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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Pedagogical Sciences Youth 0-21 Society and Policy
Header image Youth 0-21 Society and Policy

Youth 0-21 Society and Policy

Our aim is to increase the quality of upbringing, care and education by improving policies and interventions for young people and their social and learning contexts.

Do you want to...

  • Explore how interventions can improve the well-being of young people, their families, schools, and communities?
  • Learn how to successfully implement interventions in child and youth care and education?
  • Discuss the role of research in improving interventions and youth policy?

Then this Master's program might be just ideal for you! Completing this program equips you with...

  • State-of-the-art knowledge of youth research, practices, and policy, how they are linked and how they can improve each other
  • The skills to design, carry out, and evaluate youth policy and interventions using interdisciplinary and international insights
  • A reflexive, critical attitude towards youth policies, practices and innovations

Curious? Take the online sample lesson by dr. Tina Kretschmer and dr. Laura Baams.

Facts & Figures
MSc in Pedagogical Sciences
Course type
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
February, September
Behavioural and Social Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?

Students actively shape their learning in collaborative learning communities and gain valuable work experience during an internship. Strong connections between our department and the practical field help to prepare you for a variety of professional roles. The unique spectrum of research topics and expertise in different methods ensure that the content of the program reflects the state-of-the art in youth research.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Conceptions, Policies and Youth Participation (5 EC)
Contemporary youth issues (5 EC)
Decision making in child protection (5 EC)
Writing a research proposal (5 EC)
Internship (Netherlands or abroad) (10 EC)
DMCP:using Research to improve Policy and Practice (5 EC)

Decision-making in Child Protection: using Research to improve Policy and Practice

Master's thesis (20 EC)
Innovations and Transformations in Youth Care and Education (5 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

Als er sprake is van onvoldoende kennis op het gebied van Statistics and Research Methodology is het mogelijk premaster cursussen te volgen. De toelatingscommissie kan aangeven of je hiervoor in aanmerking komt. Voor meer informatie, zie de SPO site over deze premaster

previous education

Met een verwant hbo-diploma moet eerst het schakelprogramma worden gevolgd:

written request

Studenten met

  • een niet verwant universitair diploma
  • een bachelordiploma Pedagogische Wetenschappen behaald aan een andere universiteit dan de RUG

dienen een toelatingsverzoek (met CV en gewaarmerkte kopie van diploma en cijferlijsten) in te dienen via

other admission requirements

Voor inlichtingen over de toelatingsprocedure kunt u contact opnemen met de toelatingscommissie: toelatingscommissie.pedok

Registration procedure

Voor de aanmeldingsprocedure zie de infopagina:

Voor inlichtingen over de inhoud van de tracks kun je contact opnemen met de studieadviseur via studyadvice.peduc

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
All Research universities

Via a pre-master

Additional requirements:
  • written request
All Research universities

Via a pre-master

Additional requirements:
  • written request
Academic training primary school teacherAll Research universities

Deficiency program with a maximum of 60 EC

Additional requirements:
  • written request
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
All Universities of applied sciences

Via a pre-master with a maximum of 60 EC

More information:

Met een verwant hbo-diploma moet eerst het schakelprogramma worden gevolgd, zie

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Pedagogical SciencesUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

If you have any deficiencies in connection with Statistics and Research Methodology then we offer the possibility to take pre-master courses. The Admissions Board will inform you if you would qualify for this. For more information have a look at the SPO site about this premaster:

previous education

Bachelor in Pedagogical Sciences, Educational Sciences, Social Sciences with compulsory modules on children and adolescents or similarly relevant degrees (e.g., Youth Studies, Special Needs Education), Pre-Master SPO graduates

written request

Write (type) a letter (no larger than one A4 sheet) explaining your motivation to follow this programme. You should consider at least the following topics:

  • Your motivation to study at a Master's level;
  • Relevant study and/or work experience;
  • Areas of particular interest in this Master's programme;
  • Career perspectives and in what way completing this Master's programme would contribute to accomplish them.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
IELTS listening6
IELTS reading6
IELTS writing6.5
IELTS speaking6.5
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

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 records (both original language and translated in English)
* a c copy of your results for one of the mentioned English tests (exc. for native speakers)
* a copy of your passport or ID card
* a letter of motivation

If you have any doubts about your application, please contact us at: bss.msc.admission

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 June 202001 September 2020
01 December 202001 February 2021
01 June 202101 September 2021
01 December 202101 February 2022
EU/EEA students01 June 202001 September 2020
01 December 202001 February 2021
01 June 202101 September 2021
01 December 202101 February 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
01 November 202001 February 2021
01 May 202101 September 2021
01 November 202101 February 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 14650full-time
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 15000full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

After completing this Master's program, you will be able to apply for positions in the practical field or in research. Some of your options are:

  • Team coordinator in a child and youth organization where you are responsible for quality assurance and improvement of the work of practitioners by supervising, coordinating, offering support and/or leadership
  • Quality commissioner of a child and youth organization where you interact with other organizations and researchers to bridge sources of knowledge of good practice
  • In an Agency for Quality Improvement, where you work with researchers, team coordinators and quality employees of child and youth organizations to monitor and improve the quality of professional practice
  • Child & youth officer where you work as a member of a team of civil servants with policy makers, child & youth organizations, and agencies for quality improvement 
  • Scientist practitioner where you work with children and their families, and offer support to teachers and other adults who are partners in parenting, and initiate and support activities that stimulate civil society and inclusive education
  • If working on the thesis inspires you to do more research, you can apply for PhD positions, write your own PhD proposal, or explore possibilities in governmental and non-governmental research agencies.

Multiple research perspectives and approaches

Many of the teachers in this program are internationally renowned researchers. We are involved in national and international research consortia and organize symposia and workshops such as the International Seminar Series. Our methodological expertise covers qualitative and quantitative techniques including longitudinal studies but also active participatory approaches. Increasingly, these approaches are combined in mixed methods studies to benefits from a plurality of perspectives.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Master's day University of GroningenBroerstraat 5More information


If you want to know more about the programme Youth 0-21 Society and Policy, please contact:

  • Academic Advisor Pedagogical Sciences (about the programme, studying)
    Email: studyadvice.peduc
  • Pauline Schreuder (Coordinator master programme Youth 0-21, Society and Policy)
    Email: p.r.schreuder
    Telephone: 050 363 6526
  • Admission Office (for students with a non-Dutch diploma)
						Testimonial of Janet Hofman

    What I like about this track is that it not only teaches you about all kinds of youth-related issues, but also how these issues can be raised to a higher level based on policy and research.

    – Janet Hofman
    Read more

    My name is Janet Hofman and I am following the Master's programme in 'Youth0-21, Society and Policy'.

    I have a background in Human Resource Management and I was curious whether I could handle a Master’s. I first followed the pre-Master’s programme in SPO, a combination of Pedagogy and Educational Sciences, and after that I had a choice between the Master’s tracks in ‘Ethics of Education’ and ‘Youth0-21, Society and Policy’. I attended a few information events and came to the conclusion that this one was more up my alley

    What I like about this track is that it not only teaches you about all kinds of youth-related issues, but also how these issues can be raised to a higher level based on policy and research. This involves young people themselves as well as the people that supervise and guide them.

    The first semester comprises course units such as ‘Conceptions of youth in policy and research’, ‘Innovations in youth care and education’ and ‘Child abuse and neglect’, after which in the second semester you follow a placement, complete a placement assignment and write your thesis. My thesis is about how secondary-school pupils are prepared for the labour market or further education.

    The programme is rather broad. I enjoy the variety in topics, and the lecturers also give you a lot of freedom to come up with your own ideas. You can delve more deeply into the topics that you are particularly interested in. In addition, the group is small, so you get to know each other quickly. The lecturers are very passionate about their subject, and they really know a lot about it – they are firmly grounded in the field.

    After I graduate, I think I might like to work as a policy adviser dealing with youth issues, and I would also like to start up a company that helps young people choose what they want to study. This way I want to continue to create a link between practice and policy!

						Testimonial of Anne Heslinga

    "I participated in a project about LGBTQ youth. How can you provide information at schools so that everyone is accepted as he or she is? Together with my groupmates, I wrote a plan for that."

    – Anne Heslinga
    Read more

    Before I started this Master's degree programme, I studied Educational Sciences and there I missed the practical aspect of the field. I wanted to be able to apply what I had learnt. So I attended the Master's information events. The Master's programme Youth, Society and Policy was just new and it promised to provide the link I was looking for, the link between practice and science. In addition, policy was addressed. That was important to me.

    In this Master’s degree programme you will learn about youth care in general and the policy that is involved. Course units focus on subjects including implementation, international policy, foster care and child abuse.

    In the first two blocks you will follow a number of course units. You will not be tested by written examinations, but by projects and essays. I appreciate that. I participated in a project about LGBTQ youth. How can you provide information at schools so that everyone is accepted as he or she is? Together with my groupmates, I wrote a plan for that. That kind of project is very concrete, and leads to a tangible result that you can be proud of.

    After the theory part, you will do a work placement and write your thesis. I am currently doing a placement at Yorneo, in Drenthe, an organization which provides all kinds of assistance with regard to raising children. There I did my placement at foster care. I would like to work at in foster care later. A place where you are really involved with people.

    I think it’s very important to do things you care about and that you find worthwhile. That’s really the case with this Master’s degree programme. You have room to pursue your interests, and dive in deeply. A bonus is that my English has greatly improved, so that I can analyse texts critically now.

    Anne Heslinga, 22 years old, master student.

						Testimonial of Richard Boer

    The things I learned in the first few months of theory worked well for my internship. I was very well prepared.

    – Richard Boer
    Read more

    Hi, my name is Richard Boer and I am 49 years old. I study the master's degree programme 'Youth, Society and Policy'. Originally I am a system therapist and I am also a teacher at the 'Hogeschool Leeuwarden'.

    I wanted to do a master’s degree and then I heard about this new study programme. I have been to an information event twice and based on that I made my choice. Especially the fact that you are working with policies greatly encouraged me.

    I am very pleased with the structure of the study programme. The first few months are dedicated to theory, like International policy and Implementation science (implementatiekunde). It leans towards Sociology but it has also something to do with Education (Onderwijskunde). We think about issues like ‘How do you develop a project in an organization?’, and ‘A new method will be introduced, but how should this be addressed?’

    With some fellow students we have produced a policy piece. That was very nice to do!

    After a few months of theory, your internship will start. I am currently doing an internship at the municipality of Leeuwarden. During such an internship you will get to know an organization at the policy level. I learn what it is like to work with different parties who all want something from, in this case, the municipality of Leeuwarden. Very interesting! In addition, the things I learned in the first few months of theory worked well for my internship. I was very well prepared.

    This year, only ten people study ‘Youth, Society and Policy’. I like that very much, because you have a lot of contact with your fellow students and your teachers. Moreover, it is an international study. This year we had two students from Germany and Spain. In this way, you learn something about the policy in other countries and how they shape it. The language is English, and I like that too. My English has therefore improved quite a lot during the past few months.

						Testimonial of Klaudia Kroll

    There is a lot of one-on-one contact with the lecturers, and in addition we receive a lot of support from our thesis supervisors, in particular with finding a placement.

    – Klaudia Kroll
    Read more

    My name is Klaudia Kroll and I am from Germany. It is exciting for me to follow the Master's programme 'Youth 0–21, Society and Policy' because it matches perfectly with my career interests. Most of all, I love that this programme revolves around the best interests of the child.

    Before starting the Master’s programme, I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Groningen. Although I have been always passionate about psychology, my interest in youth studies was even stronger, and this led me to change my field of study. After following the Minor ‘Challenging Youth’ in fifth semester, I was certain that this Master‘s programme was what I was looking for.

    Subsequent to earning my Master’s degree, I hope to work in the field of child protection to gain practical experience and develop a better understanding of the child welfare system. In addition, I hope to experience what it means to be a child protection practitioner who is in direct contact with children in need. Eventually, I would like to put my experience and the knowledge gained in the Master’s programme and work on improving child protection services, bridging the gap between research and practice.

    This Master’s programme is relatively small, which means there is a lot of one-on-one contact with the lecturers. In addition, we receive a lot of support from our thesis supervisors, in particular with finding a placement. I find the most interesting course ‘Child Abuse and Neglect’ by Dr Mónica Lopez Lopez. During class we are expected to take part in discussions. This means that the relevant readings must be studied in advance, to the extent that one understands the main message.

    Overall, I feel lucky to have found the Master’s programme which not only caters to my interests, but also provides students with interactive and practical course units.

						Testimonial of Greetje Timmerman

    "This course gives you the conceptual and practical tools to make things better for children and young people."

    – Greetje Timmerman
						Testimonial of Mónica  López López

    It's not just about learning the best research evidence, it's about learning how to use it appropriately.

    – Mónica López López
    Read more

    This knowledge will help our students to choose the most effective policies and practices in their future jobs.

						Testimonial of Pauline Schreuder

    We consistently try to bridge the gaps between research, policy and practice.

    – Pauline Schreuder
    Read more

    My name is Pauline Schreuder and I am Assistant Professor and coordinator of the International Master's track Youth, Society & Policy, one of the tracks in the Master's programme in Pedagogical Sciences. Together with my colleague Greetje Timmerman, I teach the course unit in Conceptions, Policies and Youth Participation. I also supervise students during their placements and theses.

    Students come from the Bachelor’s programme in Pedagogical Sciences, both from Orthopedagogy and Pedagogy/Educational Sciences. In addition, we have both Dutch and international students with backgrounds in Psychology or Sociology. These different dimensions are important because they contribute to the understanding of different perspectives and the ability to work together with people from different disciplines.

    The degree programme is characterized by its focus on youth issues concerning growing up and development. We consistently try to bridge the gaps between research, policy and practice. Students are actively engaged in these issues through seminars, group assignments and discussions. One of the themes dealt with is how different countries have organized their decision-making regarding children who are placed in care. Do the children or young people have a say in it? If yes, how is this arranged? The programme also covers the implementation of interventions and innovations.

    The theoretical course unit in which I am involved takes place early in the programme. Students are introduced to the various definitions and interpretations of ‘youth’ across countries and to the implications of this for youth policy. Students analyse the youth policy of a country of their choice and compare their analyses afterwards. Then you see that a concept like ‘youth participation’ is interpreted very differently, but also that those differences do not always coincide with the distinction between Western and non-Western countries.

						Testimonial of Tina Kretschmer

    Because the lecturers on this program are also intensively involved in internationally recognized research, our teaching is always informed by the latest findings.

    – Tina Kretschmer
    Read more

    Because the lecturers on this program are also intensively involved in internationally recognized research, our teaching is always informed by the latest findings.


For the master's track Youth 0-21 Society and Policy

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Study associations


ODIOM is the study association for Pedagogy and Educational Sciences, Academic Teacher-Training for Primary Education and the SPO switching program.
ODIOM has over 700 members. The activities of ODIOM include: lectures, excursions to (ortho-) pedagogical institutions, foreign travel, the introduction camp for freshmen, sporting and social activities and drinks and parties. Members receive the ODIOM magazine and a discount on all study books.
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