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Application and admission

For applicants with international prior education

If you have obtained or will obtain a diploma or degree certificate from an educational institution outside the Netherlands or an international school in the Netherlands, please follow the steps below to apply for this programme.

Application process for applicants with international prior education

Contact details

If you have any questions throughout the application process, please don't hesitate to contact the International Team. 

  • 1. Check the deadlines

    To apply for this Master’s programme you will need to register in Studielink AND apply for the programme at the Faculty of Science through DataNose before the mentioned dates, even if you have not completed your Bachelor’s programme yet.

    Start your application procedure on time

    We strongly advise international students to apply as early as possible, as the registrations in Studielink and DataNose and getting all documents ready will take several days. On top of that, the research master Brain and Cognitive Sciences processes applications in order of submission, until the programme capacity is met. Timely submission therefore boosts your odds of selection.

    Additionally, affordable accommodation is scarce in Amsterdam. Although the University of Amsterdam can assist in finding accommodation but cannot give any guarantees regarding housing, early applicants do have a slightly bigger chance in finding a room through the UvA than late applicants.

    Given the additional paperwork and arrangements that international students need to make upon selection, we recommend non-EU/non-EEA students to apply before 1 February at the latest. For international students from the EU or EEA, we recommend 1 June at the latest.


    Starting in September EU/EEA students 31 May 23:59 CEST
      Non-EU/EEA students 31 January 23:59 CEST


    Deadline with a UvA Scholarship

    Please note that if you want to apply for a UvA Scholarship, other deadlines for application to the Master's programme apply.

  • 2. Check entry requirements

    Prior education

    Depending on the track of choice the applicant must hold a Bachelor degree or equivalent.

    • Behavioural Neuroscience track: Bachelor's degree in Psychobiology, Biomedical Science, Biology or equivalent
    • Cognitive Neuroscience track: Bachelor's degree in Psychobiology, (Cognitive/Biological) Psychology, Cognitive Science or equivalent.
    • Cognitive Science track: Bachelor's degree in (Cognitive) Psychology, Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Philosophy or equivalent.

    Applicants with another Bachelor's degree may also be admitted to the Research Master provided they have an adequate academic background in the field of neuroscience and/or cognitive sciences.


    Motivation is assessed on the basis of a written letter of intent. Prepare a letter of intent (up to one page) seeking a place in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Master Programme describing your academic interests and reasons for applying. Applicants' prior academic coursework should demonstrate their active interest in cognitive and/ or neural research.


    Because of our competitive applicant pool, letters of recommendation hold substantial weight in our admissions decisions. Applicants must submit two letters of reference from academic staff members, a person who knows you well professionally or has taught you in a subject that is related to the field, listing the applicant's ability to conduct independent research and report on the results.

    The Research Master Brain and Cognitive Sciences uses a specific format for the letters of recommendation. In the application form you can submit your referee’s name and his/her email. They will receive a link to the specific format and will be able to fill it in. This needs to be filled out digitally. It is the student’s responsibility that the referee is aware of the process and that he/she has submitted the letter of recommendation to go along with the application. Applications without reference letters will not be taken into account.

    Grade point average and additional requirements (GPA)​​​​

    In addition to the admission requirements referred to above, the student has to comply with the following requirements:

    You have an overall grade point average (GPA) equivalent to at least:

    • 3.5 (American system)
    • 2.1 (a second class upper/division one degree in the British system)
    • 7,5 (Dutch EC-system)

    The GPA is the average of the Bachelor’s course grades weighed by course/study load.

    English language proficiency

    All our international programmes are conducted in English. International non-native English speakers need to submit proof of their proficiency in the English language before enrolling in one of these programmes. International students who received their bachelor's or master's degree from a Dutch university are exempt from the language test requirement, as are students from the following English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada (English), New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America.

    For Non-EU/EEA students the required English test result should be received on or before 1 February in the year of application by the International Team at the Faculty of Science. If this in any case is not possible, contact the International Team first, before applying. For EU/EEA students the deadline of submitting the test results is 1 July. The test results may not be older than two years.

    Please be informed that the application file from students who need a visa will be put on hold until we receive a sufficient English proficiency test.

    TOEFL Test

    • Minimum scores required; Internet-based test (iBT): 98, with at least 22 on sub-scores listening and reading and at least 24 on sub-scores writing and speaking. Paper-based test: 580.
    • Please note the TOEFL-code for the Faculty of Science of the Universiteit van Amsterdam is: 9011.
    • C1 Advanced: A or B
    • C2 Proficiency: C or better


    • Minimum score IELTS-test: minimum score 7.0, sub-scores on writing and speaking at least 7.0, sub-scores on listening and reading at least 6.5.

    Chinese applicants are required to take an IELTS test or the TOEFL (Internet-based test only). These are the only two tests accepted by the Nuffic, which provides certificates to all Chinese students who wish to study in the Netherlands. Do note there are some differences between the TOEFL and IELTS test. Available practice material, test dates, prices and locations differ per country.

    Extra curricular activities

    For this the applicants need to submit a resume (cv), listing among others the activities they did in addition to their studies. You can think of the following activities: (voluntary) jobs, board membership, conference attendance, relevant research experience or other activities that could be relevant for your application for this Master's programme . Note that extra-curricular activities are not obligatory, but desirable for distinguishing yourself from other applicants.

    Overall Impression

    For the overall impression the board of examiners takes the six points mentioned above into account, in addition they will look at such things as interest / experience in research, interdisciplinary focus, interest in cognitive processes, future ambitions.

    Admission during COVID-19

    In exceptional cases, the UvA will allow you to start your Master’s programme before having fully completed your Bachelor’s degree. The study delay must be COVID-19 related and concern courses from the second semester of the 2019-2020 academic year (February through June 2020). For information on how to submit your request for admission with study delay, check under Step 8.

  • 3. Submit enrolment application in Studielink
  • 4. Activate your UvAnetID

    Within 48 hours after submitting your enrolment application in Studielink, you will receive an email with your UvAnetID and an email with instructions for the next step of the application process. You need your UvAnetID to continue with your application. Follow the instructions in the email to activate your UvAnetID as you will need it to complete your UvA application.

  • 5. Submit your UvA application form

    Only after activating your UvAnetID, you can submit your UvA online application via DataNose.

    Please make sure to upload the required documents in PDF format. Applicants who (will) hold more than one academic degree must merge copies of both (or more) academic transcripts into one PDF.

    In DataNose we expect you to upload the following documents:

    1. A motivation letter in English (max. 500 words)
    2. Your Curriculum Vitae in English
    3. A copy of your high school grade list and diploma
    4. A copy of your Bachelor’s transcript, including an explanation of your university’s grading system.
    5. A copy of your Bachelor’s diploma/certificate (or, if you have not yet finished your current academic programme, a list of courses of your final year)
    6. A description of your Bachelor thesis/project
    7. Two academic reference letters
    8. Proof of English proficiency 

    After the online application procedure you will receive information by means of email in due course on how to complete your registration and how to apply for a visa or residence permit. 

    If you have any questions about these documents as an international degree student, please contact the International Team.

  • 6. Wait for admission decision

    As soon as you have submitted the (sufficiently) complete online form in DataNose, your application file will be acknowledged. It differs per programme how long it takes before you are informed via email about the decision on admission. An admission will always be conditional as we must still verify your documents (consult step 8).  You can track the status of your admission using the checklist in DataNose.

After (conditional) admission

  • 7. Accept or decline offer

    If you are conditionally admitted to the Master’s programme you will receive an admissions letter by means of email. In the letter you will find a link to DataNose to accept or decline your place in the programme. This has to be done within two weeks. If you have questions about this, please contact the International Team

  • 8. Request for admission with study delay

    Between 1 July and 31 August you can submit your request for admission to the Master’s programme with an unfinished Bachelor’s in DataNose (link below). To submit this request, you should meet all the requirements listed below. In addition, you should have completed all the exams and resits in your Bachelor’s programme and know for sure that you cannot complete your Bachelor’s before 1 September. You will need to complete any missing courses during the 2020-2021 academic year.

    Please note: in order to complete your Bachelor’s you will have to re-enroll in your Bachelor’s programme! 

    Admission requirements with unfinished Bachelor’s

    • You have applied for the Master’s programme in Studielink and Datanose before the deadline
    • You have received a (conditional) offer of admission to the Master’s programme
    • The deficiency in your Bachelor’s programme does not exceed 15 ECTS. This may comprise courses and/or your Bachelor’s thesis (or project), or:
    • The deficiency in your Bachelor’s programme is between 15-30 ECTS, including your Bachelor’s project/thesis

    If you wish to make use of the option to start your Master’s programme with an unfinished Bachelor’s degree, you will need to seriously consider the overall achievability of your combined study programme. Unfortunately, we are not able to make provisions for any overlaps in planning concerning exams, classes, etc.

    This regulation applies to students who want to start their Master’s at the UvA in September 2020 and are enrolled in a Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s programme at the UvA in 2019-2020, or in a Bachelor’s at another university in the Netherlands or in the EU/EEA.

    How to submit your request

    • Go to https://datanose.nl/#enrolmaster 
    • Check the tab ‘Master enrolment’ for your enrolment status
    • Below ‘Actions’ you’ll see a button for submitting your request with study delay
    • The Central Student Administration will inform you per email whether your request for admission has been granted or not. The decision will also become available in DataNose under ‘enrolment status’ in the tab ‘Master enrolment’.
  • 11. Request student ID card

    A student ID card is a personal card which serves as proof of identity for examinations or borrowing library books. You will receive instructions on how to request your student ID card.