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Masters in Business Administration: Human Resource Management

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Program overview
1 year
Full time
Start dates
16,630 EUR
September 2021

16,630 EUR
September 2022

16,630 EUR
September 2023

Program description

Masters in Business Administration: Human Resource Management

What is the key to creating successful, sustainable careers? How can you ensure inclusivity and equality in recruitment and selection? How can organizations effectively manage their human capital, given major disruptions like digitalization and an ageing workforce? What’s the best way to find – and keep – the best possible people in the right jobs? How are contemporary HR challenges different, and how should you address them?

With your Master’s in Business Administration: Human Resource Management (HRM), you won’t just learn the answers to these and other key HRM concerns. You’ll also know how to put them into practice and develop a career of your own. The programme balances quantitative and qualitative research, hands-on experience and direct contact with major corporations to ensure you have the hard and soft skills you need to excel in the world of HRM. At VU Amsterdam, we focus on making sure you have all the tools and support you need to carve your own path to success.

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Admission requirements

We welcome and look for motivated and ambitious students who are actively developing themselves and are aware of their position and role in society. In order to be successful in this programme you will need a solid academic basis in, for instance, (International) Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, and other related disciplines. Typically, successful students in this programme have at least a 7 average grade (or an equivalent GPA score for international students) in the third year of their Bachelor’s programme, or a GMAT score of 600. Prior relevant work experience and experience with volunteering or other citizenship behaviours are encouraged and also taken into account.

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, but we do take into account your motivation, prior relevant work experiences, and any relevant volunteering experiences and/or citizenship behaviors. Furthermore you need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this programme, consisting of (or equivalents of):

Organizational Behavior

  • Sinding et al. (2014). Organisational Behaviour. 5th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill or
  • Kinicky & Fugate (2016). Organizational Behavior. A Practical, Problem-Solving Approach. 1st edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill

Human Resource

  • Management Noe et al. (2016). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. 6th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill and
  • Boselie (2014). Strategic Human Resource Management

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 score writing 6,0


  • 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.

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Program content

The HRM programme teaches you how to speak both the language of (strategic) HRM and that of the business, and shows you how to apply cutting edge scientific research to make employees thrive and companies more successful, better employers. More and more companies are beginning to realise how crucial recruitment, selection, retention, development and mobility are to business success. We’ll give you the tools to become an invaluable part of any company’s long-term business strategy. In addition to HRM courses, you’ll be able to take electives from other Business Administration specialization programmes.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take two mandatory courses:
    • The Changing HRM Environment – Learn about how external influences impact on contemporary HRM topics.
    • Contemporary Careers & Organisations – Explore the current challenges organisations and individuals face, and learn how to address them.
  • You’ll take three elective courses in period 2 and 3; these should include at least two of the following three courses
    • Performance Management – Get to know the theory and practice of performance management, appraisals and performance-driven behaviour.
    • Recruitment and Selection – Learn how to impact an organisation’s performance with the right recruitment, selection and assessment.
  • Talent Development and Analytics – Understand what evidence-based talent development entails, and get the analytical tools to help you deal with HRD. You’ll take a course in Business Ethics in HRM – Address a variety of ethical issues HRM managers and professionals may encounter.
  • In your second semester, you’ll learn academic research skills and put them straight into practice by writing your Master’s thesis.
  • Whatever your personal career ambitions, you can tailor your Master’s to ensure success. Select from many potential electives and three different types of internships to customise your Master’s. Choose to specialise exclusively in HRM, or generalise your degree with other BA courses from International Management, Leadership & Change Strategy, Management Consulting or Strategy & Organisation.
  • You’ll work in teams and with major international organisations, like Deloitte and, to address and solve current HRM challenges.

Scholarships & funding

With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer highly motivated students with excellent study results the unique opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financial support provided by the university.

The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended for excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus. As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.

Tuition fees

  • EU-EER students fee: € 2,168
  • NON-EU students fee: € 16,630


On completion of this program, students will receive a Masters in Business Administration: Human Resource Management

Continuing studies

  • How employable will you be after completing the programme?
    • The vast majority of graduates (more than 80%) have a job before they finish the programme, or within a few months of graduating. And those who do not have often chosen to take a bit of time off before starting to work.
  • What kinds of jobs are available to you?
    • You will likely begin as a recruiter, HR-generalist, junior HR business partner, or consultant. But the knowledge and experience you gain at VU Amsterdam will prepare you for a long career trajectory with many prospects. Our ambition is to prepare you to one day become a CHRO, senior (HR) manager or senior HR business partner.
  • What have alumni of the programme gone on to do?
    • Graduates of the programme go on to careers as diverse as the graduates themselves.  After all, corporations of every size and type need strong HRM support to guide their ambitions. But to give you an idea, many of our graduates go on to successful careers with major multinationals, including PWC, Deloitte, ING, Nike, Rabobank, Accenture, and UBER. Graduates also get offers from a range of innovative start-ups.
  • How does the programme help students select the right career path?
    • We make sure you have as many job options available to you as possible. Our specialised programme opens the door to a wide range of employment opportunities, because you’ll have the business knowledge and essential soft skills that nearly every company needs. And our Career Services centre offers both general and specific support to ensure your employability in your chosen field.

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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