Brain and Cognition

Admission requirements for Master Brain and Cognition

Prior education

Depending on the specialisation you wish to apply for, you are eligible for admission to the programme if you have obtained a relevant bachelor or undergraduate degree (comparable to the Dutch academic level according to the standards of the Dutch Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic)) from a research university. Some examples of relevant bachelor programmes are:

  • Psychology
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Psychobiology
  • Cognition, Language and Communication

You are also expected to have obtained at least:       

  • 15 ECTS in courses related to the preferred field of your specialisation;
  • At least 15 ECTS in statistics courses and at least basic SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) skills.
    You are expected to be familiar with the following statistical techniques (and be able to apply them in SPSS): descriptive statistics, correlation, hypothesis testing, between-subjects versus within-subjects designs, multiple regression, 1-factor and 2-factor ANOVA, repeated measures-ANOVA, MANOVA, GLM, psychometrics, non-parametric testing.

We would like to stress that if you are an eligible candidate for the specialisation, there is no guarantee that you can directly obtain your degree. You are responsible for filling the gaps in your knowledge and skills of statistics or the specialisation that you have chosen. On this page you will find a list with recommended literature that can help you overcome knowledge deficiencies. There may be additional requirements, next to a master degree, if you want to enroll in certain post-academic vocational training or become a member of a specific professional association. It is your own responsibility to acquire information related to these requirements in case you are considering such options.

Language requirements

A good command of English is essential. Therefore you will have to submit proof of English proficiency in your application.

    • You have obtained a bachelor diploma from a university in the Netherlands; or
    • You have obtained a pre-university education (VWO) diploma and English was one of the subjects included in the assessment conferring that diploma and graded a 7.0 or higher; or
    • You have obtained a diploma of International Baccalaureate (valid for 5 years); or
    • You are a native speaker of English (i.e. a national of one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America) and you have obtained a diploma of secondary education in English for at least 2,5 years in one of the above countries; or
    • You have obtained your diploma of higher education in English (the entire programme) in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
      • We usually deem the level of English Bachelor programmes at West European or Scandinavian universities sufficient for exemption as well.

    Please mind that in case you believe that you qualify for exemption you need to present a proof thereof. For example, if you have obtained your diploma of higher education in English, we need to see a written proof of it in the form of either a passage in the diploma, grade list, or a letter from the university stating that the language of instruction was English for the entire programme.

  • We are aware that due to the coronavirus outbreak, improvisation and flexibility are needed. That is why we (from now on) work with exceptions in terms of language proficiency; meaning that we practice offers of admission conditional on language.

    A proof of language proficiency can therefore be submitted after the application deadline, but before:

    • June 15, 2020 for non-EU applicants
    • August 15, 2020 for EU applicants

    Please note that the test may not be older than two years at the time of application. Also note that it takes several weeks before the results of the tests are known.

    Language Test

    Minimum Score

    Minimum Sub-scores

    Internet based (iBT) TOEFL (our TOEFL ID Code 5971)*



    IELTS Academic



    CEF (Common European Framework)



    Cambridge EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Examinations

    CAE level B
    CPE level C


    * Please note that Institutional (ITP) TOEFL tests are not accepted.

    Would you like to take a language test at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)? The language test, based on CEF, is organised by the Language & Training Centre of EUR and tailored specially for our applicants. More information can be found on the website of the language centre.

Academic performance 

In addition to the credentials mentioned above, the Admissions Board will also take into account your academic performance, i.e. your grades. Please note that there is no minimum score or average grade mentioned; your application will be assessed against the pool of applicants of the given year.   

Additional information

Should the admissions criteria mentioned above be too concise, please refer to additional information on this topic.

Prior education

  • Bachelor’s / undergraduate of a research university are meant as opposed to diplomas of university of applied sciences or vocational programmes. 
  • Diplomas will be carefully evaluated to determine whether they qualify as degrees from research universities (as opposed to universities of applied sciences). An evaluation can only be done after the submission of the on-line application form and all required supporting documents. 
  • In order to be eligible for admission to the programme, you must have fulfilled all the requirements for your Bachelor’s degree by August 20 at the very latest. In case it does not happen, candidates have to account with the fact that this will result in a denial of admission. 
  • If you have not yet completed your Bachelor’s degree but expect it to happen until August 20, please send us an official copy of your academic record(s) at the moment of application. In case the transcript of record does not contain the name of the programme you are enrolled in and/ or the kind of degree you are studying for, the date of enrollment as well as the amount of credits you have obtained so far, you must also provide a statement of your university (please read more information about this) with the date you expect to fulfil all the requirements necessary for graduation. Until we have your documents you might receive a conditional offer, which might become unconditional if we receive the missing documents. 

Proof of English proficiency 

  • If you have obtained your diploma of higher education in English we need to see a written proof of it in the form of either a passage in the diploma, grade list, or a letter from the university stating that the language of instruction was English.
  • Institutional TOEFL tests are not accepted. 
  • The Examination Board makes the final decision on granting you an exemption for English language proficiency. 
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam does not offer any preparatory English courses.
  • Information of the language test, based on CEF, organised by the Language & Training Centre of Erasmus University Rotterdam and tailored specially for our applicants, can be found on the website of the centre.  
    • The eligibility of your prior education can only be determined after you have submitted an application and only after we have received all requested documents. Prior inquiries will be purely hypothetical. For this reason, we encourage you to officially apply for admission. You can also assess your eligibility yourself by taking a look at the detailed admissions criteria on this page. We have tried to make the criteria as transparent as possible.  

      • No, it is a full-time programme. 

      • No, the programme starts only once a year, in September.

      • A transfer of grades is not possible. Due to the special educational format that we are using - Problem-Based Learning - as well as the build-up of the curriculum, which mainly consists of obligatory as opposed to optional courses, we cannot accept transfer students. 

      • Our programme is an English-taught programme. All lectures and all literature is in English. This requires from our students that they can read, write, speak and understand English at an academic level and thus we need proof thereof from our applicants. This applies to our Dutch and non-Dutch applicants. 

      • No, you cannot. You will need to do the official TOEFL test at a TOEFL-certified institute. In both cases please visit for more information.

      • Yes, in some cases you might be exempted from presenting proof of English proficiency. Please have a look on the admission page to find out if you are eligible for exemption. Keep in mind that in case you believe that you qualify for exemption you need to present a proof thereof.