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Research Master Social Sciences

Study programme

Social Sciences (Research MSc)

Programme outline

This two-year programme starts in September. It consists of:

  • 18 ECTS required courses for all tracks
  • 18-21 ECTS in thematic electives from the disciplinary specialization
  • 57-60 ECTS(depending on the methods track) in the field of research methodology, including a research-oriented internship; and/or an independent research project; and elective methods courses
  • 24 ECTS for writing an article which would qualify for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal or a high level monograph which would qualify as an independent publication from an academic publisher (thus totaling 120 ECTS)

The curriculum might be slightly changed from year to year. Fulfillment of all the requirements should take two years of full-time study.

Three methods tracks

Students choose for one out of three methods tracks: the empirical-analytical track, the interpretative track, or the mixed track. Students follow compulsory and elective methods courses within their chosen methods track.

Three thematic specialisations

We aim to balance between the multidisciplinary nature of the social sciences on the one hand, and the specialised training in key research areas required in basic research on the other. Hence, the RMSS offers three thematic specialisations, each with their own faculty, elective courses, and specialisation tutors:

  • Sources of Inequalities (Sociology)
  • Comparative and International Politics (Political Science)
  • Cultures in the Making (Anthropology)


The Master’s Thesis is in the form of an academic article or a monograph, both based on individual research by the student. The research is carried out and the manuscript is written under the supervision of a thesis supervisor, chosen in agreement with the student and the specialisation tutor. The research proposal and the manuscript will be read by a second reader/co-examiner. The academic article should be of a length between 7,000 and 15,000 (let op komma) words, the monograph should be of a length between 20,000 and 25,000 words, whereas both manuscripts should be written in accordance with established formats of the relevant journal(s) within the disciplinary and thematic field that fits the research topic.

Degree requirements

The MSc in Social Sciences is awarded upon completion of 120 ECTS credits, including all required courses in the curriculum and a written Master's thesis, which is based on an independent research project.

Detailed course information

The complete description of all courses in this programme can be found in the online UvA Course Catalogue.

UvA Course Catalogue - Research Master's programme Social Sciences