Utrecht Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Sociology and Social Research
Physiological Chemistry Dpt.
Sociology and Social Research
The Research Master’s programme Sociology and Social Research (SaSR) is offered by Utrecht University’s Department of Sociology and by the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS). The ICS is a research school in which the Departments of Sociology of Utrecht University, the University of Groningen, and Radboud University Nijmegen cooperate. The programme is interdisciplinary in nature and focuses on theoretically and methodologically advanced research in the field of sociology and the social sciences. The programme covers a broad range of important scientific as well as pressing societal problems. 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. Students 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. Students follow theory and research methodology courses, attend research seminars, follow a master class taught in Utrecht by an outstanding visiting professor from abroad, organize themselves a mini-conference where they present and discuss their own work in progress, and conclude the programme by writing a Master’s thesis in the form of a publishable research article. The programme includes a carefully designed sequence of obligatory courses as well as ample opportunity for developing and exploring students’ individual research interests in elective courses (including opportunities to participate in an international summer school and a traineeship at Utrecht University or a research institute elsewhere) and in the Master’s thesis. At the end of the programme, students will have an excellent overview of important issues in contemporary sociology and theoretical models of human behaviour. They will have expertise in problem-guided and systematic sociological theory-building, and will be able to apply complex and advanced techniques for data analysis. After having completed the programme, students will have an excellent labour market position through hands-on expertise in social science data analysis as well as practical experience in professional writing, reporting, and presenting on social science research. The programme offers many and varied career opportunities. It is designed to prepare students for PhD studies at the ICS or elsewhere. Graduates may also embark on a professional career in non-university social science research institutes or in other positions that require strong research expertise.