Economics and Business Economics

Become an economical expert and find effective answers to social issues

Societal challenges

Are you fascinated by human behaviour in a world where consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments must constantly make choices? Do you want to know how these choices are made and what the social consequences of the choices are? Are you socially involved, analytically sharp and curious? If so, the bachelor’s programme in Economics and Business Economics is the right choice for you. 

Economics and Business Economics deals with issues that affect individuals, businesses and society as a whole. Whereas Business Administration focuses on business processes, this bachelor’s programme focuses on economics and human behaviour. In this programme, you will learn to analyse problems and develop solutions by combining insights from disciplines such as: 

  • accounting
  • development economics
  • economic history
  • ethics
  • finance
  • macroeconomics and microeconomics
  • marketing
  • spatial economics
Not only will you develop academic knowledge in these areas, but you will also develop a variety of professional skills such as programming and quantitative research skills.

Strong ties to the professional world
The programme has strong ties to businesses and governmental organisations in the Netherlands and abroad. It is also conveniently located near major businesses in the Amsterdam Zuidas district. To help optimally prepare you for the professional world, you will be given the opportunity to:
  • receive guest lectures from instructors who work in business or government
  • work with your fellow students to conduct business analyses of major companies 
  • conduct an internship (optional)
  • complete a research project

Looking further as an economist

VU is looking further. As an Economics and Business Economics student, the latest insights from the VU-wide research themes Connected World and Governance for Society will be integrated into your curriculum. Your instructors are involved in cutting edge research and are experts in professional practice, so they know exactly what is happening in business and politics. This programme also has an international orientation. You will interact with many international lecturers and students, and you can also study abroad during the third year.

Want to become an economist? Come to a Taster Day

If you think you might like to become an economist, then come to a Taster Day and get a feel for  whether the programme is right for you. During the Taster Day at the VU campus in Amsterdam, you can get to know the study, the students and the city.

When you graduate, you will earn the title Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Economics. Most of our students immediately follow up with a Master’s degree. This allows you to further specialize in this field and gives you an even greater advantage in the labour market. Our faculty offers a broad range of Master’s programmes.

If you would like to go straight into the job market, you can work as an economist in a variety of national or international organisations, such as: 

  • businesses (e.g. KLM, Bosch) 
  • governmental organisations (e.g. ministries of finance, the European Commission) 
  • global financial organisations (e.g. the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund) 
  • policy institutions (e.g. the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) 

Many of our graduates end up working in positions such as: 

  • policy officer
  • accountant 
  • investment advisor
  • marketing manager
  • financial manager
  • entrepreneur
  • researcher

VU Matching is mandatory for the Economics and Business Economics programme. It consists of completing a digital questionnaire and participating in the matching activity. You can participate in the online matching activity.

The activity will give you a realistic impression of the bachelor’s programme, allowing you to experience whether it matches your expectations and abilities. After the activity is completed, you will receive a personal recommendation. This recommendation is not binding unless you apply after 1 May. Please note that you will only receive an invitation to participate once you have applied for the programme via Studielink AND have logged in to VUnet. Please read more detailed information here.

Admission criteria for international applicants
Applicants holding a pre-university diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements:

  1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university ‘VWO’ diploma
  2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics
  3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

You are allowed to have a deficiency regarding these criteria at the time of application but the criteria should be fully met before the start of the programme.

Mathematics
Examples of diplomas that demonstrate sufficient proficiency in Mathematics are: 

  • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics Standard Level 
  • UK: Mathematics A levels 
  • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics as Abiturfach and/or Leistungsfach. 

After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our Student Portal VUnet, the admission officer will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your mathematics level is sufficient. If your proficiency in mathematics is considered to be insufficient, you will need to pass an entry test in mathematics.

Mathematics exams in the Netherlands:
•    Boswell-Bèta
•    CCVX

Both Boswell-Bèta and CCVX offer the mathematics A entry exam. The Boswell-Bèta Institute offers summer courses in the months June and July.

Mathematics exams abroad
•    Cambridge International A-levels
Another option is to take an A-level mathematics exam at a registered Cambridge school. Please check here to find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.

Proof of sufficient proficiency in English
International applicants must take an English language proficiency test and submit their scores before 31 August 2018. Applicants who have completed their education in Canada, the USA, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia are exempt from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programmes only).

We accept the following tests and minimum scores:
•    IELTS: 6.5
•    TOEFL paper based test: 580
•    TOEFL internet based test: 92
•    Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): A, B or C
•    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B or C

If you are already in the Netherlands, you can also register for a TOEFL test at VU Taalloket. Please note however that this test is only valid at VU Amsterdam. We only accept language tests that have been completed max. 2 years ago, counted from the date you start the Economics and Business Economics programme.

Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students
Chinese students who wish to enroll in an English-taught programme at a Dutch higher education institution are required to apply for a Nuffic Certificate. Nuffic sends this certificate directly to the relevant Dutch higher education institution once it has been issued. More information on the Nuffic Certificate for Chinese students.

Start September 2018?
Do you want to start the Economics and Business Economics programme in September 2018? Make sure to apply before the deadline of 1 May 2017! You are able to apply from 1 October 2017 via www.studielink.nl. After that you will receive a VUnet ID and password (in two separate emails). Be sure to complete your application in our Student Portal VUnet by uploading all the necessary documents.

International Student Advisor: 
Ester de Koning
Tel: + 31 (0) 20 598 2508
E: bachelors.sbe@vu.nl

Prefer to contact a student? 
Feel free to contact the board members of Aureus at secretary@aureus-vu.nl. They will be more than willing to put you in touch with a student who is currently participating in this programme.

Bachelor’s Day 
At the VU Bachelor’s Day, you can find out more about the programme during the information round and ask all of your questions to our students and staff at the information market. 

Get a taste of the programme at a Taster Day
Join us for a Taster Day and experience what it is like to be an Economics and Business Economics student at VU Amsterdam! The next Taster Day will be held on Wednesday 13 December 2017. To get a preview, you can check out the general presentation about the Economics and Business Economics programme that was given during the Taster Day on 11 April 2017 .

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How will you be spending your time?

The bachelor's in Economics and Business Economics is a three-year programme. You will build a solid foundation in economics and then choose in your second year to specialize in Economics or Business Economics. You will also develop an understanding of methodology as well as a historical, ethical and philosophical framework. You will conclude the programme with writing a thesis.

Time commitment
This is a full-time programme, so it will require about 40 hours a week, of which about 12-14 hours will be contact hours (lectures and study groups). Even though your studies will keep you busy, many of our students still find the time to have a part-time job in order to gain professional experience and help with expenses.

You will become familiar with important aspects of the economy, providing you with a solid foundation for your specialization. You will also develop skills in areas such as quantitative research and programming.
You can find the overview of the courses you will take below. You can also download the curriculum (pdf).

Dutch tutorials
In your first year you have the possibility to attend tutorials in Dutch.


Courses
Period 1
Economic Challenges
Quantitative Research Methods
Period 2
Micro-Economics I
Marketing I
Period 3
Academic Skills
Period 4
Macro-Economics I
Accounting I
Period 5
Finance I
Economics and Management of Organizations
Period 6
Programming for Economists

You can find more detailed information about the first year in our study guide.

During the second year, you will specialize in Economics or Business Economics. If you choose Business Economics, you will decide in the middle of the second year whether you will further specialize in Accounting, Finance or Marketing. You will also develop a greater understanding of methodology and further refine your ethical and philosophical framework


Courses
Period 1
Economics:
Quantitative Research Methods II
Macroeconomics II

Business Economics:
Quantitative Research Methods II
Accounting II
Period 2
Economics:
International Trade and Developments Economics
Regional and Urban Economics

Business Economics:
Finance II
Marketing II
Period 3 Economics:
Ethics

Business Economics:
Ethics
Period 4
Economics:
Microeconomics II
Public Economics

Business Economics:
Finance Track: Financial Accounting | Law
Accounting Track: Financial Accounting | Law
Marketing Track: Marketing Engineering | Law
Period 5
Economics:
Environmental and Transport Economics
Monetary Economics

Business Economics: 
Finance Track: Corporate Finance | Management Accounting of Value based Marketing
Accounting Track: Management Accounting | Corporate Finance of Value based Marketing
Marketing Track: Value based Marketing | Corporate Finance of Management Accounting
Period 6
Economics:
Research paper

Business Economics: 
Research paper

You can find more detailed information about the second year in our study guide.

During the first half of your third year, you will have complete freedom of choice. You can use this time to: 

  • study abroad
  • conduct an internship
  • follow a minor at the faculty
  • follow a minor at another faculty
  • fulfil the requirements for a specific master’s programme

In the second half of the third year, you will focus more on your specialization and write your thesis.

You can find more detailed information about the third year in our study guide.

You will become familiar with important aspects of the economy, providing you with a solid foundation for your specialization. You will also develop skills in areas such as quantitative research and programming.
You can find the overview of the courses you will take below. You can also download the curriculum (pdf).

Dutch tutorials
In your first year you have the possibility to attend tutorials in Dutch.


Courses
Period 1
Economic Challenges
Quantitative Research Methods
Period 2
Micro-Economics I
Marketing I
Period 3
Academic Skills
Period 4
Macro-Economics I
Accounting I
Period 5
Finance I
Economics and Management of Organizations
Period 6
Programming for Economists

You can find more detailed information about the first year in our study guide.

During the second year, you will specialize in Economics or Business Economics. If you choose Business Economics, you will decide in the middle of the second year whether you will further specialize in Accounting, Finance or Marketing. You will also develop a greater understanding of methodology and further refine your ethical and philosophical framework


Courses
Period 1
Economics:
Quantitative Research Methods II
Macroeconomics II

Business Economics:
Quantitative Research Methods II
Accounting II
Period 2
Economics:
International Trade and Developments Economics
Regional and Urban Economics

Business Economics:
Finance II
Marketing II
Period 3 Economics:
Ethics

Business Economics:
Ethics
Period 4
Economics:
Microeconomics II
Public Economics

Business Economics:
Finance Track: Financial Accounting | Law
Accounting Track: Financial Accounting | Law
Marketing Track: Marketing Engineering | Law
Period 5
Economics:
Environmental and Transport Economics
Monetary Economics

Business Economics: 
Finance Track: Corporate Finance | Management Accounting of Value based Marketing
Accounting Track: Management Accounting | Corporate Finance of Value based Marketing
Marketing Track: Value based Marketing | Corporate Finance of Management Accounting
Period 6
Economics:
Research paper

Business Economics: 
Research paper

You can find more detailed information about the second year in our study guide.

During the first half of your third year, you will have complete freedom of choice. You can use this time to: 

  • study abroad
  • conduct an internship
  • follow a minor at the faculty
  • follow a minor at another faculty
  • fulfil the requirements for a specific master’s programme

In the second half of the third year, you will focus more on your specialization and write your thesis.

You can find more detailed information about the third year in our study guide.

Overview Economics and Business Economics

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years (fulltime)

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 April

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

Admission Requirements


FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law

Ties Eigenhuis

Student Economics and Business Economics

Ties testimonial

VU Amsterdam was the right choice: I wanted to study Economics in a big city and at a prestigious university. I was convinced after attending the Taster Day. De introduction week allowed me to get to know the VU-Campus and the nightlife of Amsterdam. More important, VU Amsterdam was right for me because of the good atmosphere, personal contact with lecturers and ofcourse interesting education.

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