Master's Sociology: Comparative Organisation and Labour Studies
- MSc Sociology
- Regular study programme
- 60 EC, 12 months
- Language of instruction
- Starts in
The programme in Comparative Organisation and Labour Studies (COLS) offers a sociological perspective on the organisation of work processes, on the functioning of modern labour markets and of the governance of firms and other public or private organisations that form the locus of employment.
The Master’s programme combines a broad foundation of sociological theory and research methods training with a more specific focus on the organisation of work in contemporary societies. The modern world of labour and work is studied at various levels: the micro-level (e.g. workplace practices and human resource management); the meso level (e.g. employment relations or the governance of firms); and the macro level (e.g. bargaining between trade unions and employers associations, and the structure of labour market institutions and welfare states). The distinct qualities of the programme lie in the way it encourages a comparative perspective on institutional variety (i.e. examining how rules and regulations differ between countries as well as within countries). It stimulates students to apply a sociological perspective in their work, based on thorough scientific research, situating labour processes in a broader societal context.
Students should have a keen interest in and general knowledge of labour and organisation issues. They should be willing to go beyond the boundaries of the topic, and infuse their research with a critical sociological approach. They should be willing to engage with rigorous research.
The programme equips students with a set of transferable skills to analyse complex societal and organisational problems that allow them to see beyond the generally accepted assumptions in the field of labour and organisations. The focus on both organisations and institutional contexts meets the increasing demands for graduates and professionals that are able to combine these complementary perspectives.
Focus on research
The staff from the sociology department guarantees students will receive expertise in innovative sociological research; AIAS (UvA programme for Group Institutions, Inequality and Internationalisation) is the leading research institution on the functioning of labour markets , labour relations and organisations, and social and labour policies in the Netherlands. The MEST network (part of the COLS programme) allows students to explore international comparative perspectives.
The programme culminates in students developing their own thesis research, closely mentored and guided by a supervisor with expertise in the particular area of investigation. Students will also benefit from the expert knowledge of the staff of AIAS and from the MEST network.
Ambition in research?
For students interested in this field of study, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in Social Sciences.