All students must complete a minimum of 60 units (ECTS) of course work. The programme comprises of six courses (31.5 ECTS) and an internship/research component (28.5 ECTS). The programme starts in September and consists of:
In the first week, you will start with an intensive introduction. We will lay the groundwork for our Master’s programme here. You will be offered the possibility to get a feel for the academic and practical work in the field of youth. We will also organise workshops, in order to stimulate the development of your communication and interdisciplinary skills.
You will be guided to further develop these communication and interdisciplinary skills throughout the academic year. This will enable you to bridge important gaps between researchers from different disciplines and between research and practice. Central skills are: listening, asking questions, summarising, providing and receiving feedback, and working in a team. Equally importantly, you will be stimulated to learn more about your own scientific and personal background and how these colour your perception and the way you operate as a professional.
This course will help you to understand and apply different theories and concepts – from social, spatial, legal, medical and governance perspectives – to make sense of the lives and development of young people nowadays.
You will learn about the added value of interdisciplinary approaches in addition to disciplinary concepts and theories.
We will furthermore discuss the relevance of several contexts (such as family, friends, school, neighborhood, society) in the lives of young people and will explore the changing situations – at a local, national and global level – that affect young people, their families and communities.
Moreover, you will learn how young people shape the world around them and have the power to make structural changes to society. You will apply this knowledge to different real-life situations. In this course you will also work on developing academic writing and peer feedback skills.
In the course “Bridging the gap between science and practice” you will learn to translate theory and empirical knowledge into practice and understand or provide a solution to youth problems. Youth development takes place in, and is affected by multiple contexts (home, neighborhood, school) and relationships (parents, peers, teachers, professionals).
In this course you learn to become sensitive to the dynamic interplay between these contexts and develop understanding of the different perspectives involved in the process of policy and intervention. You will learn how to choose or develop an appropriate methodology or intervention based on a theory of change. Together with fellow students, you will map the system of youth care in the Netherlands and the different roles of various institutions.
In three “Deep dive” courses, you will develop hands-on skills regarding systematic reviews, quantitative research, and qualitative research, respectively.
Each “Deep dive” course consists of one full-time week where you work intensively on a given method. You are required to attend all sessions during that week (i.e., 5 full days), where plural lectures will be alternated with small-group discussions and assignments.
In the course “Youth challenges: Engage, research, and act”, you will choose a topic to specialize in and gain more experience with the process of co-creation in practice to help advance the understanding of a selected problem. You can choose a topic in one of the following themes: Mental health, Youth culture and lifestyle, or Social participation and inclusion.
Using the knowledge and skills you obtained during the first period, you will apply the challenge-based learning method, which entails three steps:
- engage with professionals in practice to identify a specific problem and its context and translate this to different research questions,
- search and synthesize the interdisciplinary literature and policy documents, conduct interviews with relevant stakeholders etc. to answer the research questions and find potential solutions to address the problem in that particular context, and
- present your conclusions and provide advice to the professionals in a clear way.
The Master's thesis represents the final stage of the Youth Development and Social Change academic Master's programme. You can choose one of the following two options:
- Combine your practical internship (in an external organization or in one of our research departments) with your thesis, using either existing or newly collected (qualitative or quantitative) data from your internship organization or research department.
- Separate your practical internship (in an external organization or in one of our research departments) from your thesis, using existing (qualitative or quantitative) data for your thesis via your thesis supervisor.
In all cases, you will write a thesis on a social issue related to a theme in the domain of Youth Development and Social Change.
Students will collaborate in project groups of up to six students who all have chosen the same overarching theme and are supervised by the same supervisor. You will independently and individually conduct research aiming to answer a scientifically and/or practically relevant research question using existing or newly collected quantitative or qualitative data (see section on data below).
In the Master's thesis, you demonstrate your interdisciplinary knowledge and skills by critically reflecting on your own and others’ (inter)disciplinary approaches in theories and or/methods that are applied. The Master's thesis should have the form of a scientific journal article and is always an individual product. During the process of thesis writing students in the project group will be asked to provide peer feedback and critically review each other’s work.
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 this website: https://uu-ser.sites.uu.nl/procedure-submitting-uu-ser.
You will complete an internship at a relevant organization in the professional field of youth (e.g. Trimbos Institute, Dutch Youth Institute, local and national government organizations such as Health and Youth Care Inspectorate, Defense for Children, World Health Organization).
During the internship you conduct activities for the internship organization on the level of an academic professional, and under supervision of a certified (i.e. having completed an academic master and at least 1 year working experience) academic professional at the internship organization. A practical internship can also encompass research activities (for and in collaboration with the internship organization).
You will work together in student groups. This way of working aims to encourage discussion on experiences during the internship and on personal and academic goals as set in the portfolio. You will meet in groups to learn from other students and provide/receive feedback on the progress of the internship and reflect on particular internship experiences (e.g. the experienced tension between academic standards of working and the reality of working as an academic professional, the role of interdisciplinarity in practice).
You are expected to attend and prepare all project meetings. Alternative assignments will be required for missed meetings.
You will reflect on your progress in the internship, the provided/received feedback as well as on the progress you are making regarding your academic and personal learning goals in an individual internship report which will be part of your portfolio.