Master in Chemistry

The Master’s program in Chemistry is a challenging degree program for students who already have a solid background in chemistry and who are eager to expand their knowledge and experience. Chemistry is not an isolated discipline: it forms the bridge between biology at one end of the spectrum (biomolecular chemistry) and physics at the other end (physical-theoretical chemistry). A Master’s in Chemistry can lead to an exciting, well-paid career with extensive opportunities for pursuing your ambitions.

Chemistry is a joint degree program of the University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Courses are given at the two Faculties of Science. Graduates receive a diploma accredited by both universities.

The program in a nutshell

The Master's is a two-year program (120 ECTS) taught in English. The Master’s program consists of your individual specialization track combined with your chosen profile.


Each track encompasses compulsory (theoretical) courses, a research project including a Master's thesis, a literature thesis, and a colloquium, as well as optional courses or a work placement. The first year focuses on your knowledge of chemistry theory. The second year is devoted to your specialization or career profile.

The five specializations you can choose from:

  • Analytical Sciences
  • Molecular Sciences
  • Science for Energy and Sustainability
  • Atomic Scale Modeling of Physical, Chemical, and Biomolecular Sytems

Career prospects

Organizations and companies in the chemical sector are always on the lookout for talent. There are many different career opportunities, depending on your choice of profile and specialization track.

A job as a researcher

Research positions are available with institutes like TNO or Solvay. Industrial giants like AKZO Nobel and DSM are eager to hire chemists.

A job as a manager or consultant

Are you more interested in a job in public administration or business? You can find work in industry or in government institutions. These are often posts in the chemicals industry, with inspection services or consultancy firms, where there is an emphasis on management and/or policy aspects and where communication with professionals from different backgrounds is an important skill. Government posts might include jobs with ministries or enforcement agencies.

A job in education or communication

Students who opt for the education profile often find work as teachers. If you choose to follow the communication profile, then you could find work as a public relations officer, a science journalist or an education officer at a publishing house or museum.

Admission requirements

The requirements are split up into Masters’ specialization specific requirements and general requirements.

Specific requirements master’s program

Students with a Dutch preliminary education

  • The Master’s in Chemistry is open to students:
    • with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry
    • with a Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • with a Bachelor's degree from a relevant Dutch hbo program
  • Students who want to specialize in the Education variant must have successfully completed the third year Bachelor orientation course in education (12 ECTS).

HBO (HLO) graduates

  • If you are an hbo graduate you do not have to take a premaster’s assessment to gain admission to the Master's program in Chemistry. Instead, the Master's coordinator will hold an intake interview with you. When you fulfill all requirements, the Master's coordinator will provide you a declaration stating that you do not need to take the premaster’s assessment. Send in this declaration with your application form.


  • If you are an hbo student and you would like to follow one of our minor programs, please subscribe as a bachelor student.

Students with an international preliminary education

  • Direct admission to the Master's program in Chemistry is possible with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry. Students with a Bachelor's degree in a related subject will have to satisfy certain entry requirements depending on the course they have in mind. The Master's program provides opportunities to fill specific gaps in your knowledge.

General language proficiency requirements

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

Program taught in:

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Last updated October 26, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
2,083 EUR
for EEA students. €14.630 for non-EU/non-EEA students.
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