The internship and Master’s thesis together form a combined study unit and each component is worth 15 ECTS.


You will conduct research into a particular social issue. This issue can be one that plays out in Dutch society at large or one that is relevant to a specific sector or organisation.

Your research project can take a variety of forms, for example:

  • a social science research project that generates new knowledge of relevance to policy and demonstrably clarifies a social problem;
  • a policy evaluation that looks at the impact a particular policy measure is having or has had;
  • a literature review pertaining to a social issue, supported by interviews with experts, that results in a realistic policy design;
  • a research project based on a survey of employees examining the functioning of organisations and institutions, focusing on the implementation and progress of policy processes.

Your Master's thesis must address policy advice, in which you take account of social and political considerations and how your advice would actually be implemented.

Joint sessions

In the second semester, regular joint sessions will be held in which all students report on the progress of their research projects to fellow students and lecturers.


Your thesis will be examined by two separate assessors, one of whom will not have been involved in supervising your research.


Examples of Master’s theses can be found in the Utrecht University Student Theses Repository.

Ethical review

From 1 September 2020, all Bachelor's and (research) Master's students must have their thesis project ethically reviewed by the FERB through the online tool UU-SER. More information about the procedure and associated protocols can be found on the Student Ethics Review & Registration Site (UU-SER) website.