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Introduction Social and Cultural Science

The Research Master’s programme in Social and Cultural Science is a two-year international programme for a small group of selected students. At the core of the interdisciplinary programme lies an interest in the historical, social-political and cultural processes that shape societies. You will be trained in multidisciplinary theory and advanced methods of social science. The programme will provide you the research skills to pursue a career in comparative societal research; in academia or in public institutions. Our key research themes are the degree of cohesion, inequality and cultural diversity and you will study these themes in both Western and non-Western societies.

Core of the programme:

All students follow specific courses together. These courses constitute the core of the programme and ensure multidisciplinairy views on the research themes cohesion, inequality and cultural diversity.

  • Core of the programme: In the core of the programme you will get familiar with the theories and methodological approach that bind the different social science disciplines. Key courses of the core of the programme are: Comparative Societal Questions; Comparative Methodology, Diversity in Organisations; Advanced Regression Analysis; Research Project.


The programme features three tracks, with a different theoretical and methodological focus. In all the three tracks there is room to follow elective courses.

  • Track 1. Comparative Sociological Research – Questions regarding Cohesion and Inequality, has a focus on cohesion and inequality in Western societies and on quantitative research methods.
  • Track 2. Comparative Anthropological and Development Studies
    – Questions regarding Cultural Diversity and Inequality, focuses on cultural diversity and inequality in non-Western societies and on qualitative research methods. Key courses of specialisation 2 are: Theorizing Solidarities; Comparative Developmental Research; Advanced Research Methods.
  • Track 3. Comparative Political Research - Questions regarding political representation, conflict and inequality, focuses on political institutions and actors, in (non-)democracies and on quantitative and qualitative research methods. In this specialisation, you gain insight into how inequalities, social and cultural diversity shape political interests, conflicts and power. Politics is much more than just elections; it’s also about interest groups such as trade unions, grass roots mobilisation, social movements, protests and revolutions. How do social cleavages create conflicting political interests, and how do political actors respond to this? How do institutions enable and constrain political actors, and when do they succeed or fail in creating change? You will learn how to address such questions through rigorous, theory-driven empirical research.
  • Electives. During the programme students may choose elective courses. It is hereby possible to follow courses of both specialisations but also to undertake an (international) internship.

Unique characteristics:

  • Multidisciplinary and multi-method approach
  • Cutting-edge learning and research facilities
  • Quality ensured by small number of participants
  • The opportunity to collaborate with the best scholars of Radboud Social Cultural Research (RSCR)
  • Great possibilities to publish in peer reviewed journals during the programme
  • A large majority of graduates gain PhD and other research positions

More information: www.ru.nl/masters/scs