Study programme


The Master’s programme in Social Challenges, Policies and Interventions (SCPI) comprises one year (60 EC). Our curriculum:

  • teaches you how to research and address social challenges in an interdisciplinary way;
  • offers you the opportunity to specialise in a social challenge;
  • teaches you how to work as an academic professional who is able to convert research into policy.

Programme outline

Period 1Period 2Period 3 and 4
  • Social Challenges (10 EC)
  • Interdisciplinarity (2.5 EC)
  • Becoming an Academic Professional (2.5 EC)
  • Social Change Approaches: Development, Implementation and Evaluation (7.5 EC)
  • Interdisciplinary Social Science Research (2.5 EC)
  • Elective Course (5 EC)
  • Master’s Internship (10 EC)
  • Master's Thesis (15 EC)
  • Open Science, Communication and Impact (2.5 EC)
  • Being an Academic Professional (2.5 EC)

Below, you will find an overview of courses from the current academic year of this Master's. This overview is meant to give you an idea of what to expect. The course offer may change in the coming academic year.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods differ from one course to another. The most commonly used methods are:

  • seminars 
  • group work 
  • independent study 
  • peer supervision
  • internship supervisor meetings


It is important to note that students are personally responsible for securing their internship. We will support you, starting in Period 1 with the course ‘Becoming an academic professional’. Nevertheless, securing an internship can be challenging and you will need to put in plenty of effort.

Possible internship locations include:

  • government agencies;
  • research organisations in the social sector;
  • knowledge institutes and other non-governmental organisations (e.g. Movisie, Rutgers, STI AIDS Netherlands).

There are a number of internship placements abroad available each year, with students interning at organisations in countries such as Australia, Germany, Hungary, the UK, the US and Belgium. There are a limited number of internship placements in South Africa.

Examples of recent thesis subjects

  • Building healthy food environments
  • The combination of work and care among parents
  • The factors facilitating and hindering the transition to sustainable diets
  • HIV/Aids prevention and treatment in South Africa (options for travel depend on the COVID-19 situation; online participation in this project is also possible)
  • Developing broader social cohesion in gentrified neighbourhoods

Assessment methods

  • Written exams
  • Written assignments
  • Oral presentations
  • Participation in discussions
  • Portfolios