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Bachelor, master, doctoral studies in the Netherlands
Bachelor, master, doctoral studies in the Netherlands
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Bachelor, master, doctoral studies in the Netherlands

In 2002 Holland introduced the bachelor – master – doctorate. Bachelor's and master's degrees awarded the universities research of applied type, a PhD – only research universities. There is also a special type of vocational training programmes leading to obtaining a bachelor – s degree Associate'.

Programs leading to the bachelor - s degree Associate'

The program leading to the degree Associate''s degree, do not apply to higher education, but are the first step on the way to it. They reduce learning in undergraduate 2 years. Taught in applied universities in the Netherlands.

AD - separate degree confirming the qualifications of the graduate in their chosen field and allow you to hold positions in primary and secondary level. Employees with the degree of AD is highly in demand in the labour market of the Netherlands.

AD-programs are convenient and those who are planning to study in a bachelor degree, but have not decided on a program or wants to simultaneously study and work: it can be completed partially or fully online, the student can study part-time, combining study with work.

The scores obtained in the study program Associate''s degree shall be counted as if the student decided to continue studying in the bachelor programme.


Programs leading to the award of a bachelor's degree, are offered by Dutch universities of all types, however, between research and applied undergraduate there are significant differences:

1. Research bachelor usually takes 3 years and focused on fundamental knowledge, the formation of scientific thinking and skills needed for future scientists. For admission to these programs is necessary to have a diploma of secondary vocational education - VWO diploma or to spend 1 year in institutes of higher education, gaining 60 ECTS credits.

2. The applied baccalaureate typically lasts a year longer and focuses on training practicing professionals in different subject areas – teachers, designers, and nursing staff. In such programs necessarily included practice and/or internship. Minimum requirements for admission - HAVO diploma or MBO diploma, you may also have additional conditions. In the presence of a VWO diploma you can not only enroll in a professional University, but to learn it in less than a year.

The duration of the bachelor can be reduced. Two years to obtain a bachelor's degree in a Dutch University of applied sufficiently to the holders of Associate''s degree and VWO diploma.

>> View bachelor programs Dutch universities


In the Netherlands there are master's programs of two types:

1. The research programme. Lead to the degrees MA/MSc offered research universities. The duration depends on the subject area and from previous education, is 1-2 years. The longest, two-year research program in the fields of engineering, agriculture, mathematics, science. Here the highest academic load. Expressed in points, they amount to not less than 120. To obtain a research master's degree in the fields medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy need to score 180 points.

2. Application. Lead to the degrees MA/MSc or master's degree with indication of the subject area – for example, M. Aarch. The duration depends on the subject area and from previous education and one to two years, requirements on the number of points range from 60 to 120 points. The longest master's program in architectural specialties – here you need to collect 240 points.


Programs leading to the PhD degree offer only research universities. The degree is awarded on the results of the open defense of a thesis based on original research.

Highlights another kind of PhD programs and professional programs in the field of technological design. They are only available in some research engineering universities. Programs include deep learning of technical subjects and the implementation of a personal project in a number of engineering fields. Last two years and lead to the degree PhDEng.

Medical programs of doctoral studies organized at the University hospitals.