Master of Science in Sociology


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 an innovative English-taught programme at Ghent University, centred around three pillars: applied research, internationalisation and an advanced scientific approach to contemporary societal issues.

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 programme addresses these and other contemporary social issues. Students gain a strong scientific approach that allows them to critically address such topics.

This one-year master programme 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

The Master of Science in Sociology focuses on three main parts:

  1. a solid, general formation in advanced sociological topics (general courses);
  2. a major;
  3. a research-based master dissertation.

Students can choose between four majors: (1) Internship, (2) Policy and Management, (3) Skills Lab or (4) Conflict and Development in a Global World. Students design their own trajectory based on their personal interest, future career prospects and ambitions.

For a more detailed description of the courses, download this overview or explore the UGent Study guide

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 (e.g., doing market research). Our alumni value the programme for the acquired analytical skills and are very satisfied with their job content and wage.

The Ghent University Master programme in Sociology offers insights in societal phenomena and learns how to study and research sociological problems. The programme 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 programme helps students on their path towards future careers as policy advisors or project managers, in fields as diverse as human resources, journalism or education.


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.

Admission requirements

Entry requirements

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

Are directly admitted:

  • All students who hold a Bachelor of Social Science (VUB-UGent)
  • All students who hold a (Flemish) Bachelor in Sociology

Are not directly admitted:

  • International degree students who hold a Bachelor in the social sciences (or equivalent) from a non-Belgian university, are admitted based on an evaluation of the content of their previous studies
  • Students with a different academic degree than stated above can enter the Master programme after finishing a Preparatory Course Master of Science in Sociology
  • Students with a Flemish professional degree can enter the Master programme after finishing a bridging programme (only taught in Dutch).

Preparatory Course Master of Science in Sociology

To successfully complete the Master of Sociology, both qualitative and quantitative research skills are required. Additionally, thorough knowledge of essential sociological frameworks and contents is indispensable.

Research skills include:

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

Sociological frameworks and contents include:

  • introduction to sociology
  • sociology of education
  • sociological perspectives

If you have not yet acquired these skills and knowledge, you can apply for a preparatory programme for the Master in Sociology. The full programme entails 60 ECTS (detailed in the Study Guide). However, based on your application dossier, exemptions can be allowed and a tailor-made programme will be proposed.


More information regarding enrolment or registration, language requirements, deadlines, tuition fee, residence permit, insurance:

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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.