Transport and Supply Chain Management

Strategies to improve transport and supply chain networks

Due to the Corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this Master's programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection ‘Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s.

How do you manage product flows in fast-moving industries such as food or fashion? How does government transport policy impact the environment?

The Transport & Supply Chain Management Master’s programme offers a unique combination of transport policy and global supply chain management insights and tools. On the one hand, you’ll work at micro-level (i.e., the level of an individual company) – for example, in understanding and tackling the complexities of managing global supply chains and transportation networks, and learning about supply chain strategy development. On the other hand, you’ll work at macro-level – for example, when investigating the impact of government regulations or transport policies on the environment. What’s more, you’ll get to grips with the data analysis tools commonly used in the industry (such as Excel and R) so that you’re ready to hit the ground running when you start your first job. And that won’t take long – because most graduates already have job offers before they’ve even finished the programme.

AACSB

The Master’s programme is made up of a combination of transport economics and supply chain management courses that together will give you the tools and techniques to analyse any transport and supply chain related problem a business may face in your future career. In addition to these courses you’ll learn to apply research methodologies to support data-driven decision making, write your Master’s thesis on a current topic defined in collaboration with industry or government, and prepare for the world of work.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take five mandatory core courses. These include:
    • Supply Chain Data Analytics – The course will furnish you with the statistical skills that are essential for the remainder of the programme. This helps you land that first job by making you proficient in analysing large sets of data using widely available software packages like Excel and R. You’ll put your skills straight into practice by using data to solve real-life industry problems. 
    • Transport Economics & Management – You’ll take a policy perspective on the issues that companies face, and apply economic theories to these issues, including road congestion, the effect of competition on prices, and so on.
    • Decision making in supply chains – This course helps you learn how to use and build spreadsheet models to analyse real-life company data, to develop optimisation and simulation models, to report results and to formulate recommendations to improve supply chain performance.
  • You’ll take three elective courses out of a choice of six – each of which relates to either transport economics or supply chain management.
  • You’ll also write your Master’s thesis on a current topic and you’ll have the opportunity to take an internship.

Want to know more? Check out the course schedule and Study Guide!

  • The programme offers a unique combination of supply chain management coupled with transport economics.
  • You’ll not only master state-of-the-art concepts and academic theories – you’ll truly learn to apply them in practice. The programme furnishes you with a backpack of tools and techniques that make you very valuable to future employers.
  • Courses include guest lectures from industry professionals, as well as projects and case studies based on actual company data.
  • There are plenty of transport, supply chain and logistics companies in the Amsterdam area – including Schiphol airport, nearby ports, pharmaceuticals firms and fast-moving consumer goods companies that are looking for highly skilled transport and supply chain graduates.
  • Both students and staff are a good mix of Dutch and international, meaning a mutually beneficial exposure to other cultures and education systems.
  • 80% of students finish the programme in one year; the remaining 20% extend their Master’s studies with a company internship.
  • 90% of graduates are offered a job before they’ve even completed the programme.

You have strong analytical skills; you’re intrigued by the complexities of operations and supply chain processes in a variety of industries; and you believe in data-driven decision making. You already have a working knowledge of basic data software such as Excel and R, STATA or SPSS. In addition:

  • You’re highly motivated and have a strong work ethic.
  • You have a good command of English.
  • You’re interested in applying academic theories to improve real-life decision making. 
  • You have a Bachelor’s degree that includes courses in operations management, operations research or supply chain management, and in transport economics.

Does this sound like you? Then come along to our Master’s Events 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

What skills make you interesting to potential future employers?
Companies are actively seeking graduates who can contribute to the development of innovative production and distribution strategies in an analytical and data-driven way. 

Companies seek recent graduates who can effectively analyse large data sets and suggest practical improvements based on this analysis, using software like Excel and data analysis environment R. This is an excellent way to get that head-start on your first job.

What kinds of jobs are available to you?
A Master’s in Transport & Supply Chain Management will prepare you to become an operations and supply chain professional in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, wholesale and retail. Alternatively, on the transport policy side, you could be involved in assessments of pricing policies in airlines or railway companies, or assessments of infrastructure projects in cities, ports and airports.

What have alumni of the programme gone on to do?
Most alumni work in supply chain positions at major brand manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, such as Tata Steel, Nespresso, Unilever, Heineken, Nike or Adidas. Some work for consultancy firms or software houses, such as Deloitte or Slimstock; others work in transport companies, such as NS or Schiphol or KLM; and a smaller percentage work in government policy positions.

How does the programme help prepare students for the job market?
During the programme, you’ll have plenty of contact with the business world, including working on practical problems and getting the opportunity to do an internship.

About the master's programme

Overview Transport and Supply Chain Management

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION

1 May (the original deadline of 1 April has been extended due to COVID-19) 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

Please click here for more information about COVID-19

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Sharina Estrada

Master’s graduate, entrepreneur and owner of TryOnline BV

BA_Transport_SharinaEstrada

"Each division has a vital role to play in a company. Where would we be without ICT and finance, for example? But if you are not able to deliver goods or services on time, then it is virtually impossible to operate or even survive in the world of business. Every company needs a firm focus on Transportation and Supply Chain Management."

Admission with a Dutch degree

Due to the Corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this Master's programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection ‘Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s.

We welcome ambitious students that possess at least an accredited Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, including sufficient training in supply chain / operations management / operations research and in economics. Experience in using Excel and R is highly recommended. The study programme is demanding and interactive. We therefore aim for high quality and strongly motivated students to guarantee study success and maximize learning outcomes of business games, case studies and company projects.

Admission requirements
With a Bachelor's degree in (International) Business Administration, Economics or Econometrics and Operations Research from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you are admissible provided you successfully meet the requirements in this document.

Students are expected to have:

  • A fascination for analysing and solving real-life supply chain challenges
  • Solid background in Operations/Supply Chain Management and Economics
  • Proven empirical and analytical skills
  • Experience in using R and Excel

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

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

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading the following documents:

  • 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 the Master programme in TSCM at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam . In your motivation letter you also need to include a 1 page summary of your bachelor thesis or a proposal for a bachelor thesis highlighting the research problem/question, the (intended) methodology and why that fits the research problem/question, as well as (intended) outcomes/results.
  • A recent resume.

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

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

Services for international (EBE, EOR, IBA) students / Residence permit:
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your SBE Bachelor, 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.

Due to the Corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this Master's programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection ‘Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s.

We welcome ambitious students that possess at least an accredited Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, including sufficient training in supply chain / operations management / operations research and in economics. Experience in using Excel and R is highly recommended. The study programme is demanding and interactive. We therefore aim for high quality and strongly motivated students to guarantee study success and maximize learning outcomes of business games, case studies and company projects.

Admission requirements
Transport Supply Chain Management is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge of supply chain / operations management / operations research and economics.
Students are expected to have:

-    A fascination for analysing and solving real-life supply chain challenges
-    Solid background in Operations/Supply Chain Management and Economics
-    Proven empirical and analytical skills
-    Experience in using R and Excel

You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, summarized below:

1. To get up to speed with Supply Chain Management we expect students to be at least familiar with the contents of chapters 1-4 and 11/12/14 of the book "Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation” by authors S. Chopra and P. Meindl;  Global edition (latest edition). Pearson Higher Education.
2. For Transport Economics a good preparation source is "Applied Transport Economics: policy, management and decision making” by Stuart Cole (latest edition, Kogan Page).
3. We use R for data analysis and statistics. Familiarize yourself with the basic syntax and data input/output of this software before the start of our programme (e.g. via Youtube).
4. Make sure your MS Excel skills are at an advanced level.

Approval depends on specific backgrounds and the extent to which you are familiar with the topics mentioned under ‘admission requirements’. 

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

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

Step 2:
After application in studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions and uploading the following documents:

•    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 the Master programme in TSCM at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam . In your motivation letter you also need to include a 1 page summary of your bachelor thesis or a proposal for a bachelor thesis highlighting the research problem/question, the (intended) methodology and why that fits the research problem/question, as well as (intended) outcomes/results.
•    A recent resume.

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

Step 3:
The admission committee will assess if you meet the admission criteria and will inform you about the decision via email.

Due to the Corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this Master's programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection ‘Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s.

You will gain direct admission after completing the premaster programme; this is a full-time programme with courses on at least three days per week.

Premaster programme
The premaster programme is a deficiency programme that provides the necessary knowledge and prepares you for this master's programme. It is a 30 EC program that takes place in the second semester, from February through July. These courses involve both content as well as academic skills and knowledge, and research methods.

Course details in the study guide

Admission requirements
The premaster programme has two admission requirements:

  1. You have an hbo degree
  2. You have a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative. Also note the following:
    • The score may not be older than five years, counted from the date you start with the premaster
    • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment score do not count for admission
    • You can use a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative to satisfy the GMAT score requirement. To convert your GRE score to its GMAT equivalent, use the GRE Comparison Tool!

GMAT and GRE
A GMAT score of at least 550 or an equivalent GRE score is a requirement to participate in the premaster programme. Please fill in the test that 'Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam' may receive your score. The official score will be sent by GMAT to VU. Please note that it may take up to 20 calendar days for the VU to receive your GMAT score, so plan GMAT on time.

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) offers a course in preparation for the GMAT, the GMAT preparation course. The preparation course starts each year in August. For more information, please visit the website of the GMAT preparation course.

Costs
Tuition fee 2020-2021: EUR 1.071,00

Deadlines and application
The programme starts 1 February, and you must have completed your application before this date!

Apply now

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

Master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam have therefore examined how an exception to the rule can be made possible, so that students do not get stuck in the transition from Bachelor’s to Master’s because of the corona crisis. This is a one-off measure. 

1. Transition from BSc programs to MSc programs – national and EU 

In accordance with the agreements made with the Dutch government, the VU has developed guidelines for the so-called “zachte knip” (soft cut, i.e., transferring from BSc to MSc program without completing the BSc yet.) An overview of these guidelines and their background are presented in the document “VU RICHTLIJN ‘MASTERTOELATING ZONDER AFGERONDE VOOROPLEIDING’”. 

Based on these guidelines and previous experience with the “zachte knip”, the following requirements have now been developed: 

Students are allowed to miss a total of 18EC of their BSc degree program (10% of the total of 180EC than can be obtained), provided that: 

1. a)  The student has completed his/her BSc Thesis 

2. b)  The general qualitative entry requirements for the specific program are met (as stipulated with other academic degree holders), rather than specific courses (as is now the case for our own BSc students). 

The remaining 18EC need to be completed before September 1, 2021. If not, students will not be able to apply for their MSc degree. We have opted for the 10% maximum of missing EC, as it would be unlikely for students to have a reasonable chance of completing their MSc program otherwise. Even with 18EC missing, this is challenging. Students that start with a deficiency will therefore proactively be invited by the academic advisors to discuss their situation and see if they can offer help where needed. 

Note: for non-EEA students, the regular rules apply 

2. Transition from premaster programs to respective MSc programs 

Note: this applies to the premaster programs of the MSc in Business Administration (all programmes, except for the Duisenberg Honours Programme in Financial Markets and Regulation), Entrepreneurship, Transport and Supply Chain Management, Finance, Marketing or Digital Business and Innovation. 

Students are allowed to miss a total of 12EC of their premaster program (40% of the total of 30EC than can be obtained), provided that the student has completed his/her Academic paper. 

This 40% deviates from the VU guideline of 10-20% EC not completed. This is motivated by the fact that: 

• Our pre-master program only starts in semester 2 (contrary to most other programs at the VU) and our students are therefore disproportionally affected by the crisis; 

• The premaster program, for a substantial part, consist of courses that are part of larger scale programs. In replanning all assessments, the planning for the core program takes preference over the premaster, which in some cases might lead to less favourable circumstances for the premaster students (despite customized measures being taken as well). 

• In normal circumstances, many of our premaster students perform well, both in the premaster as well as in the master program. The GMAT is an important selective criterium here. Hence, we are less concerned about the students that are not sufficiently ready to start the master will gain access via this route after all. 

The remaining 12EC need to be completed before September 1, 2021. If not, students will not be able to apply for their MSc degree. 

Also here, students that start with a deficiency will proactively be invited by the academic advisors to discuss their situation and see if they can offer help where needed. 

Note: for enrolment in the premaster starting in February 2021, the regular procedure and requirements will be applied, given that this program only starts in semester 2. 

Requesting exceptional admission

Do you meet these conditions or do you expect to meet these conditions by 31 August at the latest? If so, you can request exceptional admission no later than 1 August. You can do this by completing and submitting the form.

Visit our Master's Events

Information days and activities
contact@vu.nl
Admission questions
toelating.sbe@vu.nl or admissions.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

For more information and specific questions about the master please contact the program director Dr. Markus Leitner.
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Admission with an international degree

Due to the Corona crisis, the requirements to enroll in this Master's programme have changed. For an overview of the requirements, we refer to the subsection ‘Corona crisis: from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s.

We welcome ambitious students that possess at least an accredited Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, including sufficient training in supply chain / operations management / operations research and in economics. Experience in using Excel and R is recommended. The study programme is demanding and interactive. We therefore aim for high quality and strongly motivated students to guarantee study success and maximize learning outcomes of business games, case studies and company projects.

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. Students are expected to have:

  • A fascination for analysing and solving real-life supply chain challenges
  • Solid background in Operations/Supply Chain Management and Economics
  • Proven empirical and analytical skills
  • Experience in using R and Excel

You need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, summarized below:

  • To get up to speed with Supply Chain Management we expect students to be at least familiar with the contents of chapters 1-4 and 11/12/14 of the book "Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation” by authors S. Chopra and P. Meindl;  Global edition (latest edition). Pearson Higher Education.
  • For Transport Economics a good preparation source is "Applied Transport Economics: policy, management and decision making” by Stuart Cole (latest edition, Kogan Page).
  • We use R for data analysis and statistics. Familiarize yourself with the basic syntax and data input/output of this software before the start of our programme (e.g. via Youtube).
  • Make sure your MS Excel skills are at an advanced level.

Please note for students from mainland China: only students from project 2.11 universities are eligible to apply for TSCM.

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.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can already apply online without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:  

IELTS (academic):
•    Minimum general score 6,5
•    Minimum score writing 6,0

TOEFL :
•    Internet based test 92-93

Cambridge English :
•    Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
•    Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl

Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.


In general, students are required to complete their Bachelor’s programme before they are allowed to enroll in a Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘Bachelor-before-Master rule’. However, due to worldwide corona measures, some students might face delays with their graduation. 

For academic year 2020-2021 only, Dutch universities can make an exception to the ‘Bachelor-before-Master rule’.

In accordance with the agreements made with the Dutch government, VU has developed guidelines for the so-called “zachte knip” (soft cut, i.e. transferring from Bachelor to Master programme without completing the Bachelor). Based on these guidelines, the following requirements have been set for students with an EU/EEA nationality currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s programme*: 

Students are allowed to miss a total of 18 EC of their Bachelor degree programme, provided that: 

a)  The student has completed his/her Bachelor thesis (if a thesis was not part of your degree programme, courses in research methodology have to have been completed instead).

b)  The general qualitative entry requirements for the specific programme have been met (as stipulated for other academic degree holders), rather than specific courses (as is now the case for our own Bachelor students). 

Requests for exemptions can be submitted via the usual procedures (Examinations Board). 

The remaining EC (18 or less) need to be completed before 1 September 2021. If not, students will not be able to apply for their Master graduation or re-enroll in the Master. We have opted for a maximum of 18 missing EC, as it is considered unlikely for students to have a reasonable chance of completing their Master programme with more missing EC. Even with 18 EC missing, this is already challenging, especially for international students. Students that enroll through the ‘soft cut’ will therefore be proactively invited by the academic advisors to discuss their situation and offer their assistance. 

For questions about the ‘soft cut’ for international students, please contact your International Student Advisors on masters.sbe@vu.nl.   

* For students with a non-EU/EEA nationality, the general rules still apply. 


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:

All international students are required to apply for the MSc programme of their choice first. If you do not meet the admission requirements directly, you could gain admission after completing the premaster programme.

The premaster programme is a deficiency programme that provides the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare you for this master's programme. It is a programme of 30 ECTS that is offered in the second semester, from February through July. Content details of the offered premasters can be found here.

Admission requirements for the premaster programme

  • You have a bachelor's degree from a non-Dutch university or from a non-Dutch university of applied science.
  • You have a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) combined score of at least 550 for the parts Verbal and Quantitative. Also note the following:
    • The score may not be older than two years, counted from 1 February
    • The Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment scores do not count for admission
    • You can use a Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score for the parts Verbal and Quantitative to satisfy the GMAT score requirement. To convert your GRE score to its GMAT equivalent, use the GRE Comparison Tool
  • You can demonstrate sufficient English proficiency by meeting the requirements listed above

More information on the requirements, including GMAT preparations, can be found on the central premaster website.

Deadlines and application
The programme starts 1 February. Because of visa application deadlines, non-EU citizens must have completed their application before 1 November. EU citizens can complete their application until January 31st.

Note: When applying, you can find the premaster programme in Studielink after selecting "Type of study programme: Bachelor's or other non-master programmes".

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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