Medical School Decentrale Selectie Training

Medical School

Decentrale Selectie TrainingThe great thing about living in the Netherlands or as a Dutch native wanting to study medicine is that there are institutes that offer what is called decentralized selection or decentrale selectie training.

The decentralized selection (also: decentralized admission or selection by institutions ) is an arrangement that allows prospective students to file an admission for some courses of higher education in the Netherlands .

The training institutions ( colleges and universities ) may offer a fixed quota for students enrolling and the remaining places will be allocated by a central selection or weighted lottery based on grades.

The route to qualification as a doctor in general practice in the Netherlands consists of three main phases:

  • BSc in medicine (3 years)
  • MSc in medicine (an additional 3 years)
  • Training (one year)

The first three years can be taught in English at Dutch universities, but only two have this option and very few of the places are available to British students. The University of Groningen offers two BSc degrees in medicine, one in global health, the other in molecular medicine. Maastricht University has a similar programme in English. All of these degrees would constitute the first step to becoming a doctor. While these degrees are taught in English it is imperative that you learn Dutch alongside your other studies; Dutch language is an integral part of the degree and you must pass exams in the language if you are to graduate.

The Dutch language is not just important for when you are dealing with patients. It is necessary because you cannot complete the MSc phase of your studies in English anywhere. There are Masters degrees in medical research and technology that are taught in English but these are not designed for you to qualify as a doctor. An example of such a degree would be the MSc in Medical Biology at Radboud University.

The final training year requires future doctors to work in Dutch hospitals and here, communication in the Dutch language will be of vital importance.

In summary, studying medicine in the Netherlands is possible but can only be done partly in English. You would need to commit to not just learning Dutch but studying in Dutch. The entry requirements are high as the universities are not struggling to recruit. Deadlines are earlier than for other subjects (typically 15th January) and, because of the high number of applicants already in receipt of their high school diploma, A’ level students can be disadvantaged if applying with predicted grades.


For more information on the process and for universities offering the decentrale selectie training program visit us on the web at