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Masters in Global Health

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
On campus
01 September 2022

About this program

Masters in Global Health

Are you ready to unravel the complexity of global health challenges and contribute to better health for all? Then this Research Masters in Global Health may be the Master’s you are looking for.

Overview of Msc. Global health

During the research master, students from all over the world embark on an intensive study of cross-cutting aspects of health problems and health systems. Students obtain the latest insights on specific topics, such as infectious diseases, NCDs, maternal health and mental health in Master classes and learn about inter- and transdisciplinary approaches and a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methods in courses. Special attention is given to developing students' ability to critically assess research designs and research proposals. They are taught how to design, implement and ‘measure’ interventions that address complex health challenges, and to analyse and compare different health systems.

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Admission requirements

A successful applicant should possess the following skills and qualities:

  • High academic grades 
  • Aptitude for critical analysis and logical thinking 
  • Experience with several scientific disciplines (for instance studying medicine, but doing work with social care during elective)
  • High motivation 
  • Social responsibility
  • Excellent social and communication skills (in English).

We assess these skills and qualities through the specific admission requirements listed below: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in one of the basic disciplines of Global Health (e.g. Medical Biology, Health Sciences, Medical Anthropology, Medicine, Health Economics, Health Management, Pharmacy, Medical Natural Sciences) with basic knowledge of epidemiology (at least 6 EC). A deficiency in the knowledge of Epidemiology can be compensated by taking additional courses (before the commencement of the study).
  • A GPA of 3.5 (7.5 in the Dutch grading system) or higher. The grade for the Bachelors’ thesis should be 8.0. For non-EU students, the transcript and the quality of the Bachelor’s program are evaluated by the VU International Office. If the diploma or a previous study program is not known by the International Office, the file of the student is sent to the NUFFIC office for additional evaluation and advice.
  • Motivation letter stating the reasons for applying for this Research Masters
  • Comprehensive CV with a list of extra-curricular activities focusing on social responsibility, e.g. volunteer work or other activities showing the social qualities of the student. 
  • Two reference letters (one from the supervisor of the bachelor thesis or internship).
  • A sufficient score on the web-based entry examination. Examination consists of an open essay question regarding a video discussing the aspects of Global Health and some scientific literature readings. 
  • Receive a positive recommendation on the basis of an interview with the program director and/or master coordinator (held in person or via Skype depending on the location and possibilities of the student). When the maximum number of students is reached, the interview is also seen as a selection method and is thus held by the program director together with educational director and lecturers.
  • For those who have not completed previous studies in English a minimum score of 560 for the paper version of the TOEFL test (or an equivalent measuring the level of C1 in ‘Common European Framework of References for languages’ (CEFR)).

Language Requirements 
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam also requires all applicants to take an English test. You can, however, begin your application without having the test results. Please be aware of the fact that it can take a long time to receive the results of English proficiency tests, so plan your test on time! In case you haven’t taken a test yet, we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Deadlines for submitting the English test are as follows: Students who require a visa: June 1Students who do not require a visa: August 30 

Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the Global Health programme:
IELTS (academic): · Minimum Overall Band Score 6.5 
TOEFL: · Paper-based test 580 · Internet-based test 92 · TOEFL ITP 580  
Cambridge English: · Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C · Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C 

Please refer to the Language Requirements webpage for the general requirements regarding language proficiency.

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Program content

This innovative Research Master’s offers you a researchbased approach to global health that spans a range of disciplines and uses a systems perspective. The programme unites students with highly varied backgrounds from all around the world. You receive two years of training supervised by experts in Public Health, Medicine, Psychology, Epidemiology and many others. As a Master’s student in Global Health, you acquire the knowledge, skills and attitude to analyse complex national and international health challenges, and to design, implement and evaluate integral intervention inter- and trans-disciplinary strategies to meet complex global health challenges. The programme has four components: compulsory courses, elective courses, and two research internships of five months each. Special attention is paid to students’ personal development with buddy and mentorship programmes as well as specialised workshops dealing with selfmanagement and career orientation.

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 fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 14,236


MSc in Global Health

Career paths

As a Global Health graduate, you will be ideally equipped to pursue a PhD on global health issues. If this is not your primary objective, the programme prepares you effectively for other research and knowledge-broker positions (in NGO/government/private sector). Worldwide there is an urgent need for more research on health problems, health interventions, health systems and health policy.

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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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