Student buiten

Politics, Policy and Societal Development

1 year English Starts end of August

Become an expert in sustainable development in an international context by addressing global societal challenges. You acquire a macro- and meso-level perspective on sustainable development with a focus on social and economic drivers and motives. In the Master's track Politics, Policy and Societal Development of the MSc Sociology, you translate important societal questions into sociological research to evaluate policies and to serve as input for new policies.

would choose the same program again, at the same university

National Alumni Survey, 2021 | n=11

in the field of Social Sciences and Management worldwide

QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2024

Top 175
worldwide in Social Sciences

Times Higher Education ranking, 2024

Program and courses

Become an expert in sustainable development in an international context by addressing global societal challenges, such as poverty, inequality, migration, climate change, or humanitarian interventions after a natural disaster. You examine and discuss how organizations may address Sustainable Development Goals by designing sustainable business models, leveraging digital platforms, and mapping the difficulties and shortcomings these interventions may entail. The core theme is sustainable development with a focus on social and economic motives. You address societal issues at the macro- and micro-level from a sociological perspective.

  • The Politics, Policy and Societal Development track addresses global societal issues from a societal, policy and political perspective. You learn how to run projects and compose teams of experts in an international classroom with students from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Become part of an innovative program that brings together academics and students from all over the world in a small-scale and interactive learning environment, with plenty of community-building activities.
  • The Extended Master's program adds one semester to the total program to provide you with a half-year internship position to enhance your skills and gain relevant work experience.
  • With the Double Degree program (Double degree in Sociology and Social Research), you have the opportunity to earn a degree from both Tilburg University and the University of Trento, in Italy. 

Related tracks:

  • The Sociology: Politics, Policy and Society in Comparative perspective track investigates important societal questions and sociological problems related to politics, social cohesion, and inequality. It studies issues such as rising populism, social movements, and the welfare state. You learn to evaluate social policies and use research as input for new policies.
  • The Health, Wellbeing and Society track combines scientific insights from sociology and health sciences. With a strong collaboration with healthcare organizations, you will learn to become a specialist in the field of healthcare policy, societal resilience, and health and wellbeing.
  • The Organizing for Global Social Challenges track gives you a different perspective on sustainable development based on the theories and methods pertinent to the Global Management of Social Issues discipline. This specialization focuses on the role of organizations in addressing global social challenges.

Typical courses are:

  • Social Changes and Sustainable Development
  • Hybrid Organizations
  • Politics and Society in Comparative Perspective
  • Social Policy and Social Risks

More on the program and courses

Students at their graduation ceremony

  • Masterstudent PPSS Luna

    Luna Heuperman

    Project manager at Bergen op Zoom municipality (government trainee)

    ''This master's program laid the foundation for my career in government. The approach and knowledge gained as a sociologist are incredibly fascinating and valuable in a rapidly changing society, both within and beyond policy areas.''

  • Dana Foth

    Dana Foth

    Master’s student

    "I liked the intersectionality of the program, looking at the world's biggest problems from sociological and organizational perspectives to help business solve them."

  • Marit Messelink

    Marit Messelink


    "I wanted to learn about societal challenges and how to tackle them. The unique combination of insights from sociology and organizational sciences gave me the theoretical knowledge and practical tools I need to solve global issues."

Career prospects

You are prepared to lead and participate in change- and innovation-oriented projects aiming to tackle societal challenges regarding sustainable development. In this program, you learn to combine disciplines to address complex societal challenges from a cross-cultural and international comparative perspective. With this knowledge, you can think beyond country borders and the limits of one area of expertise. These skills are in great demand within companies, organizations, and projects operating in international environments.

Some examples of our graduates' jobs:

  • Consultant in an international organization, connecting people in order to create the most competent team to solve complex problems.
  • Fundraiser finding solutions for poverty, or helping with introducing sustainable practices in supply chains.
  • Project manager making projects run smoothly to produce the best possible results.

Alumni facts

  • 70% of our alumni find a job within 6 months after graduation 

  • 82% would choose the same program again, at the same university 

  • 72% of the graduates are (very) satisfied with the program 

Source: National Alumni Survey, recent graduates 2021 | n=11 

More on your career prospects

Students on campus enjoying the good weather

Application and admission

This program starts:

End of August

Best preparatory programs:

  • Global Management of Social Issues
  • Sociology
  • Human Resource Studies
  • Organization and Management Studies
  • Social Sciences

Pre-Master’s program:

If your previous education does not entirely meet the entry requirements, you can do a pre-Master's program at Tilburg University. For this program, the pre-Master's program in Politics, Policy and Societal Development is available to both Research University and Dutch University of Applied Sciences (hbo) students. The pre-Master's program takes half a year (30 ECTS) and starts at the end of August and at the end of January. 

Tuition fees and scholarships

International students find all information about tuition fees and scholarships here.

Interested in this Master's program?

Check your eligibility

Students walking in the Koopmans building

More information on this Master's program

Create your own e-brochure with information on program content, admission requirements, career prospects, and student life in Tilburg. Throughout the year you can take part in various types of events: on-campus, abroad or online.

Interested in the Politics, Policy and Societal Development MSc track?

Check your eligibility and the deadlines for application