders (different deadlines may hold for other category students);
1 June for Dutch degree holders

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Specialization in Business Administration

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Study in Holland

Jaap Oskam

BA_HRM_Jaap Oskam

"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."

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 15 July. 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 transcript of your bachelor grades. (You can create a pdf of your grades via the application results on VUnet yourself)
  • 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 (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 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

Applicants with at least an academic (VU) Bachelor's degree in other specializations that are not strongly related to HRM/Business Administration can be admitted in the Master, but depending on their degree they will be required to take extra courses in business administration to reach a minimum of 30 credits, and/or in research methods courses. In that case their programme will take longer than one year.

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 15 July. 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,
-    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 has 30 EC and consists of five courses. These courses involve both content as well as academic skills and knowledge, and research methods.

See course details in the study guide

Admission requirements
The premaster programme has two admission requirements:

  1. You must have attained an hbo degree (240 EC) or an equivalent degree
  2. You must have achieved a combined score of at least 550 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) 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 are also admissible if you have a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative that is equivalent to a GMAT score of at least 550. To convert your GRE score, 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 2018-2019: EUR 1030.00

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 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

Visit our information day
Master's EveningDecember 4th, 2018
Please register later

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.

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!

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 information days
More information about Master's programmes
Visit our information days

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.


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."


AACSB

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