Social Networks in a Sustainable Society

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
How do social networks hold together or keep apart families and communities, or boost creativity in firms? And how do personal ties influence your health, career, or your choice of a partner?

open_in_newstudy website

typeregulier, 60 EC
start1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur12 maanden voltijd
numerus fixusnee

Everyone is connected. If you want to know more about how visible and hidden social networks often make the difference, our master track will equip you with the analytical, methodological, and policy making tools to:

  • detect and properly describe hidden social network structures and processes,
  • explain the origins, dynamics, and impact of networks in a wide range of policy domains,
  • assess how informal networks interact with formal policies,
  • design network interventions and evaluate their effectiveness.

Drawing on a unique combination of skills, this master track bridges the applied field of policy design with the latest insights of network science. You will learn to apply social network theories to a wide range of societal problems; you will use cutting-edge tools and methods to analyse quantitative and qualitative network data; and you will apply this knowledge with the aim of developing policies for sustainable cooperation.

Waarom aan de RUG?

  • combining training in social network research with sociological analysis of policy and policy applications
  • world-leading in the development and application of cutting-edge methods for social network analysis
  • hands-on traineeships in applied social network research


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This master aims at training “generalist policy makers” who are able to work across policy domains and organizational levels thanks to their analytical, methodological and implementation skills.
Social Network Analysis
5 EC
Theories of networks and sustainable cooperation
5 EC
Policy design with network applications
5 EC
Research Forum for thesis preparation
5 EC
Prosocial Behaviour
5 EC
Policy Evaluation with network applications
5 EC
Internship stage
10 EC
Master thesis (20 EC) afstuderen
20 EC


taal van onderwijs100% en
lecture, practicum

Toelating en kosten


1 september 2019

aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2019
wettelijk tarief : € 2083 (€1042 in het eerste jaar)
instellingstarief : € 11700
niet-EU/EER studenten : € 14650

1 september 2020

aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2020
collegegeld nog niet bekend

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 certified copy of the (Bachelor) diploma on the basis of which you ask admission to our programme (both original language and translated in English)
*a certified copy of your transcript of records (both original language and translated in English)
*a certified 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:


The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of research design, and various quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, preferably questionnaire design and text analysis, and be able to apply these methods in empirical research. The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of statistics, including sampling, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, multiple regression and analysis of variance, and logistic regression, and must be able to apply these methods and models in empirical research. If the applicant is not able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge, the admissions committee may require the applicant to take a test.

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

The official language of the programme is English. Non-native English speakers must provide evidence of satisfactory results for one of the following standard tests:
TOEFL: ≥ 580 paper-based test, ≥ 237 computer-based test; ≥ 93 internet-based;
IELTS (Academic): ≥ Band 6.5.
Official test results must be supplied. Please note, we do not accept Institutional TOEFL results as evidence of English proficiency.

University BA- of BSc in Sociology or in one of the other Social Sciences, majoring Sociology.. Good knowledge of research methodology and basic statistics.

Admission for students from other universities depends on the courses they followed in their bachelor degree programme.

To eliminate deficiencies regarding Statistics and Research Methodology, students can participate in the BSS web-supported premaster. The deficiencies are diagnosed by the admission committee of Sociology of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences (BSS) of the University of Groningen.
For more information visit the following site:

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

estimated monthly costs

bron: Nibud
303kamerhuur in Groningenrond het landelijk gemiddelde
172collegegeldop basis van € 2060 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1171totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


82 studenten volgen deze opleiding
68% daarvan is vrouw
3 eerstejaars gestart in 2017
67% daarvan is vrouw
29331 studenten aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
51% daarvan is vrouw
bron: StudieData


Societas is the sociological study association at the University of Groningen. It has over 300 members.
Societas organizes various activities for all sociology students, such as lectures, excursions, a trip abroad, the introduction weekend, a lift contest, participation in the Batavierenrace, drinks and the Night of Sociology. The association also organizes a book sale for sociology students.

Op kamers in Groningen

55216studenten studerend
31914studenten woonachtig   
€ 303gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
21 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête

aan het woord: studenten en docenten

Aurora Krogh
Master track Social Networks in a Sustainable Society - About the internship

In this video master student Aurora Krogh will tell you about her internship.

Interested in taking a master's track in Sociology? Than the master track Social Networks in a Sustainable Society might be what you are looking for. It is a one year master programme that will teach you how to apply social networks theory to a wide range of societal problems.
Vera Buis
I am personally very interested in criminology, and I often used this topic in my essays.

My name is Vera Buijs and I completed the Master's track in Social Networks in a Sustainable Society last year. Before that, I did a Bachelor's in Sociology, also at the UG. During my Bachelor's I followed a course unit on Social Network Analysis, so I already had an idea of what the programme would be like.

Right now I am working on my PhD, which was actually not part of my initial plan. I always wanted to make a practical contribution to society. That sounds idealistic, and that's what it was. I wanted to directly apply research results to actual practice...
But when I graduated, I realized that I wasn't nearly done studying yet and that there was so much more that I wanted to know more about. It became clear to me that you can still contribute to society when you are working on your PhD. And with a degree like Sociology in particular you are most definitely working in a societal context – sociology is inextricably linked with things that happen in society. The project that I am working on during my PhD focuses on social networks and social well-being. Why and how do people around us make us feel better? What makes for a pleasant interaction? I can combine my theoretical knowledge from the bachelor with the network related insights from the master, together with my interest in mathematics (how should we measure this?). Furthermore, as I applied for an interdisciplinary PhD track, I am also part of the psychology department, which makes my research focus shift more to the individual as well. I was one of the first cohort of students who started this Master’s track two years ago. We were a small group of just five people, so we quickly got to know each other. We were able to contact each other quickly when necessary, as well as the lecturers. The content of the Master's track was clearly explained during the first introductory meeting, and luckily this matched my expectations. We all found it very exciting to choose this track, but we already knew the lecturers so we had faith in the quality of the programme.Many people think that this track only focuses on online networks like Facebook. But that's not true. Every person and every organization is part of a network. Family, friends, partners or other stakeholders are always present. This programme is mainly about understanding how networks influence society and how they can be applied. And don't worry, you won't have to learn all the maths behind the methods straight away, and it's not all about statistics either!What I also liked about this programme was the freedom to choose our own topics. I am personally very interested in criminology, and I often used this topic in my essays. We were also free to choose our own preferred methods of analysing things. Do you prefer to analyse at an individual or organizational level? In a criminal network or elsewhere? Students can adapt this programme to their personal preferences.The track is entirely English-taught, and I thought it would be a good idea to immerse myself in the language. I wanted to improve my English, so I decided to write my Bachelor's thesis in English. This has several advantages. For example, you get better acquainted with literature in English, and you also prepare for experiences abroad. Vera Buijs, 23 – MA in Social Networks in a Sustainable Society

lees verder ...
Teun Koning
The Master's in Social Networks is a small-scale programme with an international outlook, and students discuss and collaborate a lot during class

My name is Teun Koning. I am 25 and originally from Alkmaar. I started my degree programme in Mathematics in 2010, but the abstract nature of the degree programme did not appeal to me. In 2011 I switched to Sociology, and this academic year I am in the Master's in Social Networks in a Sustainable Society.

What struck me from the start of the Bachelor’s programme in Sociology was the enjoyable atmosphere there. Not only my fellow students but also the lecturers and other staff are all friendly people. This is perhaps even more so in the Master’s programme...
I’m planning to do the post-Master’s programme in teacher training for upper secondary education (LVHO) next year. After that, I would like to work as a teacher, at least part-time, and combine this with a job that dovetails with the topic of my Master’s.To those who are still undecided on studying at the UG, I would like to say: read up on the content of your programme in advance as well as you can. The Bachelor’s in Sociology in Groningen is very different from the one in Amsterdam for example. It’s equally important to find out whether the particular characteristics of the degree programme suit you; the Master’s in Social Networks is a small-scale programme with an international outlook, and students discuss and collaborate a lot during class.

lees verder ...
Merlijn de Lange
It is about solving social problems through the analysis of social networks.

I came across this programme by accident. I went to an information session for prospective Master's students and was considering either a Research Master's or the Dutch-taught Crime and Security Master's programme. The presentation for Social Networks in a Sustainable Society was scheduled between those two, so I stayed and listened while I was waiting. It sounded so much more interesting than what I originally had in mind that I chose it.

I'm very satisfied with my choice. I really enjoy the programme. The lecturers developed it from scratch, and it shows: they are incredibly enthusiastic...
But that's very interesting as well. It's about solving societal problems by analysing social networks.For instance, one of the cases we studied was about HIV prevention in the homeless. A prevention method did exist, but it was expensive and didn't work very well. By examining the structure of homeless people's social networks and how these could be used to prevent HIV infection, the researchers were able to develop a much cheaper and more effective method.I'm currently doing a placement at the Court of Audit, which I'm thrilled with, because it gives me the opportunity to do research that really means something. The project I'm working on is about education for children with special needs. I'm investigating how schools work together with various organizations in order to provide this.This Master's programme could land you anywhere. My classmates have done placements at the Institute for Social Research in Friesland, with the police and at the Northern Netherlands Centre for Drug Rehabilitation. Social network analysis is a relatively new discipline and the demand for specialists in the field is high. That means this programme offers good career prospects. But most importantly, it's a really interesting programme to follow.

lees verder ...
Francesca Giardini
lecturer Francesca Giardini – Assistant professor in Sociology

I started teaching at the UG a year and a half ago. Before that, I was working in Italy – my home country – at the CNR, the National Research Council of Italy, which is the largest public research institution in Italy. There were no teaching opportunities in Italy, and when I realized I really liked teaching I started looking for a new challenge in a different country. I came across the opportunity of working at the UG and went for it! Best choice ever!

I am one of the lecturers in the Sociology English Master’s track ‘Social Networks in a Sustainable Society’...
We make students look at social realities and problems by showing them how to put on ‘network glasses’. Networks are usually very important and they can be found all around us: we have networks of friends and colleagues, we are part of clubs, associations and communities. In this track we focus on the effects of these relationships, and students learn to evaluate when a relational approach is useful and how it can be used to provide individuals, groups and organizations with incentives for sustainable cooperation. However, in this track we are not only concerned with organization networks but also with personal networks and their effects on individuals’ wellbeing, job satisfaction or even healthy behaviour.This Master’s track fits within the broader range of sociology in multiple ways. First, as sociologists we are interested in explaining why some families, groups, communities or organizations are successful in creating and maintaining high levels of collaboration whereas others fail, and we believe that social networks can offer interesting explanations about this link between the individual (micro) and the societal (macro) levels. Social network theories and methods are contributing a lot to research and teaching in Sociology, offering insights into the way in which a specific set of relationships may affect individual behaviours, but also how these structures are the result of personal choices and actions. Second, this is a very theory-oriented Master’s and we build on several classical sociological theories, in combination with more network-specialized course units. Last but not least, this programme is very focused on the policy implications of network studies, offering a unique combination between policy and relational approaches. Future students can expect to be trained as general policymakers. This is quite special because in the Dutch-taught track, for instance, students have to choose between different trajectories from the start. In our track this is not necessary because students learn methods and theories which can be applied in all kinds of sectors, from criminality and antisocial behaviour to healthy ageing. Students will acquire a general understanding of how relationships can promote sustainable cooperation in a society, and they can choose a more specialized path for their internship and for their thesis.

lees verder ...


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1/12 RUG
Social Networks in a Sustainable Society
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
3 eerstejaars
66% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
100% Engelstalig
2/12 RUG
€ 303 gemiddelde kamerhuur
3 eerstejaars
66% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
90% Nederlandstalig
10% Engelstalig
3/12 Erasmus
€ 342 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
NAN% vrouw
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100% Engelstalig
4/12 Radboud Universiteit
star Keuzegids topopleiding 2015
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5/12 UU
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100% vrouw
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6/12 Amsterdam UVA
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€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
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11/12 Amsterdam UVA
Urban Sociology
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
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disclaimer: bovenstaande cijfers en beoordelingen zijn aangeleverd door de opleidingen zelf. Wij kunnen de juistheid niet garanderen.

Feiten en / studie in cijfers


bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete
algemeen oordeel4.34.1
De Nationale Studenten Enquete is het grootschalige onderzoek van de overheid onder studenten in Nederland naar de kwaliteit van opleidingen aan hogescholen en universiteiten.
In 2017 hebben meer dan 280.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

Social Networks in a Sustainable Society aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen is beoordeeld door 24 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 4.3 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Our master track offers you the opportunity to refine your analytical and diagnostic skills, in order to be able to understand network processes and their intended and unintended effects on policy support and change. At the end of your studies, you will be a “generalist policy maker”, meaning that you will be able to apply your knowledge to a variety of domains.

Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

By applying social network theory and methods in their internships our students addressed issues as diverse as

* help seeking behavior in addicts,
* design and implementation of crime fighting initiatives,
* relationships between teachers in high schools
* performance and satisfaction in learning networks

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Potentiële beroepen


researchers or teachers in departments of social sciences, philosophy or medicine

government advisors

advisors of science policy for governmental organizations

qualitative researchers

for research agencies, or governmental organizations

science communicators

freelance, or for editorial offices of a magazine, university or publisher

bron: StudieData


Fransesca Giardini

Coordinator master programme

Study Advisor Sociology

Study advisor

Admission Office
Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

open_in_newstudy website