Behavioural and Social Sciences

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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Deze opleiding

!Deze opleiding communiceert alleen in het Engels.
We tonen daarom de Engelstalige opleidingsinformatie.
Are you considering a research career in an academic or an applied setting? Do you want to specialize within the field of behavioural and social sciences and receive a multidisciplinary training?

open_in_newstudy website

typeonderzoek, 120 EC
start1 september
taalvolledig English
opleidingsduur2 jaar voltijd
numerus fixusnee

As a research master student you choose one of our three multidisciplinary themes. The theme-specific courses will give you a broad view on the theme and will introduce you to the unique perspectives of the theme-related specializations. In the course of the first semester you will choose your own specialization. It will enable you to tailor your master to the topics that you wish to engage in.

For scholarships and grants please scroll down.

1. Deficits, Distress, and Disorders
What are the origins of psychopathological and brain disorders?
Specializations: Clinical Neuropsychology| Clinical Psychology | Pedagogical and Educational Sciences | Psychometrics and Statistics

2. Lifespan Development and Socialization
How do individuals develop across their lifespan?
Specializations: Developmental Psychology | Pedagogical and Educational Sciences | Psychometrics and Statistics |Sociology

3. Understanding Societal Change
How do individuals and groups adapt to the changing world?
Specializations: Environmental Psychology | Organizational Psychology | Psychometrics and Statistics | Social psychology | Sociology

*** study information in connection with corona ***

Waarom aan de RUG?

  • a unique combination of multi-disciplinarity and specialization
  • the opportunity to work with excellent researchers
  • your own mentor during the first year to offer assistance
  • opportunity for a PhD scholarship for your own PhD proposal (offered each year)
  • all new students are eligible for a nine-month paid research assistantship
  • non-EU students are also eligible for the University of Groningen Talent Grant -
  • students from certain countries are eligible for the Orange Knowledge Programme grant -
  • students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are eligible for The Holland Scholarship programme


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opbouwPlease note:
  • DDD, LDS and USC indicate the compulsory theme modules, for each of the three themes.
  • Courses marked with an * are compulsory courses for all students, regardless of the chosen theme.
1e jaar
*How to theorize
2.5 EC
2.5 EC
*Advanced statistics
7.5 EC
DDD | Deficits, Distress and Disorders: a multidimensional perspective
5 EC
LDS | Lifespan development
5 EC
UCS | Theorizing change
7.5 EC
USC | From problem analysis to intervention design
7.5 EC
*Specialization courses (see the online catalogue)
10 EC
Elective courses (see the online catalogue)
10 EC
DDD | Deficits, Distress and Disorders: advanced research methods
5 EC
LDS | Socialization
5 EC
LDS | Modelling interactions between persons and variables over time
5 EC
*Applied statistics
10 EC
DDD | Clinical interventions and e-health for adults and youth OR Neuropsychological assessment
5 EC
10 EC
2e jaar
*Reflecting on Science and Integrity
7.5 EC
*Reflecting on science and integrity
7.5 EC
*Multidisciplinary research in action
5 EC
*How to write an effective research proposal
5 EC
Electives (see online catalogue)
Master's thesis
30 EC
2.5 EC
*Clinical traineeship
20 EC
(Clinical) Traineeship (10 EC)
20 EC
*Specialization courses (see the online catalogue
10 EC


taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet50% zelfstudie
50% theorie
literature study, oral presentation, research, research project, traineeship, research proposal, tutorial, lecture, working group, group assignment, group discussion, poster presentation, individual assignment, self study, seminar
study guidance
The focus of your programme is to be shaped via your choices for one of the themes, for the optional modules and for your traineeship and master's thesis. You compose and monitor your personal study plan in close consultation with the academic advisor.

At least twice a year you will be invited by the academic advisor to discuss your study progress. You can also visit the academic advisor for confidential or study-related issues.

A mentor (i.e., a staff member of the theme in which you plan to specialize) is assigned to you at the start of the programme. The mentor provides substantive information and guidance about your specialization, individually and/ or in groups. You and your mentor meet several times during the year. In the second year, your supervisor of the master's thesis will take over the role of mentor.

study abroad
The Traineeship and Master thesis projects can be performed internally at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen, or externally at another university or research institute in the Netherlands or abroad. The teaching staff has an extensive national and international network, resulting from cooperations with top-level researchers across the world.

Toelating en kosten


1 september 2022

aanmelding deadline : 1 mei 2022
collegegeld nog niet bekend

Application is a procedure involving 4 steps that differ for students from a non-Dutch university and students from a Dutch university. Roughly the steps are
1) sign up in Studielink, 2) provide information, 3) selection procedure, 4) admission decision.

Please read the detailed application procedure carefully.


Students who apply for the programme may be invited for an additional assignment and/or an interview with the Admission Board to provide additional information about their motives and aspirations to enter the Research Master's programme.

Sufficient knowledge of the English language.
| CPE in Advanced English:>=185 | TOEFL: an overall score of >= 100, with >= 25 on speaking and writing on the internet-based form
| IELTS: an overall score of >= 7, with >=7 on speaking and writing (academic version) |

reference letter
Candidates must arrange for two names of academic referees who have knowledge of their academic record.

Your motivation to enter the Research Master programme and your professional background are important elements in successful completion of the programme. Also, it is very important for us to know what your objectives are in completing the Research Master so your needs can be assessed. Please write (type) a short report (no longer than 1 to 2 pages) listing your motivation, relevant study or work experience and any other information which you think is related to your admission such as thesis proposals, areas of particular interest and/or professional qualifications in social and behavioural sciences.

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


60 studenten volgen deze opleiding
63% 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 250 members.
Societas organizes various activities for all sociology students, such as lectures, excursions, a trip abroad, the introduction weekend, a lift contest, 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

Alumnus Robert Görsch - PhD student in Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen

“I'm a PhD student in the group of Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen. My job is to conduct research and I also have to do a little bit of teaching as part of my PhD responsibilities. The topic of my research is the acceptability of energy technologies and environmental policies.

Currently I am working on a systematic literature review about the support, acceptability and protest of and against ten different energy technologies...
I think the research about acceptability and what people's most important perceptions are of those technologies is very interesting. Sometimes engineers or politicians may think something is a perfect solution, but if people don’t like it, then it can significantly decrease the potential of a certain technology. The research master of Behavioral and Social Sciences really prepared me for a career in research. During the programme you have to read and understand literature, think about research questions and come up with new ideas. You also have to design studies and to conduct them, analyze them and use statistics. I think the big strength of a two-year programme is that you have enough time to work on these skills and at the same time can explore your research interests. For me personally an important motivation to do the BSS research master in Groningen, is that it has a big lab with many people working on environmental psychology.The great thing about working in science and working as a PhD student is that you have a lot of autonomy and freedom to decide what you want to work on. In the future I would like to do something with my research that is also of use for people outside of academia, for example policy makers or NGO’s that are interested in environmental issues.If you are interested in research and would like to do a PhD then I definitely advise to think about the research master. Having two years to take into a lot of the programme, the stats education but also the theory courses and having the chance to talk with peers and other researchers about ideas and explore them practically is a very good preparation I think.”

lees verder ...
Jannis Friedrich
Alumnus Jannis Friedrich - PhD in Embodied Cognition at the German Sport University

I just received a PhD position at the Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, where I will start as of April 2021 with a research project on embodied cognition. This is an approach that basically says that cognition is not only something in our head but also takes place in our bodies and our surroundings.

For example: in a supermarket you are pushing a shopping cart or holding a basket which are two different actions. They found out that people who were using a shopping cart, which you have to push, were less likely to buy little candies at the cashier than people who were holding a basket...
During my research project, I will likely focus on sports and to what degree we adapt these certain mindsets when we are playing sport.
When I was young my dad showed me a little graph. In the middle there was a small circle which said ‘everything you learn at elementary school’, around that a bigger circle which showed ‘what you learn in highschool’, and an even bigger circle of what you learn at the university. Everything outside these circles basically presents all the information humankind has, he said back then. By doing research you’re expanding that circle of what everyone knows. This really caught me because I can add something to that pool and that’s a nice idea. In the second year of my bachelor I knew that I wanted to do the research master Behavioural and Social Sciences. Eventually, I chose the theme Understanding Societal Change with a specialization in Social Psychology.
The research master really prepared me for the PhD position, having to do research, read papers and think about statistics. At the beginning, a lot of things are difficult from the start but once you get into reading papers, you become good at it and you are going to like it. From my experience the programme is not as hard as you might think it is. When I did the research master I went to the library every week and I still managed to have a social life. Also, the people are really friendly here and there is a lot of support. After my PhD, I would like to become a postdoc and eventually professor. On the side I would like to do something in the direction of consultancy or marketing.

lees verder ...
lecturer Rafaele Huntjens
Associate Professor - Rafaele Huntjens

My name is Rafaële Huntjens and I'm an associate professor in experimental psychopathology, focusing on dissociative disorders and other trauma-related disorders. The beautiful thing about experimental psychopathology is that it provides you with the tools to investigate causal mechanisms involved in psychopathology. It thus goes beyond merely showing correlation which may be spurious...
I’m the coordinator of the domain and I also coordinate and teach the course Experimental Psychopathology. In this course we discuss experimental studies examining cognitive models specifying important factors (e.g., memory, attentional bias) in psychopathological phenomena like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and dissociation.Within the domain we address associations between brain and behavior, as well as we use an experimental approach with a focus on understanding the causal mechanisms underlying the onset and maintenance of disorders. Studying this domain provides you with a better understanding of human distress, psychopathological disorders, and brain disorders and deficits. Students gain knowledge and tools to conduct fundamental research as well as more applied research on assessment and diagnosis and improving interventions in healthcare. It is possible to specialize as a clinical psychologist, clinical neuropsychologist or developmental psychologist. The program offers a combination of theoretical and practical training in small-scale, group based education allowing for close interaction with the teaching staff and fellow students.

lees verder ...
Sample Lecture Bayesian Statistics
Sample lecture by dr. Don van Ravenzwaaij

Don van Ravenzwaaij. lecturer at the research master Social and Behavioural Sciences, introduces you to Bayesian statistics.
lecturer Casper Albers
Casper Albers - Associate professor in Psychometrics and Statistics

My name is Casper Albers and I'm an associate professor in Psychometrics and Statistics within the Research Master's degree programme.I am also the coordinator of the Psychometrics and Statistics course units. This means that I ensure that these course units dovetail with each other and with the rest of the course units and that the state-of-the-art knowledge in this field is reflected within the degree programme...
Students are given enough information about all branches of behavioural sciences to be able to understand the basics. At the same time they are given the space to become an expert in a certain field. Thus the degree programme prepares students perfectly for the labour market, both in and outside academic research.This versatility is what makes my field so interesting. Statisticians can pretty much turn their hand to anything. One day I might be working with clinical psychologists on a better model for understanding depression, the next with social psychologists to study how we can motivate people to use less electricity. On another day I’ll be studying the mathematical properties of a new model, and I could round the week off by working with education theorists on a study of the effectiveness of the flipped classroom.This Master’s programme is suitable for anyone interested in human behaviour – both individual and group behaviour. It is perfect for curious students who really want to get to the heart of the matter.

lees verder ...
lecturer Marieke Pijnenborg
Marieke Pijnenborg - Associate professor Clinical Psychology & Experimental Psychopathology

I teach the course units 'Evidence-based interventions' and 'Diagnostic models and strategies' on the Clinical Psychology Track. Although I work for the departments of Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychopathology, my research lies somewhere between the departments of Clinical Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology. I feel at home in both fields.My particular expertise is in psychotic disorders. Psychoses are extremely interesting. They create a very unique clinical picture, with many different manifestations and affecting many different types of people...
People believe unimaginable things that other people cannot understand or see, regardless of contradictions or external proof. The next question is how best to help these people return to functioning in society. Increasing social participation and counteracting stigmatization are thus my most important objectives.Psychology is a branch of science that is very close to daily life. Psychologists study day-to-day social processes. The main attraction of clinical psychology is to make a difference for other people. Curiosity is a major factor – curiosity about the causes of problematic behaviour and the motivation to find out how to best treat these problems.The Clinical Psychology Track has a lot to offer prospective students. For example, we look at scientific themes from a clinical practice point of view, while at the same time paying attention to innovations in care. We also conduct experimental research to see which processes lie behind certain forms of psychopathology. The expertise of the lecturers is very varied – we have a lot of knowledge from many different domains.

lees verder ...
Schedule Research Master Bss
Schedule Research Master programme 2021

Click for a large version of the schedule and read more about the programme

Feiten en / studie in cijfers


bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete
algemeen oordeel4.24.2
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.

Behavioural and Social Sciences aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen is beoordeeld door 28 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 4.2 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

Holders of this degree are well equipped for further study and training for a PhD thesis, for employment as a research practitioner, for employment as policy advisors in government institutions and for employment in the public or private sector.

Each year we offer a limited number of PhD Scholarships, giving our top students the opportunity to continue in a PhD position.

TNO, CITO and CBS are possible Dutch employers after finishing our master programme.

Potentiële beroepen

phd student
policy advisor
research practitioner
bron: StudieData


Graduat School Bss

for students with a Dutch diploma

Middy Langley (student Understanding Societal Change)

Any questions? You can email a current student

Admissions Office Bss

for students with a non-Dutch diploma

Juliana Nimz (student Deficits, Distress, And Disorder)

Any questions? You can email a current student

Academic Advisor Research Master Bss

about the programme, enrollment, studying

Mihaela Cimpian (student Lifespan Development And Socialization)

Any questions? You can email a current student

Meer informatie?
Bezoek de website van deze opleiding.

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