Taught course

Social Policy and Social Interventions

Utrecht University · Social and Behavioural Sciences

Entry requirements

Visit our website for more information about Admission and Application.

Months of entry


Course content

Social policy from an interdisciplinary perspective

  • What is the relationship between the decentralisation of care and changes in family relations?
  • Why do some interventions contribute to the labour market participation of adolescents from an ethnic minority background while others do not?
  • Would better laws and legislation help reduce absenteeism in the workplace?

If you would like to study such issues, this one-year Master's programme is for you. You will develop knowledge about interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives on social policy and interventions, which will help you gain in-depth insight into the methodology and skills needed to research social policy and participation issues. More specifically, you will look into problems such as:

  • Loneliness
  • Poverty
  • Discrimination
  • Segregation
  • The exclusion of vulnerable groups

You will also study people's strategies for dealing with social risks, including:

  • Labour mobility and migration
  • Care networks
  • Neighbourhood initiatives
  • Small-scale and/or multicultural collaborative efforts
  • Independent entrepreneurship, etc.

This will be done by combining knowledge of the behavioural and social sciences.

Research-led teaching

The academic staff in our faculty participate in a wide variety of studies about the problems are central to this Master's programme, with research themes such as:

  • Labour, care, and citizenship
  • Evaluation of social policy
  • The integration and participation of newcomers
  • Evaluation of interventions

The researchers involved in these studies also contribute to the curriculum of this Master's programme.

Also taught in Dutch

This Master's programme is also offered in Dutch; the Dutch variant is Arbeid, Zorg en Participatie. Students in both the Dutch and English variants participate in joint lectures, in English. Separate tutorials (weekly seminars) are provided in Dutch and English, depending upon which version of the programme a student is participating in.

International perspective

Many of the problems focused on in this Master's programme have a strong international (European) dimension, such as: globalisation, ageing, migration and ethnic relationships, individualisation, and gender relations. The same goes for the policy and intervention courses that are used to tackle these issues. You will soon find that this international perspective is a recurring feature in the programme curriculum.


The programme is characterised not only by its international, comparative perspective but also by its interdisciplinary and multi-method approach. This international interdisciplinary and multi-method approach applies to the research you will conduct as well as in the exploration of professional practices. In research, you will explicitly use a combination of scientific perspectives from both the behavioural and social sciences (particularly psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology). In exploring professional practices, the combination of (behavioural scientific) interventions and (social scientific) policy is also the point of departure.

Programme objective

This Master's programme is intended to help you develop into an academic professional. As a graduate of the Social Policy and Social Interventions programme, you will be able to study specific social problems integrally. You will also have acquired the necessary professional and academic skills to prepare, implement, and evaluate social policies and interventions. These skills will allow you to pursue a career as a social scientist with the government, a social institution, a company, or a care organisation.

Information for international students

Find out more from our website.

Fees and funding

UK students
Statutory fee - fulltime 2017-2018: € 2,006 (NL/EU)
International students
Institutional fee 2017-2018: € 15,167 (non EU/EEA)

Visit our website for more information about Tuition Fees and Financial Support.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Programme Coordinator