Master in Science Business & Innovation

General

Program Description

Application deadline update

  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 May (the original deadline of 1 April has been extended due to COVID-19)
  • EU/EEA students and students who do not need a study visa/residence permit through VU Amsterdam*: 1 June (the original deadline of 1 May has been extended due to COVID-19)

Think big. Turn scientific inventions into succesful products.

Successfully introducing scientific knowledge and inventions into the market is a complex process in which science and business cooperate to the fullest extent at each stage of development. Are you curious about how to integrate both the scientific and the business side of innovations? Do you want to play a crucial part in determining the economic success of innovations? Then the Science, Business & Innovation (SBI) Master at VU Amsterdam is the programme for you.

Understanding Innovation in Life and Energy Sciences

The Master SBI is unique in the Netherlands and is a close collaboration between the Faculty of Sciences, the School of Business and Economics, and the Faculty of Social Sciences. Science, Business and Innovation is a Master's Programme, offered by VU Amsterdam only. All up-to-date information for this programme is therefore available on this website.

The Master SBI is a challenging programme for students who already have a solid background in the natural sciences, technology studies and science based innovation studies. Students with a Bachelor’s degree in SBI from VU Amsterdam have unconditional admission. Applicants with other Bachelor degrees will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Examination Board. In those cases the Board will decide whether there are deficiencies that have to be compensated for before or during the programme.

Kickstart your professional career with the Master SBI

As an SBI graduate you are trained to integrate scientific aspects in a business and innovation context while taking organizational, social and cultural variables into account. Professionals who are able to bridge the gap between laboratory, work floor and boardroom are rare and highly sought after. Practice and theory go hand in hand in your Master SBI. The SBI courses feature real world business cases and the things you learn in the classroom are directly applicable in your future career.

SBI has an extensive network within the industry. The Master’s programme is concluded with a six month internship at a company or research institute. The internship constitutes an important part of the Master’s programme and is an excellent preparation for a career in either the energy & sustainability or life & health sciences sector. SBI Master students are currently doing their research internships at companies like Shell and Accenture in countries all over the globe, including the Netherlands, Germany and the USA.

Study programme

The Master SBI is a two years programme (120 ECTS) and is taught in English. All SBI Master students will take general courses in the business aspects of and science behind scientific innovations. Alongside these mandatory courses, students will take specific courses depending on the specialization they choose.

Specializations from the SBI Master
The SBI Master programme offers two thematic specializations: Energy & Sustainability and Life & Health. The energy science specialization focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable solutions, the life science specialization emphasizes on drug development, molecular diagnostics and innovative medical instrumentation.

Course descriptions Science, Business & Innovation
In general, about the program: students in each specialization partially follow the same courses (Business & Innovation courses, 24 ECTS), follow a specific program for all students in each specialization (specialization-related science courses 12 ECTS, specialization-related integration course 6 ECTS), and follow a student-specific, specialization-based tailored program (Science project (alternative 1 or 2) 24 ECTS, Master project 36 EC, and Electives 18 ECTS).

Through this approach, students develop into business oriented and management driven innovation professionals in their specialization, with sufficient knowledge of and insight in the natural sciences as well as the business and social science of this specialization. During the two years of study the 24 ECTS of joint business & innovation courses stimulate cohesion and cooperation between students of the same cohort. To further stimulate cohesion and cooperation between students of the two specializations, the master project (36 ECTS) has several plenary sessions in which students exchange results, experience, insights and knowledge. Additionally, Master Group Meetings are organized to stimulate contact among students of the cohorts.

Structure of the program
The curriculum comprises the following:

- Compulsory business and innovation courses (18 ECTS)
- Specialisation-related science elective courses (12 ECTS)
- One specialisation-related compulsory integration course (6 ECTS)
- One of the two variants of the science project (24 ECTS)
- Research project (36 ECTS)
- Compulsory Research Methodology course (6 ECTS)
- Electives (18 ECTS)

The Master program SBI at VU Amsterdam is concluded with an internship and a Master’s Thesis. A four month science project, where you will perform your own natural science research is also part of the curriculum. The internship forms an important component of the Master’s phase and will prepare students for a career in either the energy & sustainability or life & health sector. Most students decide to do their internship at private companies. VU Amsterdam is located conveniently on the Zuidas, the financial and economic heart of the Netherlands and is well connected to the rest of the country. Students can also opt to do their internship abroad. SBI employs an internship coordinator who maintains close ties with various innovative companies and will actively support you in finding a suitable and exciting environment to do your internship.

Specializations

The Master programme Science, Business and Innovation at VU Amsterdam offers two different specializations: Energy & Sustainability and Life & Health. Students can choose one of these or decide to combine the two specializations.

Energy & Sustainability Specialization
The energy science specialization focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable solutions.

The energy problem is one of the biggest challenges the world has to face in the 21st century. Climate change, rapidly rising oil prices and political instability in oil rich regions means we have to switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. The Energy Science track focuses on innovations in the rapidly changing energy & sustainability sector and educates students in both the scientific aspects of renewable energy and the business side of implementing innovations in the energy & sustainability sector.

Life & Health Specialization
The life science specialization emphasizes on drug development, molecular diagnostics and innovative medical instrumentation.

Even though huge steps have been made in medicine in the last 100 years, over 60% of all diseases known to man still can’t be cured. Innovations in healthcare are thus highly necessary and the Master’s Track in Life & Health of SBI emphasizes on innovations in this highly innovative sector. Master alumni of the Life & Health track are trained to guide a medicine from the laboratory to the pharmacy or focus on the application of new medical technology in hospitals worldwide.

Further information about all the courses of the programme Science, Business and Innovation can be found in the Study guide. Furthermore, in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (page numbers 6 & 7), you will find a schedule of all the offered courses.

Career prospects

Kickstart your professional career with the Master SBI
As an SBI graduate you are trained to integrate scientific aspects in a business and innovation context while taking organizational, social and cultural variables into account. Professionals who are able to bridge the gap between laboratory, work floor and boardroom are rare and highly sought after. Practice and theory go hand in hand in your Master SBI. The SBI courses feature real world business cases and the things you learn in the classroom are directly applicable in your future career.

Working in the industry
SBI has an extensive network within the industry. The Master’s program is concluded with a six month internship at a company or research institute. The internship constitutes an important part of the Master’s program and is an excellent preparation for a career in either the energy & sustainability or life & health sciences sector. SBI Master students are currently doing their research internships at companies like Shell and Accenture in countries all over the globe, including the Netherlands, Germany and the USA.

Possible starting positions include assistant R&D project manager, assistant business analyst, high-tech marketing trainee, or strategy consultant in the public or private sector. Companies that are attractive for SBI graduates include venture capital companies investing in innovative new concepts, consultancy companies for both governments and businesses and the energy and pharmaceutical sector, where research and development are of crucial importance.

Starting your own company
The Master’s programme SBI is also an excellent starting point for starting your own business. The Bachelor’s programme has received a special distinction for Entrepreneurship from the Dutch accreditation authorities. Our innovation projects, which form a crucial part of the Bachelor’s programme, received a Best practice from the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs for Entrepreneurial Education. There are over 15 active entrepreneurs in the current student population SBI.

SBI Students are broad allrounders who can work in a lot of different environments. Because of their broad set of skills and knowledge SBI Students are of great benefit to innovative startup companies like The New Motion.” – Wouter de Ridder, The New Motion

Continuing your studies of Scientific Careers
You can also decide to continue expanding your knowledge and apply for a PhD position.

Why VU Amsterdam?

Practical applicability
The programme is characterized by a strong focus on the application of acquired scientific knowledge into practice through cases and research. Multiple courses feature case studies and scientific subjects are chosen such that the knowledge gained in business and innovation processes can be applied to real world situations.

International setting
The city of Amsterdam is a very welcoming environment for international students and staff. Our Science, Business & Innovation department is also very internationally–oriented. Our academic staff has extensive international experience and our students come from many different countries.

Small scale programme
The Master SBI at VU Amsterdam has all the advantages of a small scale programme. Lectures and projects are carried out in small groups, in close cooperation with professors. Students and professors know each other personally, leading to a relaxed and productive atmosphere in which every student will feel at home quickly.

Broad focus
Because courses from the business and the sciences are combined, the SBI student is trained to become a broadly interested and trained professional who can build bridges between research and market. An SBI master alumnus has sufficient natural science knowledge to communicate with R&D departments and to operate on a managerial level thanks to a broad base in both natural and business sciences.

Cooperation with industry
The SBI staff has an extensive network within academia and industry. VU Amsterdam is located conveniently on the Zuidas, the Central Business District of Amsterdam, the economic and financial heart of the Netherlands. The Amsterdam World Trade Center and several multinationals, such as ING, ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel and Philips are headquartered within a few minutes of the VU campus. Amsterdam also hosts numerous smaller innovative companies and startups.

An excellent preparation for a career in business
The SBI Master programme is concluded with an internship with a company or institute. The internship forms a crucial part of your Master and is designed to kick start your professional career. The SBI Master's staff includes an internship coordinator who will actively support you in finding a suitable and stimulating internship.

Cooperation with the University of Amsterdam
The city of Amsterdam hosts two world class universities. VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam collaborate closely in natural sciences and both are ranked in the top 150 universities of the world, according to the 2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Students can enjoy the expertise of two universities and benefit from their existing networks and collaborative projects.

World Class Research Institutes
The city of Amsterdam hosts numerous world class research institutes such as the VU Laserlab and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter institute AMOLF. Amsterdam also hosts two university hospitals: the VUMC and AMC medical centers. In May 2013 VU Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter announced that a new world class Research Institute for Nanolithography will be established in Amsterdam, in close cooperation with ASML, the world’s largest producer of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry.

Study in the city of Innovation
Amsterdam is the bustling capital of the Netherlands, a country deeply rooted in entrepreneurship and innovation. The Netherlands consistently ranks amongst the top nations in the world for innovation, and was named the 6th most innovative country in the world by the 2012 Global Innovation Index.

Enjoy the Amsterdam student life
The city of Amsterdam is one of Europes most beautiful historic cities and its gorgeous 17th century canal ring is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amsterdam also boasts a cultural life unrivalled in Northern Europe, with world class museums and concert venues.

Admission and Application for international students

The requirements to enter the SBI master programme are formulated in terms of knowledge, acquired skills and academic level. The main criteria are: basic knowledge on bachelor level of mathematics (at least 9 ECTS), statistics (at least 6 ECTS), computer skills (at least 6 ECTS) and of business/innovation/social sciences of at least 24 ECTS.
In addition to these requirements, students entering the E&S variant need to have at least 45 ECTS obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including thermodynamics). Students entering the L&H variant need at least 45 ECTS obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including molecular and pharmaceutical sciences).

International students have to register at the Internationalization Office (IO) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The International Office coordinates the admissions of international students, in close cooperation with the SBI program coordinator, SBI program director, and the specialists in the section SBI. Further information about the application procedure can be found here, under the header 'International Degree Holders.'

General language proficiency requirements
VU 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.

Overview Science, Business & Innovation

  • Language of instruction: English
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Application deadline: 1 April for non Dutch EU/EEA students.* 15 July for holders of a Dutch bachelor's degree (with a Dutch or EU/EEA nationality).
    * non Dutch EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housin services through VU Amsterdam can still apply until 15 July.
  • Start date: 1 September
  • Study type: Full-time
  • Field of interest: Economics, Business and Law; Computer Science; MAthematics and Business; Natural Sciences.

Last updated Feb 2020

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 122 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. Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors. Read less