The radicalisation of Muslim youth is continually in the news and high on the political agenda. What has scientific research revealed about the causes and background of this issue? How should the government and societal actors handle this trend and which policy is effective? An ageing population leads to increasing healthcare costs. How should care for the elderly be structured in order to make it personal and affordable again? The virtual and physical world are increasingly merging. What role does the internet play in shaping political and social movements' ability to self-organise?
As society becomes more complex, the demand for experts continues to expand. In the one-year Master’s programme Contemporary Social Problems, you will be trained to become an expert on one important social theme. You choose one contemporary issue in which you will specialise:
You design your own track in this Master’s programme, in which you quickly and rigorously immerse yourself in your specialisation. You will learn about the state-of-the-art in current scholarship. As an expert, you will also learn to think in multidisciplinary terms. In addition to sociology as your core subject, you will also take courses in the social psychology and social geography of your chosen theme, which allows you to further immerse yourself in your area of specialisation.
As an expert, you will also learn to translate theory into practice. You will learn to translate scientific knowledge into concrete advice for companies or effective policy for the government. You will also learn to present research results to a wider audience. Speakers from the field, working visits and your own internship project ensure you gain comprehensive knowledge of the practical context.
During this Master’s programme, you will be thoroughly trained to analyse and advise on contemporary social issues. You will therefore develop yourself into an academic professional and an expert on your chosen theme. In these themes, the boundary between public and private is often transcended, which means that once you complete the Master’s, you can work in both the private and (semi) public sectors. Potential careers include social science expert, applied researcher in the corporate world, policy advisor at a ministry or municipality, advisor, project coordinator or consultant.
There is a significant focus on labour market orientation and your transition to the labour market following your studies. You will, for example, be put in contact with relevant organisations in the professional field in addition to learning the professional project, communication, advice and interview skills you will need in your career.
You will study various dimensions and aspects of globalisation, notably as this relates to socio-economic and spatial development for different parts of the world, the Global South in particular. Core issues on which this master specialisation will focus include: changing relationships of global and local societies through the rise of new social and spatial inequalities brought about by global processes, migration and mobility and the emergence of transnational identities versus local interpretations in so-called multicultural societies. Overall we give particular emphasis to the relationship with urban contexts of these issues, but do also link it up with rural domains, e.g. in studying sustainability of livelihood strategies and development policies in different regions.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/gmd
Our graduates are employed in a wide range of jobs in- and outside the Netherlands. To give some insight in the scope of the work they do we have categorised this as follows, adding that this list is not exhaustive:
1. Working for the Dutch government at local, regional, national and international levels regarding development issues such as poverty, livelihoods, social exclusion and empowerment:
- Policymaker / programme researcher for city municipalities focusing on integration and multi-cultural issues, especially in the low-income neighbourhoods;
- Policy development expert for Provincial Governments in The Netherlands;
- Policy expert or programme/field officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- Programme officer with Nuffic (Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher education)
2. Working as an NGO practitioner in development cooperation:
- Field officer for Max Havelaar or Fair Trade, visiting developing countries to establish business contracts with local farmer organisations;
- Research officer for the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (http://www.cbi.nl/) promoting and facilitating entry of entrepreneurs from developing countries in the European market.
- Researcher/programme officer with development aid related organisations such as: Cordaid, VSO, SNV, Novib/Oxfam, Hivos and COS (Association of Centres for international cooperation at the provincial level), or a migrant (umbrella) organisation.
3. Pursuing an academic career (research and education) with one of many research institutes studying migration, globalisation, integration or development issues in the Netherlands and abroad:
- Conducting highly innovative PhD research on migration and development, health and urbanisation, the rural impact of globalisation, etc. (see http://www.nwo.nl/ for past research proposals)
- Working for a research institute/organisation involved with migration and globalisation: e.g. MPI, IOM, Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/gmd