Graduate School of Humanities

The VU Graduate School of Humanities offers a large selection of excellent Master’s degrees, Research Master’s degrees and PhD programmes, which provides research training for Master’s students and PhD researchers at the highest academic level.

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Research-oriented education is one of the faculty's major aims. With this priority in mind, teaching and research are combined; enabling students to take classes from highly qualified teachers and to be directly involved in current research projects. PhD researchers are given extensive supervision and participate in faculty teaching as part of their programme. It is also possible for PhD researchers to take classes in the Graduate school, in any of the national research schools or at a foreign university.

Teaching and research in the Faculty of Humanities at VU University has a strong interdisciplinary focus. The organisation of interfaculty research institutes, in which researchers from different faculties collaborate on projects, contributes to this focus. The research of CLUE+ explores culture, history and heritage, and the Network Institute sees Humanities researchers and computer scientists join forces. Heritage and E-Humanities are major points in the faculty’s teaching and research.

Career perspectives

A Master's degree, Research Master's degree or PhD offers excellent opportunities for a career in academia or a job in education. On top of this, it provides you with the qualifications to get started anywhere in the world. Your degree has taught you how to carry out independent research, how to analyse a large number of complex sources and how to write this up in a clear report in Dutch as well as in English. These skills are greatly appreciated in various lines of business, such as in the creative industry, media, the heritage sector, nature and environmental sectors and (N)GOs. Those with a degree in Humanities might start a career as a researcher, consultant, communications trainer, translator, designer, policy or communications consultant, ethical advisor at ministries, local councils or political parties, journalist, editor or as an employee at a cultural institution.

The VU Graduate School of Humanities is comprised of the following:

  • Master-level teaching in the Faculty of Humanities
  • Research Master’s Programmes in the Faculty of Humanities
  • PhD research in the Faculty of Humanities

The Graduate School strives to be a community of young researchers who are challenged to break boundaries in their work. The (Research) students and PhD researchers of the VU are internationally oriented and like to explore: they are not afraid of a challenge, they want to engage with disciplines that are not their own and adapting research to the latest developments and needs in society is key. The Graduate School organizes various events in order to obtain these goals.

Graduate seminars

The Graduate seminars are a good example of the integration of research and teaching within the Graduate School. These twice-yearly seminars see Research Master's, Master's students, PhD researchers and faculty researchers work together closely. Research students are given the opportunity to present the results of their classes and work on their thesis by means of poster presentations or mini symposia. Research Master's students and PhD researchers are encouraged to share their current research and fresh insights with each other. It is this direct interaction and transfer of knowledge that makes the Graduate School a prime example of a community of learners.

Graduate School lectures

The Graduate School lectures allow (Research) Master's students and PhD researchers to come into contact with (inter)nationally known specialists in areas characteristic of the Faculty of Humanities at VU university. Young researchers and students are given the opportunity to engage in conversation with these specialists and discuss their own research with them.

Is there a specialist in your field of study who you are you really keen to meet and exchange ideas with? Do you think other people share this feeling? Send your ideas to or to the members of the PhD Colloquium.

Career perspectives

A lot of attention is paid to career perspectives within Research Master, Master and PhD programmes. Students can attend guest lectures by invited specialists from relevant industries, follow internships in companies or public institutions, or do research tutorials at heritage-institutions and media companies. Research Master students follow two courses in Research Design in which they are intensively prepared for a career in academia. PhD researchers are given the chance to enrol in career-oriented courses. The Graduate School organizes a yearly career event, at which our students and young researchers can meet successful VU alumni.