I am very excited that as of September 2022 Computational Social Science is a Bachelor’s programme at the University of Amsterdam. Social and human behaviours have long been studied in the disciplines of Social Sciences, and has led to a great variety of theoretical and methodological insights. Bridging this knowledge to the field of computational science, changes the game; it enables large scale modelling (predictions and analysis) of the social world. These insights and developments have become crucial to the world we are living in!
What sets this Bachelor apart from all others, is the project base upon which students will be taught. From my personal experience at the UvA, I have come to learn that project-courses are the most fun, the most beneficial – this is where you will learn the most – but also the most challenging as far as workload goes. You will be expected to interact with the business world, in which people will expect things from you and you will work according to team agreements and deadlines. What you will get in return, is personal and professional growth that you will benefit from for the rest of your career.
One thing you should know before starting the Bachelor Computational Social Science, is that you have to be willing to invest time in learning how to programme. As with all computer related disciplines, this means that there are no shortcuts. However, you should not let this intimidate you, as programming is something that is very learnable over time (however frustrating it sometimes may be). But I am a strong believer of the fact that everything can be learned by everyone, as long as you are motivated and willing to invest the necessary time and effort!