Research Master in Business in Society (joint degree VU and UvA)

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

Research Master in Business in Society (joint degree VU and UvA)

University of Amsterdam

The Research Master Business in Society aims to educate talented students for research-oriented careers such as a PhD, strategy consultant, policy-maker, or think-tank participant, either in academia, government, not-for-profit organisations and commercial firms.

This challenging programme goes beyond training specialists of a narrow sub-field in business administration. Our objective is to develop our students’ capacity to grasp the intricate relationships between business and society, in order to make them able to address the grand challenges posed by e.g. the financial crisis, society’s request for ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility, and the need for sustainability.

The programme leads to a double degree by the Amsterdam Business School (ABS) at the University of Amsterdam and the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. These leading research institutes have joined forces to educate a new generation of business researchers who will have a profound understanding of the societal issues that are changing the face of business. Our programme will provide them with the tools and academic skills required to imagine new solutions and become tomorrow's leading thinkers.


Upon successful completion of the programme, you will receive a Master's degree in Business in Society and the title Master of Science (MSc).

The University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The overall quality of Dutch higher education places it among the best in the world. According to the QS World University Rankings, no other country in the world can claim that 90% of its universities are ranked in the world’s top 200.

Both UvA and VU are internationally renowned research institutions. The UvA's Amsterdam Business School received triple accreditation in 2017. Together they are responsible for more than 20,000 scientific publications published in top-tier journals (up to 2013).

Top 5 reasons to study here

The UvA and VU:

  • have an excellent reputation in research and education
  • have a diverse international and active student body
  • are surrounded by many multinational firms and organisations
  • offer financial support for EU students in the form of low tuition fees and competitive scholarships
  • are conveniently located in the multicultural and historic city of Amsterdam

The programme in brief

With a maximum intake of 25 talented and highly motivated students, this two-year programme (similar to a MPhil programme) offers intensive interactions. You will be supervised and mentored by excellent researchers and collaborate with other students who are passionate about understanding complex business problems in their societal perspective. You will learn from some of the world's leading scholars in the field of business administration by working closely with them. The University of Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam each have 5 PhD positions per university for motivated and talented students who wish to further their research skills in an academic environment. Upon completion of this Research Master you vastly increase your chances of obtaining one of these PhD positions.

The programme combines several specialisations in the broad field of business administration (such as: strategy, organisational theory, accounting, technology and innovation, entrepreneurship, international business, human resource management, organisational behaviour, and marketing) with an overarching perspective connecting these fields. The capacity to bridge fields is necessary to fully grasp the multi-faceted and complex issues that businesses face nowadays. The programme also provides the methodological and theory-building skills needed to conceive of new solutions for the problems related to business in society.

In brief, the programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for PhD in business and management and a successful research-oriented career in business, government, or not-for-profit organisations.

Career prospects

This Research Master Business in Society is the ideal preparation for a leading PhD programme in business administration or a related discipline at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, or another university. The University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have committed to each offer five PhD positions each year for which our graduates will be prime applicants.

It also gives you excellent credentials to apply for a research-related position in the public or private sector such as advisor, researcher, or policymaker. Many top consultancy firms hire graduates with a research master or PhD degree. In short: our alumni possess all the needed skills to be a leader in business research.

As a graduate of the programme, you will be able to:

  • understand complex business problems including their societal dimensions;
  • adopt an original and interdisciplinary perspective in proposing solutions to these complex problems;
  • design and perform high-quality research to provide evidence of the implications of business decisions for both businesses and society;
  • communicate research results to both the scientific and the practitioner community to influence the way organisations do business.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 10, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
24 months
Full time
2,060 EUR
EU/EEA students. Non-EU/EEA students €15,000 per year.
Netherlands - Amsterdam, North Holland
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Amsterdam, North Holland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info