European studies

Do you have a bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences (hbo) or other university, and are you interested in taking the master’s in European studies? In some cases you may first need to complete a pre-master’s programme before being admitted to the master’s.

What is a pre-master's programme?

The pre-master’s is a bridging programme which will give you the knowledge and skills you need to embark on your master’s studies successfully. Following completion of the pre-master’s you will be admitted to the master’s in European studies. Hbo students can take the pre-master’s following completion of their bachelor’s degree or incorporate the pre-Master’s into their bachelor’s studies. In general you can check your HBO-university transfer opportunities here.

Start date

You can start the (pre-)master’s programme in September or February. The master's programma has only a starting date in September.


For a typical graduate from a university of applied sciences (hbo), the pre-master’s programme will comprise 30 credits with a strong focus on research skills and any subjects that are underrepresented in your previous studies. Courses include:

First semester:

5 EC Research methodology and descriptive statistics

5 EC Academic Writing

5 EC Introduction to European Studies

15 EC EPA Module 1.2 European Challenges


Second semester:

5 EC Research methodology and descriptive statistics

5 EC Academic Writing

5 EC Introduction to Public Policy

15 EC EPA Module 1.4. Regional Innovation and Smart Cities


The programme is taught in English.


If you have a bachelor’s degree in European Studies from a Dutch or reputable foreign university, you will receive direct admission to the master’s programme. If your bachelor’s degree is in a related subject or from a university of applied science, then it will be up to the admissions committee to decide if you are eligible for admission. You may need to complete a pre-master’s programme before you can join the master’s. Following completion of all components of the pre-master’s, you will be granted admission to the master’s programme. Additional information about admission. 

Rules of the pre-Master’s

The pre-master’s is designed not only to address any deficiencies in your prior knowledge, but it is also an efficient way to find out whether studying at a research university in the field of European Studies is right for you. To this end, a couple of rules apply:

  • We ask you to fulfil the requirements of the pre-master’s within one year. Since 30 credits is equivalent to half a year of full-time study, this should not pose a problem.
  • You must also earn sufficient marks with a maximum of one re-sit per course. This means you need to take the pre-master’s seriously.

You cannot expect to be successful in the pre-master’s if you approach it half-heartedly: it is meant as a half-year, full-time programme of study. That said, in practice almost all motivated students complete the programme in the allotted time.

Pre-master Application route

The application process for the pre-Master's programme depends on your personal situation (application during or after your Bachelor's programme) and your previous education (e.g. university of applied sciences or university background).

Keep an eye on the application deadlines and check them prior to your application (pre-Master and Master deadlines are most of the times identical). However, the deadline for University of Applied Sciences (HBO) students depends on the route you chose. For a pre-Master's programme during a HBO Bachelor's programme – the so-called transfer minor – the deadline is earlier than the deadline for a pre-Master's programme after the HBO programme.

For more information about the application route check:


If you have any questions, please contact our Study Information Desk.

More info

Read more about our pre-master's programmes.

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