Masters in Netherlands

4 minute read
Masters in Netherlands

Architectural beauty, multicultural ambiance and exceptional educational system all define the Dutch way of living. Steadily on the road to becoming one of the most sought-after destinations to study in Europe, the Netherlands offers students a unique combination of renowned quality education and rewarding career opportunities. With 2,100 English-taught programmes across universities, Dutch institutions offer the largest repository of such programmes in the whole of Europe. Catering to both categories of students, be it working professionals wanting to attain a degree or those planning to pursue the arena of research, a masters in Netherlands is an option worth considering. This blog elaborates the key essentials of varied master’s degree programs available in the Netherlands as well as the universities you must consider.

Masters in Netherlands: Overview

In particular, the educational system of the Netherlands is a little difficult to get your head wrapped around mainly due to the unyielding terminology. With a clear distinction between academic universities, called ‘WO’ and universities of applied sciences (professional universities), called ‘HBO’, everything from objectives and duration to structure and outlook is different. Further, in order to understand the eligibility criteria employed by Dutch institutions for those wanting to pursue masters in Netherlands, it is important to know the difference between them. (anewcareer) The following table aims to make clear the particular points of distinction that you should know about:

WO (Academic or
Research Universities)
HBO (Professional or Universities
of Applied Sciences)
Degrees have an academic
Degrees have a professional inclination
WO Bachelor Degrees run for
4 years
HBO Bachelor degrees run for 3 years
WO Masters Degrees run for
between 1-3 years
HBO Master Degrees run for 1-2 years
Focused on the development of
Focused on the application of knowledge
Institutions: Leiden University;
Erasmus University Rotterdam etc
Institutions: The Hague University of Applied
Sciences; Amsterdam School of the Arts. etc

Structure & Duration

Due to the fundamental bifurcation between research and professional qualifications, the duration of degrees offered also vary. Take a look at the following table to know more about the duration of different degrees for those aspiring to study a master’s in Netherlands:

S.No Type of Degree Duration (in years)
1. Master of (in any area of interest, for instance,
education, pharmacy, etc)
2. Master of Science (MSc Research) 1-3
3. Master of Science) (MSc) 1-2
4. Master of Arts (MA Research) 1-3
5. Master of Arts (MA) 1-2
6. Master of Laws (LLM) 1

Admission Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply for a masters in Netherlands, there are several requirements applicants need to fulfill a few requirements, namely:

  • Prior degree equivalent to HBO master’s degree or WO bachelor’s degree
  • Language Requirements: IELTS/TOEFL/Cambridge English
  • Relevant industry experience (if required)

However, before applying for masters in Netherland, you should know that specific universities may implement different eligibility conditions and it is advised to check at the official university websites for further information.

Note: If you are not sure about whether your degree will be considered as equivalent to a Dutch diploma, you can visit the National Academic recognition information Centre for Holland (NARIC) website.

Fees & Scholarships

Another reason to study in Netherlands is the relatively cheaper cost of study. While the unsponsored tuition fees for a masters in Netherlands are in itself lower going by the standards in Europe, the Dutch government along with the universities offer a variety of scholarships to support students in various forms, namely, fee waivers, stipends, accommodation etc. 

  • Tuitions fees vary between 8,000 EUR to 20,000 EUR depending on the university
  • Scholarships to consider: Erasmus+, Holland Scholarship, Orange Knowledge Programme, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme, Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship etc.

Explore the full list of scholarships here.

Masters in Netherlands: Universities

Consistently highly appreciated by both THE and QS Rankings, 7 Dutch universities rank in the top 100 of the world. Ranging from STEM courses to programs in social sciences and humanities, a masters in Netherlands can be undertaken across a variety of subjects. A rank-wise list has been mentioned below.

Universities Offering Masters in Netherlands Times Higher Education Ranking 2021 NetherlandsRankings
Wageningen University & Research =62 1
University of Amsterdam 66 2
Leiden University =70 3
Erasmus University Rotterdam 72 5
Utrecht University =75 7
Delft University of Technology =78 3
University of Groningen =80 6
Maastricht University =121 8

The application to the following universities may require students to submit an SOP, LORs, resume and other materials depending on the course and university. Check the official university website for further information.


1. Is Netherlands good for Masters?

Higher education in the Netherlands is known for its excellent calibre. Compared to English-speaking nations, there are much reduced tuition costs and living expenses. Also, there are other scholarship options. Dutch educators place a strong emphasis on engagement with their students.

2. Is Netherlands good for Indian students?

The place is a very popular choice for those looking to study abroad. The majority of international students prefer to study in the Netherlands. The nation welcomes overseas students from more than 150 different nations each year and provides them with high-quality education and a variety of work options.

3. Can I work after Masters in Netherlands?

The kind of work visa you require is determined by the amount of education you have attained at a Dutch university. You do not need a work permit if you have completed a bachelor’s or master’s programme. Nonetheless, you must obtain a work permit if you hold a Master’s or a Ph. D.

If you are considering a masters in Netherlands, there are a lot of factors to consider primarily due to the nature of the Dutch education system. Take the assistance of experienced counsellors for Study abroad process and we’ll guide you throughout the process of choosing a suitable course and university and making an impressive application to get successfully shortlisted.

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