Erasmus University Rotterdam

Politics and Society, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • English


This Politics and Society master programme is offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

Mode of education

Each core course is composed of a series of lectures and small-scale tutorials. The lectures present the main theoretical and empirical insights about the topic of the course. In the tutorials, students learn to analyse and apply these insights by discussing and presenting various assignments in small groups.

Find out how cities are becoming nodes in international urban networks that rival the power of nation-states, analyse how national governments manage diversity and inequalities, learn how new technologies and globalisation lead to new social risks, gain insight into pressing political dissatisfaction and the causes and consequences of political fragmentation.

You’ll learn to answer the above questions by means of the latest insights from both theory and research, provided by dedicated professors who are in the top of their field. It’s not just a cutting edge programme: Erasmus University Rotterdam is a highly ranked university in a diverse and vibrant city – the ideal setting for acquiring understanding of contemporary society.

What is this specialisation about?

Do you wonder how political distrust, cultural conflicts and rising support for populist parties can be understood? Are you interested in the influence of media on political attitudes and behavior? This master programme might be the right choice for you. 

A new political culture characterizes contemporary western democracies. Reflecting broader societal transformations of globalisation and individualisation, voters and parties increasingly focus on hotly contested issues related to, for instance, national identities, ethnic diversity, immigration, crime and safety, and law and order. Besides the political landscape is scattered, with ‘floating’ and discontented voters who seem to frequently change their electoral preferences, which now include new populist parties.

Understanding the causes and consequences of massive changes in the relationship between politics and society calls for a unique perspective offered in Rotterdam. We combine both classic and state-of-the-art sociological theories and research with insights from political science to provide an in-depth understanding of contemporary politics. After this programme, you can work as advisor for policy or politics and are also well-prepared for jobs in journalism, consultancy, (applied) research and (academic) teaching. Thanks to this unique approach you will learn to answer questions like:

  • What are the causes of political fragmentation and what are its consequences for governing modern societies?
  • How does new information, for instance on the effects of immigration, sentencing or vaccine programs, affect citizens’ political attitudes?
  • How can we understand local variation in opposition to asylum seekers?
  • Does public opinion affect governments' policies or are they driven by interest group interests?

Today’s political landscape urgently needs people with in-depth insight in the interplay between politics and society. New pressing issues such as rampant political cynicism and discontent, the rise of populism, and ‘floating’ electorates, all call for experts who are able to analyse the link between societal and political developments.

After graduation, your sharp analytical, sociological eye and your thorough knowledge of social scientific research, provides a solid basis for favourable career opportunities in various fields. You could for instance work as:

  • Policy officer at supranational, national, regional or local governments;
  • Policy officer at political or public think tanks and social scientific advisory councils;
  • Policy officer at NGOs addressing social problems;
  • Researcher at governmental institutions, consultancy firms, research centres, and (applied/ research) universities;
  • Consultant for (semi-)governmental institutions;
  • Journalist, media advisor, or editor at outlets focusing on politics and society.
After graduation

After completing this master programme you will be able to:

  • understand the causes and political implications of cultural and economic conflicts in western democracies;
  • understand the political attitudes and behaviour of citizens, social movements, political parties and governments;
  • analyse contemporary politics by applying up to date theories and concepts;
  • present your insights, and contribute to discussions, on contemporary politics in an international setting;
  • critically evaluate and dissect academic texts, provide constructive feedback to peers, and write research proposals.


This programme holds NVAO accreditation.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • The Social Bases of Politics 
  • Political Attitudes and Behaviour in Context 
  • Citizens, Parties and Governments in Global Times
  • Electives

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    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.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade B):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    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

Prior education

Depending on the specialisation you wish to apply for, you are eligible for admission to the programme if you have obtained a relevant Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree from a research university in the following fields of studies: 

All specialisations: Social Sciences /Sociology / Public Administration

Politics & Society*: Political Sciences / European Studies / International Relations / Communication Science

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    14500 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 14500 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2060 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • €2.060 (Statutory fee)
  • €14.500 (Institutional fee: EEA/EU students)
  • €14.500 (Institutional fee: NON-EEA/EU students)
  • Living costs for Rotterdam

    • 760 - 1270 EUR/month
      Living Costs

    The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


    For the applicants of degree programmes of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam the following funding possibilities are available:

    • Tuition waivers for excellent non-EEA applicants. 
    • Holland Scholarship for excellent non-EEA applicants.

    If you have already obtained a Master's degree in the Netherlands and you are pursuing your second full-time Master programme, you might be eligible for the EUR Excellence Scholarship offered by Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    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.

    The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

    Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.