What glues a society together? How can trust and cooperation be promoted and conflict be avoided? What is the role of social networks, social norms and formal institutions in these processes? What causes inequality in general and inequality between men and women in the job market in particular? Why do immigrants have higher unemployment rates and lower-paid jobs? How do environments and institutions shape people’s values, attitudes and behaviours? And how do these individuals’ values, attitudes and behaviours shape society at large?
In the Master’s programme Sociology and Social Research, you will learn how to answer these questions. We will teach you to develop explanations for relevant social phenomena using state-of-the-art theory from Sociology, but also other disciplines such as Economics and Psychology. You will test these explanations using quantitative empirical research methods.
This programme is closely related to the research programme of the Department of Sociology and is embedded in the Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS). The programme is recognised as a high quality programme and has been awarded high ratings by different organisations in the Netherlands.
The programme’s international character offers you global perspectives on sociological topics as well as a broad range of research opportunities. About 40% of our students come from abroad and prominent international scholars teach masterclasses. During your electives, you have the opportunity to follow courses or do an internship at another university or research institute in the Netherlands or abroad. You will be able to choose your thesis topic from a broad range of topics.
In this two-year Master’s programme, you will learn to operate as a highly qualified social science researcher. You will integrate social theory and state-of-the-art quantitative empirical research methods. You will have the opportunity to make choices that fit your goals, by choosing to do an internship and by selecting the topic of your thesis from a list of major sociological research questions, provided by our excellent researchers and lecturers who will be your supervisors. Interdisciplinary cooperation and methodical rigor are the basis for a creative addressing of today’s and future societal challenges, and these are the skills that you will acquire in the Master’s programme Sociology and Social Research. Your studies will prepare you for a career that requires strong research skills in the public or private sector, or as a PhD student.
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. You will become an expert, trained in multidisciplinary thinking. In addition to sociology as your core subject, you will also take courses in the social psychology and social geography of your chosen theme, allowing you to tailor your education to your personal and professional interests.
In this programme, you will learn to translate theory into practice, by using scientific knowledge to design effective concrete (policy) advice for companies or governmental organisations. You will also learn to present research results to a wider audience.
There is a significant focus on your transition to the labour market. You will meet experts working for relevant organisations in the professional field. We will help you find an internship, so that you can gain practical work experience. The practical skills you acquire will be very useful during your internship and in your future career: you will learn more about conducting interviews, communications, time management and designing policy advice.
During this Master’s programme, you will be thoroughly trained to analyse and advise on contemporary social issues. You will develop yourself into an academic professional and an expert on your chosen theme. 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 applied researcher in the corporate world, policy advisor at a ministry or municipality, advisor, project coordinator or consultant.
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.
Are you interested in raising children? In the way their environment shapes their development? Would you like to learn how to support parents and educators, creating a context where children and youth can reach their full potential? Then this Master's programme may be just right for you!
The Master’s programme Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies (Dutch:Orthopedagogiek) challenges you to make connections between scientific research and practical issues. It addresses what is needed when problems arise in child and adolescent development, or in parenting or education of children at risk.
This Master’s programme will enable you to develop yourself as an academic and clinical professional. Armed with scientific insights and clinical skills, you will be able to give advice, support, treatment and guidance concerning clinical issues in raising children and adolescents. You can make an important contribution to research of practical care issues related to children and youth. You will help children, youth, their parents and the systems surrounding them to function to their optimum potential. This programme prepares you to work as a scientist practitioner in youth care in clinical or transnational settings.
While studying complex situations you will combine insights from education and child and adolescent studies, psychology, neuropsychology, child and youth psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, juvenile justice, pediatrics and sociology.
This programme’s working language is English. This means that English will be used during lectures, for scientific exchange between students and staff. You may opt to use Dutch or English for your thesis and individual assignments. Certain parts of the programme, such as a clinical internship in an institution with Dutch speaking clients or patients, are only available to students who speak Dutch.
You will take three mandatory courses concerning:
On top of these courses you will follow an elective course, a specialisation (‘track’)and write a Master’s thesis.
Your lecturers participate in highly qualified research in the field of parenting, adolescence, education, development and learning in the research programmes Child and Adolescent Studies and Education and Learning. This means you will benefit from their most recent scientific insights. Moreover, as a Master’s student your thesis can contribute to the current research within the programme concerning projects such as:
The Master’s programme in Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies prepares you for work from a transnational perspective, or for a career in a clinical setting. You will be able to give advice, support, treatment and guidance when problems in child and adolescent development arise. You will be a trained expert in clinical issues in raising future generations. You could work as a policy adviser or care giver in several fields such as youth care, special needs care in schools, care for people with a disability, paediatric rehabilitation, forensic care and (inter)national knowledge institutions. You can also pursue a career in research, for instance at a university or knowledge institution.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 debates and discussions you will have during the programme, as well as the lectures and skills trainings, will help you: