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Comparative Arts and Media Studies

Admission requirements and application

Admission to the Master's Arts &Culture, programme Comparative Arts and Media Studies is possible with a Bachelor's degree in art, film, television, digital media, or (visual) cultural studies. If you have an academic Bachelor in the Humanities (history, journalism, communication studies, comparative literature), a solid background with a minimum of 30 credits is required in either art, film, television, digital media or (visual) cultural studies. Students with a theoretical interest are particularly welcome. The Master’s programme starts in September and takes one year.

Students, who have successfully completed an applied BA (HBO) in art, film, television, digital media, or (visual) cultural studies, will take a Comparative Arts and Media Studies pre-Master’s. The exact combination of modules is put together by the examination board, based on the previous qualifications of the student. Beware that the pre-Master’s will be mostly in Dutch and is not accessible for students who don't speak Dutch. It is not possible to do the Master part time. Those with an applied MA (HBO-MA) in art, film, television, digital media or (visual) cultural studies have to submit their application to the Examination Board for assessment.

English Language entry requirements

All students whose first language is not English including both home and international students must be able to provide recent evidence that their spoken and written command of the English language is appropriate. This requirement is specified in order to ensure that the academic progress of students is not hindered by language difficulties.

Acceptable qualifications
Listed below are all the English language qualifications and tests and the level required to satisfy our English language entry requirements. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment.

  • IELTS Academic Version: Overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.
  • TOEFL paper based test: Overall grade of 600 with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE.
  • TOEFL internet based test: Overall grade of 100 with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests.
  • Cambridge Advanced English: A, B or C.

Exemption from the requirements listed above can be awarded to students who have fulfilled the following requirements no longer than two years prior to the date of enrolment:

  • students who have fulfilled the requirements of the VU English language proficiency test TOEFL ITP, with the required scores. For more information please consult Taalloket.
  • Students with substantial education (minimum 12 months) conducted in English in an English speaking country.
  • Students holding an International Baccalaureate degree in English.

The required evidence should, if possible, be included with the complete application. If either unsatisfactory or no evidence of English language proficiency has been provided with the application, admission will be conditional upon the provision of such evidence. This condition will be clearly indicated on the offer letter and must be fulfilled before enrolment at the VU University Amsterdam.

Dutch Students

Dutch students and international candidates with a Dutch degree can apply via Studielink before the 1st of June for the master programme Comparative Arts and Media Studies under the label Kunst – en Cultuurwetenschappen (Arts & Culture).  

All lectures and student presentations are in English, all written assignments as well. Therefore all prospective students must be proficient in English. The VU courses Academic English: Grammar and Academic English: Writing (or similar courses at another university) are strongly recommended in your bachelor programme.

After you have applied for the master in Studielink, the university will retrieve your application details from Studielink, prepare your VU Portal account (which is linked to Studielink), and e-mail you the login details. Please note that this may take a couple of days. The e-mail will contain instructions on how to access your account and complete your application in the VU Portal (vunet.vu.nl). Don’t forget to fill in your specialization on VUnet: Comparative Arts and Media Studies.

Next to this, you'll need to provide all the documents containing the information we need to decide whether you are admissible. The following required documents should be send to ec-graduateschool.let@vu.nl:

  • application form (Dutch)
  • transcript of records (scan of original)
  • motivation letter
  • curriculum vitae
  • English language test results
The curriculum vitae should include your personal details and list your previous education and relevant work experience.

Your application will be reviewed by the Faculty of Arts. The final decision on admission is made by the Examination Board of the Master's programme within 6 weeks.

A formal statement regarding admission will be sent to you by e-mail and/or by post. The statement will specify whether you have been admitted unconditionally, admitted subject to certain conditions, or not admitted. 

For more information on admission requirements and procedures, click here if you are a VU student, here if you have a BA from another Dutch university, or here if you have you have a BA from an HBO (Higher Vocational Education).

Click here for an overview (Dutch) of the entire admission procedure.

Contact information for Dutch students
E: cams.let@vu.nl

International students and students with a foreign Bachelor/Master degree

If you would like to start a Master’s programme at the Faculty of Arts, you can apply using our online application system, using the following link. The departmental Examination Board will decide upon your admission after having officially reviewed and evaluated your diplomas/degrees. Diplomas unknown by the board will be assessed by the master coordinator in cooperation with the NUFFIC 

For general admission requirements, please check the information on the main VU website. The Master’s Arts & Culture with a specialization in Comparative Arts and Media Studies is designed for students with an academic Bachelor’s in either art, film, TV, digital media, or (visual) cultural studies. You may also be accepted if you have an academic Bachelor in other disciplines of the Humanities (history, journalism, communication studies, comparative literature), with a major or specialization in art, film, television, digital media, or visual culture (equal to a minimum of 30 ECTS).

International students may apply for various kinds of funding. Check here for some options.  

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a full high school or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. We require a TOEFL score (score 600 paper based, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based) or an IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (overall band score should reach a minimum of 7.0, with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5). 

Deadline for international students 
The Master’s programme application deadline for (non-) EU students with an international degree is 1 April. EU students with an international degree who do not need housing services through VU University Amsterdam can still apply until 1 June.

Please note that we must have received all required documents and the application fee before the deadline in order to start the evaluation process. 

Contact person for international students
Mr Stipo Jeleč
International Student Advisor
t +31 (20) 59 889 20

The VU fellowship programme

The VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP) is a highly selective scholarship for strongly motivated students with excellent study results. If you want to apply to the VUFP, you will need to complete the scholarship application as well as the Master’s programme application by 1 March. More information can be found at www.vuamsterdam.com/vufellowship.

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