Based in Europe, focused on the world
Maastricht University (UM) is an innovative, research-oriented university in the beautiful city of Maastricht, the Netherlands. UM offers academic programmes on a wide range of themes, including Arts & Culture, Behavioural and Political Sciences, Business and Economics, Health and Life Sciences, Law, and Knowledge Engineering. Our educational methods are based on developing research skills, self-reliance and an international profile. At UM, you do not simply repeat what you learn, but work with your classmates to find innovative solutions to societal and technological problems. UM is committed to the emerging knowledge society, incorporating research, internationalism and innovation into its academics.
The Maastricht method
Maastricht University is known for its use of Problem-Based Learning - an innovative, student-centred instructional method - in its bachelor's and master's programmes. Students work in tutorial groups, collaboratively seeking practical solutions to open-ended, real-world problems. Instructors act as facilitators, giving help when and where it is needed, allowing you to build independence and develop research skills. Research is integrated into every level of education at UM, and our research portfolio is focused on issues critical to the development of society. Each of our faculties has a set of priority research themes, and our policy of 'valorisation and enterprise' is dedicated to finding practical applications for our research output.
Maastricht is the most international and fully bilingual (Dutch & English) university in the Netherlands. Over 47% of our students and 30% of our academic staff come from abroad, together representing about 70 different countries. Every day you will encounter different languages and cultures, and most study programmes have a decidedly international theme. For non-native English speakers, the English-language curriculum at UM will strengthen your command of the English language and prepare you for a career in an increasingly globalised world. Most of our programmes are taught entirely in English, the most widely used international language. Each faculty at Maastricht University has dozens of international partnerships and student-exchange agreements, and we encourage interdisciplinary and international collaboration. In addition, UM programmes place heavy emphasis on studying abroad, often including it as a core requirement for graduation.
Master's programmes at UM refine your bachelor's education into a more concentrated discipline, and give you even more preparation for your career. Continuing with Problem-Based Learning groups, you will also begin to work on a master's thesis or project. Master's programmes often have more collaboration with industry, government and NGO's. Programmes vary from 1-2 years, depending on the subject, and most include opportunities for study abroad.
Research master's programmes
Research is an essential part of these master's programmes. Research master's have a more analytical approach to a given topic. Students who wish to obtain a PhD and pursue a career in research often choose a research master's, as the intense focus on research and writing skills prepares them to write a PhD dissertation. All of our research master's are currently 2 years long and are taught entirely in English.
PhD at Maastricht University
In most countries a doctoral candidate is considered to be a student who studies. But in the Netherlands, PhD candidates are usually hired researchers who are employed by a university to complete a dissertation or thesis. This system is currently changing, so there are several ways to earn a PhD at Maastricht University. You can apply for a vacant position, apply as a non-resident doctoral candidate or apply to a PhD training programme.
PhD positions are paid employment positions within the university, with research conducted in conjunction with a faculty, research institute or research school. Many students find PhD positions through research intensive master's programmes at Maastricht University. Potential candidates can contact individual faculties to ask about PhD opportunities within a given programme.
You must qualify for employment in the Netherlands to apply for PhD positions. The most up to date list of PhD positions currently available at Maastricht University and throughout the Netherlands is available at the Academic Transfer website.
Non-residential doctoral candidates
Non-resident doctoral candidates support themselves financially while pursuing PhD studies. Potential non-resident candidates can contact the faculty at which they would like to obtain a PhD, either directly or through the Centre for Contract Research. Information about ongoing research at Maastricht University can also be found via our research institutes and schools.
PhD training programmes
PhD training programmes are offered through Maastricht University's graduate schools, research institutes and research schools. These programmes also include a number of courses that PhD candidates can take both as a part of their training programmes and as optional short courses. More information is available on the website of each of the PhD training programmes.