Study Programmes

During the Bachelor phase the students receive a broad, polyvalent formation that will enable them to approach the social reality from different perspectives. Already during the first year the students get acquainted with the different trainings from which they can choose: Political Sciences, Communication Sciences and Sociology.

The Master trainings are meant to lift the students to an advanced level of knowledge and competence, characteristic for the scientific functioning in general and within the specific domain of the Political Sciences, Communication Sciences and Sociology in particular.

Bachelor Social Sciences

The Bachelor Social Sciences is the new joint project of Ghent University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

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Master in Political and Social Sciences

Communication Sciences

In the Licentiate phase this training covers the complete domain of the mass communication:

  • The classic mass media (press, radio, television, film) and the new communication technologies (satellite communication, videotex, HDTV, CD-ROM, CD-I, Internet,...)
  • The informative messages (journalism, information), the persuasive (pr, advertising, propaganda) and the recreational messages (soaps, infotainment, film,...)

This occurs from different perspectives: sociological, psychological, historical, legal, political-economical, technical and semiotical.

The lecturers teach their students the necessary research technical skills to conduct scientific research, in the framework of common research projects, or in the context of their dissertation. Within the broad academic training there are also clear practical components.

On the one side there are the guest lectures taught by people with practical experience, on the other side the students put their shoulder to the wheel in the seminars 'practical techniques': they make a video production, are initiated in the printed or audio-visual journalism, or train themselves further in the practice of research.

Political Sciences

Belgian politics

The aim of this option is to provide the necessary knowledge on domestic and international politics. The political science has its own professional training, its own scientific methods, its own typical courses. The political science is flanked by related fields of study like political sociology, political psychology, political geography, political economy. In a nutshell: the option Belgian politics gives an introduction to the actual domestic and international politics and provides the scientific equipment for the study in political science of local, regional, national and international processes.

International politics

During the training International Politics the students get acquainted with the ins and outs of politics on an international level in general, in Europe and in the Third World. There is also a focus on the formulation of theories, this way the students learn to understand all the events and processes and place them into their context. This from different lines of approach: political, legal, historical, geographical, economical. In the second licentiate the students can choose between a module Study of the European Union, a module Study of the Third World and a module International Affairs.


The training Sociology teaches the students how to think in a sociological way and to work independently, especially concerning scientific research. In the Licentiate/Master the accent lies on sociological theory and formulation of theories through research, but there is also great attention for the peripheral areas of the sociology, like demography and social biology. In the general programme there is a focus on the central social structures of western societies, like organisations, social inequality, the welfare state. Furthermore qualitative as well as quantitative research methods are used. The optional programme allows the students to train themselves into a few subdomains of the sociology, like family sociology, education sociology and medical sociology. Courses like risk and prevention studies, policy evaluation research and various practical seminars guarantee the application of sociological insights and social-scientific skills and techniques relevant for the policy.

The sociology training in Ghent rests on three important pillars: a solid, general sociological formation, attention for the peripheral areas and emphasis on both knowing ànd doing, and also on the narrow link between both. That three-entity shapes a professional ànd polyvalent graduate.

Teacher training

During or after the licentiate years the students can attend the academic initial teacher training. They learn how to translate the complicated concepts, reasonings and processes from their own field towards students. The diploma of authorized teacher for the secondary education gives the official teaching qualification for the second and third degree of the secondary education.

This training also acts as a broader educational training aiming at teaching in the higher education or in the framework of business trainings and formation programmes.

Complementary Training 'Media & Communication'

All university graduates can attend the complementary training Media & Communication which comprises one year. Also graduates from the Higher Education of two grades are allowed. This training only partially covers the same domain of study as the training in the Communication Sciences but here it is also the purpose to offer the students a survey of all aspects of communication and the state of the concerning scientific research.

Next to this the students are also taught the research methods characteristic of the discipline in question. Because these students are already in the possession of a diploma the approach here is clearly interdisciplinary and complementary. Considering their basic training and their individual interests the students can choose for themselves which subject matter they want to explore in depth in the obligatory seminar work.

Master After Master 'Conflict and Development'

The general aim of The Master in Conflict and Development is to form and prepare the students for a professional career in international cooperation. More in particular this one-year interdisciplinary training addresses itself to those who will be confronted with the special relationship between conflict and development within national or international organisations, or those who want to gain more in-depth knowledge regarding the research. The students are offered a package that enables them to:

  • Gain insight into the global development problems
  • Analyse the concrete problems regarding conflict and development in a scientific way
  • Participate in the development of practical solutions. It is also the intention to involve the students in the current research.