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The two-year Research Master's in Social Sciences offers you advanced training in current social science theory and innovative methodologies in a rigorous and multidisciplinary social science research environment.

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Are you interested in social scientific research, and do you want to pursue a career in academic or non-academic research environments? The Research Master's Social Sciences (RMSS) is designed for highly motivated students with an interest in research from various social scientific perspectives. Due to an extensive focus on advanced quantitative and qualitative research skills, students who have finished the RMSS will be able to independently carry out high quality scientific research.

Lecturers in the RMSS program are based in the departments of anthropology, political science and sociology. They are members of the following program groups of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

  • Cultural Sociology; Political Sociology; Institutions, Inequality and Life Courses.
  • Political Economy and Transnational Governance; Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance; Challenges to Democratic Representation.
  • Globalizing Culture and the Quest for Belonging; Moving Matters; Health, Care and the Body.

​During the programme you will choose between three methodological specialisations: empirical-analytical, interpretative and mixed methods (with secondary data analysis or extended ethnographic fieldwork)

You will follow compulsory and elective methods courses within the chosen methods specialisation. An internship allows students to become actively involved in ongoing research projects. The Master's thesis is based on individual research by the student and will be published in the form of a monograph or manuscript for an academic article.

What is a Research Master's programme?

Research Master's programmes are two-year programmes specifically designed for highly motivated students aiming for a career in research. These programmes include additional research methodology, skills training, as well as hands-on experience in conducting research under the supervision of experienced researchers of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research.

The programmes prepare students for writing a PhD thesis and an academic career, as well as for a research oriented career outside academia. 

In this video, the features of a Research Master's programme are explained by a current student, an alumna and an academic staff member: 

Student profile

A defining feature of this Research Master’s programme is that it attracts a highly international group of students all motivated to pursue a career in social scientific research.

After finishing this Research Master, you will be able to tackle modern social challenges and problems through innovative social science research. You will gain the ability to formulate socially and scientifically relevant research problems within the key areas of social sciences. The programme develops your capacity to construct a research design to solve these problems through the use of advanced quantitative and/or qualitative techniques. You will be able to report on the research process and conclusions clearly and concisely. 

Why study Social Sciences in Amsterdam?

The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) of Amsterdam provides a vibrant and international academic community. The GSSS values diversity in both research and academic content, academic staff and the student population. The Research Master’s in Social Sciences:

  • Is a multidisciplinary programme, leading to a culturally and academically diverse climate
  • Offers the opportunity to contribute to ongoing research projects
  • Provides students with excellent research skills, making them eligible for a PhD candidacy

Focus on research

The RMSS is strongly affiliated to research groups of the  Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR), which is one of the most prestigious institutes of its kind. The lecturers incorporate their ongoing research as part of the courses. Their extremely broad range of interests and their elaborate research experience provide students with a complex and thorough picture of social and political processes.

Degree certificate 

Upon successful completion of the Research Master's programme in Social Sciences students receive a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Social Sciences (Research).

Key facts

Social Sciences
Degree programme Social Sciences (research)
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 120 ECTS, 24 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 60214