At first sight, the arts and sciences appear to be worlds apart. While sciences draw on strict procedures, the arts seem to be exempted from such rules. Yet both practices are governed by conventions - such as a consistent focus on innovation - that help to explain their cultural impact.
Moreover, the arts, science and technology mix and mingle in interesting ways. The arts provide scientists with metaphors to describe their work. The sciences are objects of cultural critique in the arts. The arts continuously incorporate new technologies. And both the arts and sciences “imagine” our culture’s future. That is why it is so important to study the contributions of the arts, science and technology to modern culture. And it is why we study all of these in one programme. CAST has roots in the internationally known field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and is at the same time uniquely embedded in empirical cultural research.
The Research Master in Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology is an intense and highly reputed programme. The programme is designed to give you the best possible preparation for a professional research position. During your master’s, you will therefore not only study theories from history, sociology, philosophy, the arts and the qualitative social sciences, but you will also follow a number of courses that specifically focus on research methods such as qualitative interviewing, conceptual analysis, archival research, ethnographic observations and rhetorical, narrative and discourse analysis. Most importantly, you will actually learn to work with these methods by writing review papers, research papers and proposals. You will work closely with faculty research staff on their projects and gain a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at how academic research is actually done.
Do you ever wonder why mothers are more likely than fathers to work part-time and care for their children? Or why some countries oblige unemployment benefit recipients to follow strict activation requirements while others do not? Maybe you’ve thought about what the expected and real-life benefits and challenges of the decentralization of care are? Or how societies are changing as a result of increasing cultural diversity and social inequality?
If you are interested in studying such issues, this one-year Master's programme is for you. You will develop knowledge about interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives on social policy and interventions, which will help you gain in-depth insight into the methodology and skills needed to research social policy and intervention issues in the domain of health and wellbeing, in particular related to work, care and participation. More specifically, you will look into problems such as:
You will also study people's strategies for dealing with social risks, including:
This will be done by combining knowledge from the behavioural and social sciences.
The academic staff in our faculty participate in a wide variety of research projects into the problems that are central to this Master's programme, including themes as diverse as:
Our Master’s programme is truly an international programme, in both its teaching and its orientation. Many of the problems focused on in this Master's programme have a strong European or global dimension, such as: ageing and care, migration and ethnic relationships, individualization and solidarity, gender and sexual diversity, and social environments and health. The same goes for the policy and intervention approaches that are used to tackle these issues. You will find that this international perspective is a key feature of the programme. You will learn to take this international perspective in a global teaching environment, with staff and students from the Netherlands, Europe and beyond.
In addition to its international, comparative perspective, the programme is also characterized by its interdisciplinary and multi-method approach. This international, interdisciplinary and multi-method focus also applies to the research you will undertake for your master’s thesis, as well as in the exploration of professional practices. In your research, you will draw on a combination of scientific perspectives from the behavioural and social sciences, in particular psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. In exploring professional practices, you will also draw on a combination of scientific perspectives, through a focus on social policies, mostly informed by social science, and interventions, mostly grounded in behavioural sciences.
Scientifically grounded intervention research
This Master's programme is intended to enable you to become an academic professional. As a graduate of the Social Policy and Public Health programme, you will be able to study social problems from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. You will also have acquired the professional and academic skills necessary to design, implement, and evaluate social policies and interventions. These skills will allow you to pursue a career as a social scientist, working with government agencies, social service organizations, civil society organizations, or private sector companies.