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Highest scoring
research master in Sociology
'Keuzegids Masters 2021'
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International students
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2 year
Master's programme

What glues a society together? How can trust and cooperation be promoted and conflict be avoided? 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? 

Explore pressing societal issues

In the Master’s programme Sociology and Social Research, you will learn how to answer such 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 convinces through its small class size, excellent supervision and its very good structure.

Verena Seibel (Germany), alumna

Programme objective

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 teachers take great care when it comes to explaining concepts and methods. They always welcome questions or discussions and are easy to approach when students need help.

How does this Master’s programme differentiate itself from similar programmes at other universities?

  • Sociology and Social Research received the highest score of all research masters in the field of Sociology in the Netherlands (Keuzegids, 2021)
  • Renowned lecturers and researchers with strong international reputations
  • A one-week masterclass with international experts
  • Personalised supervision in small groups

International orientation and individual development

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.

Sociology and Social Research is offered by a research group of excellent quality, at the top of the discipline in the Netherlands and around the world.


World-class university in a lively student city

Choosing Utrecht University means choosing one of the best universities in the country with several renowned international rankings  and twelve Nobel Prize laureates

Located in the middle of the Netherlands, Utrecht is a medieval city with a centre small enough to explore on foot, yet large enough to host world-class festivals, fashionable shops, modern architecture and fascinating museums. Find more about what student life is like in Utrecht! 

Key facts

Sociology and Social Research (research) (MSc)
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Study duration: 
2 years

Check the deadline that applies to you

Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 20,043

More information about fees
Croho code: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Graduate school: 
School of Social and Behavioural Sciences