This Master's programme provides you with a thorough training in empirical research in the context of contemporary society. Taking a multidisciplinary perspective, you compare such social issues as inequality, poverty, the decline of organized religion, minorities and conflict and social cohesion in different countries - a unique approach in Europe. The programme is designed for all those who want to understand how society works and why countries differ from each other.


First year

  • Comparative theory and methodology (12 EC)
  • Comparative research methods (18 EC)
  • Comparative research applications (18 EC)
  • Comparative research training (12 EC)

Second year

  • Optional courses (12 EC)
  • Master’s thesis (36 EC)
  • Scientific journal paper, research grant proposal or policy recommendation report (12 EC)
  • Within the various study components you can – depending on the nature of your previous education – choose to focus on Sociology, Cultural Anthropology or Development Studies.

Methodological basis

The emphasis in this programme is on methodology and research skills. You learn how to translate social problems into empirical research questions and which methods are most suitable to obtain an answer to those questions. This might be quantitative or qualitative research. The Nijmegen Institute of Social and Cultural Research (NISCO) has a rich data archive and it participates in several international surveys, such as the multi-country European Social Survey.

The best education

A recent evaluation by external experts rated our programme as one of the best in the Netherlands. The research carried out in our research institute NISCO was assessed as “good to excellent”. We ensure quality in the programme by limiting the number of participants to 15 and aim to attract ambitious students who are not afraid of a challenge. You will follow specially designed training modules, be given your own workplace (equipped with a PC) and receive personal guidance and supervision.

Career prospects

About 50% of our graduates go on to do a PhD either in the Netherlands or abroad. They are also well qualified for policy or research work in national and international market research organisations and for jobs with a statistical component (for example, with Eurostat in Strasburg). Our graduates also work in a variety of other research agencies and for the government.

Quality label

This programme was recently awarded the quality label ‘Top Programme' in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2015 (Guide to Master's programmes).

Admission requirements

As an international student, your prior education must meet certain requirements.

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Social and Cultural Science or related area

In order to get admission to this Master's, you will need a completed Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, Development Studies, Communication Science or another social science.

2. Proficiency in English

In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:

  • A TOEFL score of ≥100
  • An IELTS score of ≥7.0
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

3. Motivation letter

4. Letter of recommendation


Programmes starting in September

  • Non-EEA students: 1 April.
  • EEA students: 1 May.

Quality label

Both the Keuzegids Masters and the Bachelor’s programme information guide Keuzegids Universiteiten have now designated Radboud University as the ‘Best General University’ in the Netherlands.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated January 31, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
2,083 EUR
€2,083 for EEA / €9,124 for non-EEA students
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1 April (non-EEA students) or 1 May (EEA students)
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Sep 2019

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Master's in Social and Cultural Science