Visual Arts, Media and Architecture (Research)

Required level of entry

The research Master's is aimed in particular at the talented student who is exceptionally motivated to train in academic methods in the field of art history, architecture history, visual culture and media studies. To be admitted to VAMA, the student should have at least a Bachelor’s diploma in art, architectural history, media and culture, and have a good grasp of academic English.

Admission and application

Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. If you have read the admission criteria below and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria
Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online
Step 3: Await decision on admission
Step 4: Finalize registration and move to Amsterdam!

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Specific admission requirements for the Research Master’s programme Visual Arts, Media and Architecture: Critical Studies in Arts & Culture

The Research Master's Programme Visual Arts, Media and Architecture (VAMA) concentrates on the study of current developments in visual arts, architecture and media, from a theoretical and historical perspective. In a globalizing cultural world in which art, architecture and media are ever more closely integrated and packaged as “creative industries,” disciplinary boundaries need questioning and challenging, yet a thorough grounding in older and newer disciplines such as art history, architectural history and media studies is a prerequisite for doing so.

The two-year research master's is aimed in particular at the talented student with an academic bachelor's diploma in art, media and culture. VAMA is a good option for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD after their MA, but also more in general for students who cherish critical attitude, arrive at original lines of questioning based on a profound knowledge of their research subject, and wish to develop their research skills.

You must always present official test results proving your proficiency in English. Only students who have completed a  full high school/International Baccalaureate in English or bachelor’s degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia may be exempted. You can already apply online without having the test results. In case you haven’t taken a test yet we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the English taught programmes at the Faculty of Humanities:

TOEFL score (score 600 paper based with a minimum of 55 in each of the subtests plus 4.0 in TWE, score 250 computer based or score 100 internet based with a minimum of 20-23 in each of the subtests).  IELTS score of 7.0 overall band score (with none of the separate section scores dropping below a minimum score of 6.5).
Cambridge English: Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C, or Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C.

Please refer to the language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online

Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (ID only for EU residents) 
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation Letter
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcript of records 
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education 
  • A list of all the main literature used during your previous higher education 

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Step 3: Await decision on admission
The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you gain admission, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation what to do after admission. When all conditions are met you will be ready to start your programme at VU University Amsterdam!

Further information about;
Tuition fees

Contact for International Degree Students

For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:

Stipo Jeleč         
Tel + 31 (0)20 598 8920
E admissionsfh@vu.nl

International students and students with a foreign Bachelor's/Master's degree

Do you have a Dutch University degree? Please visit our Dutch website

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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