Student Tom Welman

Tom Welman
  • Nationality: Dutch


Ask Tom your questions about the Premaster's Program in Sociology and what it's like to study at Tilburg University.

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Tom Welman followed the Premaster’s program in Sociology and after finishing this program he will start with the Master's program in Sociology. The Premaster's program in Sociology is a half-year English-taught program of study (30 ECTS) that prepares students for the one-year English taught Master's program Sociology. There are two intake moments; the first intake moment is at the end of August and the second intake moment is at the end of January. Successful completion of both programs makes it possible to achieve your Master's diploma in 1,5 year.

"First and foremost, Tilburg was an obvious choice for me. Research methods and statistics are an important part of the Tilburg curriculum. I’m interested in these subjects, so it was a logical step for me to take."

Educational background

Before I started the pre-Master’s program of Sociology, I completed a Human Resource Management program at a university of applied sciences. A diploma in higher general secondary education (HAVO) gave me access to that program.

Why did you choose this study program?

During my HRM program, I realized I needed a broader perspective. HRM is concerned with the personnel management within an organization. I was particularly fascinated by the relationship between employer and employee. It only infrequently happens that this relationship is uncomplicated; these two groups often clash. I realized that you often read in the newspapers about quarrels between groups of people. I wondered why that was. Then I discovered that Sociology is about issues in society. That linked up perfectly with my interests.

What are your experiences so far?

I must admit I spend a lot of time studying. It does pay off, though, when I look at my grades. It is just a matter of deciding how much time you want to spend on your studies and what results you want to achieve. All students must make that decision themselves. I could have opted to spend less time on my courses and settle for lower grades. I spend about 32 hours a week studying.


Across the board, the program is not overly difficult. If you regularly attend lectures and keep up with the required reading, there is not much that isn’t clear. Of course you sometimes come across something you don’t understand, but the teachers and professors are very accessible for questions. What most students find difficult in the pre-Master’s program are the research methods and statistics courses. A lot of attention is paid to these subjects in the Bachelor’s program, so the pre-Master’s program prepares for that. Most students need relatively much additional training in these subjects in a relatively short period of time.


In comparison to the other Social Sciences programs (Organization Studies & Human Resource Studies), the Sociology group is really small. We started with eight students, only half of whom now remain. As a result, the four of us are very close.

Why Tilburg University?

First and foremost, Tilburg was an obvious choice for me, because I already lived there. However, this wasn’t the main reason for me to choose this university. As I said before, research methods and statistics are an important part of the Tilburg curriculum. I’m interested in these subjects, so it was a logical step for me to take. I also find the Master’s program in Tilburg very interesting.

What are your experiences of Tilburg University?

The university is located in a beautiful and relaxing environment. The campus itself is green and well-kept, and is on the edge of a park-like forest. When I’m studying in the library, I take regular breaks to walk over the campus or through the forest to take my mind off things.

There are also lots and lots of work places and computers available around the campus. In exam season, the library is full of people grinding away at their course work. You can reserve a spot so that you are sure of a place to work. I’m glad to say that more study places will be installed soon. The campus is spacious, so you sometimes come across a new place where you can study.

What do you think of Tilburg as a city?

I had already lived in Tilburg for a number of years before I started studying here. The university of applied sciences I went to was in 's-Hertogenbosch. I then chose to go and live in Tilburg, because it has much more of a student city image. I have never regretted that decision. You get to know a lot of people in a short time, so I soon felt completely at home.

Career aspirations

My aim after the pre-Master is to secure a place in the Research Master’s program and then to move on to a PhD. I do not yet have a specific plan about what part within Sociology I would like to do PhD research in. I hope to be able to become a teacher myself in this discipline.

Do you have any tips for new students?

Try to keep up to date with your reading and your assignments from Day 1, because it’s hard to catch up if you fall behind. Do not allow yourself to be put off by the amount of material you need to work through every week. Try to make a schedule at the beginning of a study period, so that you can divide the material into manageable pieces. If you spend time on your course work every day, you will soon experience that there is enough time for other activities as well.


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