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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Educational Sciences Learning in Interaction
Header image Learning in Interaction

Learning in Interaction

How do students learn in schools? What role do individual differences play in learning? How can you improve learning environments to optimally help students learn and develop?

Common to all processes referred to in the questions above, is that they take place while and because we interact. Interaction is the motor of learning and development, and therefore key to improving education.

While we all can recognize these interactions, in this master’s track you will learn to take a scientific, evidence-based approach to better examine these day-to-day interactions. This master zooms in on the complex processes through which we learn academic subjects, develop cognitive and meta-cognitive skills, and acquire social competencies.

Different theoretical perspectives and didactic approaches come together in this master’s track. You will understand learning processes in context, and be capable to examine the challenges that arise in optimizing learning environments to learners' needs.

You can also follow this program part-time.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in M Educational Sciences
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60099
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Behavioural and Social Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Revolves around learning processes
  • Current research meets education and practice
  • Close collaboration with staff in their research project
  • One-year internationally oriented master
Programme

The track is designed to provide you with a blend of skills, theoretical background and practical experience required to understand learning processes and to (re)design learning environments.

During the first year, courses cover diverse evidence-based perspectives on learning processes and key characteristics of learners and context. This will enable you to apply design principles for optimal learning environments. In your research project (research proposal and thesis) you will work in small groups, guided by a staff member. Your research will be embedded in the research currently conducted by our researchers, so you can profit from our updated expertise and academic experience. Connecting your academic training to practice is the focus on the internship. Here you will work within an organization (a school, university, publisher of educational materials, etc.) in trying to address a real issue where your expertise as educational scientist is needed.

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Elective course, for example Educational and Organization and Management (5 EC, optional)

This course discusses how schools can be organized in such a way that the organizational structures, processes, and culture facilitate, support and monitor student and organizational learning. Both characteristics of effective schools and school improvement processes are discussed.

*Methods and Techniques for Evaluation Research (5 EC)

The course offers in-depth knowledge, insights and skills related to quantitative empirical research, with a special focus on (quasi) experimental evaluation research.

Learning in Human Interaction (5 EC)

Focuses on the centrality of human interaction in learning and development. Examines theoretical underpinnings and empirical evidence about the most important sources of human interactions in educational settings: the interaction of learners with their teachers, and their interaction with peers.

*Internship (10 EC)

Students apply their expertise as educational scientists to tackle a real question embedded in an educational organization. 5 EC internship: see https://ocasys.rug.nl/current/catalog/course/PAMAOW02 / 10 EC internship see: https://ocasys.rug.nl/current/catalog/course/PAMAOW03

*Master thesis (20 EC)

Students conduct their final research project, from research question to the scientific, written report: the Master's Thesis. Students work in close collaboration with their supervisor, in a thesis projects that is well-embedded in active research lines of our staff members.

Learning in Interaction with Artefacts (5 EC)

Focuses on design principles and roles of learners in interaction with different sorts of artefacts, and on the unique learning opportunities that interaction with artefacts can offer.

Student Diversity in the Inclusive Classroom (5 EC)

This course acts as a framework to the track, from which the limitations of the principle “support meets needs” are analyzed. Relevant themes are the role of teachers and the design of learning environments to support learning given multiple sources of student diversity.

Reflection in & on Learning (5 EC)

How do students learn and how does metacognition influence learning? Metacognition is an important concept in cognitive theory. It consists of two basic processes occurring simultaneously: monitoring your progress as you learn, and making changes and adapting your strategies if you perceive you are not doing so well. The course focuses on the big ideas about metacognition.

Curriculum

Courses marked * are general courses

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

Consult about the possibilities with the programme coordinator.

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
All Universities of applied sciences

Via a pre-master with a maximum of 60 EC

More information:
  • Students with a related higher professional education (ALO, PABO/PA, hbo-pedagogiek, HKP, HPO, 4-jarige tweedegraads lerarenopleidingen en hbo-psychologie): see https://spo-groningen.nl/
  • For unrelated hbo: see 'written request'
Social WorkAll Universities of applied sciences

Via a pre-master

More information:

Here is the associated exit profile: Youth

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Pedagogical SciencesUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
SociologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

The admissions committee assesses whether you are eligible.

Psychology (NL)University of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

The admissions committee assesses whether you are eligible.

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Academic training primary school teacherAll Research universities

Additional requirements

Additional requirements:
  • (motivation-) letter
More information:
  • applies to students with a bachelor's degree in Educational Sciences from a university other than the RUG

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

To be considered for admission to the MSc in Educational Sciences/Learning in Interaction, you would need an academic Bachelor's degree which is comparable, in level, to the Dutch (research) university Bachelor. This degree should be in the field of Educational Sciences or in one of the other Social Sciences (Psychology or Sociology).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our programme deals with the academic study of educational processes, and it is therefore not aimed at directly developing teaching (pedagogical or didactical) skills.

knowledge minimum

The transcripts show evidence of sufficient courses on:

  • General research methods (preferably quantitative AND qualitative)
  • Statistics for the social sciences (basic and inferential)
  • Academic disciplinary knowledge on education, developmental psychology, educational psychology, sociology of education, and adjacent fields.

Previous experience with academic writing (e.g., Bachelor thesis), is desirable, but not an entry requirement.

other admission requirements

If the Board of Admissions doubts whether an applicant possesses content knowledge that matches our entry requirements, the Board of Admissions might request the applicant to submit an assignment and to hold a digital interview to discuss the submitted assignment.

IMPORTANT: International students who need unconditional admission to apply for a scholarship need to apply to the programme at least 2 months previous to the scholarship application deadline.

Registration procedure

To apply for this programme, first go to Studielink. After you have submitted your details in Studielink, you will receive an e-mail with the information necessary to activate your user account for OAS (the Online Application System). See the application procedure for some guidance in OAS

Then, please upload the following documents in OAS:

  • a copy of the (Bachelor) diploma on the basis of which you ask admission to our programme (both original language and translated in English)
  • a copy of your transcript of courses (both original language and translated in English)
  • a copy of your results for one of the mentioned English tests (except for native speakers)
  • a copy of your passport or ID card

If you have any doubts about your application, please contact us at toelatingscommissie.pedok rug.nl

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 December 202401 February 2025
01 June 202501 September 2025
01 December 202501 February 2026
EU/EEA students01 December 202401 February 2025
01 June 202501 September 2025
01 December 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

To be considered for admission to the MSc in Educational Sciences/Learning in Interaction, you would need an academic Bachelor's degree which is comparable, in level, to the Dutch (research) university Bachelor. This degree should be in the field of Educational Sciences or in one of the other Social Sciences (Psychology or Sociology).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our programme deals with the academic study of educational processes, and it is therefore not aimed at directly developing teaching (pedagogical or didactical) skills.

knowledge minimum

The transcripts show evidence of sufficient courses on:

  • General research methods (preferably quantitative AND qualitative)
  • Statistics for the social sciences (basic and inferential)
  • Academic disciplinary knowledge on education, developmental psychology, educational psychology, sociology of education, and adjacent fields.

Previous experience with academic writing (e.g., Bachelor thesis), is desirable, but not an entry requirement.

language test

The official language of the programme is English. Non-native English speakers must provide evidence of satisfactory results for one of the standard tests mentioned below. Official test results must be supplied. Please note, we do not accept Institutional TOEFL results as evidence of English proficiency.

C1 Advanced (formerly CAE): C1 IELTS: overall 6.5; listening 6; reading 6; writing 6.5; speaking 6.5 TOEFL paper based: overall 575; speaking 55; writing 45 TOEFL computer based 237 TOEFL internet based: overall 90; speaking 19; writing 21

other admission requirements

If the Board of Admissions doubts whether an applicant possesses content knowledge that matches our entry requirements, the Board of Admissions might request the applicant to submit an assignment and to hold a digital interview to discuss the submitted assignment.


IMPORTANT: International students who need unconditional admission to apply for a scholarship need to apply to the programme at least 2 months previous to the scholarship application deadline.

Registration procedure

To apply for this programme, first go to Studielink. After you have submitted your details in Studielink, you will receive an e-mail with the information necessary to activate your user account for The Progress Portal.
See the application procedure for some guidance in Progress Portal.

Then, please upload the following documents in The Progress Portal:

  • a copy of the (Bachelor) diploma on the basis of which you ask admission to our programme (both original language and translated in English)
  • a copy of your transcript of courses (both original language and translated in English)
  • a copy of your results for one of the mentioned English tests (except for native speakers)
  • a copy of your passport or ID card

    If you have any doubts about your application, please contact us at: admissionsoffice rug.nl


Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 December 202401 February 2025
01 June 202501 September 2025
01 December 202501 February 2026
EU/EEA students01 December 202401 February 2025
01 June 202501 September 2025
01 December 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students15 October 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 October 202501 February 2026
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 20800full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Career services BSS
Where do you want to work after your studies? You can contact
Career Services already during your studies. They will help you orientate on your career, develop your skills, apply for jobs and find an internship.

Job examples

  • Educational consultant

    in all sectors of public and private education, as well as in public and private training.

  • Developer of educational materials

    for any level of education, from primary- to higher education.

Research

Our research is conducted within the Groningen Institute for Educational Research (GION), which allows for smooth connections between the research we do and the courses we teach. This means that your research project (Master's thesis) will be supervised by active researchers in the field and that your project will be closely connected to a larger research initiative.

On the GION web pages you can also find examples of current research.

Staff members Learning in Interaction

prof. dr. Jan-Willem Strijbos
expertise: technology-enhanced learning; collaborative learning; peer assessment and feedback.

prof. dr. Alexander Minnaert
expertise: motivational social-emotional, neurological, and (meta)cognitive aspects in development and (gifted) student learning, implementation of educational innovations aiming at development, self-regulated, collaborative learning and inclusion.

dr. Jasperina Brouwer
expertise: higher education; workplace learning.

dr Marjolein Deunk
expertise: teacher-child interactions; language and literacy development; early childhood education and care; discourse analysis; cultural diversity in education; differentiation.

dr. Danny Kostons
expertise: self-regulated learning, executive functioning, eye-tracking.

dr. Mayra Mascareño Lara
expertise: classroom interactions; instructional quality; development in early childhood.

dr. Alma Spijkerboer
expertise: developmental psychology, neuropsychology, executive functioning, digital learning environments, self-regulating learning and reading comprehension in secondary education.


Thesis topics

The topics below are some examples of thesis topics:

Support of beginning teachers.

Student engagement in Chinese elementary schools.

Beginning teachers fulfillment of psychological needs and well-being.

Student engagement in learning modalities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing ethic-cultural diversity in Dutch classrooms.

Growth mindset for the environment.

Effect of a Virtual Reality on Classroom Management Strategies.

Effectiveness of career orientation and guidance activities in secondary education.

Differences in need-supportive teaching between students with and without special educational needs.

Culturally responsive teaching self-efficacy of teachers that educate newcomers in the Netherlands.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

  • Admissions Office bss.msc (for students with a non-Dutch diploma)
  • Dr. Mayra Mascareño (staff member)
    Email: m.n.mascareno.lara rug.nl
    Telephone: +31 (0)50 363 6912
  • Study Advisor Educational Sciences
    Email: studyadvice.peduc rug.nl

For the master's track Learning in Interaction

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Study associations

ODIOM

As a student of the programmes Pedagogical Sciences, Educational Sciences, the AOLB and the Switching Programme of Pedagogy (SPO), you can become a member of ODIOM, the friendly and active study association.
As a member, you benefit from discounts on all required textbooks and receive the newsletter every two weeks. ODIOM has over 800 members and organises a wide range of educational, sporting and social activities every year, such as guest lectures, excursions to pedagogical and educational institutions, the introduction camp for first-year students, trips abroad, get-togethers and parties.
https://www.odiom.nl/
Read more
Student profile
  • are an educational professional
  • are interested in the analysis and improvement of practices aimed at the promotion of student learning
  • would like to update your academic knowledge and academic and professional skills