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How do we make our schools inclusive? What can we learn from the international comparison of approaches to youth services and systems? How do families and childrearing change through the use of social media? What do children need to find their own solutions to bullying at school? How do parenting support programs developed in Western countries fit into non-Western communities?

Analysing and tackling social issues concerning youth, education and society

If you want to make a contribution to these contemporary social challenges involving the relationship between children and youth and their guardians and educators, this might be the Master's for you. In this programme you will learn how to research issues surrounding children and youth, and contribute to the drafting of new policies that can improve their position, welfare and development. Are you interested in looking beyond national borders? Youth, Education and Society (previously: 'Maatschappelijke opvoedingsvraagstukken') is the only Master’s programme in the Netherlands that specifically focuses on innovating pedagogical policy and practice, both nationally and internationally.

This one-year, intensive programme will teach you about:

  • the quality of pedagogical and educational services, such as childcare, youth care, schools and sports clubs;
  • how to look at pedagogy that addresses societal issues such as cultural diversity, inclusion, and social justice;
  • how to use academic pedagogical knowledge in intercultural, interdisciplinary, and international collaboration;
  • professional practice in relation to initiatives undertaken by civil society and youth themselves.

Objective of the programme

This Master’s will enable you to develop yourself into an academic professional. You will learn to analyse, evaluate and solve practical problems in a theoretical and empirical way. You will graduate as an educationalist and acquire the NVO registration as a general educationalist.

Developing an international vision

We will also be looking beyond our borders. After all, global developments (such as globalisation, poverty and migration) have had a major impact on the quality of life for children and youth. This programme also devotes attention to international humanitarian cooperation. And we will also be analysing pedagogical services through an international lens:

  • What frameworks are used in setting up youth care in the Netherlands compared to countries outside of Europe?
  • How can the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child be given shape in youth policy worldwide?

Alumni Dana Alajaji (Bahrain) and Stavroula Manolaki (Greece) talk about their experiences as international students.

Education driven by research and the work field

This Master’s programme was founded by Prof Dr Micha de Winter and is led by Prof Dr Mariëtte de Haan. Together with Prof Dr Paul Leseman and a team of other lecturers representing a variety of expertise in the area of pedagogy, they will teach classes and guide students during their internship and research. Contacts with the field constitute an important seedbed for the programme.

Why Youth, Education and Society?

  • A broad, interdisciplinary view on pedagogy with a focus on societal issues
  • Showcase yourself through a track
  • A chance to go abroad
  • High appreciation from students
  • Possibility to be registered as 'basis-pedagoog' 

The bigger picture

This Master’s is distinguished by a broad, interdisciplinary view on pedagogy. Unlike clinical approaches to Pedagogy, which focus on deviant behavior, this programme deals with how the regular societal infrastructures and services can prevent problems and help youth thrive. Alongside a focus on the role of professionals and policy, the programme centres on the role of society in childrearing and education. Critical analysis of relevant societal debates surrounding children and youth also typifies this Master’s programme.

Want to start in 2024? Internship information and introductory meetings

For students who want to start the Master’s in Youth, Education and Society in September 2024, or are considering doing so, there are special internship information and introductory meetings.

During my Master’s, I got the opportunity to do an internship at Save the Children

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

Pedagogische Wetenschappen (MSc)
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Study duration: 
1 year

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