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Pre-Master’s programme

Communication Science

This programme offers access to the (Research) Master's tracks in Communication Science. This pre-Master's programme is taught in English and is only accessible to students with an academic background.

To guarantee the quality of the education of our Master's programmes in Communication, you will have to meet all entry requirements. When you have the right undergraduate qualifications (academic level and background) but a lack of knowledge and experience in the required areas, the Admissions Board may consider conditionally admitting you, based on completing a pre-Master's programme or online crash course first. If they do, you will receive an invitation for the pre-Master.

If you are conditionally admitted, that means you have to complete a pre-Master's programme or online course prior to your (Research) Master’s. On this page you will find the different options for remedy coursework.

Important: Students with a Bachelor’s degree obtained at a university of applied sciences (HBO) or equivalent cannot be admitted to the (pre-) Master’s. They can opt for the short-track Bachelor's programme, read more information about this below.

1) Pre-Master's programme

The pre-Master's programme includes a maximum of 30 EC and takes one semester to complete. An academic year at University of Amsterdam is divided in two semesters: semester I (Sept-Jan) and semester II (Feb-Aug). After completion of your pre-Master's programme, the earliest official start of the Master’s programme is the next semester.

You may be required to complete one, two, three or all four of the following courses of the pre-Master's programme:

  • Foundations of Communication Science
  • Quantitative Research for Communication Science
  • Mastering your Master's (for international students)
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Courses can be found in the online UvA Course Catalogue

2) Online crash course: Foundations of Communication Science

When you have a broad background in social behavioural science theories, but you do not yet meet all our admission requirements you may be given the option to complete the Online Foundations of Communication Science. The online course is an intensive 2 week introduction course in the area of Communication Science and can be followed at home via online clips.  The online course takes place in the month prior to the intended start of the Master’s programme (August or January). 

How to apply

Please keep in mind that it is not possible to apply for the pre-Master’s programme or online courses independently. You apply for the (Research) Master’s programme first and subsequently the admissions board will decide whether you will need to take some extra coursework prior to the (Research) Master’s programme. You can check the entry requirements of the Master's programme to get an indication of the possible outcome.

Graduates from universities of applied sciences (HBO) in the Netherlands

Students with a Bachelor’s degree obtained at a university of applied sciences (HBO) or equivalent cannot be admitted to the (pre-) Master’s.  They may opt for taking the short-track Bachelor's programme at the College of Communication first to meet the criteria, and then re-apply. This short-track Bachelor’s (verkorte Bachelor) is taught in English and Dutch. For more information, see

Dutch taught short track Bachelor's programme
English taught short-track Bachelor's programme - for Dutch HBO graduates
English taught short-track Bachelor's programme - for students with an international degree equal to a Dutch HBO

Tuition fee

For pre-Master’s programmes, you will pay tuition fees per course (each course consists of a number of EC credits). The tuition fees for this are not usually calculated until August. Read more on the tuition fee for the pre-Master’s programme here. More information about the retake policy and additional costs can be found below.

Pre-Master Retake Policy (Effective until August 2023)
The pre-Master’s programme in Communication Science needs to be successfully completed within two semesters. Students who do not complete their pre-Master’s programme within two consecutive semesters are not admissible for the (Research) Master’s in Communication Science and will be rejected for the (Research) Master’s programme. A delay of at least one semester, with associated costs, would be inevitable when retaking one or more pre-Master’s courses. You will have to pay additional tuition fee of €75 per EC for the course(s) that you are retaking.

Pre-Master Retake Policy (Effective September 2023)
Per September 2023, it is not possible to retake courses in the pre-Master’s programme. This means that when you start your pre-Master’s per September 2023, you must successfully complete the pre-Master’s programme within one semester. Students who do not complete their pre-Master’s programme within one semester are not admissible for the (Research) Master’s in Communication Science and will be rejected for the (Research) Master’s programme.

More information

If you have questions about the pre-Master's programme, please contact our study advisers.

Facts & Figures
Mode Full-time
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission Preliminary training necessary
Starts in February, September