Follow the steps below to apply for this degree programme. Only complete applications are taken into consideration when submitted before or on the day of the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
A complete application includes:
- A completed enrolment application in Studielink
- Your UvA application form submitted through MyInfo
- All required documents uploaded through MyInfo (see step 5 for required documents)
1. Check deadlines
Apply between 1 October 2022 and 1 March 2023 for intake per September 2023.
Apply between 1 June 2023 and 1 September 2023 for intake per February 2024.
It may take several days to complete all steps of the application procedure, so make sure to start your application well in time. We recommend that you review all criteria well in advance so that you have sufficient time to gather the required documents. Importantly, you should fill out Studielink and MyInfo at least one week before the application deadline.
Students with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Science from the University of Amsterdam are granted direct admission to the Master's programme in Communication Science (this does not apply to the Research Master's). Please make sure to submit an enrolment request in Studielink two weeks prior to the course registration (the course registration periods are in June and December). Direct admission also applies to students with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science obtained at the University of Nijmegen, University of Twente, VU Amsterdam and the International Bachelor Communication and Media at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Note: You may apply before finishing your Bachelor's programme. However, you must obtain your Bachelor's degree and show us valid proof of graduation before the following ultimate deadlines:
- For September intake, you must show proof ultimately per 1 September 2023.
- For February intake, you must obtain your Bachelor's degree and show us a valid proof of graduation ultimately per 1 February 2024. If you obtained your degree earlier, please send it to us as soon as possible.
2. Check entry requirements
To guarantee the quality of the education within the Graduate School, you will have to meet all entry requirements specified below.
When you have the relevant undergraduate qualifications (academic level and background) but not enough knowledge and experience in required areas, it is possible that you may be conditionally admitted based on completing the pre-Master's programme or online course first. Please note, you cannot apply for the pre-Master’s programme directly. You have to submit a full application for the Master’s programme first and the admissions board will decide whether you are directly admissible or whether you might qualify for a pre-Master’s programme.
The admissions board will evaluate every applicant individually, based on:
- Undergraduate qualification: Academic level (Academic Bachelor's or Master's degree)
- Undergraduate qualification: Background (Bachelor's curriculum and attended courses)
- English language proficiency (non-Dutch degree students only)
Each of these points is further explained below.
1. Undergraduate qualification: Academic level
Applicants who obtained a Dutch academic Bachelor’s degree at a research university (WO) are eligible to apply for one of our Master’s programmes. This means that applicants with a non-Dutch degree need to meet the same qualifications. The minimum level of your diploma should therefore be at least equivalent to or comparable to three years of a Dutch research-oriented university. To establish whether your non-Dutch degree is equivalent to this level, we will need to assess it first. This will be done by professional diploma evaluators based on the guidelines of the Nuffic (an independent organisation for internationalisation in education). Please find an overview of the descriptions of different international education systems on the Nuffic website.
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.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) required for applicants who obtained their Bachelor’s degree in a non-EU/EEA country
As part of the assessment of the undergraduate qualification, applicants with a Bachelor’s degree obtained in a non-EU/EEA country are required to submit a GRE score as part of their application. This allows us to better assess the background of applicants to determine whether they are sufficiently prepared for our graduate programme. The Communication Science Master’s degree programme at the University of Amsterdam is an empirically focused programme that places a high value on student autonomy and relies on small teacher-student ratios. Our focus on student autonomy means that students must enter our Master's classroom ready to learn in a self-directed manner. Students who have studied in our three-year Communication Science Bachelor programme (or other similar programmes in the Netherlands) have spent several years developing verbal, analytic, and quantitative thinking abilities that are critical for success in our programme. These students are offered direct admittance to our Master's programme. For applicants who have studied in other programmes in the EU/EEA, our experience shows that we can evaluate an applicant’s academic background and sufficiently determine if they are aptly prepared for study success in our Master's programme. For applicants with a Bachelor’s degree obtained outside the EU/EEA, however, it is more difficult to assess this student’s academic preparation. For this reason, we ask applicants with a Bachelor’s degree obtained outside the EU/EEA to also include a GRE score in their application dossier. This provides us with a more robust indicator of an applicant’s preparedness. For all applicants who obtained their Bachelor’s degree in a non-EU/EEA country, the GRE is required for finalising your application. A list of EU/EEA countries can be found here. If you have obtained or are going to obtain your Bachelor’s degree in a country that is not identified as an EU/EEA country, you are required to submit a GRE score (Graduate Record Examination) as part of your application. If you do not submit a GRE score, your dossier will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Please keep in mind, while there is no minimum GRE score required, we encourage applicants to perform their best on this test.
2. Undergraduate qualification: Background
Admission (conditionally) is usually realistic for students who at least hold an academic Bachelor's degree in Communication Science or a related discipline (e.g., Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Communication & Information Studies, Media Studies, Journalism with a research emphasis, International Relations). However, these students will likely have to complete some extra coursework (pre-Master's or online course) prior to the Master’s programme, depending on their knowledge of theories in Communication Science and (quantitative) social science methods and statistics.
Students with a different Bachelor’s background, without direct links to the field of Communication Science, are most likely not eligible for the (pre-)Master’s programme.
About Massive Online Courses. The Graduate School of Communication is an advocate of massive online courses (MOOCs) due to our belief that these can greatly contribute to the dissemination of knowledge and the accessibility of education for people across the world. That is why we among others offer the MOOC-courses Introduction to Communication Science and Media Ethics and Governance on the Coursera platform. You are more than welcome to participate in our Coursera-offer. Candidate applicants, however, should take into account that the certificates from Cousera or from other online education platforms do not replace certified transcripts and degree certificates from accredited institutes of higher education in the admission process. This is because education through MOOCs is not a part of the necessary principles of surveillance for accredited degrees.
- Knowledge about theories of Communication Science: Admission to our Master's programme in Communication Science requires you to have a certain level of knowledge and understanding of Communication Science theories. The admissions board will evaluate this based on your Bachelor’s curriculum and completed courses. Work experience is not taken into consideration.
- Knowledge about theories of (quantitative) social science methods and statistics: The Master's programme in Communication Science has its roots in socio-behavioural sciences. In line with this socio-behavioural tradition, the programme teaches you how to systematically observe and measure the contents and effects of media and communication. That is why, in order to successfully complete our Master’s programme in Communication Science, you must be at ease with the use of certain socio-behavioural data collection methods (such as survey design and experimental design), and statistical models to analyse the data (such as measurement models, linear regression and analysis of variance). This level of knowledge must be confirmed by the content of courses taken during your academic Bachelor’s programme. Work experience is not taken into consideration.
- Experience in conducting empirical research with the use of inferential statistics: In addition to knowledge of socio-behavioural research methods and statistics, we require you to be able to conduct and evaluate quantitative empirical research. This will be evaluated based on research papers written during your Bachelor’s programme. If you don’t have any research papers, please upload a document which states that you don’t have a research paper.
3. English language proficiency (non-Dutch degree students only)
All Communication Science courses in the Master’s programmes are taught in English. You must therefore be able to read textbooks, understand lectures, take part in classroom discussions and produce written work in English. That is why we require evidence of English language proficiency from applicants with a non-Dutch degree who are NOT considered as someone whose first language is English. Please note that if you do not meet this requirement, admission is not possible. We only accept test results from TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Advanced English or Cambridge Proficiency English. Other English tests are not considered valid.
Requirements regarding English language level are*:
- IELTS Academic**: Overall Band Score minimum 7, for each subscore minimum 6.5
- TOEFL iBT (institutional code: 3995)***(MyBest™ Scores are not accepted): 100, subscores: Reading: 24, Listening: 22, Speaking: 25, Writing: 24.
- Cambridge International Examinations: minimum score Cambridge English scale (Advanced C1): 190 or higher.
*English language test results may not be older than 2 years.
** The IELTS General Training, IELTS Indicator and IELTS Online are NOT accepted.
*** The TOEFL ITP test (Institutional Testing Program) and the TOEFL iBT Home Edition are NOT accepted.
How to submit your language test score
You must upload your test report with sufficient scores with your application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
English test exemptions
Students with a Dutch Bachelor’s degree are exempt from this requirement.
Also, applicants whose first language is English are exempt from the English test requirement. In addition, applicants who have completed at least 3 years of tertiary education or an entire Master's programme in English located in a country where English is the first language (e.g., Australia, Canada (except for Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US) are exempt as well. Note that this does not include English language education based in a non-English country.
Applicants who have completed secondary education located in an English-speaking country can apply for a waiver of the test requirement. We consider the following countries as English-speaking: Australia, Canada (except for Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA.
The Admission Board will review such waiver requests on an individual basis. (NOTE: If this applies to you, make sure you apply for a waiver well in advance to leave time for an English test in case your waiver is not granted).
In all other situations, an English language test is a requirement for finalising your application.
3. Submit enrolment application in Studielink
Before you can apply to an UvA teaching programme, you will need to submit an enrolment application in Studielink. We strongly advise you to apply to our programme in Studielink at least a week before the application deadline. Studielink is the national online system for students who would like to pursue a degree programme at a Dutch university. Before starting your enrolment application in Studielink, read the 'Step-by-step guide to Studielink'.
Note! Check your DigiD (before starting in Studielink): A DigiD (Digital Identification) is an online ID (username and password) that provides access to Dutch government administration websites. Students who do not live in the Netherlands can use Studielink without a DigiD. Students who currently live in the Netherlands will need their DigiD to use Studielink. We strongly recommend you to apply for your DigiD at least three weeks before registering in Studielink.
Note! Check the Language Settings of Studielink: If your Studielink account is set to the Dutch language, use the search term ‘Communicatiewetenschap’ to enrol for the one-year Master track. If you are planning to enrol for the Research Master’s programme, use the search term ‘Communication Science’.
It is NOT possible to directly apply for the pre-Master's. This can only be an outcome of your admission request for the Master’s programme. The Admission Board needs to invite you for the pre-Master's programme.
4. Activate your UvAnetID
After submitting your enrolment application in Studielink, you will receive an email with your UvanetID. Follow the instructions in the email to activate your ID as you will need it to complete your UvA application.
5. Submit your UvA application form
After enrolling in Studielink, you will automatically receive an email with a link to the UvA application form (MyInfo). Please fill out this application form in order to complete your application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Documents should be uploaded in PDF format. Please make sure your application documents have ENGLISH* file names that include the following: Type document_your name (example: Course description research methods courses_Mary Wang). A complete application consists of the following documents:
- Curriculum vitae
- Statement of motivation (max. 450-500 words). Write a letter with your statement of motivation in English, containing answers to the following questions:
- What is your primary motivation for wanting to pursue an academic-oriented Master's programme in Communication Science, rather than other fields such as Media Studies, Psychology, or Linguistics?
- What is your primary motivation to pursue this Master's programme in Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam, and how does it fit into your plans for the next five years on an intellectual level, career level, personal level, or otherwise?
- Official certified copies of higher education diplomas or an official graduation statement with your expected graduation date on it. Official translations are required if the original documents are in another language than English, German, French, or Dutch. A certified copy is a photocopy of the original document with a wet ink stamp and signature from your school/university or an authorised notary.
- Official certified copy of your transcripts of grades. Transcripts must show grades/results and the number of credits obtained. Official translations are required if the original documents are in another language than English, German, French, or Dutch. A certified copy is a photocopy of the original document with a wet ink stamp and signature from your school/university or an authorised notary.
- Self-assessment form research methodology and statistics
- An individually written empirical research paper, based on quantitative research methods and inferential statistics. Preferably your thesis, but if you are not in possession of such a paper, please upload another research paper that has been written during your Bachelor’s or Master’s programme. If you have not written an individual quantitative research paper during your studies so far, please indicate this in your application. Please do not replace it with other types of papers, such as argumentative essays or theoretical analyses. In case this paper was not written in English, German, French, or Dutch, a translation of the abstract, methods, and results sections needs to be created and uploaded together with the original paper.
- Description of courses followed in communication science and/or social sciences (if any). Descriptions should include information on the learning objectives, the content discussed and the used literature per each course. Please make sure to upload the course descriptions in English (Dutch or German). If you have not taken any courses in communication and/or social sciences, please indicate this in your application via a short uploaded statement.
- Description of courses followed in research methodology and statistics (if any). The research methods course descriptions should define the learning objectives, content discussed, used literature and an overview of the used research methods and different statistical techniques as described in the syllabus. Please make sure to upload the course descriptions in English (Dutch or German). If you have not taken any courses in research methodology and statistics, please indicate this in your application via a short uploaded statement.
- Proof English proficiency (only required for applicants with a non-Dutch degree). Submit your Certified English language test report as described in step 2 'Check entry requirements', section 'English language proficiency' (see above). OR Request to be waived for handing in an English Language proficiency test report, by selecting the following option in MyInfo: "I have a diploma/ degree certificate obtained in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, or the USA". Please note, we don’t offer the option to request an exemption based on other grounds. We only consider requests based on reasons named under step 2 'Check entry requirements', section 'English test exemptions' (see above). Your application will only be reviewed after this waiver request has been accepted. If the board decides to reject your waiver request, you will need to reapply with a sufficient proficiency test before the application deadline.
- GRE report (only required for applicants who are currently completing or obtained their Bachelor’s degree outside the EU/EEA). If you have a Bachelor’s degree that is obtained outside the EU/EEA and want to be considered for this Master’s programme, you need to provide an official GRE General Test score report* (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing) as part of your application. This means that you need to have taken the official test and received your results in time, to submit them along with the rest of your application (since only complete applications will be considered). Keep in mind that receiving the GRE results can take up to two weeks after the testing date. Please be aware that home tests are not accepted. Test scores are valid for a period of two years. No minimum score is required. A list of EU/EEA countries can be found here. If you have obtained or are going to obtain your Bachelor’s degree in a country that is not identified as an EU/EEA country, you are required to submit a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score report as part of your application. If you do not submit a GRE score report, your dossier will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
*In order to verify your GRE score we need to be listed as a designated score recipient, please make sure to do this. The Graduate School of Communication institutional code is 3651.
Please note! The aid of professional services for the application process to our programme (other than translation services) may lead to a direct rejection of your application, such as at the discretion of the Admission Committee.
6. Wait for admission decision
Once we receive your complete application it will be evaluated by our admissions committee. You will be notified about their decision by email. The complete admission process can take up to 8 weeks for students with a non-Dutch degree and 4 weeks for students with a Dutch degree.
After (conditional) admission
7. Confirming your participation
When you receive your official (positive) admissions decision, you will also receive a separate email with a link where you can confirm or decline your participation in our Master’s programme. Please make sure that you respond within the given reaction term of 2 weeks. If you do not respond before this date, your admissions decision will be voided and you will not have a place in the programme.
Students admitted to the Master’s programme can defer their offer by one or two semesters. If you wish to defer, please e-mail email@example.com to receive information on what steps to follow. Students accepted to the pre-Master’s cannot defer their offer – they will have to re-apply (a different outcome might be possible).
When you confirm your participation, you will receive more instructions on how to complete your enrolment in due time. For now, please read the steps below.
When you decline your participation you will also need to de-enroll yourself for the Master’s programme in Studielink.
8. Submit certified documents
If you have been (conditionally) admitted to our Master's programme we need to verify your previous education. This means that you must send us certified copies of your transcripts and degree certificates. Note that you need to send us these documents by post. Plain copies or scans of the original certified documents are not accepted. A certified copy is a photocopy of the original document with a wet ink stamp and signature from your school/university or an authorised notary. Uncertified photocopies or scanned copies of original documents are not accepted. Do not send us the original documents. Please put your name and UvA student number on each certified document. Official translations are required if the original documents are in another language than English, German, French or Dutch.
You can send your certified documents to:
The Graduate School of Communication
Admissions Office (C7.02)
PO Box 15796
1001 NG Amsterdam
If you have completed your Bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands, we will verify your previous education based on the records provided by DUO. In this case, you don’t have to send us certified copies of your degree and transcript.
9. Pay the tuition fee
You will need to pay the tuition fee to finalise your enrolment for a degree programme at the UvA. Find out more about how to pay the tuition fees.
10. Non-Dutch nationality students only - Register for immigration, housing, start appointment
To study in the Netherlands, you may need to apply for a residence permit and/or an entry visa. This depends on your nationality. Depending on your start moment, you will receive an email from the immigration department with a link to an online form in either May or November. More information on how to apply for UvA housing and on the UvA start appointment will become available in these months as well.
Please keep in mind that the housing market in Amsterdam is very tight and that applying for student housing through the UvA doesn’t guarantee placement. For this reason, we advise you to start your orientation for housing options early and to always explore the private housing market as well. The UvA housing service is always offered for a fixed period of one year (two semesters) to new incoming international students.
11. Register for courses
In order for you to participate in the courses of the (pre-)Master’s in Communication Science, you will have to register for your courses. The course registration periods are in June and December. Unfortunately, you will not be able to start the programme without course registration. More information on the course registration will be sent to you in May or November.
12. Request student ID card
A student ID card is a personal card which serves as proof of identity for examinations or borrowing library books. You will receive instructions on how to request your student ID card.
13. Non-Dutch nationality students only - Attend start appointment
Moving to another city is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. UvA Student Services organises Start Appointments every year (free of charge). They will help you with practical issues that you may have regarding your transition to Amsterdam, such as registering at the municipality and opening a Dutch bank account. You will receive an invitation for the Start Appointment after you have submitted your immigration application. There are two different types of Start appointments: all-inclusive and regular.
More information about arriving in Amsterdam you'll find here.
14. Attend introduction day
To help you get started, the Graduate School of Communication organises a mandatory introduction day for all new (pre-)Master’s students. If you start the (pre-)Master's in September 2023 your introduction day will be on Thursday 31 August 2023, so be sure to save this date and arrive in Amsterdam well on time. The invitation and programme will be sent in mid-August.