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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Behavioural and Social Sciences - Research
Header image Behavioural and Social Sciences

Behavioural and Social Sciences

Are you considering a research career in an academic or an applied setting? Do you want to specialize within the field of behavioural and social sciences and receive a multidisciplinary training?

As a research master student you choose one of our three multidisciplinary themes. The theme-specific courses will give you a broad view on the theme and will introduce you to the unique perspectives of the theme-related specializations. In the course of the first semester you will choose your own specialization. It will enable you to tailor your master to the topics that you wish to engage in.

For scholarships and grants please scroll down.

1. Deficits, Distress, and Disorders
What are the origins of psychopathological and brain disorders?
Specializations: Clinical Neuropsychology| Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychopathology | Pedagogical and Educational Sciences | Psychometrics and Statistics

2. Lifespan Development and Socialization
How do individuals develop across their lifespan?
Specializations: Developmental Psychology | Pedagogical and Educational Sciences | Psychometrics and Statistics |Sociology

3. Understanding Societal Change
How do individuals and groups adapt to the changing world?
Specializations: Environmental Psychology | Organizational Psychology | Psychometrics and Statistics | Social psychology | Sociology


*** study information in connection with corona ***

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Behavioural and Social Sciences (research)
Course type
Research master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60654
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Behavioural and Social Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?
Programme
  • How to theorize, and to reflect on science.
  • Statistical modules give you a profound basis in various statistical methods, including computer skills and the ability to sensibly use statistics to solve empirical research problems.
  • Compulsory theme-specific modules introduce the theme, offering a broad view and the unique perspectives of the theme-related specializations.
  • Elective modules allow for further specialization, in the theme-related specializations.

All first-year students are offered a research assistantship in a project of choice. This opens the opportunity for a paid participation in an ongoing research project.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
*Advanced statistics (7.5 EC)
*How to theorize (2.5 EC)
DDD | Deficits, Distress and Disorders: a multidimensional perspective (5 EC)
LDS | Lifespan development (5 EC)
UCS | Theorizing change (7.5 EC)
DDD | Deficits, Distress and Disorders: advanced research methods (5 EC)
LDS | Modelling interactions between persons and variables over time (5 EC)
LDS | Socialization (5 EC)
USC | From problem analysis to intervention design (7.5 EC)
Elective courses (see the online catalogue) (10 EC)
*Applied statistics (10 EC)
DDD | Clinical interventions and e-health for adults and youth OR Neuropsychological assessment (5 EC)
*Reflecting on science and integrity (5 EC)
  • You learn how to perform multidisciplinary research, by jointly carrying out a research project about a societal problem.
  • Elective modules allow for further specialization in the theme-related specializations.
  • In the traineeship you learn how to conduct high-quality scientific research by participating in an ongoing research project.
  • Students in the themes DDD and LDS may add a clinical internship, to be trained in diagnostic and other clinical skills and qualify for a postdoctoral clinical training programme.
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
*Multidisciplinary research in action (5 EC)
Electives (see online catalogue)
Master's thesis (35 EC)
(Clinical) Traineeship (10 EC) (20 EC)

Curriculum

Please note:

  • DDD, LDS and USC indicate the compulsory theme modules, for each of the three themes.
  • Courses marked with an * are compulsory courses for all students, regardless of the chosen theme.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

The Traineeship and Master thesis projects can be performed internally at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen, or externally at another university or research institute in the Netherlands or abroad. The teaching staff has an extensive national and international network, resulting from cooperations with top-level researchers across the world.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
assessment interview

Students who apply for the programme may be invited for an additional assignment and/or an interview with the Admission Board to provide additional information about their motives and aspirations to enter the Research Master's programme.

language test

Sufficient knowledge of the English language. | CPE in Advanced English:>=185 | TOEFL: an overall score of >= 100, with >= 25 on speaking and writing on the internet-based form | IELTS: an overall score of >= 7, with >=7 on speaking and writing (academic version) |

reference letter

Candidates must arrange for two names of academic referees who have knowledge of their academic record.

written request

Your motivation to enter the Research Master programme and your professional background are important elements in successful completion of the programme. Also, it is very important for us to know what your objectives are in completing the Research Master so your needs can be assessed. Please write (type) a short report (no longer than 1 to 2 pages) listing your motivation, relevant study or work experience and any other information which you think is related to your admission such as thesis proposals, areas of particular interest and/or professional qualifications in social and behavioural sciences.

other admission requirements
  • High performance during the Bachelor's degree programme (weighted average BA grade at least 7.5 or equivalent)
  • Preference for one of the three domains
  • Knowledge of relevant theories and statistics (including multiple regression and analysis of variance), and experience with statistical software packages.

Not sure if you meet these statistical requirements?

Please read the Statistical Entrance requirements. This pdf document includes self-test.

*Corona update*
For UG bachelor students: conditions for "Soft Cut" admission.

Registration procedure

Application is a procedure involving 4 steps that differ for students from a non-Dutch university and students from a Dutch university. Roughly the steps are
1) sign up in Studielink, 2) provide information, 3) selection procedure, 4) admission decision.

Please read the detailed application procedure carefully.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Psychology (EN)All Research universitiesAdditional requirements
SociologyAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Academic training primary school teacherAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Educational SciencesAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements
Interdisciplinary Social ScienceAll Research universitiesAdditional requirements

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
assessment interview

Students who apply for the programme may be invited for an interview with the Admission Board to provide additional information about their motives and aspirations to enter the Research Master's programme.

language test

Sufficient knowledge of the English language. | CPE in Advanced English:>=185 | TOEFL: an overall score of >= 100, with >= 25 on speaking and writing on the internet-based form | IELTS: an overall score of >= 7, with >=7 on speaking and writing (academic version) |

previous education

University Bachelor in a social science (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Pedagogics, Educational Sciences)

reference letter

Candidates must arrange for two names of academic referees who have knowledge of their academic record.

written request

Candidates must arrange for two names of academic referees who have knowledge of their academic record.

other admission requirements
  • High performance during the Bachelor's degree programme (weighted average BA grade at least 7.5 or equivalent)
  • Preference for one of the three domains
  • Knowledge of relevant theories and statistics (including multiple regression and analysis of variance), and experience with statistical software packages.

Not sure if you meet these statistical requirements?

Please read the Statistical Entrance requirements (https://www.rug.nl//gmw/education/master/rema-statistical-entry-requirements.pdf). This document includes self-test.

Registration procedure

Application is a procedure involving 4 steps that differ for students from a non-Dutch university and students from a Dutch university. Roughly the steps are
1) sign up in Studielink, 2) provide information, 3) selection procedure, 4) admission decision.

Please read the detailed application procedure carefully.


Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 15000full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Holders of this degree are well equipped for further study and training for a PhD thesis, for employment as a research practitioner, for employment as policy advisors in government institutions and for employment in the public or private sector.

Each year we offer a limited number of PhD Scholarships, giving our top students the opportunity to continue in a PhD position.

TNO, CITO and CBS are possible Dutch employers after finishing our master programme.

Job examples

  • PhD student
  • Researcher

    in public or private sector

  • Policy advisor

    in government institutions

  • Research practitioner
Research

Research Master & Research Groups

The degree programme prepares you for a PhD or applied research position, aiming to impart knowledge, skills and understanding in the field of social and behavioural sciences in such a way that you are capable of performing scientific research in this area.

The programme builds upon a long-standing collaboration within the faculty between a number of research groups in sociology, psychology, and pedagogical and educational sciences with a shared interest in the social behaviour of individuals in institutional and cultural contexts.

They all focus on methodologically and theoretically advanced research on applied problems. Typical research topics include, for example, motivation, solidarity behaviour, or commitment. Within the programme, you choose a multidisciplinary domain that is a collaboration between different research groups:

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Online Master's WeekMore information

Contact

  • Admissions Office Bss (for students with a non-Dutch diploma)
    Email: bss.msc.admission rug.nl
  • Marie Stadel (student Deficits, Distress, And Disorder) (Any questions? You can email a current student)
    Email: m.stadel student.rug.nl
  • Academic Advisor Research Master Bss (about the programme, enrollment, studying)
    Email: studyadvice.rema.bss rug.nl
  • Rachel Wong (student Lifespan Development And Socialization) (Any questions? You can email a current student)
    Email: r.wong student.rug.nl
  • 
						Testimonial of lecturer Rafaele Huntjens

    Associate Professor - Rafaele Huntjens

    – lecturer Rafaele Huntjens
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    My name is Rafaële Huntjens and I'm an associate professor in experimental psychopathology, focusing on dissociative disorders and other trauma-related disorders. The beautiful thing about experimental psychopathology is that it provides you with the tools to investigate causal mechanisms involved in psychopathology. It thus goes beyond merely showing correlation which may be spurious. It can be widely applied from basic research questions to applied studies.

    I participate in the Psychology bachelor and master and in the Research master Behavioural and Social Sciences in the domain Deficits, Distress and Disorders. I’m the coordinator of the domain and I also coordinate and teach the course Experimental Psychopathology. In this course we discuss experimental studies examining cognitive models specifying important factors (e.g., memory, attentional bias) in psychopathological phenomena like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and dissociation.

    Within the domain we address associations between brain and behavior, as well as we use an experimental approach with a focus on understanding the causal mechanisms underlying the onset and maintenance of disorders. Studying this domain provides you with a better understanding of human distress, psychopathological disorders, and brain disorders and deficits. Students gain knowledge and tools to conduct fundamental research as well as more applied research on assessment and diagnosis and improving interventions in healthcare. It is possible to specialize as a clinical psychologist, clinical neuropsychologist or developmental psychologist. The program offers a combination of theoretical and practical training in small-scale, group based education allowing for close interaction with the teaching staff and fellow students.




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  • 
						Testimonial of lecturer Casper Albers

    Casper Albers - Associate professor in Psychometrics and Statistics

    – lecturer Casper Albers
    Read more

    My name is Casper Albers and I'm an associate professor in Psychometrics and Statistics within the Research Master's degree programme.

    I am also the coordinator of the Psychometrics and Statistics course units. This means that I ensure that these course units dovetail with each other and with the rest of the course units and that the state-of-the-art knowledge in this field is reflected within the degree programme. Further, I teach the Statistical Methods for Single Case Designs course unit on the Master’s programme.

    The Research Master at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences offers a perfect mix of broadening and deepening course units. Students are given enough information about all branches of behavioural sciences to be able to understand the basics. At the same time they are given the space to become an expert in a certain field. Thus the degree programme prepares students perfectly for the labour market, both in and outside academic research.

    This versatility is what makes my field so interesting. Statisticians can pretty much turn their hand to anything. One day I might be working with clinical psychologists on a better model for understanding depression, the next with social psychologists to study how we can motivate people to use less electricity. On another day I’ll be studying the mathematical properties of a new model, and I could round the week off by working with education theorists on a study of the effectiveness of the flipped classroom.

    This Master’s programme is suitable for anyone interested in human behaviour – both individual and group behaviour. It is perfect for curious students who really want to get to the heart of the matter.

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  • 
						Testimonial of lecturer Marieke Pijnenborg

    Marieke Pijnenborg - Associate professor Clinical Psychology & Experimental Psychopathology

    – lecturer Marieke Pijnenborg
    Read more

    I teach the course units 'Evidence-based interventions' and 'Diagnostic models and strategies' on the Clinical Psychology Track. Although I work for the departments of Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychopathology, my research lies somewhere between the departments of Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology. I feel at home in both fields.

    My particular expertise is in psychotic disorders. Psychoses are extremely interesting. They create a very unique clinical picture, with many different manifestations and affecting many different types of people. It is fascinating to see how the brain can fool itself. People believe unimaginable things that other people cannot understand or see, regardless of contradictions or external proof. The next question is how best to help these people return to functioning in society. Increasing social participation and counteracting stigmatization are thus my most important objectives.

    Psychology is a branch of science that is very close to daily life. Psychologists study day-to-day social processes. The main attraction of clinical psychology is to make a difference for other people. Curiosity is a major factor – curiosity about the causes of problematic behaviour and the motivation to find out how to best treat these problems.

    The Clinical Psychology Track has a lot to offer prospective students. For example, we look at scientific themes from a clinical practice point of view, while at the same time paying attention to innovations in care. We also conduct experimental research to see which processes lie behind certain forms of psychopathology. The expertise of the lecturers is very varied – we have a lot of knowledge from many different domains.

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Missed the webinar? Not to worry!

After the broadcast, you can watch the recording of the webinar via the online portal of the university. Please note: you can no longer post your question when watching on demand.

Watch the webinar of 13 March 2019 with Dr. Maike van der Vlugt discussing courses, career prospects, admissions, expertise of staff and many other topics.

We advise to always watch the webinar of the current (academic) year, to prevent that you miss updated topic information. Also, when participating in the live webinar you can ask your questions directly, and listen to the answers to questions of other viewers.

In the 'Open days and events' calendar, you can see which events are planned and how to register

Read more

For the Research Master BSS

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Student profile

You

  • are considering a research career in an academic or a clinical, industry, or governmental setting
  • aim to specialize within a field of (social) science
  • love to learn from other disciplines
  • find it important to obtain a firm methodological, research oriented basis
  • are interested to develop your statistical skills

Yes? Then our two-year English taught research master programme could be the right choice for you.

Study support

The focus of your programme is to be shaped via your choices for one of the themes, for the optional modules and for your traineeship and master's thesis. You compose and monitor your personal study plan in close consultation with the academic advisor.

At least twice a year you will be invited by the academic advisor to discuss your study progress. You can also visit the academic advisor for confidential or study-related issues.

A mentor (i.e., a staff member of the theme in which you plan to specialize) is assigned to you at the start of the programme. The mentor provides substantive information and guidance about your specialization, individually and/ or in groups. You and your mentor meet several times during the year. In the second year, your supervisor of the master's thesis will take over the role of mentor.