MA European Studies on Society, Science and Technology

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Program Description

MA European Studies on Society, Science and Technology

Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

European Studies on Society, Science & Tech2

The emergence of new technology - such as smart phones and social networking, nanotechnology, robotics, sustainable energy, and (dis)ability and technology - opens up both opportunities and threats to modern societies and economies. Citizens, governments, businesses and universities face great challenges when trying to take advantage of the seemingly infinite opportunities of scientific and technological innovations, not least because of the unintended consequences that may accompany them. Convinced that 'innovation' cannot be captured by economics alone and that a purely technical approach is not enough in understanding today’s knowledge society, ESST focuses on the governance, sustainability and cultures of innovation from a multi-disciplinary approach. The ESST programme explores the interrelated worlds of the scientist, engineer, politician, and citizen by examining the values, language, history, politics, and economics of our modern cultures of innovation. Furthermore, the global, multicultural, and environmentally conscious perspective of the program develops ethical awareness and public responsibility. Therefore the analytical focus of ESST is on:

  • The political and cultural analysis of the modern knowledge society
  • The social and economic analysis of different cultures of innovation
  • Ethical reflection on scientific and technological development

Since 1992 ESST provides the knowledge and skills necessary for understanding and managing the complex issues of modern innovation. The programme approaches these problems from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, political studies, cultural studies, innovation studies, social studies.

Fast facts

European Studies on Society, Science and Technology at Maastricht University…

  • is a one-year international and interdisciplinary Master of Arts programme, offering a joint degree (you will get two diplomas, one from Maastricht University and one from the European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology)
  • is a selective programme with a maximum of approximately 30 students
  • will introduce you to the intellectual history and central concepts of science, technology and society
  • will acquaint you with the range of epistemologies and methods used in science and technology studies (STS) research
  • will help you to develop your ability to critically evaluate contemporary and historical debates about the relationships between science, technology, and society
  • will equip you to effectively utilise concepts and materials from a wide range of disciplines
  • will help you to develop an integrated and cogent analysis of issues and debates within the field of science and technology studies
  • will provide you with an opportunity to study and to carry out independent research at another university in the European Inter-University Association on Society, Science, and Technology
  • prepares you to pursue a university career (via a relevant PhD programme), or for work in public or private research institutes or agencies, in government, in industry or consultancy
  • received the qualification "excellent" from the Dutch Accreditation Committee
  • utilises a combination of methodologies including Problem-Based Learning
  • has a majority of international students, representing on average 13 different nationalities
  • offers the possibility to follow an internship at the Rathenau Institute in The Hague and many other places

Summer School

If you would like to come to Maastricht earlier in the summer in order to settle in, you might think about taking a language course or attending the Maastricht summer school for 2, 4 or 6 weeks.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the ESST programme must have:

  • a bachelor’s degree from a relevant academic field (social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or humanities)
  • evidence of interdisciplinary interest, such as transcripts showing interdisciplinary coursework, a CV showing relevant work experience, or documentation of relevant extra-curricular activities

For students with a relevant University of Applied Sciences degree (e.g. HBO/Hochschule), or an academic BA or BSc Bachelor in a field that does not grant direct admission into this programme, there is Pre-master year ("schakeljaar").

Language requirements

Non-native speakers or applicants who have their undergraduate degree in a language other than English must meet the requirement concerning a sufficient command of English by passing one of the following language proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with an overall score of at least 6.5 and a writing score of at least 6.5; or
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with an overall score of at least 90 (TOEFL internet), and a writing score of at least 25; or an overall score of 575 (TOEFL paper) or 232 (TOEFL computer) with an equivalent minimum writing score; or
  • A Cambridge certificate: C or higher for the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English).

The results of the TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificates must be uploaded before the applicable deadline (May 1, 2016 for NON-EU students and June 1, 2016 for EU students). Results received after this date will not be taken into consideration and therefore your application file will be considered as incomplete. Be aware of the fact that it can take some time before you get the results of the English tests, so plan your test in time! Applicants who are native English speakers and/or have obtained an English-taught bachelor’s degree are exempted from the language proficiency test.

Required documents

The following documents must be submitted with your application:

  • A motivation letter (400-500 words)
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • A photocopy of your valid passport or EU ID-card
  • A recent passport picture
  • A certified copy of your bachelor certificate and list of grades (with certified translation for languages other than English, Dutch, German or French)
  • A writing sample, i.e. an essay in English with a minimum of 2000 words, written by the applicant, either for this application or for earlier studies or other occasions. It is preferable, but not absolutely necessary, that the topic is related to ESST.
  • A copy of your English Language test with sufficient results (see requirements mentioned above)

Please note that only complete application files (including English Language test) will be assessed by the Board of Admissions. The Board will try to respond within 4 weeks.

Students who have not yet completed the bachelor's programme should send a copy of their most recent list of grades with the application. Successful candidates will be admitted on a conditional basis. Before 1 September 2016 we need a certified hard copy of your Bachelor diploma - or at least an official declaration of graduation: stating that you passed all exams successfully and that you obtained the Bachelor degree before or on 31 August 2016. This declaration should mention the official graduation date which should be the same date as the date on the Bachelor Diploma.

Please note that applying for admission to this programme in the academic year 2016/2017 is possible as of 1 October 2015.

Last updated February 10, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2016
1 year
Full time
1,984 EUR
Start date Sept. 2016
Netherlands Maastricht
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 1,984 EUR