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 become a changemaker? Are you into ideas and action? Are you a self-reflective thinker and an engaged doer?

Our new Organising Social Impact Master’s programme prepares you for work in grassroots, non-profit, public and private organisations committed to advancing society, making it more sustainable, inclusive and just. We offer you a unique combination of interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge, research methodologies, professional skills and experience in the field. This 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 explore how you can have impact and become part of social change.

Research expertise

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.
Professor Patrizia Zanoni

Become an expert and skilled changemaker

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

  • Gain key interdisciplinary knowledge on grassroots organisations and their relations with institutions through a curriculum that combines organisation studies, governance, and public administration and focusing on social change;
  • Learn relevant research methodology skills;
  • Acquire the key professional skills for organising social change; and
  • Experience and contribute to processes of organising for social change in real grassroots organisations.

In the academic professional skills courses, for example you will attain practical competence in organising for social change and stakeholder collaboration and advocacy. These courses help you become a reflective practitioner in (inter)national organisational settings of change.

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. These skills are highly valued by employers. 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. Click here to find out more about your career prospects


Do you want to know whether you are eligible for this Master’s? Check the entry requirements.

  • Student Louise Terneldeli
    Knowledge and skills to initiate the change our world urgently needs.
  • Professor Patrizia Zanoni
    Organising from below for social change


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MSc
  • Master's degree in: Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap
  • Programme: Organising Social Impact
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
1 year
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
Start of studies:
Application deadline:
  • Dutch & EU/EER students: 1 April
  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April
Tuition fees:
Law, Economics and Governance 
Graduate school:
Law, Economics and Governance