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Masters in Business Analytics

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Program overview
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Start dates
15,320 EUR
September 2021

15,320 EUR
September 2022

15,320 EUR
September 2023

Program description

Masters in Business Analytics

Find expert solutions to today's complex business problems

In today’s data driven world, organizations need expert judgement and sharp analysis to ensure they make the right decisions. Business Analytics enables you to harness the power of data science, big data, statistics and machine learning to optimize results and achieve strategic objectives.&;

Your ability to combine insights from mathematics, computer science and economics with highly developed quantitative and communication skills will make you key to the success of any organization. The Master’s programme will deepen your knowledge in these areas and give you the opportunity to specialize in computational intelligence, business process optimization, and financial risk management. The Master’s degree is concluded with a six-month individual internship at a company, which is often the first step to a thriving international career.

Admission requirements

The Business Analytics programme is open to both Dutch and International Students with a Bachelor’s degree in the same or an equivalent field and who are in possession of sufficient mathematical and computer skills. Those who have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Mathematics, Mathematics or Econometrics from a university or an institute of higher education will be admitted if approval of the Admission Board is obtained. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. 

In order to gain admission to the Business Analytics Master’s programme, you will 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 ECTS or equivalent. Academic writing skill is to be demonstrated by submitting a thesis. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score. A Bachelor degree obtained at an applied university or higher vocational education (HBO in Dutch) in most cases does not grant direct access to the programme (only exceptionally high ranking students stand a chance of admission).

Specific requirements for the Business Analytics master’s programme 

For admission to the Business Analytics programme, a Bachelor degree in Business Analytics or a closely related Bachelor is required. In general, we expect the following subjects to be part of your Bachelors programme:

  • 90 EC (european credit points) or equivalent of Mathematics/Econometrics/Computer   Science courses at the BSc level.
  • 45 EC (european credit points) or equivalent of Mathematics courses at the BSc level, including Probability and Statistics.
  • at least one course about programming in Java or Python
  • Holders of an HBO diplomain Business Mathematics are admitted first to the one year pre-Master’s programme, and are advised first to contact the master’s coordinator before applying. Either way, an individual programme will be designed for the student in consultation with the coordinator.

Admission to the dual programme

Admission to the dual master's programme is granted to those who have a BA Bachelor's degree. For those with another university Bachelor's degree, such as Mathematics, Econometrics, Computer Science, or a Bachelor's degree from an institute of higher education, admission may be granted on an individual basis. Those seeking admission to the dual master's programme should realise that admission also depends on obtaining suitable employment. BA has contacts with a number of companies that are interested in participating in this programme. Due to visa restrictions and limits to issue work permits to students from abroad by the Dutch immigration authorities, the dual programme is only open for students living in the Netherlands.

General language proficiency requirements

VU Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English testand to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

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Program content

The Master’s programme in Business Analytics is a two year programme consisting of 120 ECTS, divided into four semesters. The first semester is devoted to compulsory courses. During the second and third semester, you may focus on one of the three specializations. Finally, in the fourth semester, you spend six months on an internship at a business or research institute.

  • Compulsory courses - 42 EC
  • At least four out of sixteen optional BA courses - 24 EC
  • Other optional courses - 18EC
  • Master's project - 36 EC

You will learn:

  • The art of mathematical modelling and ways to apply it in practice
  • To build a complete decision support system in a group project
  • To analyze data and recognize data patterns and structures
  • Mathematical methods used within financial institutions
  • Scientific writing and presentation skills
  • To work in an interdisciplinary team, to communicate and work together with experts in different areas 
  • To combine and apply your knowledge in practice by means of a traineeship

Compulsory courses
The compulsory courses are:

  • Applied Stochastic Modelling(6 EC)
    This course provides you with an insight into mathematical modelling and the way it is used in practice. You will explore a number of stochastic solution methods.
  • Data-Mining Techniques(6 EC)
    This course surveys basic data-mining techniques and their application in solving real-life problems in such areas as marketing, fraud detection, text and web mining, and bioinformatics.
  • Applied Analysis: Financial Mathematics(6 EC)
    This course introduces you to the maths used within financial institutions. Topics covered include the theory of options, the binomial method, the Black-Scholes model and its application, the heat equation, and numerical methods.
  • Project Optimization of Business Processes(group project, 6 EC)
    This project concerns the construction and/or design of (part of) a decision support system (DSS) that is designed and built in a scientifically sound way, and can be used in practice. The DSS is built in groups of students.
  • Statistical Models(6 EC) 
    In this course you will learn to apply several common statistical models in valid settings, and will learn the theoretical foundation for each model. Topics that will be discussed are: analysis of variance, generalized linear models, non-linear models and time series models.
  • Research Seminar Business Analytics(6 EC)
    During (for instance) the master project the student should consider relevant literature for the research question at hand. This course aims to prepare the student for this step. Getting acquinted with the literature consists of two elements: (i) to be able to study a specific paper in depth, and (ii) to carry out a desk research on scientific literature (sort of review) related to a research question. Both of these elements are addressed during the seminar.
  • Advanced Machine Learning(6 EC)
    Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In this course, you will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work yourself. We will discuss the theoretical underpinnings as well as the practical know-how needed to apply these techniques to new problems.

During the second and third semester you may specialize in one direction of expertise. The three main specializations are: 

  • Business process optimization 
  • Computational intelligence 
  • Financial risk management

Tuition fees

  • EU-EER students fee: € 2,168
  • NON-EU students fee: € 15,320

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.


MSc in Business Analytics

Continuing studies

If you are looking for a degree that will be your springboard to an international graduate career, look no further. We estimate that around 95% of Business Analytics graduates go straight into full-time employment on completing their studies. And of course, studying in Amsterdam means you have a wealth of international business opportunities right on your doorstep. 

In high demand

Both the private sector and the public sector are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Your skills as a Business Analyst are in such high demand that you may even receive job offers before you graduate or at the company where you completed your work placement. And there’s more: even during your studies you can easily find yourself taking on a part-time job as a junior data analyst or programmer. While your fellow students are waiting tables or stocking shelves, you could well be generating extra income while picking up highly relevant work experience.

The world at your feet

A degree in Business Analytics opens the door to all kinds of career opportunities (see chart below). Major international companies such as Google, or KLM are all on the lookout for talented Business Analysts. 

You could enter a graduate consultancy position with leading firms such as Deloitte, Accenture, EY and PwC. Or why not pursue a career as a datamining specialist or risk manager in the financial sector? There are also prospects aplenty in the world of academic research. Much of the applied research generated by our partnerships with industry is carried out by our graduates who have pursued their academic ambitions at PhD level.

Career opportunities

Graduates with excellent grades are invited to apply for one of our PhD student positions. This is normally awarded for four years, during which the student is expected to complete a research project. The main task of a PhD student is to conduct research resulting in a thesis. 

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About this institute

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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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