Quick facts

  • Duration

    1 year (60 ECTS)

  • Language


  • Title

    Master of Science (MSc)

  • Start

    End of August

  • Application deadlines

    April 1 for non-EU/EEA, July 1 for EU/EEA

MSc track Politics, Policy and Societal Development

Address global societal challenges such as poverty, migration, climate change, or humanitarian interventions from a societal, policy and political perspective. In this track of the MSc Sociology you will get a macro-level perspective on sustainable development and you will understand the triggers of it, based on the theories and methods pertinent to the specialization Global Management of Social Issues.

Why Politics, Policy and Societal Development track

  • Become an expert in sustainable development within an international context by addressing global societal challenges, such as poverty, migration, climate change, or humanitarian interventions after a natural disaster from a sociological perspective. 
  • Learn how to run projects and compose teams of experts that work on such 'wicked problems'.
  • International perspective focusing on social policy and social risks, and cross-country analyses of politics and societies.
  • Taught in small, interactive workgroups with excellent individual thesis supervision

Career prospects

As a graduate you are able to:

  • Create a mutual understanding of the problem. Frame problems from multiple perspectives, disciplines and levels of analysis, with a focus on group dynamics.
  • Promote sustainable development. Analyze multiple drivers and outcomes of societal issues at multiple levels, as well as of interventions aimed at addressing global challenges - all to promote sustainable development at macro as well as micro level.
  • Lead and participate in the change- and innovation-oriented projects aiming to tackle these societal challenges.

With these skills you could be working as a linking pin in a multi-disciplinary team, as a project manager or as a consultant, but also as a policymaker or policy consultant confronted with inter-organizational or inter-governmental partnerships.

Understanding Society

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Program structure

This one-year master's track consists of 60 credits (ECTS), of which:

  • 2 core courses of the Global Management of Social Issues (GMSI) specialization (12 ECTS)
  • 3 track-specific courses (24 ECTS)
  • Master's thesis (24 ECTS)

Core courses (12 ECTS)

  • Social Changes en Sustainable Development
  • Hybrid Organizations

Courses Politics, Policy and Societal Development (24 ECTS)

  • Social Policy and Social Risks
  • Politics and Society in Comparative Perspective
  • Master Seminar Sociology: From Theory to Research

Master's thesis (24 ECTS)

Start your master's thesis with drawing your Individual Research Proposal (IRP) with feedback of the thesis supervisor. This proposal will be developed within the framework of the master's seminar Sociology course. 

During the master's thesis research project you will either collect data or use secondary data, analyze them (qualitative, quantitative or both), draw conclusions and report on the research findings by writing your individual master's thesis. 

Application and Admission

Best preparatory programs:

A Bachelor’s degree in Global Management of Social Issues, Sociology, Human Resource Studies, Organization Studies, or Social Sciences.

English language requirements:

  • TOEFL: with a minimum score of 577 (paper-based) / 90 (internet-based)
  • IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 min. for all components)
  • Cambridge C1 advanced (formerly CAE) or C2 proficiency (formerly CPE)

More information: please have a look at our website or contact us by mail, or telephone: +31(0)13 466 2116

Understanding Society

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