Show as: Mobile

Research Master in Business Data Science

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
September 2021
Virtual open day
Virtual open day

Program description

Research Master in Business Data Science

The Research Master Business Data Science is a multidisciplinary research program with a central focus on the performance of academic research.

The English-taught Research Master Business Data Science prepares talented and motivated students to enter high quality PhD programs in Business. It is a joint initiative of the Erasmus School of Economics of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and the School of Business and Economics of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

Discover your Research Master in Business Data Science

The Research Master Business Data Science is a multidisciplinary research program in which course instruction is provided by top scholars from the three participating Schools with a central focus on the performance of academic research within business disciplines, such as entrepreneurship and innovation, finance, human resources and organization, marketing, and supply chains analytics.

Chat live with students from VU

Do you want to know what it's like to study at VU? Visit the link below to student ambassadors and get answers to all of your burning questions about academic and student life.

Find a student ambassador

Admission requirements

Undergraduate degree

Students must have at least a Bachelor's degree demonstrating strong analytical and quantitative skills. The Bachelor’s program should have been completed before the start of the Research Master program.

GRE or GMAT test scores

Valid GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and/or GRE (Graduate Record Examinations, General test) results are required from all applicants who are not holding a Dutch degree before the start of the program. Applicants with a GMAT score below 700 or a GRE Quantitative score below 160 will not be considered. Successful applicants typically rank among the top 10% of examinees on the quantitative section of the GMAT and GRE. Code number for the GRE is 3811 (shared with Tinbergen Institute). Code number for GMAT is QK8-4B-73 (shared with Erasmus School of Economics). 


An excellent command of English is crucial. Students whose native language is not English are therefore required to demonstrate English proficiency by:

  • holding a degree from a Dutch university or an institution at which English is the language of instruction, or
  • scoring at least 100 on the TOEFL iBT test or 7 on the IELTS test.

We require that official test scores be sent to us directly from the GRE or TOEFL/IELTS organization or can be verified online by us. Use code number 3811 for TOEFL (code is shared with Tinbergen Institute).

Note: Chinese nationals (unless already enrolled at a university in the Netherlands) have to meet the NUFFIC requirements before they can pursue their studies in the Netherlands. Also proficiency in English is assessed. See FAQs for more information. 

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the institute website.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

The TOEFL® test is accepted by 10,000+ universities and higher education institutes in over 150 countries. Book your test today!

Learn more Advertisement

Program content

Data Science Foundation

Acquiring skills. In year 1, the primary objective is to build a solid data science foundation and expose students to a variety of methodological approaches. These skills are applied to various business disciplines in the field courses.

Business Foundation

Building knowledge. In year 2, students focus on a given business subdiscipline, selecting from among: 1) quantitative finance, 2) management science, and 3) supply chain analytics. The courses assigned for each of these sub-disciplines have been carefully selected by a team of experts with the aim of ensuring the perfect learning trajectory that will lead to substantive contributions in the fields of each particular sub-discipline.

Research Practice

Aligning skills and knowledge. The program starts with an overview of the business problems that data science can address (in block 0), which also exposes students to fundamental components of the different business fields. This early exposure helps students to absorb and process materials presented later in courses on methodology, with respect to the various business perspectives.

Students become further acquainted with the different business fields during seminars held throughout the first year, for which they will have to write a research proposal, as well as during the research hackathon. The research hackathon makes students think about how to approach the problems that arise in the various disciplines, and puts their knowledge to the test.

Finally, the research clinic and the Research Master thesis represent students' final moments of integrating business and data science, and will showcase their ability to identify relevant problems and address them using cutting-edge techniques to make a substantive contribution to the field. 

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the institute website for more information.

Program delivery

The courses are taught in blocks of eight weeks, with lectures during the first six (core courses) or seven weeks (field courses); the eighth week of each block typically serves as an exam week. Exception is block V which is extended by 2 weeks.

First-year (core) courses have weekly one-hour tutorials, taught by a teaching assistant, in which students work on and discuss homework assignments. In core courses, no graded homework may be assigned in the week prior to the exam.

Course attendance is mandatory; this applies to all core and field courses, the skills workshops, the research hackathon, the research clinic and the research seminar series. Attendance is registered via attendance sheets.

Tuition fees

  • Tuition fee for EU: € 1,084
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 14,616


Students who successfully complete the research master Business Data Science are assisted in finding PhD positions at one of the three partner universities or elsewhere.

Contact school

Want to know more about this program, Research Master in Business Data Science? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.

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...

Read more about this school

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

 Show phone number

Contact school

Want to know more about Research Master in Business Data Science? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


Be the first to write a review!