Which master will you choose?

Are you considering taking a master's degree because you want a valuable addition to your bachelor's degree or because you want to gain more in-depth knowledge of your field of study? You can do that at either a university of applied sciences or a university of applied sciences. But what are the differences and similarities between a hbo-master (professional master) and a university-master (scientific master)? We list them for you:


  • Title: you earn an internationally recognised master's title with both
    After completing a master's, you will receive a master's title appropriate to your field of study, such as MA, MSc, MEd or MBA. It makes no difference whether you completed your master's programme at a university of applied sciences or a university of applied sciences. Successful completion of a woMaster's course in Biology, for example, will earn you the title of Master of Science, as will completion of a hbo Master's course in Serious Gaming. A master's title will increase your chances at home and abroad.
  • Level: the bar is set equally high
    The educational level of both forms is equally high. Both the hbo-master and the wo-master are hard work and the number of ECs is the same. If you are more practically oriented, it is advisable to do a hbo-master and if you are more theoretically oriented, the wo-master is probably more suitable for you.
  • Financial: you can apply for financial compensation with both
    As a student, you are always allowed to take one funded bachelor and one funded master's degree, whether you are studying at a university of applied sciences or a university of applied sciences. This is regardless of whether the master's degree is directly linked to the bachelor's degree or is taken after several years of work experience. For example, you can take a wo-master's degree after a hbo bachelor's degree, but it is not uncommon to take a hbo-master's degree after a wo-master's degree.


  • The type of research: do you choose theory or practice?
    The type of research you carry out differs. In WO master's programmes, the emphasis is often on research in a scientific context. In the hbo-master's, you will always conduct practice-based research.
  • Part-time and full-time: combine work and study or focus on your studies
    You can follow a part-time or full-time master's programme at a university or college of higher education. Universities offer a wide range of full-time programmes, whereas universities of applied sciences offer a wider range of part-time master's programmes.
  • Admission requirements: transition year or straightforward transfer?
    If you opt for a hbo master's programme, you can start immediately if it follows on from your bachelor's programme. If you want to follow a wo-master's programme, there is a good chance that you will need one or more transition years. In the case of a part-time hbo-master's course, you will have relevant work experience in the field of your studies.

Curious which master fits your wishes?

Together with RUG Campus Fryslân, NHL Stenden Hogeschool organises the Master event on 7 October 2021. Choose your master! Taste, experience & test which master suits you!