Utrecht University

Social Policy and Social Interventions, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English
The Social Policy and Social Interventions programme at Utrecht University is characterised not only by its international, comparative perspective but also by its interdisciplinary and multi-method approach. This international interdisciplinary and multi-method approach applies to the research you will conduct as well as in the exploration of professional practices.


Social policy from an interdisciplinary perspective
  • What is the relationship between the decentralisation of care and changes in family relations?
  • Why do some interventions contribute to the labour market participation of adolescents from an ethnic minority background while others do not?
  • Would better laws and legislation help reduce absenteeism in the workplace?

If you would like to study such issues, this one-year Master's programme is for you. You will develop knowledge about interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives on social policy and interventions, which will help you gain in-depth insight into the methodology and skills needed to research social policy and participation issues. More specifically, you will look into problems such as:

  • Loneliness
  • Poverty
  • Discrimination
  • Segregation
  • The exclusion of vulnerable groups

You will also study people's strategies for dealing with social risks, including:

  • Labour mobility and migration
  • Care networks
  • Neighbourhood initiatives
  • Small-scale and/or multicultural collaborative efforts
  • Independent entrepreneurship, etc.

This will be done by combining knowledge of the behavioural and social sciences.

Research-led teaching

The academic staff in our faculty participate in a wide variety of studies about the problems are central to this Master's programme, with research themes such as:

  • Labour, care, and citizenship
  • Evaluation of social policy
  • The integration and participation of newcomers
  • Evaluation of interventions

The researchers involved in these studies also contribute to the curriculum of this Master's programme.

Also taught in Dutch

This Master's programme is also offered in Dutch; the Dutch variant is Arbeid, Zorg en Participatie. Students in both the Dutch and English variants participate in joint lectures, in English. Separate tutorials (weekly seminars) are provided in Dutch and English, depending upon which version of the programme a student is participating in.

International perspective

Many of the problems focused on in this Master's programme have a strong international (European) dimension, such as: globalisation, ageing, migration and ethnic relationships, individualisation, and gender relations. The same goes for the policy and intervention courses that are used to tackle these issues. You will soon find that this international perspective is a recurring feature in the programme curriculum.


In research, you will explicitly use a combination of scientific perspectives from both the behavioural and social sciences (particularly psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology). In exploring professional practices, the combination of (behavioural scientific) interventions and (social scientific) policy is also the point of departure.

Programme objective

This Master's programme is intended to help you develop into an academic professional. As a graduate of the Social Policy and Social Interventions programme, you will be able to study specific social problems integrally. You will also have acquired the necessary professional and academic skills to prepare, implement, and evaluate social policies and interventions. These skills will allow you to pursue a career as a social scientist with the government, a social institution, a company, or a care organisation.


  • Accredited by the NVAO

Programme Structure


Period 1

  • Interventions and policies i: practice orientation (compulsory)
  • Social risks in europe: protection, activation and diversity (compulsory)
  • Academic professional SPSI (compulsory)

Period 2

  • Interventions and policies ii: research orientation (compulsory)
  • Social innovations in policy and practice
  • Integration and cultural diversity
  • Elective course
  • Academic professional SPSI (compulsory)

Period 3 and 4

  • Master project SPSI: practical internship and thesis
  • Master project SPSI: research internship and thesis
  • Academic professional SPSI (compulsory)

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score: 93

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree (equivalent of a Dutch University Bachelor’s degree) within in the Social Sciences, and can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight, and skills:

  • You have knowledge of and insight into interdisciplinary social science theories,
  • You have knowledge of and insight into social issues in contemporary society related to work, care
  • and participation.
  • You have knowledge of and insight into social policy and intervention theories.
  • You have knowledge of and insight into quantitative and qualitative social research methods and techniques at the Bachelor level.
  • Proof of your proficiency in English (CAE- Level B, CPC- Grade C).

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 15167 International
  • EUR 2006 EU/EEA


Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university. Please note that the scholarship options for programmes starting in February are limited.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.