Social Research: VU University Amsterdam

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Social Research: VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Social Sciences
Course Language(s) 
Course Beginning 
2 years
App Deadline 
1 March: non-EU/EEA students; 1 April: EU and EEA students
31 - (0)20-5988636
31 - (0)20-5986800


Course Description

This programme trains you to take up a social research position at a university or elsewhere. It is the ideal preparation for a PhD, although the emphasis on practical research skills enables students to pursue professional work in research without continuing in academia.

Students each train as specialists in the domain of their choice. Important skills include the ability to interpret social problems as explanatory questions that can be investigated using generally applicable models for explaining human behaviour in social contexts, such as game theory and evolutionary theory. Students will learn how to formulate coherent and focused research designs; how to put theoretical models to the test using extensive empirical data both of a qualitative and quantitative nature; and how to analyse data in a way that yields meaningful conclusions.

The research Master’s programme aims at attracting students who are exceptional in their academic abilities and attitudes. You need to be strongly motivated to pursue a career as a researcher, and to be broad-minded and creative in your approach to a research problem. You should also be willing to expose yourself to a variety of research styles and eager to acquire the technical skills required to conduct both qualitative and a quantitative research.

Key subjects in the Master’s in Social Research include:

  • Models of Social Measurement
  • Multilevel and Panel Analysis
  • Advanced Network Analysis
  • Political Concepts and Processes
  • Global Religion and Local Diversity
  • Strategic Management

Career prospects

As a graduate of this Master’s programme, you will be well equipped to pursue a career as a social researcher, either on a PhD programme or within a research organization. The labour market shows a consistently high demand for talented social researchers with doctorates or two-year research Master’s degrees.

  • Academic research and/or teaching
  • Work in a public or private social research institute
  • Government agencies
  • Marketing and consultancy for the private sector

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