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Masters Degrees in Sociology, Netherlands

We have 17 Masters Degrees in Sociology, Netherlands

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The Master in Sociology is an English-taught program that focuses on the analysis of problems of social cohesion (e.g., crime, social contacts, solidarity). Read more
The Master in Sociology is an English-taught program that focuses on the analysis of problems of social cohesion (e.g., crime, social contacts, solidarity). It does so comparing individuals and countries. The Master program has a theoretical- empirical research focus. That is, social problems and issues are translated into sociological research questions and analyzed with the aid of theories and advanced research methods. Students will also learn how policy solutions can be derived from results of sociological analyses, and to evaluate policy.

Career Perspective Sociology

Sociology is a broad program that can lead to employment in a wide range of fields, giving excellent employment prospects for graduates, both within the Netherlands and beyond. People with a Master's degree in Sociology work for either local or national governmental institutions, private companies, and for research agencies. The work may be in the field of labor and employment, culture, welfare, recreation, entertainment or health care. Sociologists may be employed as researchers, policy officers, advisors or management team members. Jobs in communication, media, research and education are also suitable for sociologists. Some graduates work as organizational or human resources policy advisors in the public or private sector.

The broad and in-depth knowledge acquired during your Sociology studies here at Tilburg will enable you to make a substantial contribution to the analysis of and solutions to today's social problems.

The range of careers open to our sociology graduates include:
•general policy officer, secretary or board member for national, provincial, municipal or private institutes working on issues related to employment, welfare, culture, education, recreation or health care
•adviser on organizational or personnel policy for the government, the education sector or the business sector
•jobs in journalism and the media within the field of verbal and written communication, and jobs in the information sector
•researcher for the government, the education sector or the business sector
•teacher in secondary or tertiary education.

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This Master focuses on theoretically and methodologically advanced research in sociology; the aim is to develop testable theories to explain social phenomena. Read more

Sociology and Social Research

This Master focuses on theoretically and methodologically advanced research in sociology; the aim is to develop testable theories to explain social phenomena.

This programme is interdisciplinary in nature and focuses on theoretically and methodologically advanced research in the field of sociology and the social sciences. The substantive focus is on topics such as social networks and social capital, trust and cooperation, social integration, stratification and inequality, households, organizations, and policy studies.

Students learn to develop theories that are testable explanations of social phenomena rather than conceptual systems devoid of empirical content. They also learn to test such theories using authoritative empirical data-sets and state of the art tools of social science research methodology and data analysis. The integration of social theory, empirical research, and methods of data-analysis is a core feature of the programme. The programme offers many and varied career opportunities.

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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. Read more

Sociology: Contemporary Social Problems

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.

In the one-year Master's programme Sociology: 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: Crime and Safety - Internet, Social Media and Networks - Care, Policy and Organisations.

You design your own track in this 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.

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Social networks – our webs of personal relationships in friendships, communication, online interactions, trust or enmity – play a pivotal role in promoting a sustainable society. Read more
Social networks – our webs of personal relationships in friendships, communication, online interactions, trust or enmity – play a pivotal role in promoting a sustainable society.

This unique program teaches and applies state-of-the-art theories and methods to enable you to better understand how the content, structure and dynamics of social networks affect society across a wide range of domains. The areas addressed reflect the staff's main areas of research expertise: collaboration in the care sector, joint production in firms, integration of ethnic minorities, transition to renewable sources of energy, bullying among adolescents, and healthy ageing. You will learn to apply theories relating to institutions and human behaviour to social networks, you will use cutting-edge tools and methods to gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative network data, and you will then apply this knowledge so you can analyse and improve policies and interventions.

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What impact did the recent economic crisis have on individuals' living and working conditions, on individuals' study and career choices, on social inequalities and social cohesion?. Read more
What impact did the recent economic crisis have on individuals' living and working conditions, on individuals' study and career choices, on social inequalities and social cohesion?

The International Master in Social Demography is a Double Degree Program offered jointly by the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) of Barcelona and the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen (UoG). After the successful completion of the program students end up with two official diplomas: Master of Research in Sociology and Demography, issued by the University Pompeu Fabra, and Master of Science in Population Studies, issued by the University of Groningen.

The double degree program, which is entirely offered in English, combines the strengths of two of the highest-ranked Social Science Departments in Europe to offer high level research training in Sociology and Demography.

The programme emphasizes the study of both advanced and developing societies from an unique interdisciplinary and dynamic perspective.

Degree: MSc in Population Studies

Why in Groningen?

The program combines the strengths of two of the highest-ranked Social Science Departments in Europe to offer high level research training in Sociology and Demography. It emphasizes the study of both advanced and developing societies from a dynamic perspective, using analytical and methodological tools from two disciplines. The program has a unique approach for understanding how individuals' main life events both influence and are influenced by the social context in which they live.

Job perspectives

The objective of the programme is to train young professionals and social scientists in the theories, analytical and methodological tools from both sociology and demography to conduct high quality research on how individuals' main life events (e.g. childbirth, education, marriage, occupation, divorce, death) both influence and are influenced by the social and geographical context in which they live.

The program emphasizes the study of both advanced and developing societies from an unique interdisciplinary and dynamic perspective.

After graduation you can find work in business, the government, or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Demographers are trained to work with and interpret large data files. You can use these skills to make policy or develop programmes. You can also pursue an academic career and apply for a PhD position

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Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical, social political and cultural processes that shape societies. Read more

Overview

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.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/scs

Why study Social and Cultural Science at Radboud University?

- 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.

Multidisciplinary

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.

Quality label

This programme was recently awarded the quality label ‘Top Programme' in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2015 (Guide to Master's programmes).

Career prospects

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.

Job positions

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.

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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.

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.ru.nl/scholarships

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/scs

Our research in this field

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.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/scs

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The two years Research Master's programme prepares you for a career in science and is part of the Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences. Read more
The two years Research Master's programme prepares you for a career in science and is part of the Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences. The degree focuses on theory-guided analysis of empirical data and generalizable explanations of both human behaviour and social phenomena. As a student of this programme, you will specialize in one of the following areas:
- Social and Organizational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology
- Sociology
- Education and Development
- Psychometrics and Statistics

With your supervisor, you will determine the focus of your programme to suit your ambitions, talents and interests. The two-year degree includes a traineeship and a Master's thesis project. You may extend this Master's thesis project to a proposal for a PhD programme. The Research Master also includes a general course that provides an overview of research within the Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences.

Why in Groningen?

Unique characteristics of the programme are:
- For two years it was the highest student ranked Research Master's programme in the Behavioural and Social Sciences in the Netherlands!
- Students work one-on-one with internationally acknowledged researchers
- Students determine the focus of their programme so that it suits their own ambitions and interests

Job perspectives

The Research Master's degree programme in Behavioural and Social Sciences is designed primarily for highly talented, motivated and ambitious students who are interested in pursuing a career in research. This Master's degree qualifies students to conduct fundamental and applied scientific research in the social and behavioural sciences. Holders of this degree are well equipped for further study and training for a PhD thesis, and for employment in the public or private sector. The faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences aims to open a number of PhD tracks for the most talented Research Master's students.

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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. Read more

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.

Perfect preparation for a research position

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.



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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… Read more

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:

  • Combining work and care
  • (Youth) unemployment
  • Social and cultural diversity
  • Social inequality and exclusion
  • Social care and participation

You will also study people's strategies for dealing with social risks, including:

  • Life-long learning
  • Labour market mobility
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Innovative care networks
  • Multicultural collaborative efforts
  • Cultural diversity and integration
  • Neighborhood initiatives

This will be done by combining knowledge from the behavioural and social sciences.

Research-led teaching

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:

  • Social justice and social wellbeing
  • Capabilities for combining work and care
  • Youth and parenting in risk societies
  • Social innovation in social care
  • Social influence in health behaviours
  • Social diversity, health and wellbeing
  • Interethnic relations, cultural diversity and integration
  • Health communication and health promotion

International programme

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.

Interdisciplinary

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

Programme objective

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.



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What is the meaning of citizenship in modern culture? What is the value of democracy? What does today's sociopolitical atmosphere mean for the future of liberty itself? Given the current international backdrop of cultural conflicts, political strife and radical new technologies, a thorough understanding of such issues is more urgently needed than ever. Read more

What is the meaning of citizenship in modern culture? What is the value of democracy? What does today's sociopolitical atmosphere mean for the future of liberty itself? Given the current international backdrop of cultural conflicts, political strife and radical new technologies, a thorough understanding of such issues is more urgently needed than ever. In the master's programme in Politics and Society, you will gain insight into how culture has become a source of concern and conflict in the national and international political arenas. You will also explore the different professional roles a student of politics and society can play in political organisations, in the media or in think tanks.

You can choose to follow this programme completely in English or completely in Dutch. You will get an MA in Arts and Culture with a specialisation in Politics and Society.

Why this programme?

Multiculturalism. Integration. Neopopulism. Meritocracy. These are some of the hottest topics around today, and they are all on the table in this programme. The common thread: how culture has become a source of concern and conflict in the national and international political arenas.

You will analyse these topics and new political developments from a broad range of perspectives. After all, this programme does not train you to become a political scientist, historian, philosopher or sociologist, but a generalist who can combine approaches from all these disciplines.

Political controversies in a social context

You will learn to critically diagnose contemporary problems and practices in the area of politics and society. This requires three crucial academic skills, which you will develop during the programme:

  • Historicising: placing ideas, concepts, problems as well as institutions in their historical contexts
  • Comparing: working in a comparative manner, not only by looking back, but also by looking elsewhere
  • Situating: placing things in a practical context, a ‘place’ where knowledge is deployed, used and applied

An integrated approach

Identifying and pursuing your own intellectual passions is a must. The overall aim is to get a grip on the pressing issues confronting Western societies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Since societal and political developments are interwoven, this integrated approach is crucial.

In this programme, you will:

  • Obtain a deep understanding of contemporary politics
  • Become experienced in working independently as a scholar
  • Gain insight into the professional fields open to you, e.g. in the media, consultancy, politics


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Do you have a passion for research and work in the field of globalisation and development, rooted in undergraduate studies or experience in the field? Are… Read more

Do you have a passion for research and work in the field of globalisation and development, rooted in undergraduate studies or experience in the field? Are you interested in individuals and communities, as well as in the broader relations between the Global North and South? Do you have the ambition to develop your academic research skills and to use academic insights to make a positive impact in the world? If so, this may be the right programme for you. The master’s in Globalisation & Development Studies is a social science programme that focuses on how the dynamics of globalisation affect developing areas. You will develop the theoretical, analytical and practical skills that are essential for either an academic or professional career in globalisation and development.

Why this programme?

The master’s programme in Globalisation & Development Studies is a social science programme that focuses on how globalisation trends affect and interconnect different areas of the globe while marginalising others and how they produce diverse ‘local’ responses. While acknowledging the roles of the state and the market, you will examine the processes of globalisation and development ‘from the ground up’. You will look at how they are experienced in the everyday lives of families, indigenous communities, migrant diasporas, grassroots organisations and NGOs.

This programme builds on 20 years of globalisation and development teaching at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. It has a pronounced global and transnational orientation: from the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, to emancipation and empowerment, hybrid identities, transnational social and political formations, and new possibilities for transforming society. You will develop a sound knowledge basis in the concepts, theories and issues relating to globalisation and development. Using Problem-Based Learning (PBL), which is very well suited for Globalisation and Development Studies, your learning is problem-driven and theory-driven and requires students to be active rather than passive.



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Are you an excellent student and interested in conducting scientific research in the social and behavioral sciences?. The two-year English-taught Research Master's program combines social, psychological, sociological, organizational, and methodological perspectives on the central theme Individual in Social Context. Read more
Are you an excellent student and interested in conducting scientific research in the social and behavioral sciences?

The two-year English-taught Research Master's program combines social, psychological, sociological, organizational, and methodological perspectives on the central theme Individual in Social Context. It is the only Research Master in the Netherlands that offers this interdisciplinary view on social behavior.
The program provides talented young researchers from all over the world with the tools they need to conduct fundamental scientific research in the field of social and behavioral sciences. During this program you will follow state-of-the-art courses, led by the best researchers in the field. You will be involved hands-on in their research area, actively participating in innovative projects and internships.

In the first year, all students start with the major Individual in Social Context (see Program overview). You choose one of the three minors at the moment of application:
1.Social Psychology
2. Social Sciences
3.Methodology and Statistics

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Are you a socially conscious, critical thinker? Are you interested in politics and technology? And does the connection between innovation and society intrigue… Read more

Are you a socially conscious, critical thinker? Are you interested in politics and technology? And does the connection between innovation and society intrigue you? Then the master’s European Studies on Society, Sciences and Technology (ESST) might be what you are looking for. As an ESST student, you will investigate the relationship between science, technology, and society, from a cultural, political, economic, and historical point of view.

This programme is offered together with 15 partner universities across Europe. You will spend your first semester taking courses at Maastricht University. During the second semester, you will select a specialisation and write your thesis either at Maastricht University or at one of the programme’s partner universities abroad.

Why this programme?

The emergence of new technology - such as smart phones, social networking, nanotechnology, robotics, sustainable energy, and disability and technology - opens up both opportunities and threats to modern societies and economies. Citizens, governments, businesses and universities face great challenges when trying to take advantage of the seemingly infinite opportunities of scientific and technological innovations, not least because of the unintended consequences that may accompany them.

Convinced that 'innovation' cannot be captured by economics alone and that a purely technical approach is not enough to understand today’s knowledge society, ESST focuses on governance, sustainability and cultures of innovation from a multidisciplinary approach. The ESST programme explores the interrelated worlds of the scientist, engineer, politician, and citizen by examining the values, language, history, politics, and economics of our modern cultures of innovation. Furthermore, the global, multicultural, and environmentally conscious perspective of the programme develops ethical awareness and public responsibility.



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What critical role do artists, philosophers, writers and poets play in today’s society? What is the point of art in public spaces? What can your… Read more

What critical role do artists, philosophers, writers and poets play in today’s society? What is the point of art in public spaces? What can your role as a future student of culture mean to society? If you are passionate about such issues, the master’s programme in Art, Literature and Society could be the programme for you. The programme is aimed at critical and creative thinkers who have a large array of interests. As a graduate of this programme, you will have broad insights into modern day questions of national and international importance. You will also have experience conducting incisive debates and will be able to contribute to contemporary discussions surrounding art and literature.

You can choose to follow this programme completely in English or completely in Dutch.You will get an MA in Arts and Culture with a specialisation in Art, Literature and Society.

Why this programme?

The master Art, Literature and Society addresses contemporary debates in literature, art, religion, philosophy and culture. The key term here is interdisciplinarity: you learn to approach debates not as a philosopher, student of literature, sociologist or art historian, but rather as a student of culture who can combine different approaches from all of these various disciplines.

You will use interdisciplinary insights to debate issues such as:

  • The critique of nationalism in recent German literature
  • The humanities in academia
  • Architecture and politics
  • Fascism and modernism
  • Darwinian aesthetics
  • Are we our brain?
  • The role of art in the future of democracy 

The debates and discussions you will have during the programme, as well as the lectures and skills trainings, will help you:

  • Develop broad insights into current issues in art and literature that are of national and international importance
  • Gain experience engaging in impassioned debates and tackling a range of contemporary controversies
  • Learn to infuse your academic practice with an element of personality, just as an artist would with a painting


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Food security exists when everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food at all times. However, various predictable and unpredictable challenges around the globe, including changes in climate (i.e. Read more

Local food security in a globalising world

Food security exists when everybody has access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food at all times. However, various predictable and unpredictable challenges around the globe, including changes in climate (i.e. rising/falling temperatures, droughts and floods, diseases and pests), market tendencies, insufficient access to food for households, unequal distribution of resources and opportunities and inadequate food distribution channels, prevent the realisation of this idealistic and often oversimplified term.

Despite a growing number of large-scale, high-external input farms and enough food production to feed the world, post-harvest losses result in less optimal yields and (locally) produced foods are often used for other purposes, such as animal feed or biofuel. Consequentially, 795 million1 undernourished people around the globe do not have access to this lost and wasted food.

Ensuring access to food for everyone is the key to ending hunger, which will require improved collaboration between various stakeholders - producer (organisations), the private sector, governments, traders and development organisations. Structures, policies and programmes must be continuously adapted to a variety of external factors, such as the economy, environment and current social structures. Rethinking of informal rules and habits is another essential step in attaining food security, considering even members of the same household are not guaranteed equal access to food. In light of these external factors and challenges, this specialisation presents various interventions needed to combat hunger and ensure food security for everyone.

Competences

At graduation, you will have the ability to:
• define the economic, commercial and marketing needs, constraints and opportunities of those in rural communities who produce for local and regional markets
• analyse food security at a local and global level
• apply tools for diagnosing food security
• analyse the livelihoods of farmers who produce for local and regional markets and understand farmers' coping strategies
• select, explain and design an appropriate development intervention leading to food security
• develop support programmes for farmers, producers and other groups
• mainstream food security within Agricultural and rural development programmes
• define the economic, commercoal and marketing needs, constraints and oppertunities for small-scale producers in rural communities
• formulate and recommend any organisational adjustments that are needed within service-delivery organisations.

Career opportunities

Rural Development and Food Security specialists explore effective responses to mal- and undernourishment, by defining needs, constraints, coping strategies and opportunities for small-scale producers in rural communities. In selecting appropriate context-specific interventions, which reflect understanding of the local context in its wider context, they consider stakeholder relationships and how collaboration could be organised to each stakeholder’s benefit while helping farmers to safeguard their ability to ensure local food security. In the face of globalisation, slow economic growth and political instability, specialists may design and implement responses for (non-)governmental organisations or partners in the private sector, in the form of projects, programmes, market structures or policies.

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