Economics: Global Challenges

Facing the global challenges of tomorrow

This specialization studies economic aspects of pressing global issues. Course work straddles areas of environmental policy, global warming and climate change, but also the division between Northern countries and the developing world, affecting life and decisions of billions (poverty, access to health and education, migration). All courses feature the application of relevant theoretical and empirical insights to practical issues. You will learn to use modern tools of analysis to investigate potential solutions and formulate policy recommendations. Global challenges are much wider, and thesis work can further delve into issues of, for instance, global diffusion of technical change and innovation, international tax and welfare competition, or international political economy.

The specialization is jointly supported by teaching staff from the Department of Economics and of Spatial Economics. Both host internationally renowned staff, all actively participating in national and international economic policy debates. After completing course work and thesis you are well equipped for a career as a policy economist in international or national government agencies such as the European Commission or ministries, policy analysis institutions, internationally operating consultancy firms, or NGOs.

Contact for more information Bas van der Klaauw: b.vander.klaauw@vu.nl.

Admission and application details

The Master's in Economics is a high-quality one-year programme. The first part of the programme consists of three compulsory core courses focusing on the foundations of the discipline at an advanced level. You also take three elective courses that can be combined into a specialization. Two pieces of independent academic work, a research project and a final thesis, complete the programme requirements. Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff.

The programme is highly esteemed by its students and is one of the top Economics programmes in the Netherlands. The academic year is divided into six teaching periods: four periods of eight weeks and two periods of four weeks. The programme’s study load is 60 credits. Credits are expressed in EC: European Credit (Transfer System). Each credit amounts to about 28 hours studying.

Three compulsory Economics core courses (6 EC):

  • Advanced Methods for Applied Economic Research
  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Advanced Macroeconomics

Two specialization courses (6 EC):

  • Economics of Climate Change
  • Globalization, Growth and Development

One free elective (6 EC), options including:

  • Economics of the Welfare State
  • Human Development (UvA)
  • Industrial Organization and Competition Policy
  • Labour Economics
  • Macro and International Finance
  • Macroeconomic Policy in the EU
  • Microeconomics for Development
  • Time Series Econometrics
  • Urban Economic Challenges and Policies

Research project (6 EC)

Thesis (18 EC): an in-depth economic study on a global challenge

As a graduate of the Master’s programme in Economics you are a well-trained economist, with extensive knowledge of economic theory, data analysis techniques and economic policy.

Graduates become policy economists at consultancy firms or with government agencies, or work in various positions in financial and non-financial industries. Others start working as market analysts at, for example, the Netherlands Competition Authority, or De Nederlandsche Bank. Still others go to work for multinationals such as banks and insurance companies. Some graduates work at economic research institutes or join PhD programmes at highly competitive research universities before continuing with their academic career.

Apart from focusing on high-profile job opportunities, programme participants develop an eye for economic issues of societal and scientific relevance, and develop a critical attitude for analysing and judging these issues. Economics is at the very heart of the social sciences. Economists are therefore involved and committed members of society.

Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff. The programme is highly esteemed by its students and is one of the top Economics programmes in the Netherlands.

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.

Raphie Hayat

Graduated in 2007, Macro Economist at Rabobank

Raphie Hayat

"The Master in Economics is of great value. It is rigorous, taught by an excellent and internationally recognized faculty and attracts students from all over the world. The degree definitely helped me in getting my current job as a macro economist at Rabobank (which I love), but it opens up opportunities in the public sector as well." 

MSc Economics at VU Amsterdam

Overview Economics: Global Challenges

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);

15 July for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Global Challenges is a specialization of the Economics master's programme

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Study in Holland

Admission with a Dutch degree

The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

Admission requirements
Direct admission is granted to students who pass the courses Microeconomics II, Macroeconomics II and Quantitative Research Methods III (Economics/Finance), who obtain a Bachelor's degree in econometrics, or who complete the Minor Economics @ VU with a grade point average of at least 7.5. The entry requirement for students with a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics and Econometrics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are summarized in this document.

Students who do not meet these admission requirements are not necessarily declined to enroll in the MSc Economics, but can file an admission request, which shows their background in economics and quantitative research methods.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink.

Step
1:
Apply for the MSc programme Economics via Studielink before 15 July.

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).
 
More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

Services for International (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If your 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.

The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students with a university degree from either a Dutch or international university who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

Admission requirements
The MSc programme Economics is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in microeconomics and macroeconomics and a solid background in mathematics and statistics for economists. Specifically, students ought to be familiar with mathematics (calculus and algebra), intermediate economics and econometrics at a level commensurate with all of the following texts:

Microeconomics    
Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Northon, 9th ed., 2014
Macroeconomics
Gärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, eth ed., 2016
Econometrics and Statistics
Stock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, Updated 3rd ed., 2015 (chapters 1-7)
Mathemetics for Economists    
Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond et al., Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 5th ed., 2016

Approval is in most cases gives to students who hold a:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics or econometrics
  • Bachelor's degree in business administration, social sciences and sciences with sufficient elective courses in economics
  • Bachelor's degree from a University College with a specialization in sciences or social sciences and sufficient economics courses
  • Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) or in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) with sufficient economics and quantitative courses
  • Bachelor's degree and who completed the Minor Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with an average grade of at least 7.5


Application procedure
Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Economics via Studielink  before 15 July.

Step 2:
After applying for the programme in Studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application via VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA). (please note: we can only process your application when your transcript is uploaded).

Step 3:
The admission committee will assess your application and decide whether you are admissable. You will be informed about this decision via email.

Students who do not meet the admission criteria can be:

  • admitted conditional on passing one or more Bachelor courses
  • requested to take an admission test after self-study of the literature
  • admitted to the transfer programme (a minimal GRE score may be required)

The admission test takes place in June at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Note that participation in the transfer programme may substantially increase the time to completion.

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

Admission requirements and application

Students with a HBO degree in economics related fields can enroll in the MSc Economics, but only after completing a transfer programme. 

If you have a Dutch higher vocational (HBO) degree you need to enroll in a transfer programme, which is specifically designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university-level education.

To apply for admission you should send a request and a transcript of your HBO courses and grades by email to toelating.sbe@vu.nl. The admission board then will decide whether admission is possible via the transfer programme. 

For more information about the transfer programme contact toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

Students wishing to attend the transfer programme may be required to submit scores from a recent GRE test prior to start and admission may be conditional on achieving a set of minimal scores (information is available on request). Note that participation in the transfer programme may substantially increase the time to completion.

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

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


Admission with an international degree

The MSc programme Economics welcomes ambitious students who want to develop an advanced knowledge in economics and apply their knowledge to study a wide range of topics. Therefore, students should start with a solid academic background in economics and have sufficient knowledge of mathematics and statistics. 

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 academics study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

Microeconomics    
Varian, H.R., Intermediate Microeconomics, Northon, 9th ed., 2014
Macroeconomics
Gärtner, M., Macroeconomics, Prentice Hall, eth ed., 2016
Econometrics and Statistics
Stock, J.H. and Watson, M.W., Introduction to Econometrics, Pearson, Updated 3rd ed., 2015 (chapters 1-7)
Mathemetics for Economists    
Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond et al., Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 5th ed., 2016

Applications not providing proof of having passed course work at the minimally required level may be rejected, or applicants may be requested to make up for deficiencies by means of self-study. Good students with technical backgrounds (Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics, and possibly Engineering) are encouraged to apply.

International degree holders from Universities of Applied Sciences (polytechnics, vocational colleges, etc.) cannot be admitted.

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 writing score 6.0

TOEFL

  • Paper based test 580
  • Internet based test 92-93

Cambridge English

  • Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
  • Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C

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
•    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
•    Motivation letter
•    Reference letter (one or two)

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail. Please refer to our application page to see which application deadline applies for you.

Step 2: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 3: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information about: 
Accommodation 
Visa 
Tuition fees

Some international students are happy to tell you about their experiences with living and studying in Amsterdam. These Student Ambassadors come from all over the world and have attended various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed here on this webpage; vu.nl/ambassadors.

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


As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries. 

Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl.

Visit our 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
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Foto Paul SteemanPaul Steeman

Tel +31 20 59 88739
E masters.sbe@vu.nl 
 





Shrestha_Amu_86x129Amu Shrestha
Tel +31 20 59 84296
E 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.

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