University of Groningen

Behavioural and Social Sciences, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


As a student of the two-year Research Master Behavioural and Social Sciences from the University of Groningen, you will specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Education and Development
  • Psychometrics and Statistics
  • Social and Organizational Psychology
  • Sociology

The two-year programme prepares you for a career in science and is part of the Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences. The degree focuses on theory-guided analysis of empirical data and generalizable explanations of both human behaviour and social phenomena. With your supervisor, you will determine the focus of your programme to suit your ambitions, talents and interests. The two-year degree includes a traineeship and a Master's thesis project. You may extend this Master's thesis project to a proposal for a PhD programme. The Research Master also includes a general course that provides an overview of research within the Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences.

Job prospects

The Research Master's degree programme in Behavioural and Social Sciences is designed primarily for highly talented, motivated and ambitious students who are interested in pursuing a career in research. This Master's degree qualifies students to conduct fundamental and applied scientific research in the social and behavioural sciences. Holders of this degree are well equipped for further study and training for a PhD thesis, and for employment in the public or private sector. The faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences aims to open a number of PhD tracks for the most talented Research Master's students.


Accredited by the Dutch Government

Programme Structure

Programme options

  • Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology (specialization)

    The program teaches how to apply theoretical and methodological knowledge and advanced research methods in the area of psychopathology and clinical neuropsychology and consists of two streams:

    The focus of the Clinical Psychology stream is on investigating the causal mechanisms underlying the onset and maintenance of mental disorders. Knowledge of transdiagnostic processes, focusing on shared (dysfunctional) cognitive and behavioural processes across disorders, is combined with insight in specific disorders and symptoms.

    The Clinical Neuropsychology stream specifically addresses the effects of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders and other clinical conditions affecting the brain in children, adolescents and adults. Methods used in the field of clinical neuropsychology are neuropsychological tests, neuroimaging and EEG. Knowledge is used in the assessment, diagnosis and/or rehabilitation of patients.

    Within both streams advanced research skills will be acquired by participating in research projects, focusing either on fundamental research, or the more applied field, or in learning to critically evaluate the empirical support for specific treatments. Students also have the opportunity to train in advanced diagnostic and other clinical skills to qualify for a postdoctoral training program in the optional module.

  • Sociology (specialization)

    The Sociology specialization focuses on theoretically and methodologically advanced research in the discipline of sociology and general social sciences.

    The Sociology specialization focuses on theoretically and methodologically advanced research in the discipline of sociology and general social sciences. It is offered jointly with the Department of Sociology in Utrecht and in the context of the interuniversity graduate school and research centre of the Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS). Students will follow a series of theory and applied research modules and actively participate in research seminars throughout the programme. By the end of the programme, students will be proficient in problem-guided and deductive theory building in sociology, coupled with applied empirical research using complex data analysis models and methods. The theoretical component focuses on deductive and structured sociological modelling of substantive social issues. The research methods component examines contemporary explanatory models, measurement models and analytical methods of complex multi-actor, multi-level and multi-event data structures in an integrative and applied manner.

  • Education and Development (specialization)

    The Education and Development specialization focuses on the effectiveness of education and the improvement of development processes. It is jointly offered by Pedagogy, Education and Psychology.

    The Education and Development specialization focuses on the effectiveness of education and the improvement of development processes.

    There are four main strands of research topics within this programme:

    • Adaptive and inclusive education, focusing on creating equitable and accessible education, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and other students that are at risk,
    • Socio-psychological precursors of school success, which studies how personality, motivation, meta-cognition, social comparison processes, and friendship ties affect students' school careers in secondary education;
    • Instructional design, focusing on the use and effect of new learning environments, such as computer-supported collaborative learning, but also socio-constructivist inspired real-life situations for learning in vocational education; and
    • Developmental processes in the life span, which studies developmental processes from a dynamic systems point-of-view.

    The research programme has both a fundamental and an applied orientation, and studies are often linked to ongoing research projects.

  • Psychometrics and Statistics (specialization)

    Focuses on a variety of advanced statistical data analysis methods and experimental techniques.

    The Psychometrics and Statistics specialization offers a series of modules, as well as individual supervision on a variety of advanced statistical data analysis methods and experimental techniques. The modules deal with the application of methods, background knowledge on these methods, and their relationship with other methods.

    The specialization is suitable for students who want to build a solid basis in statistical data analysis methods, and is an ideal preparation for students aiming to undertake a PhD project on statistical data analysis methods. In such projects, statistical data analysis methods are often compared and sometimes new methods are developed which require evaluation to show their additional value over existing methods.

    Therefore, when preparing and writing the Master's thesis, the student will learn to apply one or more methods for comparing and evaluating statistical data analysis methods.

  • Social and Organizational Psychology (specialization)

    The programme focuses on intrapersonal, interpersonal and intergroup perceptions and comparisons.

    The Social and Organizational Psychology programme focuses on intrapersonal, interpersonal and intergroup perceptions and comparisons, i.e. on how individuals and groups perceive themselves in relation to their own standards, in relation to other individuals, and in relation to other groups. The modules deal with topics such as social comparison, social exchange, negotiation, aggression, stereotyping and meta-stereotyping, achievement goals, pro-social behaviour, motivation, perfectionism, conflict, health behaviour, discrimination, and integration as well as their consequences in terms of, for example, self-evaluation, emotions, well-being, creativity, and performance. The modules in this specialization emphasize the integration of fundamental and applied research. This implies an emphasis on experimental paradigms with considerable ecological validity, and on applied research that has the potential to contribute to theory development. The underlying philosophy is that basic research needs to have relevance to phenomena in society, and that applied research needs to be directly theoretically relevant.

Study abroad
  • Study abroad is optional
For more information, please visit the programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go To The Course Website
Check Your Qualification
  • Enter your qualifications and directly see if a programme fits your profile

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 7

    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: 600

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 100

    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

  • Sufficient qualifications in statistics and the sciences that are relevant for the programme and a suitable attitude, motivation and talent. We strongly advise you to take the diagnostic test in statistics before you apply for our programme.
  • University Bachelor in a social science (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Pedagogics)
  • reference letter
  • Your motivation to enter the Research Master 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 to study the Research Master, 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.

other admission requirements
  • High performance during the Bachelor's degree programme
  • Knowledge of relevant theories and statistics (including multiple regression and analysis of variance), and experience with statistical software packages
  • Preference for one of the five research groups

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 14200 International
  • EUR 2006 EU/EEA


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.

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