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About us University College Groningen Education Majors Social Sciences

Social Sciences Major

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Social Sciences study human behaviour and social relationships in different contexts. In short it studies what we do, how we do it and why we do it and how this both enables and limits the behaviour of others. What choices do people make? What kind of society should we live in? How do nation states, firms and organizations operate in the global society and how do their decisions affect markets and individual decisions? Social Sciences is a broad discipline which covers e.g. international relations, politics, psychology, economics and law.

The Social Sciences major has the following 5 major specialisations*:

The specialisation overviews are drafts and the final versions might slightly change. 

Mind and Behaviour

Students in this specialisation dive into the heart of all human activity: the psychology of how we think, feel, and behave. The complexity of mind and behavior requires that students travel back and forth through the microscale dimensions of the individual and the macroscale dimensions of culture. In doing so, students address questions such as: How and why do we filter incoming information to understand the world around us? How do our identities, personalities, and abilities emerge across our lifespan? What role do societal norms play in the increasing prevalence of depression and anxiety?

Societies and Cultures in Transition

Societies and Cultures in Transition is geared towards understanding current societal and cultural changes. Change often leads to uncertainty, tension, and conflict. Yet, fundamental changes may be necessary to adapt our societies to the world of today and the challenges of tomorrow. Typical questions related to this specialisation are: Can societal changes be explained from the intentions of individuals? What is the role of culture in diverse societies? What are the societal consequences of economic and technological developments? How can we design effective policies to guide societal and cultural changes?

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

This specialisation studies the structure, and the philosophical and economic principles of today’s (global) society. The study addresses various societal problems such as the polarisation of society, sustainable economic development, democracy and immigration. These problems have important economic dimensions, and present ethical dilemmas. They also require effective political solutions. The specialisation focuses on the nation state, the market and individual behaviour, and discusses how entities interact. Combing philosophy, politics and economics gives students a multidisciplinary framework to analyse and address global challenges in a sustainable and evidence-based way.

International Relations & International law

This specialisation studies the role of the state and international organisations within the international community. It addresses global societal problems such as armed conflicts, human rights violations, terrorism, migration and climate change. This specialsation studies how states interact with each other, how they balance their national interests and global needs and it studies what the role of international law is. It aims to find means by which international political leaders can come to effective policymaking on the international level.

International Business & Entrepreneurship

The focus of this specialisation is on international business and entrepreneurship. It aims to understand the global business strategy and analyses how international business and multinationals strategically operate in the global market. It discusses the implications of their strategies and addresses ethical dilemmas. Special attention is also given to the principles of entrepreneurship and the role of entrepreneurship in society.

Last modified:10 October 2019 4.47 p.m.