Business in society: business and management

Understanding the challenges of business and management

AN EXCELLENT RESEARCH MASTER TAUGHT BY THE BEST RESEARCHERS IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AT VU AMSTERDAM AND UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM

The Research Master's programme Business and Management addresses the intricate relationships between business and society, as can be seen in grand challenges posed by e.g. the financial crisis, society’s request for ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility, and the need for sustainability. This programme results from a joint effort of the Amsterdam Business School (ABS) at the University of Amsterdam and the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at VU Amsterdam and aims to educate a new generation of business researchers who will have a profound grasp of the societal trends that are changing the face of business.

WHY BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT?

With a maximum intake of 25 excellent students, the programme offers you personal supervision and intensive collaboration. You will get the opportunity to learn from and work closely with some of the world's leading scholars in the field of business administration. It's the only accredited Research Master in the Netherlands to address the study of business in its societal context.

CAREER PROSPECTS: BECOME A LEADER IN TOMORROW'S BUSINESS RESEARCH

BiS is the ideal preparation for progressing to a leading PhD programme at VU Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam or any (inter)national university. We have a large number of PhD positions. It also makes you an excellent candidate for a research-related position in the public or private sector (e.g. strategic advisor, researcher, policy maker).


Admission and application details

AACSB

Business in Society at VU Amsterdam

The two-year Research Master's programme Business in Society: Bussiness and Management will equip you with the knowledge and skills to shape new ways of doing business taking into account how organisations and society affect each other. The programme offers several specialisations in the broad field of business administration (such as: strategy, organizational theory, accounting, technology and innovation, entrepreneurship, international business, human resource management, organizational behaviour, and marketing), as well as an overarching perspective connecting these fields, which is necessary to understand the multi-faceted business in society issues. It also provides you with the methodological and theory-building skills needed to conceive of new solutions for the problems related to business in society.

Furthermore, with a maximum intake of 25 talented and highly motivated students, this English taught programme offers intensive interactions with other students and close supervision and collaboration with excellent researchers passionate about understanding complex business problems in their societal perspective. You will learn from, and work closely with, some of the world's leading scholars in the field of business administration.

In brief, the programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful research-oriented career or a PhD in business administration.

Programme Structure
The Master of Science in Business in Society is a two-year programme of 120 ECTS credits (1 ECTS credit = 0,5 US credit). The academic year runs from September to the beginning of July and is divided into two semesters, each with three periods. Please refer to the VU academic calendar for the exact dates.

Disclaimer: 
The Research Master’s programme in Business in Society: Business and Management is a new programme and therefore still under development. No rights can be derived from the contents of this website, the brochure or any other information issued verbally or in writing about this programme.

Business in Society courses in the study guide.

Annual schedule

The Research Master Business in Management is not only unique in its focus on business in society. Compared with similar programmes, it also

a) emphasizes the development of students’ theory-building skills and
b) offers learning by collaborating with internationally reputed researchers.

We strongly believe that testing further existing theories will not be enough to successfully address the complex issues businesses face in their interactions with society. Therefore, we are convinced that the new generation of business researchers need strong theory-building skills besides strong methodological skills. So, instead of primarily focusing on developing your knowledge of research methods, the Research Master is designed to promote a balanced combination of methodological skills and academic literary skills (theory-building, critical, reflective attitude, excellent writing and oral communication); We also believe in learning by working alongside experts. It is why our Research Master counts two research internships and a bigger thesis project. You will be free to select with whom you wish to work from a portfolio of internationally renowned researchers at VU, either based on their projects or your project.
The Research Master's thesis is the final requirement prior to graduation. In the thesis, which will be in the form of an academic paper, you show that you are able to put into practice the knowledge and skills you have acquired during the programme by researching independently a topic related to business in society. To help you in this endeavour, you will get individual supervision from a researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and follow a course that is dedicated to the research proposal (i.e., the first step in the thesis trajectory). For students who wish to pursue a PhD upon graduation, a good thesis can become the first essay of their PhD dissertation.


This Research Master Business in Society is the ideal preparation for a leading PhD programme in business administration or a related discipline at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam or another university. The University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam have committed to each offer six PhD positions each year for which our graduates will be prime candidates in an open competition. It also gives you excellent credentials to apply for a research-related position in the public or private sector such as strategic advisor, researcher or policy maker. In short: our alumni possess all the needed skills to be a leader in tomorrow's business research. 

As a graduate of the programme, you will be able to:

  • understand complex business problems including their societal dimensions;
  • adopt an original and interdisciplinary perspective in proposing solutions to these complex problems;
  • design and perform high-quality research to provide evidence of the implications of business decisions for both businesses and society;
  • communicate research results to both the scientific and the practitioner community to influence the way organisations do business.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam:

  • has an excellent reputation
  • has a diverse international student body
  • is surrounded by many multinational firms and organisations
  • has low tuition fees for EU students
  • is conveniently located in the multicultural city of Amsterdam


The University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam
The overall quality of Dutch higher education places it among the best in the world. According to the QS World University Rankings, no other country in the world can claim that 90% of its universities are ranked in the world’s top 200. Both UvA and VU Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research institutes.

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 taught in English. Apart from you HBO BSc you need a GMAT score of 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. You can find more information on our pre-masters here.

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.

Overview Business in Society: business and management

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

2 years

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

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Admission with a Dutch degree

Research Master Business in Society
The Research Master's is a selective programme that is geared towards excellent students who want to pursue a research-related position. Admissions are selective and competitive. A maximum of 25 students may enrol each year. The entry requirements and information on how to apply can be found below.

1. Undergraduate degree
You must have at least a Bachelor’s degree (BSc or BA) preferably in the field of business administration, economics, psychology, social science, law, and engineering or a broad Bachelor delivered by a university college. The Bachelor’s programme should have been completed before the start of the Research Master. If your Bachelor’s degree is not in Business Administration the admissions committee will verify whether the content of the previously taken program is sufficient for entering the Research Master. If there are deficiencies regarding the background knowledge in business administration, eligible students will be asked to remedy these deficiencies either by (a) adding courses (e.g. a Minor in Business Administration) to their Bachelor’s or Master’s programme that precedes their entrance into our Research Master or (b) by familiarizing themselves with a ‘required reading’ list, their knowledge of which will be tested before the start of the programme. This is why it is important to orient yourself well in advance.

Please note that we expect you to have a GPA of 7.5 or higher in order to be admissable.

2. Intellectual capabilities, writing skills, and interest in Business in Society issues
Students should be interested in the theme of the Research Master. Such interest will be assessed on the basis an essay on a topic of your choice related to business in society. If you wish, you can enter your essay in the competition for a Business in Society scholarship. Essays should be no longer than 1500 words, excluding tables, figures and references. They should include an abstract (max. 100 words) and a reference list conform APA standards. Layout: Font 12, margins >1 inch, line space 1.5.

3. Strong motivation
Students should be strongly motivated to pursue a research-related career. Such enthusiasm will be assessed by a letter of motivation.

4. Recommendation from two academics
Students should give the name and contact details of two academics who the admissions committee will ask to write a letter of recommendation supporting your capability and aspirations. An interview is likely to be part of the selection process. Other admission criteria being equal, preference is given to candidates who show capacity for higher academic performance.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme choose Business in Society (Research Master) (Joint degree VU-UvA) in Studielink.

Step 1:
Apply for Business in Society (Research Master) (Joint degree VU-UvA) via Studielink before 1 June.

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions upload all required documents for application:

• 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 Research Master in Business and Society
• a recent resume
• the names and contact details of 2 academics who can support your capability and aspirations 
• 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
• an essay on a topic of your choice related to business in society. Unfortunately it’s not possible to upload the essay yet, you can send it to toelating.sbe@vu.nl

Step 3:
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. After an initial assessment, qualified students will be invited for a mandatory video interview with the programme director. This interview will help the Admission Board to further assess your match with the programme. After this interview, the admission board will make a final assessment and will inform you about its decision regarding your application. Normally this takes about two 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.

Please note: we can only process your application when all 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.

Research Master Business in Society
The Research Master's is a selective programme that is geared towards excellent students who want to pursue a research-related position. Admissions are selective and competitive. A maximum of 25 students may enrol each year. The entry requirements and information on how to apply can be found below.

1. Undergraduate degree
You must have at least a Bachelor’s degree (BSc or BA) preferably in the field of business administration, economics, psychology, social science, law, and engineering or a broad Bachelor delivered by a university college. The Bachelor’s programme should have been completed before the start of the Research Master. If your Bachelor’s degree is not in Business Administration the admissions committee will verify whether the content of the previously taken program is sufficient for entering the Research Master. If there are deficiencies regarding the background knowledge in business administration, eligible students will be asked to remedy these deficiencies either by (a) adding courses (e.g. a Minor in Business Administration) to their Bachelor’s or Master’s programme that precedes their entrance into our Research Master or (b) by familiarizing themselves with a ‘required reading’ list, their knowledge of which will be tested before the start of the programme. This is why it is important to orient yourself well in advance.

Please note that we expect you to have a GPA of 7.5 or higher in order to be admissable.

2. Intellectual capabilities, writing skills, and interest in Business in Society issues
Students should be interested in the theme of the Research Master. Such interest will be assessed on the basis an essay on a topic of your choice related to business in society. If you wish, you can enter your essay in the competition for a Business in Society scholarship. Essays should be no longer than 1500 words, excluding tables, figures and references. They should include an abstract (max. 100 words) and a reference list conform APA standards. Layout: Font 12, margins >1 inch, line space 1.5.

3. Strong motivation
Students should be strongly motivated to pursue a research-related career. Such enthusiasm will be assessed by a letter of motivation.

4. Recommendation from two academics
Students should give the name and contact details of two academics who the admissions committee will ask to write a letter of recommendation supporting your capability and aspirations.
An interview is likely to be part of the selection process. Other admission criteria being equal, preference is given to candidates who show capacity for higher academic performance.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme choose Business in Society (Research Master) (Joint degree VU-UvA) in Studielink.

Step 1:
Apply for Business in Society (Research Master) (Joint degree VU-UvA) via Studielink before 1 June.

Step 2:
After your registration in studielink you receive a password and login ID for VUnet. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions upload all required documents for application:

• 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 Research Master in Business and Society
• a recent resume
• the names and contact details of 2 academics who can support your capability and aspirations
• 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
• an essay on a topic of your choice related to business in society. Unfortunately it’s not possible to upload the essay yet, you can send it totoelating.sbe@vu.nl

Please note: we can only process your application when all your documents are uploaded.

Step 3:
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. After an initial assessment, qualified students will be invited for a mandatory video interview with the programme director. This interview will help the Admission Board to further assess your match with the programme. After this interview, the admission board will make a final assessment and will inform you about its decision regarding your application. Normally this takes about two 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.

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

Email
If you have any questions, please send an e-mail via business.in.society@vu.nl. We will answer your question as soon as possible.

Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit's central campus is located in Amsterdam’s Zuidas district and features all facilities for teaching and research. It is also an easily accessible metropolitan meeting place thanks to its Zuidas location in the immediate vicinity of Schiphol Airport.

Inquiry form
:
Do you want to find out more about the study programme or admissions procedure? Please send an email to business.in.society@vu.nl. You will be kept informed about our online application, application deadlines and more. 

 

International degree holders

The Research Master's is a selective programme that is geared towards excellent students who want to pursue a research-related position. Admissions are selective and competitive. A maximum of 25 students may enrol each year. The entry requirements and information on how to apply can be found below.

Admission criteria

1. Undergraduate degree
You must have at least a Bachelor’s degree (BSc or BA) preferably in the field of business administration, economics, psychology, social science, law, and engineering or a broad Bachelor delivered by a university college. The Bachelor’s programme should have been completed before the start of the Research Master. If your Bachelor’s degree is not in Business Administration the admissions committee will verify whether the content of the previously taken program is sufficient for entering the Research Master. If there are deficiencies regarding the background knowledge in business administration, eligible students will be asked to remedy these deficiencies either by (a) adding courses (e.g. a Minor in Business Administration) to their Bachelor’s or Master’s programme that precedes their entrance into our Research Master or (b) by familiarizing themselves with a ‘required reading’ list, their knowledge of which will be tested before the start of the programme. This is why it is important to orient yourself well in advance.

2. GRE or GMAT
Valid GRE General Test or GMAT results are required from all applicants with a foreign degree. Your test results should not be older than five years. An indication of your required score is to be in the 85 percentile or above.

3. English Language Proficiency
An excellent command of English is crucial. Students whose native language is not English are therefore required to demonstrate English proficiency in one of two ways: a) by holding a degree from a Dutch university or an institution at which English is the language of instruction, or b) by scoring at least 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (with subscores of at least 23), 7 on the IELTS academic test (with subscores of at least 6.5), or A or B on Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Proficiency (CPE).

4. Intellectual capabilities, writing skills, and interest in Business in Society issues
Students should be interested in the theme of the Research Master. Such interest will be assessed on the basis an essay on a topic of your choice related to business in society. If you wish, you can enter your essay in the competition for a Business in Society scholarship. Essays should be no longer than 1500 words, excluding tables, figures and references. They should include an abstract (max. 100 words) and a reference list conform APA standards. Layout: Font 12, margins >1 inch, line space 1.5.

5. Strong motivation
Students should be strongly motivated to pursue a research-related career. Such enthusiasm will be assessed by a letter of motivation.

6. Recommendation from two academics
Students should give the name and contact details of two academics who the admissions committee will ask to write a letter of recommendation supporting your capability and aspirations.
An interview is likely to be part of the selection process. Other admission criteria being equal, preference is given to candidates who show capacity for higher academic performance.

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, including GMAT/GRE results (no older than 5 years)
  • Motivation letter
  • Recommendations from two academics
  • Transcript of records
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education, with the main literature used for those courses. You can use this format.
  • Essay on a topic of your choice related to business in society. Essays should be no longer than 1500 words, excluding tables, figures and references. They should include an abstract (max. 100 words) and a reference list conform APA standards. Layout: Font 12, margins >1 inch, line space 1.5.

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:

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!

Business in Society Scholarship
The Business in Society Scholarship consists of a full tuition fee waiver and will be awarded based on merit. If you wish to compete for this scholarship, you should indicate your interest in a Business in Society Scholarship when applying for the Research Master. If you correctly and timely indicate that you aim to participate in the competition for a Business in Society Scholarship, your essay on a topic related to Business in Society, which is part of the application package, is used as submission to that competition.
If you obtain a scholarship, please be aware that an extension of the scholarship in the second year will be conditional to your performing well in the first year. To apply for a Business in Society Scholarship, you must submit your application to the programme by 1 April 2019.

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 .

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