I am living in the Netherlands (at the moment, I am an expat), I have two M.Sc and a bachelor in software engineer / computer science and and I am looking at the possibility of having a part-time masters course in Humanities, particularly history or philosophy.

I checked the universities in my area but all the programs are not accepting students without a background in related fields and the don't offer any preparation courses. I wouldn't mind starting from a bachelor but there are not available as part time programs and I am working full time.

If anyone has a deeper knowledge of the Dutch educational system I would like to know if there is a way to carry out my plan.

  • It might be more possible to do in the US. But that is because the US undergrad degrees also include some humanities, no matter the major subject. – Buffy Sep 24 '19 at 16:29
  • @Buffy: Shouldn't this make it more difficult in the US because "usual" students are assumed to have some humanties background, which Giorgos Papageorgiou has not? – User Sep 24 '19 at 17:17
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    @Matthias Yes, actually, I meant for a US undergrad. But you are correct. The European undergrad degree is normally much more specialized than that in the US.. – Buffy Sep 24 '19 at 17:23
  • I have no direct experience with the Dutch system, but if it's anything like the German or Austrian system, you can make any program part time if you are somewhat flexible with your working hours. You will just need longer to cover all the required courses. – henning -- reinstate Monica Sep 27 '19 at 7:47

The usual term for this is either pre-master or 'schakeljaar' (Dutch for transition year) Most universities in the Netherlands offer pre-masters. I think you always need to contact the institute you want to attend if you can follow the pre-master and they can tailor the programme to your background. Since these are often tailored, it would be possible they could work with you to follow this part-time as well.

Some example links from universities in the Netherlands (some in Dutch):


The best thing to do is contact the people in charge of the programmes that come closest to being right for you and ask them if there is any wiggle room with admissions. I'm not in the Netherlands (yet!) but in the uk, at least, we have a lot of space for admissions exceptions under the right circumstances.

On that note, have you considered online, part time, distance degrees? There are a few of these in various humanities topics in the UK.

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