Master in Health Sciences

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Program Description

Master in Health Sciences

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Master in Health Sciences

In the Master’s programme in Health Sciences, you will learn to analyse the various complex factors that ontribute to health. You will go beyond individual health issues to tackle health problems in different ways. Obesity can be tackled through medication or stomach reduction procedures. Health scientists, however, look at other methods such as increasing taxes on fatty foods, reducing the amount of sweets and soft drinks children can buy at school, designing residential areas so that there are places for children to play and educating people about healthy eating and exercise.

Study programme

The aim of this one-year Master’s programme in Health Sciences is to provide students with knowledge and skills in the broad field of health sciences. The Master’s programme in Health Sciences is an academic programme, it is aimed at professional careers inside and outside university research. It comprises 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits.

The programme is structured as follows:

  • 5 specializations, each consisting of 5 one-month courses
  • Three compulsary courses within a specialization
  • Two or three courses are optional and can be chosen from other specializations
  • 5-month scientific internship and article

Five specializations

You can choose one or a combination of two of the following specializations:

  • Health policy
  • Prevention and Public Health
  • Infectious Diseases and Health
  • Nutrition and Health
  • International Public Health

Career prospects

Health Sciences touches on many aspects of society, so you can pursue a career in lots of different areas. With excellent analytical skills, a comprehensive overview of the healthcare system and specialized knowledge and skills, you will be a valuable asset to many employers in the healthcare sector.

Your job prospects after your Master’s include:

  • Researcher at a university, TNO (Applied Research Institute) or RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment)
  • Health insurance policy officer with a health insurer
  • Sickness prevention policy officer at a branch of the Municipal Health Services
  • Communication advisor on health issues
  • Manager at a work activity centre or healthcare institution
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health advisor for an NGO
  • Consultant

Once you have completed your Master’s programme in Health Sciences, you may also decide to continue your studies at a more advanced level. The options include post-doctorate courses at the Netherlands School of Primary Care Research (CaRe) or the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES). You can also apply to a PhD programme at a university or research institute.

Admission requirements

Admission with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences

  • All students with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Twente University, Wageningen University and Maastricht University will be admitted to the Master’s programme. Students from Erasmus University Rotterdam are only admissible to the specializations Policy and Organisation of Health Care and International Public Health. If your university Bachelor’s degree is not entirely relevant to the Master’s programme, you may still obtain admission via a pre-Master’s programme. This programme will be drawn up on an individual basis and will take up to one year, depending on the relevance of your prior education. The examination board will make the final decision on your admission. Students holding a university bachelor’s degree in Science of Movement, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine and Psychology are allowed to enter the programme if they follow the course in Epidemiology (May 2013) and the required course preceding the chosen specialization given in June (only in Dutch)
    • Gezondheidseconomie
    • Infectieziekten en gezondheid
    • Voedingsonderzoek in de praktijk
    • Internationale volksgezondheid
    • Gezondheidscommunicatie
  • If you think you have fulfilled these requirements, or if you want personal advice or further information regarding admission, please contact Marianne Donker. Students with a university Bachelor’s degree or hbo do not have to do an assessment before starting the pre-Master’s programme.

  • Admission with a Bachelor's or Master’s degree in another subject.
    If you have already completed a Bachelor's or Master’s programme in a subject related to Health Sciences, your curriculum will be examined to decide if you can be admitted to the programme directly or if you need to take additional subjects to bring you up to entry level. The admission board will make the final decision on your admission.

  • Admission with a higher professional qualification (hbo)
    Students with a higher professional qualification are first required to take a pre-Master’s programme to bring them up to entry level. The pre-Master’s programme is currently only available to students who have completed a four-year higher professional programme in: Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Mensendieck Therapy, Cesar Therapy, Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy Techniques, Nursing, Optometry or Oral Hygiene.

  • Individual hbo-bachelors with other qualifications
    Students with a higher vocational qualification in another subject may be able to take an individually structured Bachelor’s programme with exemptions. If this applies to you, please send details of your current study programme to our study advisor before the 1st of May, including a brief description of the programme, the subjects you have taken and the number of ECTS credits obtained. On the basis of this information, the admission board will decide whether you qualify for exemptions.

  • English language proficiency requirements
    VU Amsterdam requires international applicants to pass an English language proficiency test.

N.B. Students who need a visa (MVV) to enter the Netherlands must have passed the test and submitted the original test certificate before 1 June. All other students have to submit the test certificate at the latest before 1 September.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated July 12, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 year
Full time
1,984 EUR
Apr. 1, 2017
deadline for international students
Start date Sept. 2017
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline Apr. 1, 2017
deadline for international students
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 1,984 EUR
for EEA students; €12.000 for Non-EEA