Graduate School of Social Sciences

Students

Social Sciences (Research MSc)

'Discussing and attending classes with students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds has been a great learning experience.' Read Maria's story about the Research Master's programme Social Sciences.

Maria Kranendonk

Maria Kranendonk. Photo: Nicole Thijssens

My name is Maria Kranendonk and I come from the Netherlands. Before entering this programme, I studied history and anthropology, and I attended pre-Master courses in sociology. As you might remark, my interests are quite diverse, but they all involve social sciences, and more particular, the topic of migration and integration.

‘The programme is characterised by a wealth of choices that students can make’

The reason for me to choose the Research Master Social Sciences was in the first place its offer of methods and courses. The programme is characterised by a wealth of choices that students can make. The positive side is that students can use the courses to work towards their thesis, which is the ultimate finish line of the programme. However, I had, just like some other students, not yet decided what I wanted to research for my thesis. Thus the choices to be made felt overwhelming sometimes. If I were to give future students advice, it would definitely be that they should try to figure out what they find interesting and rather a bit specific already, as they can work with this during the courses.

One of the first choices you will have to make is what specialisation and methods track you want to attend. I chose for the migration and integration specialisation track and the quantitative track. My thesis will center on the themes of migrants, trade unions and industrial relations, and of course, involve nice quantitative analyses… But don’t worry, you don’t need a numerical obsession in order to enjoy the programme…

‘Most of the lectures were given in small groups, which made it possible to discuss with fellow students and ask the professors many questions’

After almost finishing an academic year of studying in this programme, I must say that discussing and attending classes with students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds has been a great learning experience. Most of the lectures were given in small groups, which made it possible to discuss with fellow students and ask the professors many questions. Most of the professors, and more general, staff of the programme is easily accessible and welcome questions. Students are also involved in the development of the programme and their feedback is taken very seriously.

I am looking forward to starting up the research for my thesis next year and concentrate on my own topic. After completing this programme, I hope to find a job in social research, whether for a university or for public purposes. In general, I feel this programme will allow me to pursue jobs of my interests later on.

To conclude, I enjoy the programme and I hope I have given you some idea about my experience with this programme. Best of luck with your decision!

Published by  GSSS

19 January 2016