Premaster ERM

Premaster ERM 

Generally speaking, students must complete their Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s before starting on their Master’s programme. This is known as the ‘BSc-before-MSc rule’. Due to the corona crisis, however, some students have had to partially stop their studies, resulting in an unfortunate delay.

There has been examined how an exception to this BSc-before-MSc rule can be made possible for (pre)master’s programmes at VU Amsterdam. This means that, under certain conditions, students who are lacking credits for no more than a few courses (this may also be the final project), will still be able to start their Premaster programme at VU Amsterdam next year. This is a one-off measure. The missing credits must be completed during the 2020-2021 academic year, in other words no later than August 31 2021. Please read carefully below which rules apply for admission into the Premaster programme Environment and Resource Management.

Premaster programme Environment and Resource Management.
The following rules apply this year for admission into the Premaster programme:

Target groupNumber of EC at least achieved / % EC achieved
HBO bachelor students210 EC
University level (WO) students150 EC

Please note that, apart from the rules above, other admission criteria / requirements that are not EC related are still applicable and must be met to be considered for admission into the Premaster programme.

Request exceptional admission
Do you meet these conditions or do you expect to meet these conditions by 31 August at the latest? If so, you can request exceptional admission no later than 1 August. You can do this by completing and submitting the form.
Do you want to start a pre-Master’s programme in September? Then complete the form for exceptional admission to a pre-Master’s programme.

The premaster programme Environment and Resource Management is meant for students who have special interest in environmental sciences and sustainability issues. The premaster programme is taught in English and contains 30 EC. The programme starts in the first week of September and all the courses will take place in the first academic semester.

The courses of the premaster ERM are equal to the courses of the minor Sustainability: Global challenges, interdisciplinairy solutions.  

The pre-master follows the logical order of first defining the Grand Challenges of Sustainability (course 1), after which the three pillars of sustainability (People, Planet and Prosperity) are addressed separately, in respectively course 2 (Governance of Global Sustainability), course 3 (Global Development and Prosperity) and course 4 (Sustainable Supply Chain Management). The minor ends with course 5 (Designing Solutions for Sustainability) in which students complete their personal case study. After successfully completing the premaster ERM, you can be admitted to the master of Environment and Resource Management.

You have to complete the premaster (30 EC) within 1 year. Therefore it is not possible to re-enroll for the premaster. All general information about admission and application for a premaster programme can be found here. Please note that the Faculty of Sciences does not require students to participate at the premaster assessment.   

If you have any questions about the premaster Environment and Resource Management, please contact the Educational Office:


Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application.

Students from all disciplinary backgrounds will be considered. The deadline for applications is 15 July.

Specific admission requirements for the pre-master Environment and Resource Management: 

• Average grade for the bachelor should be at least a 7.0 or equivalent (A bachelor thesis or writing sample can be requested if necessary to confirm quality);
• Affinity with environmental sciences or sustainability, proven by previous study program, courses, thesis or relevant (volunteer) work experience, expressed in a motivation statement or curriculum vitae;
• ERM requirements for English language proficiency, including sufficient scores for each test component;
• Strong motivation statement addressing:
    - Interest for environmental and sustainability issues
    - Specific interest for ERM
    - Future ambitions after graduation 

Language Requirements 

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires international students and students with a HBO degree to pass an English language proficiency test. This requirement can be met if no longer than two years before the start of the programme the applicant has successfully completed one of the following examinations with the minimum scores indicated:
-    IELTS (Academic): 6.5 (due to Covid-19 the IELTS Indicator will also be accepted for admissions in 2020)
o    Minimum Sub-scores  6.0  
-    TOEFL paper based test: 580
-    TOEFL internet based test: 92
o    Minimum Sub-score Reading  18
o    Minimum Sub-score Listening  19
o    Minimum Sub-score Speaking  19
o    Minimum Sub-score Writing  23
-     VU TOEFL ITP: 580
-    Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): A, B, C
-    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C
Exceptions are made for students who:
-    have obtained a Dutch vwo-diploma including English, or an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma
-    have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a Dutch university,
-    have completed previous education in Canada, Ireland, UK, USA, Australia or New Zealand.

Please refer to the Language Requirements webpage for the general requirements regarding language proficiency.
Copies of your English test results can be uploaded in VUnet or sent to the following address:


For questions about the premaster Environment and Resource Management, you are encouraged to contact the Educational Office: