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Application and admission: Sociology - international procedure

This is the international application and admission procedure for the (pre-)Master's program in Sociology.

a) Check your eligibility

1. Educational background

To be admitted directly to our Master's program in Sociology, you must have the following academic background:

  • A Bachelor's and/or a Master's degree in, e.g., Sociology.
    • You cannot be accepted onto this Master's program without having either a Bachelor's or Master's degree. Work experience or an interest in this field cannot be taken into account for the admission process without a sufficient academic background. 
  • Sufficiently conversant in the social sciences, e.g., knowledge of and practice in the application of (key) questions of sociology and of classical and modern sociological theories; basic knowledge of other social sciences, e.g., psychology and economics.
  • Adequate knowledge of social science statistics and research methods.
2. English language requirements

You must prove your proficiency in English by submitting the results of one of the following tests:

IELTS Academic: minimum overall band score of 6.5 and a minimum score of 6.0 on all individual parts of the test. 

  • We do not accept IELTS Online.  

TOEFL iBT: minimum total score of 90 for (TOEFL iBT: Computer based and Paper Edition) at a test center. 

  • We only accept scores from a single test date. We do not accept MyBest Scores. 
  • We accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition only under exceptional circumstances, such as when on-site language test centers are closed or inaccessible due to unsafe situations in a country. 

Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 proficiency: with grades of A, B or C.  

Please note 

  • The test results must not be older than two years at the time of application. 
  • You must be able to prove your English language proficiency at the time of application. Without test results your application cannot be processed unless you are exempted. 

An English proficiency test is not required if one of the following applies to your situation: 

  • You hold a passport from one of the following countries
    Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. 
  • You have studied and completed your entire Bachelor's or Master's program in one of the following countries
    Australia, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America. 

For all other countries and situations, the English language test is compulsory

For information and registration details regarding the tests, including applicable fees, please visit the official websites of IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge.

b) Remember the deadline

You must submit your application in our online application system before the deadline that applies to you.

EEA nationals
  • Application deadline for starting end of August: June 1
  • Application deadline for starting end of January: December 1

Please note:

  • Applicants with a Swiss citizenship can follow the deadline for EEA nationals.
Non-EEA nationals
  • Application deadline for starting end of August: April 1
  • Application deadline for starting end of January: October 1

Please note:

  • UK citizens should follow the deadline for non-EEA nationals.
  • Applicants with a non-EEA nationality and a valid residence permit of an EEA country, other than the Netherlands, should apply before the non-EEA deadline.
  • Applicants with a non-EEA nationality and a valid residence permit of the Netherlands, can follow the deadline for EEA nationals. The residence permit should be valid until at least up to the intended start date of your study program.
Scholarship deadlines

If you are applying for a scholarship, please carefully read the information provided for this scholarship on our tuition fees and scholarships page.

  • Certain scholarships will require you to apply before the application deadline of the program at Tilburg University.
  • If your scholarship application requires you to be (conditionally) admitted by Tilburg University, please take into consideration when applying for admission at Tilburg University, that it can take at least six weeks for you to receive your (conditional) Admission Letter.

c) Follow the procedure for international applicants

For a step-by-step guide through the application process, please watch our video How to apply for a Master's program as an international student (12:32).

Make sure you apply for the correct study program

All applicants with a diploma from a non-Dutch educational institution are recommended to apply directly for the Master’s program. Your application will be considered for both the Master's as well as the pre-Master's program.

  • The name of this Master's program in Studielink:
     M Sociology  - Track Politics, Policy and Society in a Comparative Perspective (CROHO-code: 66599)
  • The name of the pre-Master's program in Studielink:
     B Sociology (premaster) (CROHO-code: 42593)
Step 1: Prepare your application documents

During the application process, you must upload the following documents in pdf format only.


  1. Copy Passport / ID card 
    Please check the exact requirements, including the minimum validity of your passport or ID card, on the webpage Documents to verify your identity.
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
    This must include your personal information and details of any jobs (part-time, research assistant, etc.) which you have done. Please include membership of any professional bodies and details of any articles you have published. We do not require a standard format.
  3. Motivation Letter
    The motivation letter must be specifically written for your application for this program at Tilburg University. We do not require a standard format for this letter but it should be about 250-500 words. It should explain:
    • how you meet the specific criteria for admission mentioned above, with specific reference to your academic background.
    • why you want to take this program of study, e.g., what specifically appeals to you about the content of this program.
    • why you want to study at Tilburg University.
    • what you have done in addition to your academic studies in this field.
    • what added value you consider you could bring to our international classroom.
    • what you would like to do after you have completed this degree.
  4. Transcript of Records
    This is a list from your University of the courses you have taken in your Bachelor's (and Master's) degree, with the grades you have achieved.  This must be an official list from your University, not your results downloaded from the University’s student system. If you have not yet completed all courses at the time of application, please provide the Transcript plus a list of the courses you still need to complete before graduation.
  5. Diploma(s)
    Your Bachelor's (and Master's) diploma(s), if you already have them.
    1. If you have not yet completed your higher education study program, you should upload a provisional transcript with your grades up to this point (see 3). Once conditionally admitted, you must send a certified hard copy of your diploma to us, according to the details in your conditional Admission Statement.
    2. If you already have completed your higher education study program but have not yet received your diploma, you can provide us with a Graduation Statement from your university that states you have completed all graduation requirements for your study program and the date the diploma will be awarded. Such a statement must have an original seal/stamp and signature.
  6. For Chinese applicants only: Online Verification Report 
    Please upload an Online Verification Report of your Bachelor’s/Master’s Diploma Certificate (学士学位证书) and Graduation Certificate (毕业证书) and a Verification Report of your Transcript of Records (成绩单) in English. Make sure to request the reports on time via China Credentials Verification | CSSD (chsi.com.cn). 

    *If you don’t have the Online Verification Report(s) in time of submitting your application, please upload your Transcript or Records, Diploma Certificate, and Graduation Certificate.  

  7. Official translations of the Transcript of Records and diploma(s)
    If your Transcript of Records and diploma are not in English or Dutch, a certified translator must translate the documents. The translator must attach the translation to copies of the original document and stamp both documents. Please note: we cannot accept translations that are not attached to a copy of the original document; the translator must make sure that s/he stamps the copy of the original document and attaches the two documents to each other.
  8. English language test results (unless you are exempted).
    You can check the requirements above under the heading 'English language requirements'. Please note that it is obligatory to have obtained the required English language test results before submitting your application.
  9. Course Descriptions
    This is a brief description of the content of each course you followed as part of your previous degree which is relevant to your application for this program. You should include the following information:
    • Topics covered, including theories, models or philosophies discussed.
    • Level of course (Bachelor/Master, 1st year, 2nd year, etc.).
    • The most important course literature (one or two books/articles/papers).
    • Whether the course is practical or academic, and whether it included a research assignment (literature review, empirical data collection and analysis, etc.).
    • If you do not have this in English or Dutch, please make a short summary yourself.
    • Please note: we are not able to print these for you from your University’s website and upload them on your behalf. If you do not have this in English or Dutch, please make a short summary yourself.
  10. TSB Statistics checklist
    Please complete both pages of the TSB Statistics checklist as requested, and sign, date, and upload the document.
Step 2: Register in Studielink

You must register in Studielink, the Dutch national registration system for higher education, and include the information below. Please do this correctly otherwise we will not be able to process your application.

  • Make sure you register for the correct study program as described above.
  • Enter your personal details (including your full name) as stated in your passport.
  • Add details of all your educational programs leading to your Bachelor's, Master's or PhD degree, even if you did not complete the program.
  • Enter an e-mail address that you use regularly. Tilburg University will send important information to this e-mail address, so please check it regularly.
  • For instructions on how to register via Studielink, please watch our video How to register in Studielink or check the Step-by-step plans on the Studielink website.

Register in Studielink

Please note: you must follow the application procedure in step 3 to be considered for admission. Registration in Studielink alone is not sufficient. Both processes must be completed by the deadline stated above.

Step 3: Continue your application in our online application system

After you have registered in Studielink, you must continue your application in OSIRIS Aanmeld, our online application system.

Within 48 hours of your registration in Studielink, you will receive two e-mails from Tilburg University. Please also check your spam/junk inbox. 

  • One e-mail contains your OSIRIS Aanmeld account details as well as information on how you can start your application in OSIRIS Aanmeld. If you have not received this e-mail within 48 hours of your registration in Studielink, please first check if you have completed the details of your prior education correctly. If you have not received this email after correction, please contact internationaladmissions@tilburguniversity.edu.
  • The other e-mail contains your Tilburg University account details (your student number and Tilburg University e-mail address). You will not need these details for your application, but please save them carefully, as you will need them at a later stage.

For instructions on how to apply via OSIRIS Aanmeld, please watch our video How to apply for a Master in OSIRIS Aanmeld (07:06).

Some tips for your application:

  • In OSIRIS Aanmeld, the name of the application process in the Type column is "Application pre-Master + Master" for all applicants. This is independent of the type of program you have registered for in Studielink.
  • If you want to upload a document with more than one page, scan each page of the document into one PDF.
  • You do not have to complete your application in one go. You can save your application and return to it later.

Submit your application before the deadline as stated above

If you submit your application either close to or on the deadline, but have not uploaded the correct documents, Tilburg University reserves the right not to process your application.

After submitting your application

Our International Admissions Coordinator will check that your application is complete, according to the requirements above.

You can check your application status anytime you log in to your account in OSIRIS Aanmeld.

Step 4: Admissions Committee's decision

After your application is complete, your application will be assessed to determine whether your academic background meets our admission requirements, based on your application documents.

You will receive the decision of the Admissions Committee by e-mail. In general, we aim to assess your application within six weeks.

Below are the possible outcomes of your application:

  • Admission to the Master's program
    This means that you have been admitted directly to the Master’s program for which you have applied. 
    • Your admission may be conditional upon, e.g., your graduation from your current program. The conditional admission letter will state what you need to do to turn your conditional admission into unconditional admission. Please read it carefully and contact your International Admissions Coordinator if you have any questions.
    • After you have met all the conditions of admission, you will receive your unconditional admission letter via e-mail.
  • Admission to the pre-Master's program
    This means that your application was considered for admission to the Master’s program, but the Admissions Committee felt that your academic background was not sufficient to start the Master’s program directly. HOWEVER, it is considered that the pre-Master's program would prepare you sufficiently to begin the Master’s program in the next intake, once you have successfully completed the pre-Master’s courses.
    • Upon successful completion, you will be automatically admitted to the next intake of the Master’s program. Please note that non-EEA nationals must complete the full pre-Master’s program within the same academic year in order to remain in the Netherlands.
    • If you have received admission to the pre-Master's program, your application for the Master's program will be cancelled in Studielink and you must register in Studielink for the pre-Master’s program.
    • As soon as you have registered in Studielink, you will be asked to apply again via OSIRIS Aanmeld. You must upload your Conditional Admission Letter in addition to the other documents requested. Please note: you can use the same documents which you have uploaded for your Master's application.
  • Rejection
    This means that the Admissions Committee considers your academic background to be unsuitable for admission to either our Master's or pre-Master's program. Your registration in Studielink will be cancelled.
Step 5: Admitted, what's next?

Congratulations on being admitted to Tilburg University, either conditionally or unconditionally! 

You may be wondering what the next steps are. To ensure a smooth (and stress-free) start of your studies, we have prepared a timeline to give you an overview of the things you need to arrange and to guide you through the process of becoming a Tilburg University student. 

On the timeline you can find information about:  

  • Completing your enrollment  

  • Paying your tuition fees 

  • Finding accommodation 

  • Arranging your insurances 

  • Books and schedule 

  • Introduction activities like TOP Week and your (mandatory) Study Program Introduction 

Go to the Welcome page

Tilburg University complies with all the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) regarding all personal information included in the application process, including photocopies of passports/residence permits, etc. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Statement.

Do you have any questions?

Please feel free to contact us for your personal queries. You can contact us on every page of the Master's website.