Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical, social political and cultural processes that shape societies.
Are people living in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods more inclined to turn inwards and to ‘hunker down’ compared to people of ethnically homogeneous settings? Are there cross-country differences in the causes of hooliganism, and in the effectiveness of methods used to combat hooligans in different European countries?
More and more comparative questions on societies are being raised. At Radboud University we believe that answers to comparative questions are more informative, lead to a better understanding of societal phenomena and processes, and therefore have more scientific and social importance than answers to questions about one society in one historical period.
This programme therefore fully focuses on teaching students how to perform high-quality comparative research. We look into the degree of inequality, cohesion and modernisation in both Western and non-Western societies. You’ll learn how to translate social problems into empirical research questions and understand the diverse theoretical approaches, research designs, data collections and analyses you need to get the answers you are looking for.
- A majority of our courses are exclusively created and offered for the research students enrolled in this programme, and therefore perfectly match the needs and desires of social and cultural researchers. - This programme is linked to the Nijmegen Institute for Social and Cultural Research (NISCO) who offer an excellent research environment and have extensive social science databases that students are free to use. - You’ll participate in group-oriented education and be part of a small, select group of highly motivated national and international students. - You’ll be given your own workplace (equipped with a computer) in a room with your fellow students to enhance solidarity. Every student also receives personal guidance and supervision. - You’ll write two scientific journal papers which will not only give you plenty of practise but will also give you a good academic research portfolio that you can use when applying for research positions. - A large majority of our graduates gain PhD and other research positions; almost all of our graduates found work shortly after graduating.
The programme combines the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, development studies and communication science. This programme is therefore ideal for Bachelor’s students from these disciplines with an interest in research. However, we believe that students from disciplines such as political science, economics and human geography can also profit from this Master’s.
The Research Master’s in Social and Cultural Science trains aspiring researchers and is ideal preparation for PhD positions or research positions in relevant non-academic research institutes. Or you could build a bridge between academic research and the world of practice, thereby influencing policy-making in the public and private sphere.
This programme was recently awarded the quality label ‘Top Programme' in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2015 (Guide to Master's programmes).
The career prospects of a graduate of Social and Cultural Science are good; almost 100% of our alumni found a job or research position immediately after graduating.
There are plenty of options open to graduates of the research Master’s in Social and Cultural Science: - Scientific research career (academia) The programme provides an excellent basis for a scientific research career and attaining PhD positions.
- Societal research career Our graduates can also go on to have careers in relevant non-academic research and policy institutes like government ministries, Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) and The Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and foreign equivalents.
- More Of course, this Master’s programme does not close other doors. Students with a research Master’s are also highly sought after by (commercial) businesses and organisations because of their analytical and communication skills and in-depth understanding of social and cultural behaviour. Other careers, such as policymaker, manager, journalist, etc are certainly within reach.
Half of the Master’s programme in Social and Cultural Science consists of practical research training.
In the first year, you’ll do a research project in which you conduct a small-scale empirical research under guided supervision of a senior researcher. The comparative research issue is typically part of the ongoing research within a Radboud chair group. Finally, you’ll write a scientific journal paper regarding the research results. The project is done in small groups (2-3 students) and prepares you well to independently conduct a comparative empirical social science study for your Master’s thesis in the second.
- Master’s thesis topics in the field of Social and Cultural Science For your Master’s thesis you are completely free to tackle any social issue in the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, communication science or development studies. Important is the ability to reflect on the societal significance of your research question and the societal importance of your research. Thesis topics vary widely: - Many theses are concerned with cross-country comparisons of behaviour or attitude measures using European cross-sectional survey data on, for example, xenophobia or gender roles. - Others theses compare classrooms and the effect ethnic composition has on interethnic bullying or the impact of the economic crisis on African migrants in Athens, Greece, or the utilisation of different sexual health services by Aboriginal adolescents. - Thesis topics can also be found in the field of communication science, like examining the news on extreme right political parties in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands and correlating it with election results, or studying patterns in TV drama (e.g. increasing Americanisation) and comparing these media trends with societal processes such as individualisation.