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Major Science in Society

Science in Society (60 EC, in English)

The Major Science in Society is meant for students with a broad interest in current affairs, social issues, policy, management and entrepreneurship relating to scientific matters. It specifically focusses on reading and writing policy advisory reports, management aspects such as leadership styles and motivation techniques, and organizational structures.

Finishing the major offers enticing career prospects such as becoming a policy preparation advisor at a government department, or a career in management at a pharmaceutical company.

The major is part of a two-year Master’s programme; during the first year, you will partake in the Master’s programme of your chosen scientific discipline (60 EC), followed by the first year of the Master’s programme Management, Policy-Analysis and Entrepreneurship (MPA), at the Athena Institute of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).


The Science in Society programme contains courses that teach you to identify, analyse and manage complex societal problems (1st semester). The program concludes with an internship in which you apply the acquired knowledge and skills (2nd semester).

During the 1st semester you follow three compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC), Analyzing Governmental Policy (6 EC), and Communication, Organization and Management (6 EC). In addition, you must choose two or three elective courses (12 EC total ) from the program Major Science in Society.

During the 2nd semester, starting in February, you do an internship (30 EC).


The Major Science in Society starts once a year in September. To subscribe for the Major Science in Society it is obligatory to have completed at least 48 EC of the master’s programme of your choice at the start of the major. Please take the following steps:

1. If you are not a student at the VU yet, please subscribe as a ‘bijvakstudent’ of the Master’s programme Management, Policy-Analysis and Entrepreneurship at the VU in VUnet. Subscribe at least six weeks before the semester starts. Go to the register form and select ‘bijvakregistratie’. You will be required to provide the following documents:
- Approval of the examinations board. A signed PEP from the examinations board is sufficient

- Transcript of your grades

- Bewijs Betaald Collegegeld (BBC)

More information about the application procedure at the VU can be found here.

2. Subscribe for each of your courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme. Subscribe at least four weeks before the semester starts. Check the register terms.

3. Keep in mind that the offered programme consists of 54EC but you have to choose extra elective course(s) from the major to fulfil the 60EC requirement.

If you encounter any problems during registration, please contact the VU student office

More information

More information about the programme can be found on the major’s website at the VU.


For more information about the professional master majors, please contact dr. Erik Joling: