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Heritage meets past, present and future

Are you interested in giving the past a place in the landscapes of the future?

Are you keen to explore the conservation and transformation of spatial heritage? And do you have a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology, Art History, Ancient Studies, Social Geography, History or a design discipline like Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Town Planning? Then the Master’s in Heritage Studies may be the programme for you. 

Check whether you meet the programme requirements and apply

  • I have a Dutch university level (WO) Bachelor’s degree (VU Bachelor's degree, VU premaster or Bachelor's degree at another university)

    The MA Heritage Studies is open to students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in: Archaeology; Art History (with a specialization in Architectural History); Ancient Studies (provided that 60 ECTS is spent on Archaeology); Social Geography (with knowledge of Historical Geography); History (with some specialization in environmental or city-country relations); or Students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following design disciplines: Planning; Architecture; Landscape Architecture; Town planning (preferably with a focus on the history of the built environment or the history of the discipline). If you have an academic Ba in a different field, please contact the course coordinator to discuss your possibilities. 

    Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of Faculty of Humanities.

  • I have a Dutch vocational education (HBO) Bachelor’s degree

    Students with a higher professional education qualification cannot proceed directly to the Master’s programme in Heritage Studies. You will have to complete the Premaster’s programme Heritage Studies or the minor Erfgoed en Ruimte first. If you got accepted to the premaster class with an HBO bachelor’s degree, participation in a premaster assessment is mandatory.

    The Premaster's programme is only available in September.

  • I have an international degree

    Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.

    The MA Heritage Studies is open to students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in: Archaeology; Art History (with a specialization in Architectural History); Ancient Studies (provided that 60 ECTS is spent on Archaeology); Social Geography (with knowledge of Historical Geography); History (with some specialization in environmental or city-country relations); or Students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following design disciplines: Planning; Architecture; Landscape Architecture; Town planning (preferably with a focus on the history of the built environment or the history of the discipline). If you have an academic Ba in a different field, please contact the course coordinator to discuss your possibilities. 

    English language requirements

    You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. You can apply online without having the test results, but in case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

    • TOEFL score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests).
    • IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
    • Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam with score A, B, or C; or Cambridge Advanced Exam with score A, B, or C.

    Exemptions from providing the English test scores are applicable to students, who:

    • have completed an English-taught secondary or higher education degree in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia; or
    • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an English-taught programme accredited by NVAO in the Netherlands, or
    • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited English-taught programme in another member state of the European Union

    The required evidence should, if possible, be included with the complete application. If either unsatisfactory or no evidence of English language proficiency has been provided with the application, admission will be conditional upon the provision of such evidence. This condition will be clearly indicated on the offer letter and must be fulfilled before enrolment at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    See the Admission and language requirements page for further information on the general requirements.

  • Applying with a Dutch degree

    You can apply for the Master's programme Heritage Studies under the label Erfgoedstudies via Studielink. The application deadline is: 1 June. If you have a Dutch diploma, follow this application procedure.

    What happens after I have applied?
    After you have applied for the master in Studielink, you will receive within two days emails with your login details for VUnet (VU StudentPortal). Please complete your application in VUnet.

    During this step you will be asked to upload the following documents:

    • Transcript of records (scan from original)
    • Course descriptions (i.e. for courses related to the discipline of the Master, and for courses on general academic skills)
    • List of literature (the most important literature used for the courses)
    • CV
    • Motivation letter (max. one A4)

    Please prepare these documents before you're going to complete your application in VUnet!

    Please note: students of the Faculty of Humanities at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam do NOT need to upload these documents.

    Your application will be reviewed by the Admission Board of Faculty of Humanities. You will be informed whether you have been admitted via Studielink. 

  • Applying with an international degree

    If you have read the admission criteria 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 original documents are required.

    The application deadlines are:

    • 1 June for non-Dutch EU/EEA students
    • 1 June for holders of a Dutch Bachelor’s degree (with a Dutch or EU/EEA nationality)
    • 1 April for non-EU/EEA students*

    *non-EU/EEA students who do not need a study visa and/or a residence permit can still apply until 1 June.

    Step 1: Review the admission criteria

    Step 2: Prepare your documents and apply online  
    Please prepare the following documents. 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 (ID only for EU residents)
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Motivation Letter
    • Transcript of records
    • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
    • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education and a list of all the main literature

    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 email.

    Step 3: Await the 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. 

    Step 4: Finalise your registration!
    Make sure to finalise your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation on what to do after you are admitted. When all of the conditions are met, you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!


    Application fee & deadlines
    All students seeking admission to an international Bachelor’s or Master’s programme with an international degree are required to pay a non-refundable €100 application fee. Only after you have paid this fee will we be able to start the evaluation of your application file. If you are applying for more than one programme, you will only need to pay the application fee once. Your application fee payment is valid for two years.

    Information on how to apply with an international university degree and deadlines can be found here.

Want to know more?

Don't hesitate to contact us!

Are you applying with a Dutch diploma? You can contact the Educational Office of the Faculty of Humanities for questions and practical information: toelating.fgw@vu.nl.

Are you applying with a non-Dutch diploma? You can contact the International Student Advisor of the Faculty of Humanities, Irena Paap: masters.hum@vu.nl

International students are also welcome to call the International Student Advisor of the Faculty of Humanities, Irena Paap: +31 20 598 5252

Other questions?

Send an e-mail to dr. L.R. Egberts: l.r.egberts@vu.nl