Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics: Real Estate Economics and Finance

Unravel the dynamics of real estate

Real Estate Economics and Finance is a specialization of the Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics master's programme.

On average, households in the Netherlands spend no less than about 30% of their income on real estate. Also the prices of commercial properties are sky high. Real estate prices heavily fluctuate, over both time and space. Prices in Amsterdam are, for example, many multiples above real estate prices in more peripheral areas.

How do real estate markets function? This is the main theme that the Real Estate specialization addresses.  More specifically, how does price determination work in these markets, and how are portfolios managed? What is the impact of land use regulation, transport infrastructure, and public policy on real estate price dynamics? What is the relationship between real estate and its location? In the Real Estate specialization, you acquire the theoretical and empirical knowledge to answer all these questions.

This specialization trains you to become a real estate professional, for which there is high demand in the industry. The specialization is embedded in the master Spatial, Transport & Environmental Economics. In this master, students develop the skills to analyse large (spatial) datasets. Although real estate markets have become global, there are major differences between local real estate markets.  A thorough understanding of real estate dynamics therefore requires an integrative view from both a financial, economic and spatial perspective. The interrelationship of the Real Estate specialization with the Urban & Regional Economics and/or Transport economics specialization offers you this unique possibility.

AACSB

Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics is a one-year master’s programme worth 60 EC credits.

First semester
This time period provides you with a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of economic theory and research methods. After 6 weeks, you select at least four core and/or optional courses, two of which to be followed in the first semester. The programme offers you the possibility to specialize in various combinations of urban & regional, transport and environmental economics. The first semester is concluded with a research project, during which you write a literature review of a coherent set of scientific papers.

Second semester
In the second semester, you continue taking core and/or optional courses. A large share of the second semester is devoted to writing a Master’s thesis. You write your thesis individually, while participating in a thesis seminar, in which students present and discuss their research findings. Although an internship is not obligatory, you may combine your thesis with an internship. Our teaching staff can help you find a suitable place.

A master's in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics offers excellent career prospects. Many graduates find jobs as policy economists at government institutions or consultancy firms such as KPMG and Ernst & Young. Also transport organizations such as KLM, Schiphol and Dutch Rail offer great opportunities for work. Others opt for positions as economic researchers at institutes such as CPB (the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis).

You may also want to pursue an academic career. Options are then a research Master’s programme in Economics (MPhil), or a PhD position at the Tinbergen Institute (a joint graduate school of VU Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam).

High Student Satisfaction
The Keuzegids – the Netherlands’ influential higher education guide for prospective students – has awarded the programme the distinction of ‘Top Rated Programme’. Students are particularly enthusiastic about the quality of the teaching staff, the internal communication within the programme, and the course content.

Renowned Teaching Staff
The Department of Spatial Economics at VU Amsterdam houses internationally renowned professors such as Erik Verhoef (Transport Economics), Cees Withagen (Environmental Economics), Jos van Ommeren (Urban Economics) and Henri de Groot (Regional Economics). Our teaching staff actively contributes to policy debates and their expertise is regularly called on by policy makers in order to implement and evaluate public policy.

Experienced in Policy
Staff members of our department are in close contact with economic policy making in practice. Their experience as scientific researchers and policy advisors is beneficial to students in the programme.

Intensive Supervision
The department is well-known for the intensive and accessible supervision it provides. Experienced staff members are there for you to provide you with support and assistance if you need help with the theory, or writing your thesis.

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 Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics: Real Estate Economics and Finance

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

SPECIALIZATIONS

Real Estate Economics and Finance is a specialization of the Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics master's programme

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Dutch students

Specific admission requirements Master's programme Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics:

  • If you hold a Bachelor's degree in Economics, Business Administration or Econometrics obtained at VU Amsterdam, you can gain direct admission to the Master in Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics as long as you have passed the core courses in Microeconomics and Research Methods for Economics and Finance.
  • Applicants must possess at least an accredited Bachelor’s degree (equivalent to a Dutch university Bachelor’s degree).
  • Applicants must have thorough knowledge of the standard literature listed below (or its equivalent). 
    MicroeconomicsSnyder C.M. and W. Nicholson,  Microeconomic Theory: Basic Principles and Extensions, Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning, 11th edition (except Chapters 6-8, 16-18). 
    Mathematics
    Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 3rd ed., 2008
    EconometricsStock, J.H. and M.W. Watson's Introduction to Econometrics Addison Wesley, New York
  • Applicants may consider reading the (one of the) following books to become familiar with the topics which will be taught. 
Regional EconomicsMcCann, P. (2001) Urban and Regional Economics Oxford University Press, Oxford
Transport EconomicsBoyer, K.D. Principles of Transportation Economics Addison Wesley, Reading
Environmental EconomicsKahn, J.R. (1998) The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources (2nd edition) The Dryden Press, Forth Worth. Parts I, II and III

If you did not take your Economic or (international) Business Administration Bachelor's degree at VU Amsterdam you must submit a request for admission to the admission board. You have to fill out the Form Evaluation admission Master and add to it the following documents: a description of the subjects you passed, your transcript, the study load and a list of the literature studied.

You could send your request per email until 15 June to toelating.sbe@vu.nl.

The Admission board will then decide whether you can be admitted directly to the Master's or whether you first need to compensate for any mismatches between your qualification and our admission requirements. Possible outcomes of your application are direct admission to the Master's programme, admission under the condition that you must also pass one or more Bachelor's courses, admission to one of the pre-Master's programmes or admission to one of our Bachelor's programmes. 

More information regarding registration WO-bachelors (in Dutch).

Students with direct admission from VU Amsterdam 
If you have direct admission to the Master's programme of your choice you need a new enrollment in Studielink.

Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit
When you are planning to continue your studies at VU Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of VU 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 VU Amsterdam.

If you did not take your Economic or (international) Business Administration Bachelor's degree at VU Amsterdam and if you have a HBO degree (higher vocational education) you must submit a request for admission to the admission board. You have to fill out the Form Evaluation admission Master and add to it the following documents: a description of the subjects you passed, your transcript, the study load and a list of the literature studied. 

You could send your request per email until 15 June, to toelating.sbe@vu.nl
       
The Admission board will then decide to compensate for any mismatches between your qualification and our admission requirements. Possible outcomes of your application are admission under the condition that you must also pass one or more Bachelor's courses or admission to one of our Bachelor's programmes.

Deadline for an admission request is 15 June.

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: Admission request before 15 June, 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.

Information days and activities 
contact@vu.nl
Admission requests, admission requirements and admission questions 
toelating.sbe@vu.nl 
(can only be reached by e-mail)
Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet 
Central Student Desk 
Application 
Studielink 
Other questions 
contact@vu.nl


Admission with an international degree

We welcome and look for motivated students who are interested in Environmental Economics In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, economics, but bachelor students with sufficient technical expertise, e.g. Engineering or Environmental Science, are also very welcome.

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. The programme is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides sufficient knowledge of microeconomics or a solid background in mathematics and statistics for economics. You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

MicroeconomicsSnyder C.M. and W. Nicholson, Microeconomic Theory: Basic Principles and Extensions, Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning, 11th edition (Chapters 2-5, 9-13). Particularly chapter 2 (except dynamic optimisation) is essential
Mathematics
Sydsaeter, Knut and Hammond, Essential Mathematics for Economic Analysis, Prentice Hall, 3rd ed., 2008
EconometricsStock, J.H. and M.W. Watson's Introduction to Econometrics, fourth edition Addison Wesley, New York (Chapters 2-9)

Applicants may consider reading the following books to become familiar with the topics which will be taught per specialization.

Urban & Regional EconomicsMcCann, P. (2001) Urban and Regional Economics Oxford University Press, Oxford
Transport EconomicsBoyer, K.D. Principles of Transportation Economics Addison Wesley, Reading
Environmental EconomicsKahn, J.R. (1998) The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources (2nd edition). The Dryden Press, Forth Worth. Parts I, II and III

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

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  

See our 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
  • 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
Marita Visser
Marita Visser
Tel +31 20 59 87325


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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