Minor Social Sciences

The minor in Social Sciences studies relations and interaction between agents at distinct levels of analysis - ethnic groups, families, social networks, teams, organizations, and networks of organizations . The focus is on the differential effects of macro-social, institutional and organizational variables on distinct aspects of social behaviors or agents.

About the minor in Social Sciences

The individual in its social context

The Research Master in general addresses the topic of the individual in its social context. In the minor social sciences, which is driven to a large extent by the sociological framework, the meso and macro contexts are central. Examples of such contexts are:

  • work organizations,
  • schools,
  • neighborhoods,
  • and voluntary organizations.

How social contexts and individuals influence each other

The leading question is how such contexts influence the way individuals think and act and, in turn, how individuals help shape and change the context in which they are embedded. Examples of questions that can be studied are: 

  • How does cohesion in a neighborhood affect crime and other deviant behavior? 
  • Why are certain work organizations better able in motivating their employees than other work organizations? 
  • Why do students in ethnically mixed schools perform worse than students in homogeneous schools?

Networks of relationships in which individuals participate

The minor also looks at the role of more diffuse but nevertheless supra-individual contexts, namely the networks of relationships in which individuals participate. Finally, society or specific geographical regions of societies can be seen as contexts which influence the way individuals think and act. In terms of the analytical approach, much emphasis is on the collection and modeling of so-called multilevel data, i.e., combined data on multiple individuals in multiple contexts.

The literature of this minor is derived from sociology and organization sciences.

Courses minor in Social Sciences

The Research Master consists of a general program (42 ECTS) and a minor-specific program (78 ECTS). The total program consist of 120 Credits (ECTS) for two years. Each year is divided into four units. The last unit in the first year is reserved for writing your First-year paper and doing an intern Traineeship. In the second year you'll write your Master's Thesis and you will follow an intern Traineeship.

The total program of the minor Social Sciences (Sociology and Organization Studies) consists the courses below. You can also view the graphic presentation of the program structure of the minor in Social Sciences. 

* The numbers are the ECTS for the particular course.

Courses year 1

Unit 1 (August-October)

Unit 2 (October-December)

Unit 3 (January-March)

Unit 4 (March-June)

Total ECTS: 60

Courses year 2

Unit 1 (August-October)

Unit 2 (October-December)

Unit 3 (January-March)

Unit 4 (March-June)

Total ECTS: 60

About our research group

The research of the minor Social Sciences is taught by the Department of Sociology and the Department of Organization Studies of Tilburg University.

Department of Sociology

The research of the Department of Sociology focuses on aspects of social inequality and social cohesion in a comparative and dynamic perspective. Topics studied within the broader theme of social inequality are:

  • work,
  • occupation,
  • poverty,
  • welfare
  • and health.

Topics studied within social cohesion are:

  • values,
  • solidarity,
  • religion,
  • family,
  • voluntary membership,
  • and social networks.

The comparative perspective focuses on the comparison of (mostly European) countries, either from a macro-perspective or a micro-macro perspective. The dynamic perspective consists of comparing countries or social groups across historical time on the one hand, and comparing individuals over their personal life course on the other hand.

The program is motivated by substantive forces in society on the one hand (i.e., processes of (post)modernization in western societies) and by methodological innovations on the other hand (i.e., the development of dynamic and multilevel data and statistical models).

The research is organized in the program Social and Cultural Dynamics and consists of several larger research projects, such as the European Values Studies, ESPAnet, the Panel Study of Social and Cultural Dynamics, the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study, and the European Data Center for Work and Welfare.

Department of Organization Studies

The Department of Organization Studies studies organizations from a relational perspective . The relational perspective is rooted in the social and behavioral sciences. The focus is on interorganizational relations and networks, relations and cooperation within organizations and the relations of organizations with their institutional environment.

For the study of these topics the department has formed three so-called topic groups:

  • Interorganizational Relations and Networks
  • Intra-organizational Relations/ Organizational Behavior
  • Institutions and Strategy

Besides the three topic groups on institutions, inter- and intraorganizational relations, researchers of the department are engaged in working groups on two overarching themes:

  • Innovation and learning
  • Temporary organizations

These themes are considered as overarching, since they pull together aspects and perspectives from the three topics mentioned above.

For more information about the research program, please visit the homepage of the department of Organization Studies.


Please visit the website to see which Staff members are working at the department of Sociology and at the department of Organization Studies.


If you would like to know more about our program or our group you can contact the Social Sciences coordinators:

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