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PhD programme in Social Sciences

Graduate School of Social Sciences

PhD at UvA

Students who have obtained their Master’s degree are in principle eligible for a doctoral position. Full-time doctoral PhD programmes take at least three or four years and consist primarily of independent research activities. Doctoral candidates may also be assigned teaching tasks. Research results are presented in the form of a doctoral thesis which must be defended before a doctoral committee in a public setting.

PhD in Social Sciences at UvA

Students who would like to pursue a PhD degree in social sciences, can apply for a PhD position at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) of the University of Amsterdam. The PhD training programme is organised by AISSR and GSSS in close cooperation.

AISSR unites all research in the social sciences (sociology, geography, planning, international development studies, political science and anthropology) at the University of Amsterdam and is the largest research institute in this domain in the Netherlands.

The research programme focuses on the functioning of contemporary societies and their interrelationships from historical, comparative and empirical perspectives and covers a broad spectrum of topics, such as health, citizenship, stratification, globalisation and democratic representation. Cooperation across the disciplines is institutionalised in five centres that focus on  Urban Studies, Social Science & Global Health, Inequality Studies, Migration & Ethnic Studies and  Gender & Sexuality.

Cross-fertilisation between Social Science research and education

The AISSR has approximately 150 doctoral candidates half of which are international candidates. Doctoral candidates are embedded in one of the AISSR programme groups while the core training courses are formally offered by the GSSS. There is a strong alignment and cross-fertilisation between the AISSR programme groups and specialisation tracks in the GSSS (research) Master and PhD training programmes.

Research Master's programmes

The Graduate School of Social Sciences offers three Research Master's programmes that prepare students for a PhD programme. 

Research Master's programmes are two-year programmes specifically designed for excellent students wishing to pursue a career in research. Compared to our one-year Master's programmes, they offer a more in-depth study, including additional research methodology, skills training, as well as hands-on experience in the top research groups of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. The programmes prepare students for writing a PhD thesis and an academic career or for a research oriented career outside academia.

The GSSS offers the following Research Master's programmes: