Master in Human Movement Sciences: Sport, Exercise and Health


Program Description

Are you interested in optimizing sports performance, helping people with impaired motor functioning, or gaining a fundamental understanding of how we move? Then the Master’s in Human Movement Sciences is the ideal programme for you! You will learn to translate multidisciplinary scientific knowledge to applications in sports and healthcare practice.

From the latest developments in sports training to new approaches to rehabilitation, this Master’s programme provides state of the art insights into the ways in which motor performance can be enhanced. From biomechanics to psychology. From exercise physiology to neurorehabilitation. And from muscle function to motor development. The programme provides ample possibilities for customization of your personal programme, so that you can create a profile that fits your interests.

Study Programme

You can choose between four main tracks:

  • Rehabilitation
    In this track you learn to apply biophysical (biomechanics/physiology) methods in the fields of health and rehabilitation.
  • Biophysics in Sport
    In this track your learn to tackle sports-related issues from a, predominantly, biophysical perspective (muscle and exercise physiology and biomechanics).
  • Sport Psychology
    This track covers the broad field of sport psychology, and also provides potential links to health-related issues. It provides you with an excellent background for a post-graduate course to become an accredited sport psychologist.
  • High Performance Coaching
    This track has been developed in collaboration with the Amsterdam Institute of Sport Science , and focuses on the application of scientific (biophysical and sport psychological) knowledge in the field op top sport coaching. For this reason, you will conduct your research project in collaboration with a top sport coach. (A maximum of 20 students can be admitted per year; selection based on letter of motivation; for procedure see Admission & Application.)

These tracks are not mutually exclusive and you are free to customize your own profile by taking a variety of elective courses. Besides lectures and seminars, the programme involves several practical's and a substantial research project on a topic of your own choice. Of course you will be supervised intensively by a staff member.

Structure of the programme
The Master's programme comprises 60 EC. The study load of each Master's course is 3 or 6 EC, whereas that of the research internship is 24 EC. If you wish to further attune the programme to your individual interests, you can include external courses, an extension of your internship, a practical internship, or a literature study.

Career prospects


Sport psychologist
With the Sport Psychology track you meet the entry requirements for the postgraduate programme to Practical Sports Psychologist. This programme takes approximately one year (full-time) and leads to accreditation by the ‘Vereniging voor SportPsychologie in Nederland’ as ‘Praktijksportpsycholoog®’.

For further information see: Postgraduate Opleiding tot PraktijkSportpsycholoog (Dutch)

Exercise specialistIn combination with clinical experience, the Master’s degree also provides a good entry level to obtain an ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologists®.

Why VU Amsterdam?

Small scale
As a student of Human Movement Sciences, you join a select department that values personal attention. A natural environment for inspiring interactions with lecturers and researchers. The active students’ club further enhances the warm and welcoming social climate.

40 Years of experience
For over 40 years, students and staff of the Department of Human Movement Sciences have studied various aspects of human movement. Groundbreaking results include the ‘clap skate’, which caused a revolution in the world of speed skating. During your research internship, you can play an active role in developing cutting-edge innovations like these.

Crossing borders
If you wish, you may incorporate an educational stay abroad in your programme. The Department of Human Movement Sciences has a vast international network, and participates in several international exchange programmes. You also have the opportunity to take individual modules at other departments and universities in the Netherlands.

Enjoy your time in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is an inspirational and vibrant city that provides plenty of opportunities for relaxing, making friends, and expanding your horizons. Living in this charming city will give an extra boost to your experiences as an international student.

International Students

Admission Requirements

In order to gain admission to the Master’s programme Human Movement Sciences, you need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 EC or equivalent.

Your Bachelor’s programme should include basic knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology and Psychology at the level of "Introductory textbooks". You also should have obtained sufficient research skills and knowledge of Mathematics and Physics. Please consult the list of admission criteria for a more detailed description of the required knowledge before starting applying for this master’s programme.

What if you do not meet all admission criteria?
If you do not meet the admission criteria, the Admission board may decide that you are admissible after you have eliminated your deficiencies. These deficiencies depend on your educational background. Students with a Bachelor’s degree other than Human Movement Sciences usually have to follow a premaster’s programme before they can be admitted to the Master’s programme. We have experienced that this is the case for almost all applicants from abroad. For these students, the premaster’s programme most likely has a minimum size of three courses. It will take time to complete the programme successfully, we estimate four to six months. The costs of the online courses we prescribe are Euro 204 per course.
Please contact the Admission board to determine whether a premaster’s programme is required and whether any self-indicated courses to eliminate deficiencies are of a sufficient level.
Please contact us a.s.a.p. to find out whether this is the case for you, and which options you have to become admissible before the start of the new term.

English language proficiency
The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.

VU Amsterdam requires all applicants who have not completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia to take an English language test and to submit their score as part of their application. You can apply online for the Master's programme without having the English test results yet. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:

IELTS (academic): 6,5


  • Paper based test 580
  • Internet based test 92-93

Cambridge English

  • Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
  • Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at

Overview Human Movement Sciences: Sport, Exercise & Health.

  • Language of instruction: English
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Application deadline: 1 June for Dutch and EU-students. 1 April for non-EU-students.
  • Start date: 1 September
  • Study type: Full-time
  • Specializations: Sport/Health
  • Field of interest: Heatlh and Movement
Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,00 ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to 23,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 130 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Read less