How to Apply

Would you like to become an ISLANDS Master?

Applications can be submitted via the Apply button at the end of this page. Please note that the selection criteria include a motivation letter, which should include both a clear expression of interest for studying Islands and sustainability and drives to be trained as a researcher in this subject. The motivation should also include reasons for studying at the island university where students prefer to study as part of the compulsory mobility period of the programme. Students should also send in at least one reference letter from an experienced researcher.

The application portal for scholarship applications is open from 1 November until the application deadline on 15 January for the forthcoming autumn semester. Interviews of shortlisted applicants are scheduled for February/March. Self-funded candidates can apply in an extra application round until 1 April each year for a start in the autumn semester with possible interviews in April/May.


Students will be shortlisted and selected, based on the following criteria:

Assessment Interview

Generally, an interview with shortlisted applicants, in which attitude, motivation, orientation and competence for a career in (scientific) research are evaluated, forms part of the admission procedure. The interview is scheduled after the required documents have been received and evaluated by the Admissions Board.

Grade Average

Excellent study results and high grades at university level (A range, typically top 10%); Comparable to Dutch grading system: typically the expectation is that there is an average grade of at least 7.0 and for a Bachelor thesis of at least 7.5.

Language Test

English on VWO level; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (A, B or C) Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (A, B or C); Minimum of 6,5 for the International English Language Testing System (Academic version) (IELTS). With a minimum of 6.5 on listening, reading, writing and speaking; Minimum of 90 on the internet based version of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); Minimum of 580 on the written version of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); Minimum of 237 on the interactive version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); Exemptions: native speakers or students with education from the US, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, United Kingdom or Ireland

Previous Education

Academic bachelor degree (of comparable level to a Dutch academic bachelor degree obtained at a Dutch Research University) in geography, urban/regional planning, environmental science/engineering, economics, tourism, political science or related fields, including at least 10 ECTS in statistics or equivalent statistical knowledge.

Professional Experience

Not required

Written Request

All applicants have to submit a detailed CV, list of grades, motivation letter and one or two reference letters to the Admissions Office.


EU-funded scholarships will be available for on average 15 students every year. The scholarship grant covers the tuition fee, and also provides a travel and living allowance. Admission to the degree programme and decisions on the award of scholarships will be determined by the Joint Admissions Board, which has one representative from each university, and has the Joint Programme Coordinator as its chairperson.

Please note that in line with the requirements for Erasmus Mundus joint Master programmes there is a residential eligibility criterion for scholarship applications according to which the study period should comprise at least 2 study periods in 2 countries, which must be different from your country of residence when you apply. This is particularly relevant to potential applicants who are currently resident in the Netherlands, Greece, Spain or Iceland.


Applicants can also apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship by indicating this in the application form (please note the deadline for scholarship applications is 15 January). An Erasmus+ scholarship has a value of EUR 1400 per month, for a total duration of 24 months. The scholarship will be a contribution to the costs incurred by the beneficiary students and shall cover travel, visa, accommodation installation and subsistence costs. In addition, the tuition fees for scholarship holders are waived.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for non-scholarship holders are listed below. The payment of these fees includes enrollment and participation in all teaching activities as well as full insurance coverage for the enrolled students. It does not include any other costs such as accommodation, living and travel costs, and any additional insurance policies.
Self-funded students can apply to the programme in an extra application round until the end of April.

Programme country € 4500 per year

Students originating from a programme country. Programme countries are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, North Macedonia, Serbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey.

Non-programme country € 9000 per year

Students originating from any other country not specified as a programme country.
The ISLANDS consortium may also offer a partial waiver to selected self-funding students, unless they receive another scholarship fully covering the tuition fees and living costs. The decision to grant a partial waiver to selected students will be based on the information entered in a waiver application form to be sent to individually selected students.

Application form

Applications closed for the 2023 intake

Once you have submitted your application and all required documents using the online form you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application within two working days. Your application will then be assessed by the ISLANDS Programme Eligibility and Selection Committee with possible interviews in February/March. Outcomes of the final selection will be sent out in early June.