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Communication Science: Persuasive Communication


If you have any further questions, please read our FAQ in the dropdown menu below. If that did not answer your question you can reach out to admissions-cs@uva.nl.

English Proficiency Test FAQ:

Application FAQ:

  • Do I have the appropriate background to apply for the programme of my choice?

    The admissions board will thoroughly evaluate your application, whereby your individual academic background in Communication Science and/or Social Science theories and quantitative research methodology of the social sciences is very relevant.  

    Applicants with a degree in the areas of among others Accountancy & Finance, Arts & Theater, Business administration, History, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, and STEM will not usually be considered, unless the degree is complemented by at least 1.5 academic year's worth of academic coursework in Communication Science and/or Social Sciences. In the latter case, admission is never guaranteed but might be considered. 

    Mind that decisions regarding other students' admission status cannot be used as an argument for admissionAdmission decisions are based on individual students' academic study careers, including elective coursework and minors chosen, inter alia. That is why the admission decision for students with the same Bachelor's programme at the same university can nevertheless differ. 

  • I have been working in the media and communications industry, will this exempt me from the academic requirements?

    Unfortunately, it does not. Experience with working in the media and communications industry is of great value. However, because we are an academic programme, it can and will never replace the minimal academic background requirements for admission to our (Research) Master's programme. 

  • Can I take open online courses to increase my chances of admission? 

    The Graduate School of Communication is a big advocate of massive online courses (moocs) due to our believe 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. 

  • How big is my chance of admission given my educational background?

    The admissions board will thoroughly evaluate your application. Your academic background in Communication Science theories and research methodology in social sciences is very relevant. Please note that the admissions board cannot give a well-considered advice without a full application package at hand. Therefore, we always invite you to apply to our programme in order to receive an official admission outcome. 

  • I do not have an individually written research paper, what do I submit?

    We use the individually written research paper in order to determine to what extent you have experience in conducting and reporting quantitative empirical research, and on what level.
    If you have not written a quantitative research paper during your studies so far, please indicate this in your application. We appreciate if you do not replace it by other types of papers, such as argumentative essays or theoretical analyses.

  • What can I submit for descriptions of taken courses?

    Students are expected to have sufficient knowledge of social and communication science theory, as well as research methodology and statistics in the field of social sciences. Therefore, please enclose course descriptions of all research methodology and statistics courses in the field of social sciences that you have completed. The course descriptions should define the course objectives, teaching methods, and research methods. Specifically for Methods and Statistics courses, an original week-by-week schedule of the topics discussed is very much welcomed. Furthermore, it should contain the required literature including the designated used chapters. Course descriptions are usually available at your university in the form of e.g. a course guide or syllabus.

    Course descriptions must be in English, Dutch, or German. Please provide English translations if not available in one of these languages. 

  • Do I have to submit reference letters?

    The admissions committee does not usually consider letters of reference. Therefore, please save your referent’s time and do not add letters of reference. In some cases, the admissions committee may ask applicants to provide the contact details of one or more references, but the Graduate School will inform you about this after submission of your application, should it apply.

  • What do I have to mention in my motivation letter (how long should it be?)

    Write a letter with your statement of motivation in English (max. 450-500 words), containing answers on 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?
  • What should I include in my CV?

    Please include at least your full name, birth date and place, nationality, and current contact information (postal address, phone number + email address) in your curriculum vitae. Also, list at least the institute & programme where you have obtained higher education, when, and whether the educational programme is completed (if not: state expected date of graduation). If you have attended higher education in more than one institute, please enclose a chronological overview of the different higher education institutes & programmes attended in your curriculum vitae. 

  • How and when can I apply for a pre-Master’s programme?

    It is not possible to apply for the pre-Master’s programme or intensive courses. When you apply for a Master's programme at the Graduate School of Communication (GSC), the admissions board evaluates your academic background. If the admissions committee concludes that you have good undergraduate qualifications in a related field, but have insufficient knowledge of key issues, they may invite you to complete a pre-Master’s programme (of a maximum of 30 EC) before starting with the Master's programme. The pre-Master’s programme is designed especially to prepare students for the Master's programme that of Communication Science at the GSC. Therefore, it is not possible to detach the pre-Master’s programme from the Master's programme.

  • Does successful completion of the pre-Master's courses grant direct admission to the Master's or Research Master's programme?

    Your individual letter of admission will state which modules from our pre-Master's programme you will need to successfully complete before admission to our Master's or Research Master's programme can be granted. Upon successful completion of these courses admission to the programme that you applied for therefore is unconditional. 

    The pre-master's courses are there to address those areas of knowledge and/or skills in which you need additional training to fully meet the entry requirements for our (Research) Master's programme. That is why it is also possible to take the necessary coursework elsewhere, such as at your home university or any other internationally certified, academic-level institute.

    To prevent any disappointments, we strongly recommend you to ask our advice before taking courses elsewhere to replace the modules from our pre-Master's programme. We will then inform you beforehand if the relevant course(s) meet our requirements.   

  • I am not sure yet about my choice of Master’s track, may I already apply?

    Yes, you may do so. Please indicate your first and second preference on the MyInfo application form. Once you are invited by us to register for one of the tracks during the course registration period (when accepted), you have to make a choice. This will be in June (start in September) or December (start in February). 

    If you apply for the two-year Research Master’s, but you also want to know whether you would be accepted for the one-year Master’s programme, please apply according to the application instructions for the Research Master’s. Indicate in your motivation letter that you are also interested in the one-year Master’s programme.  

  • What is the difference between a Master's and Research Master's programme?

    A Research Master's programme is more focused on research, and as such offers more thorough preparation for motivated students who are looking for an excellent education in Communication Science. The Research Master’s is not only to pursue a career that is specifically targeted at doing research. Research Master’s graduates have, without exception, found employment in academic as well as professional organisations. Graduates are also in an excellent position to apply for a PhD programme. Whereas the Master's programme must be completed within one year, the Research Master's takes up to two years. Selection is more competitive. 

  • I have not yet graduated, may I already apply?

    Yes. We require a certified grade transcript, and a certified statement of expected graduation where your university states when you’re expected to graduate, assuming you pass your courses. Please check the webpage about digital documents and verification for more information about certified copies. We need you to send us proof of having successfully completed your Bachelor’s degree at least two months before the start of the programme. 

Admission FAQ:

  • May I defer my application?

    Students admitted to the Master’s programme can defer their offer by one or two semesters. If you wish to defer, please e-mail admissions-cs@uva.nl 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).

Scholarships FAQ:

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) FAQ:

  • What is the GRE?

    The GRE is a standardised graduate programme aptitude test that measures verbal, quantitative, and analytic thinking. It is intended to assess an applicant’s knowledge and intellectual ability as related to graduate study. Decades of research has shown that the GRE is a predictor of study success in master’s programmes, including in Communication Science.

  • Why is the GRE required?

    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 applicants’ academic backgrounds and sufficiently determine if they are aptly prepared for study success in our Master's programme. For non-EU applicants, however, it is comparably more difficult to assess this student’s academic preparation. For this reason, we ask non-EU applicants’ to also include a GRE score in their application dossier. This provides us with a more robust indicator of an applicant's preparedness. 

  • What scores are needed for the GRE?

    While there is no minimum GRE score required, we encourage applicants to perform their best on this test.