Understanding social problems better and coming up with solutions

Sociologists are interested in contemporary social themes such as criminality, the integration of immigrants, religion and culture, families and social inequality, norms and conflicts. How can we understand all the phenomena you read and hear about in the media? In the Sociology: Contemporary Social Problems Minor, you study these social issues and learn to come up with policy solutions. How do social problems arise, and what can be done about them?

The Minor programme totals 30 ECTS and has two versions:

Version A - International exchange students
​Version B - Dutch students (UU, FSW, Dutch universities)

Easy to incorporate in your study programme

This Minor is designed to facilitate incorporation in the study programme of students. You can choose to take the Minor within one semester, or to spread the courses over one or more academic years.

There is considerable freedom of choice in this Minor. You can choose to explore a specific theme in depth, like social networks, health and well-being, or familiesociologie (in Dutch). Or you could choose to develop your theoretical or research skills further. For example, the Advanced sociological theory: modelling social interaction and Theory construction and statistical modelling courses are eminently suitable for that.

With this Minor, you become familiar with examining social problems and developing solutions, and you can specialize in the field of your choice as a sociologist or policy sociologist.

In other words, if you are interested in social themes and want to learn how to research, understand and solve them, then the Sociology: Contemporary Problems Minor is for you. This Minor is suitable for students aspiring to a career in practical research or policy practice after their Bachelor's programme.

This minor is a good preparation for students who want to apply for the one-year Master's programme Sociology: Contemporary Social Problems.

This Master’s programme combines learning scientific knowledge about sociological problems and policy with gaining experience in the job market. In the second semester of this Master's programme, you undertake an internship. With this strong focus on the job market, some of the students taking this Master's programme find a job before they have officially graduated.

Two distinct versions

The first version (version A) is aimed at international exchange students, especially (but not limited to!) students who are interested in applying for the one-year Master’s programme Sociology: Contemporary Social Problems. The second version (version B) is aimed at Dutch students (from FSW Bachelor's programmes or other Bachelor's programmes) as a preparation for an English-language Master's programme at our Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

In version A, students have to choose either Criminal behaviour during the life course or Sociology of organisations. Each of these courses provides a firm theoretical basis and deepens your knowledge of either policy and or organisation theory in research. In version B, the Dutch course Beleid- en evaluatieonderzoek is obligatory and students have to choose either Criminal behaviour during the life course or Inleiding sociologie, depending on their starting level in the social sciences.

All students have to choose at least one of the following two courses:

1.a Criminal behaviour during the life course (200700018, block 1, D level 3)
1.b Sociology of organisations (201400012, block 3, C level 3)

PLEASE NOTE: Make sure your courses are not scheduled in the same timeslot.

In addition, students choose three of the following courses:

  1. Criminal behaviour during the life course (200700018, block 1, D level 3)
  2. Theory construction and statistical modelling (200300125, block 1, C level 3)
  3. Advanced sociological theory: modelling social interaction (200300009, block 1, B level 2)
  4. Challenges in work, health and well-being (201800084, block 2, C level 3)
  5. Youth culture in a digital world (201800006, block 2, B level 2)
  6. Conducting a survey (200500126, block 2, C level 3)
  7. Social networks in theory and empirical research (200300014, block 3, B level 3)
  8. Sociology of organisations (201400012, block 3, C level 3)

Entrance requirements

  • English language proficiency.
  • Basic knowledge of the social and behavioural sciences. In particular, it can be useful to have some knowledge of social and behavioural sciences in relation to social processes

Assumed knowledge

One basic course in statistics, basic skills of SPSS or another statistical software package.

All students have to choose either course 1.a or 1.b as well as course 2.

1.a Criminal behaviour during the life course (200700018, block 1, D level 3)
1.b Inleiding Sociologie 200300007 (studenten die geen sociaalwetenschappelijke opleiding volgen)
2. Beleid- en evaluatieonderzoek (201800411, block 2, B level 3)

In addition, students choose two of the following courses:
 

  1. Advanced sociological theory: modelling social interaction (200300009, block 1, B level 2)
  2. Theory construction & statistical modelling (200300125, block 1, C level 3)
  3. Youth culture in a digital world (201800006, block 2, B level 2)
  4. Challenges in work, health and well-being (201800084, block 2, C level 3)
  5. Conducting a survey (200500126, block 2, C level 3)
  6. Sociology of organisations (201400012, block 3, C level 3)
  7. Social networks in theory and empirical research (200300014, block 3, B level 3)
  8. Familiesociologie: trends, theorie en kwantitatief onderzoek (200300004, block 4, D level 3)

Assumed knowledge

One basic course in statistics, basic skills of SPSS or another statistical software package.

How you should enrol depends on whether you are an Utrecht University student, a student from another Dutch University or an exchange student: 

Utrecht University students

Register for this Minor via OSIRIS. On OSIRIS there is the tab ‘Register for Minors’ under 'Registration'. Registering for a Minor does not automatically mean that you are also registered for the courses associated with the Minor. You must register for the courses individually. Therefore, take the registration deadline into account. It is published on the site of your programme under ‘Registration and deregistration'.

Students from other Dutch Universities

Enrol for the courses through our application form at OSIRIS Online Application (visit our subsidiary courses page for more information). Use the same application form to apply for the Minor. After your form is processed, the Student Information Point will enrol you for the Minor.

Exchange students from partner universities

Register for the minor through the International Office. The International Office will check your eligibility for the individual courses and the minor and, if applicable, enrol you for both. If you have any questions about the enrolment, please contact the International Office (io.sbs@uu.nl) .

You will find the course descriptions in the OSIRIS Course Catalogue.

Would you like to know more?

For more information, please contact the Sociology Educational Support Team, tel. +31 (0)30 253 2101 and email: sociologie.fss@uu.nl.