Application Process for Dutch University Masters Courses

There are some similarities between the admissions process for Dutch and British universities but it is safer to say there are also some major differences.

1. When do you apply?

The admissions calendar usually opens in September or October for the following year.

The closing date for submitting an application varies per course at a Dutch University. There are usually different deadlines for EU and non-EU applicants. Please see our deadline page for further details.

2. What are the entry requirements?

For postgraduate study, most Dutch HE institutions will expect you to have a relevant Bachelor degree for the subject you are wishing to study. In some case you'll be expected to have gained a good honours degree. In the British system, this can be translated as a 2:1 or above, but always check with the University/Faculty directly for more information.

For certain courses, you may have to take additional tests to gain entry onto the Master’s courses. For example, a GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) may be required for entry on to some postgraduate business courses.

If you have received a Bachelor's degree at a Dutch University of Applied Sciences, it is not possible to to go a Dutch Research University to study a Masters without studying a Pre-Master course which takes an additional year.

3. How do you apply to a Dutch university?

Contact the university directly. They will then advise you of the best way to apply, but here are a few general points:

Students will need to submit an application to the University either through an University-based application, or through the national Dutch registration service: Studielink [link]

See the Studielink page of this website for a lengthy explanation of the application process.

For some subjects, you may need to submit a pre-application to the university/faculty to see if you have the relevant academic background for the course before you are then invited to submit a full application to the institution.

Application requirements will vary depending on your choice of Master’s course, however, in most cases you will need to submit the following:

  • Motivation letter
  • Certified copies of your academic transcripts and Bachelor’s degree. Usually accepted in English so often no need to have certified translations of these documents.
  • References (sometimes from a professional standpoint as well as academic)
  • CV

For most reseach universities, you will now have to pay an application fee of €100 to each university, although this might cover more than one degree programme or application window. You will have to pay this for each university. This applies only to students applying with international qualifications. Students with Dutch qualifications (or international qualifications gained in the Netherlands) will not have to pay this, nor will Dutch nationals wherever they might have been to school or university.

4. When do you know if you have a place?

Application decision wait times are usually around 6-8 weeks once you have submitted all the required documentation.

If you already have a Bachelor degree in the required field and have satisfied the other entry requirements, then, subject to tuition payment/installment you will be asked to register. Full details will be provided by your university but you may be required to use Studielink to register.

If you are still in the process of completing your Bachelor's degree, subject to you fulfilling any other entry requirements, you may be offered a conditional offer. The offer will be conditional on you passing your Bachelor's degree. You will need to produce originals of your certificates at some point during your first term but Dutch universities understand that there is a time lag involved in your receiving this official documentation.

5. Can you apply to Dutch universities and British universities at the same time?

Yes, there is nothing to stop you from applying to universities in both countries at the same time.

The UKPASS system is used solely by students that are interested in applying to postgraduate study at a number of UK universities. The Dutch system, Studielink, is separate from this and relates to both undergraduate and postgraduate course registration.

About Study In Holland is an information service designed to assist British and Irish students in pursuing their university education in the Netherlands.

We have extensive knowledge of English-taught degrees in Holland and we also work with careers advisory services. is owned by A Star Future Ltd and is not affiliated with the Dutch government.