Study programme

The SaSR programme is divided into four semesters. The curriculum comprises three major components:

(a) theoretical models and advanced theoretical topics
(b) advanced quantitative research methods
(c) integrating theory and empirical research, e.g. in a Master's thesis.

These three components are described in more detail below.

(a) Theory

The theory component gives an overview of structured sociological modelling of substantive social issues. The focus is on explaining human behaviour, social interdependencies, and collective behaviour in relation to macro-phenomena such as culture, social networks and inequality.

(b) Research methods

The methods component develops explanatory models, measurement models and methods for the analysis of complex data structures. You learn how to apply statistical models for multi-actor, multi-level and multi-event datasets, which reflect the rich structure of the social contexts of individuals.

(c) Integration: the Master's thesis

The Master's thesis project offers ample opportunity to apply the acquired theory building and research methods skills with the aim of completing a publishable article for a scientific journal.

Moreover, the two-year Master's programme also offers the following activities and opportunities:

  • Participation in international summer schools (e.g., Essex, Ljubljana, or Ann Arbor) as part of the electives component.
  • Participation in a masterclass taught by a prominent visiting scholar (i.e. an outstanding senior social scientist from abroad).
  • Participation in elective courses of other Master’s programmes at Utrecht University or other universities, or internships, which will allow you to meet other researchers and gain a more diverse set of insights, possibly from other disciplines.

Format of the courses

The courses have a standard intensive format with written (research) assignments, class presentations, final papers, written exams, or short exercises. For each course a course manual with more information about the content, aims and structure of the course is available in the electronic learning environment Blackboard.