Economics

Economic solutions to global challenges

How does the EU contribute to economic stability? How does globalisation impact local economies? How can we address the challenges of affordable education, effective healthcare and the aging population across the globe?

The Economics Master’s programme seeks answers to these questions by exploring modern economic theory, data analysis and real-life case studies. It prepares you for a career as a professional economist, whether your interests draw you to a career in the public or private sector, research or consulting. Versatility is key in the programme, allowing you to explore all aspects of Economics before deciding on the path that is right for you. And along the way, you’ll have the support and guidance of a faculty ranked number one in the 2015 accreditation of Dutch Economics programmes. Students rave about the programme, giving it a top ranking in the most recent National Student Survey (NSE). Join us to find the path that’s right for you.

Specializations

Taking a specialization (consisting of a specific combination of elective courses and a related thesis) is optional. The possible specializations are

Students with a strong interest in public policy, may consider applying for the Economics Programme in Public Policy.

Students can also decide to freely pick and mix from our extended list of elective courses. In addition, students can choose one elective course from outside the programme (subject to prior approval from the examination board).

AACSB

With a Master’s degree in Economics from VU Amsterdam, you’ll be a qualified, all-round economist suited to work in a variety of positions and highly desired by employers. You can choose to explore a wide variety of aspects of Economics, or focus on a particular specialisation.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take three core courses, all of which will prepare you for any career in Economics:
    • Advanced Methods for Applied Economic Research
    • Advanced Microeconomics  
    • Advanced Macroeconomics 
  • You’ll take three electives, chosen from:
    • Economics of Climate Change
    • Economics of the Welfare State
    • Globalization, Growth and Development
    • Industrial Organization and Competition Policy
    • Macroeconomic Policy in the EU
    • Microeconomics for Development
    • Urban Economic Challenges and Policies 
    • Labour Economics
    • Human Development (UvA)
    • Time Series Econometrics
    • Macro and International Finance

      You may choose to select one elective from outside of the programme, upon prior approval from the examination board.
  • You’ll conduct a research project that will allow you to apply your newly acquired knowledge and skills, as well as preparing you to write your Master’s thesis.
  • You’ll write a Master’s Thesis on the topic of your choice, in consultation with your advisor.

If you choose to specialise in a particular area of Economics, your choice of electives and thesis topics becomes more focused. Find out more about a specialised Master’s in:

We also offer a separate, specific Master’s programme in Economics: Public Policy.

Want to know more? Check out the Study Guide!

  • The Master’s programme was voted the best Economics programme in the Netherlands according to the National Student Survey (NSE) and the relevant accreditation committees.
  • The programme size of about 60 students is optimal: small enough to maintain close contact with your classmates and teaching staff; large enough to ensure a good selection of electives. The diverse group of students ensures a multicultural environment, and social activities offer the opportunity to bond with your classmates and make connections that matter.
  • VU Amsterdam is the only Economics programme in the Netherlands with such a specific focus on global development and social impact.
  • All Economics professors are active members of the Economics community, conduct ongoing research, attend conferences, publish papers and contribute actively to the field. You will benefit from their knowledge and expertise.
  • An equal number of graduates pursue a career in the public sector, the private sector, as researchers or as consultants. So whatever your career ambitions, you’ll have what it takes with a Master’s programme in Economics from VU Amsterdam.
  • You’re hard working and dedicated.
  • You don’t just want to make money; you want to make a difference.
  • You have a real interest in addressing global issues from an Economic perspective.
  • You are passionate about working with data and using it to develop real solutions.

Does this sound like you? Then come along to our Master’s Evening where you can find out more and try out the programme for yourself! If you’re keen to apply and meet the entry requirements (see below), then take a look at our application procedure and deadlines

How employable will you be after completing the programme?
Our students are actively recruited after completing the programme. Your challenge won’t be finding a job, but rather selecting the job that suits you best.

What kinds of jobs are available to you?
A Master’s programme in Economics will prepare you to help write policy in the public sector or as an analyst in the private sector. You’ll be a valuable addition to any research or analytics team. Your skills in data analysis will make you a top consultant in any Economics-related field.

What have alumni of the programme gone on to do?
Graduates have gone on to consult for private corporations, one of the large consulting firms (Deloitte, McKinsey, etc.), or the big banks. They’ve taken analyst or consultancy roles at the Dutch Central Bank and the European Central Bank.  They’re researchers at the OECD. They sit on Steering Committees with the Minister of Economic Affairs.

How does the programme help students select the right career path?
Know where you want to go? You can tailor your study accordingly. Not sure yet? We’ll help you decide and offer a variety of options to explore along the way.

Josephine de Vries

Graduated in 2008, Lead Corporate Strategy Office at Deloitte

Josephine de Vries

"The MSc Economics at VU Amsterdam has a quantitative focus and this is a big plus in most professional areas, including mine. Watching the world through the lense of an economist is very useful for many types of business problems. None of this however, was a reason for me to choose economics. I just thought it amazingly interesting to understand why the EU exists, whether I should vote left or right wing and why it was impossible to find a descent rental apartment in Amsterdam. In short, I just wanted to understand the world a bit better. "

MSc Economics at VU Amsterdam

Overview Economics

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION

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

1 June for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

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 1 June.

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 1 June.

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 Day
9 March 2019
Register


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

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

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

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

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

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

Further information about:

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

Our student ambassadors are listed here.

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

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

Visit our Master's Events

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

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


For general information about VU Amsterdam:
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00).
You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl .

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