Studying at the Faculty of Science in times of coronavirus – information for new students

The measures taken to combat coronavirus are having a significant impact on the education we offer, but, as ever, you can still expect high-quality teaching in the upcoming academic year. Fortunately, the possibilities for teaching on campus are gradually increasing. Despite this, they remain very limited for the time being. For example, lecture rooms will be able to accommodate only small numbers of students, in order to guarantee social distancing. We also need to assess how we can maintain sufficient distance in corridors, staircases and when using lifts, etc.

For the next academic year, the following has been agreed for certain:

  • All teaching in the first semester (September to January) will primarily take place online.
  • All lectures to groups of more than 30 students will be provided online throughout the first semester.
  • In period 1 (September-October) and period 2 (November, December), all examinations will be done remotely.
  • Some teaching will take place on campus, where this is possible. Any teaching that must happen on campus because of the facilities required (such as laboratories) will be given priority in this.
  • The same applies to teaching for first-year Bachelor's and Master's students. Of course, we will endeavour to enable students from all years to study on campus where we can.

We also hope that more will become possible as the academic year progresses. This will depend on what happens as we gradually reopen the campus and how the national coronavirus measures develop.

For Faculty of Science programmes, a significant proportion of education will be delivered online in the first semester, with education provided on campus where possible. For the Bachelor’s programme in Biomedical Sciences, on-site education in the form of practicals represents a substantial part of the Year 1 curriculum and students are therefore required to attend these sessions on campus. For other programmes with on-site education, alternatives will be offered if you are unable to come to campus. As soon as more information becomes available, this page will be updated.

Laptop, webcam, microphone
In order to properly follow online education, a stable internet connection and a good laptop that runs Windows 10 or MacOS X are required. You also need a microphone and a webcam. Every student can rent a laptop at an affordable price via Surf.

Bachelor’s and master’s programmes in Mathematics and Business Analytics
Students will have 2-4 contact hours on campus in period 1 (September-October)
Alternatives will be offered if you are unable to come to campus.

Bachelor's programme Artificial Intelligence
A lot of education will be provided online, but in the first semester we will also try to arrange working groups or other social activities on campus to help students to get to know each other. For example, we are looking into the option of organizing tutor meetings where students can meet each other face to face. This will be a good way to promote social contact, and also very useful for students who need to work on group assignments together. If you live abroad and can travel to the Netherlands, it will certainly be useful for you to take part, even though we are providing online teaching.

For those who cannot yet travel to the Netherlands, an alternative will always be arranged.

If you are unsure whether you will be in the Netherlands, it may be sensible to await further information, which will be made available in period 1.

Bachelor's programme Computer Science
In period 1, all courses will be given online. Starting in period 2, we will try to return to on-campus education in a phased manner. In any case, the plan is that we will teach the Pervasive Computing course on campus in period 2. Students who really cannot come to Amsterdam can take a second year course instead, and catch up with Pervasive Computing in the following year.

Joint degrees
The Faculty of Science at VU Amsterdam works with partner universities to offer students a number of joint degrees. For information on joint degrees in which VU Amsterdam is not the lead university, please contact the partner university.

University of Twente
Bachelor's programme in Mechanical Engineering
As soon as more information becomes available, students will receive an email. Update information can also be found on the website of University of Twente

University of Amsterdam
Bachelor's programme in Chemistry
Bachelor’s programme in Physics and Astronomy
Master's programme in Computational Science
Master's programme in Chemistry
Master’s programme in Physics and Astronomy

Please consult

International students

Dutch students
  • Call us on 020-5985000 (on working days between 10.00 and 16.00)
  • Send an email to