Master of Science in Sociology

Presentation

Do you want to understand how society works, and are you motivated to strengthen your research skills, gain international experience and develop intercultural expertise? If you have answered yes to these questions, this program is exactly what you are looking for!

The Master of Science in Sociology is a new and innovative English-taught program at Ghent University, centred around three pillars: applied research, internationalisation and an advanced scientific approach to contemporary societal problems.

What are the social conditions that constitute the fundamental causes of health and illness? How can higher education institutions become more accessible? Why have so many young Muslims joined Islamic State the past couple of years? How are power and responsibilities formally and informally distributed within organisations? This program addresses these and other contemporary social problems. Students gain a strong scientific approach that allows them to critically address such topics.

This one-year master program is highly research based. Students gain a thorough understanding of advanced quantitative research methods, and are challenged to apply these skills to answer sociological questions. Students write a master thesis and opt for an international internship or follow advanced policy-oriented applied courses.

Course structure

See the UGent Study guide for a more detailed description of the courses. The Master of Science in Sociology focuses on three main parts: 1. a solid, general formation in advanced sociological topics (general courses), 2. an applied major in which practical skills are developed (Internship, Policy and Management, Skills Lab and Conflict and Development in a Global World) and 3. a research based master dissertation.

Students can choose between three majors: International Internship, Policy and Management or Skills Lab. Students design their own trajectory based on their personal interest, future career prospects and ambitions.

The first semester of the programme is fully dedicated to the core mandatory advanced sociological courses. From the start students begin preparing for their master dissertation or internship. This program is a one-year programme with a high pace but is feasible thanks to the gradual planning. By the end of the first semester, students should have taken all exams and can fully concentrate on their major and master dissertation. At the end of the second semester the course Social Dynamics of Policy and Organization helps to digest the experiences developed during the thesis research, the internship and the other courses.

Career perspectives

Recent research among alumni shows that sociology graduates are highly appreciated by employers for their combination of thorough insights in society, research expertise, communication and project management skills. Sociology graduates from Ghent University start an academic career (as PhD students or research fellows) or work in NGO’s, governmental organisations (on themes such as health prevention, radicalisation) and research agencies (such as market research). Our alumni value the program for the acquired analytical skills and are very satisfied with their job content and wage.

The Ghent University master program in sociology offers insights in societal phenomena and learns how to study and research sociological problems. The program prepares you to begin to work on scientific projects in academia, governmental organisations or research institutes. Ghent University Masters in Sociology are ready to research social phenomena as social inequality, gender differences, quality of labour, democratisation of higher education, migration or health and risk behaviour. Our program helps students on their path towards future careers as policy advisors or project managers, in fields as diverse as human resources, journalism or education.

Admission

Entry requirements

You are eligible for this program if you hold a relevant Bachelor degree. This includes bachelors in sociology or a solid background in social sciences, including social science methodology.

Students holding a Flemish degree:

  • All students who hold a Bachelor of Social Science (VUB-UGhent) are directly admitted
  • All students who hold a bachelor degree in Sociology

International degree students:

  • Students who hold a Bachelor of Social Science (or equivalent) from a non-Belgian University, are admitted based on an evaluation of the content of their previous studies

Preparatory Course Master of Science in Sociology

If direct enrollment in the Master of Sociology is not possible, you might be admitted to the Preparatory Course Master in Sociology (60 ECTS).

Students can apply for exemptions on a case-by-case basis. In case there is no match, students can take a preparatory year.
Some courses are taught at VUB, so please be sure to register as a guest student at VUB.

You can check the timetables here for courses at VUB.

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Research skills

Both qualitative and quantitative research skills are highly recommended. Students should have successfully taken a course in multivariate analysis (around 12 ECTS) or have gathered the competences, intended in the mandatory course on Advanced Quantitative Analysis, in some other way. Thorough knowledge and skills are expected concerning:

  • descriptive univariate and bivariate analysis (frequencies, crosstabs, measures of position, dispersion, association, correlation and regression analysis)
  • inferential statistics (significance tests and confidence intervals)
  • t-tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA)
  • multiple regression analysis
  • logistic regression analysis
  • factor analysis

Language requirements

Ghent University requires a good knowledge of English (CEF B2-level or higher) in order to communicate and function in an academic context. Therefore all incoming exchange students are required to submit a language certificate which shows that they have acquired a B2-level in English.

You can submit one of the following documents:

  • A TOEFL certificate: minimum score 510-559 (paper-based) or 87-109 (internet-based)
  • An IELTS certificate: minimum score 6.0
  • A TOEIC certificate: minimum score 785-944
  • A Cambridge certificate: FCE, CAE or CPE
  • A certificate of a university language centre: minimum level B2
  • A proof that you are a native speaker of English this can be a copy of your identity card/passport)
  • A proof that you successfully finished a study programme of at least one year which was completely taught in English

Students with a degree from a Flemish secondary school are exempted.

For more information about the language requirements please contact the admission office of UGent

Ghent University provides preparatory courses in English. For more information visit https://www.ugent.be/lw/uct/en

Practical

Deadlines

International degree students:

  • Students who require a visa have to submit their application dossier (hard copies) before the first of March.
  • Students who do not require a visa have to submit their application dossier (hard copies) before the first of June.

Students holding a Flemish degree:

  • No fixed deadlines apply. After the 15th of November (of the year in which the master program is started) they can no longer take up 1st semester courses.
  • Late applications should be solicited with the Faculty from the 1st of October. After the first of March they can no longer enrol for the ongoing academic year.

Tuition fees

All information can be found here.

Next steps: application procedure

Students can apply through Oasis

To decide if you can be admitted as an international degree student, we need a complete application package. If you want to know if you are eligible, you will have to follow the application procedure.

For more information on the admission procedure contact admission@ugent.be.

What to do after receiving a letter of acceptance?

All degree students need to complete their enrollment online:

Proof of enrollment

You can find all documents related to your enrollment in MyOasis

You can find the registration/enrollment proof there as well.

Who to contact?

socio_englishmaster@ugent.be

FAQ incoming international students

  • Check the website of FAQ for incoming international students for all information about COVID-19 related information, housing department, welcome guide, health insurance, registration in Ghent, bank account, special status.
  • For the residence permit you can check the website of the migration office.
  • When you arrive in Ghent you can meet up with the International Support Team at the Welcome Village. There you receive all the necessary information about UGent and your stay in the City of Ghent, you also receive your student card and they help you take out health insurance, etc.
  • Students at Ghent University need to be able to handle multiple online platforms.  Here you can find more information about the most commonly used platforms, how they work and how to access them.
  • More information about book sale, student counsellors, learning path counsellors, Faculty Student Administration, etc. can be fount on Information for new students.

Testimonials

What do alumni say about our program?

A versatile training program in which the development of a critical mind-set is key.

Strong, in-depth courses, taught by motivated professors with ample expertise in their field.

Good variety of seminars, practical teaching methods and theoretical lectures.

I appreciated the advanced statistical insights and the broad spectrum of topics like health, education, culture, citizenship and development.

Disclaimer

This publication provides guidance to prospects, applicants and students. Ghent University reserves the right to make changes to the information contained in this publication—including correcting errors, altering fees, schedules of admission, and admission requirements, and revising or cancelling particular courses or programs—without prior notice.