Neurosciences is a 2-years (120 ECTS) master and its program at the VU is a joint initiative by the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, the Faculty of Psychology and Education and the VU University Medical Center.

The program is unique in the Netherlands, due to its strong emphasis on genetics. It includes both fundamental and clinical aspects of the neurosciences, behavioral and quantitative genetics, as well as neurogenomics. The program is embedded in the joint activities of the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Neurosciences (ICEN) and the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR). The advantage of this Master’s program is that you always have access to experts within your chosen field, whichever specialisation you opt for. These experts form part of national and international cooperative networks, so your studies need not be restricted to the VU.

The master provides students with the knowledge, skills and insight they need to operate as a professional within the field of neurosciences. Having completed the program, you will have developed a critical scientific approach and an awareness of the ethical and societal aspects of neurosciences.

The vast majority (70%) of graduates of the Master’s program in Neurosciences go on to join a PhD program either at VU University Amsterdam or at another academic institute in the Netherlands or abroad.


In this master you can choose one of the following tracks, each consisting of 4 courses:

  • Neurogenomics
  • Neurophysiology
  • Animal Behavior and Systems Neurosciences
  • Behavioral and Medical Genomics
  • Psychophysiology
  • Clinical Neurosciences

Study components

The Master’s in Neurosciences is a two-year, full-time program. Teaching comprises lectures, research seminars, work groups, demonstrations, lab visits and practicals.

The first year consists of compulsory courses, to give you a thorough grounding in relevant disciplines. These courses are followed by a 5-month work placement (internship). You will have a wide range of work placement opportunities to choose from, within the VU University Amsterdam and affiliated institutes.

The second year (research specialisation) consists of optional courses, to expand your knowledge of certain areas. We have constructed six tracks, which give you a perfect start as a researcher in a particular field of neurosciences.

In addition to the specialisation tracks, you can compose your own set of 4 optional courses.
During the last six months of the program you carry out your second work placement (internship). The program encourages you to complete your second traineeship outside VU University Amsterdam, and if possible, at an institute abroad.

A more information about the courses can be found at the study program page on the VU website and a detailed course schedule can be found on the FALW website.


Hold an academic Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, or Psychology with a Biological Psychology or Neuropsychology profile. If you hold a BSc degree in a closely related discipline (e.g. Movement Sciences, Artificial Intelligence or Medicine) you are also eligible to apply.

Have good grades:

  1. Minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 7.5 (or international equivalent, e.g. a B+, or a GPA of 3.4).
  2. A minimum grade of 8 (or international equivalent, e.g. an A, or a GPA of 4.0, for both the Bachelor’s thesis and neuroscience-related courses.

Possess well-developed academic skills including writing and presenting abilities, and the abilities to evaluate and apply knowledge, and engage in critical thinking.

Have an active interest in neuroscience research and have clear ideas about their scientific careers.

A letter of motivation (a maximum of two pages) should be included, containing:

  1. Why you want to pursue a career in neurosciences.
  2. Why you choose to study Neurosciences at VU University Amsterdam.

Also you should provide recommendation letters have to be written by qualified persons, for instance, supervisor of your Bachelor thesis or coordinator of major Bachelor courses.

For more information please see the admission and application page of the master on the VU website.

Please note the following:

  • VU University Amsterdam requires all international applicants to pass an English language proficiency test.
  • If the information in these documents indicates that you meet the admission requirements, you will be invited for an interview. The final decision for admission to the first year of the Master’s program in Neurosciences will be based on a judgment of your motivation revealed during this interview. In all cases, decisions will be made within 6 weeks after application and you will be contacted personally by the coordinator.
  • Only in exceptional circumstances may we deviate from the specific admission requirements. If you believe your case is subject to such exceptional circumstances, then please explain so in your letter of application.
  • In order to contact this master’s master coordinator please email to Dr Leontien Diergaarde at For more information see the contacts page of this master.
  • The deadlines for application are 1st of June for all students with a Dutch degree, 1st of April non-Dutch students with an international degree and 1st of March for non-EU/EAA and EU/EEA students who wish to apply for a VUFP grant. More information and how to apply can be found on the admission and application page on the VU website.

Further information

Disclaimer: This page contains a consolidation of information found on the VU, FALW, VUmc and master specific websites; hence no rights can be derived from the information on this page, for more up to date, detailed and accurate information please refer to aforementioned websites!