Organising for a more sustainable, inclusive and just society

Grassroots organisations, associations, neighbourhood groups, cooperatives and social enterprises play an essential role in sustaining our societies. They mobilise individuals and communities to address pressing challenges such as poverty, climate change, violence, intolerance and pandemic conditions. At the local, national and international level, they organise in ways that foster more sustainable, inclusive and just societies.

Do you aspire to make a positive social impact through your work? Are you interested in better understanding the major challenges of our time? Do you want to study how today’s institutions work, where they fail and how they can be transformed to improve society? Do you want to be a changemaker? Are you into ideas and action? Are you a self-reflective thinker and an engaged doer?

We offer you a unique combination of interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge, research methodologies, professional skills and experience in the field. This small-scale, intensive programme will enable you to understand organising as an action and process to foster institutional transformation, both in theory and in practice. It will allow you to explore how you can have impact and become part of social change.

Research expertise Utrecht School of Governance

This Master’s programme is taught by academic staff with extensive experience in research and education. This programme is taught by the Utrecht University School of Governance (USG), known for its world-class research in organisation studies, governance and public administration. In 2021, USG was ranked second in the world in the 2020 Shanghai Ranking for Public Administration, and its research was rated ‘excellent’ by an international audit.

We teach our students to envision social change as a collective endeavour, through organising with others.

Become an expert and skilled changemaker

During the Master’s programme Organising Social Impact, you will:

  • gain interdisciplinary knowledge to analyse current social challenges and how grassroots organisations tackle them through a curriculum that combines organisation studies, governance and public administration;
  • apply innovative and action-oriented research methodology skills;
  • experience and contribute to mobilisations of grassroots and other public or private organisations committed to social transformation to facilitate the integration of academic knowledge with practice;
  • learn and practice key professional skills for organising social change.

Following our problem-oriented educational model, you learn by combining academic knowledge with practice on an individual and collective level. Building on the collaboration between students, partner grassroots organisations and lecturers, this programme provides a unique space for dialogue and the exchange of perspectives and practices to create social impact. You will be part of an organisation in which you learn through practice and carry out action-based research that is theoretically informed, methodologically sound and socially transformative. Read more about the study programme.

Career prospects

Graduates of the Organising Social Impact Master’s programme will be able to fill key managerial, administrative, mobilisation and political roles in organisations that actively address society’s grand challenges. This expertise and these professional competences are highly sought after in (inter)national associations and NGOs with a social transformative mission. Our graduates find work with advocacy organisations, grassroots community organisations, political parties, (local) public administrations and (social) enterprises, among others. Read more about your career prospects.


Key facts

Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Study duration: 
1 year
Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2023-2024: € 2,314

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2023-2024: € 18,332

More information about fees
Croho code: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Law, Economics and Governance 
Request a brochure