Drawing on the combined insights of three disciplines – political science, communication studies and sociology – the BScSS offers a three-year, English-language programme that provides students with the academic tools that help them to analyze and better understand the societies they live in. Throughout these three years you will become intimately familiar with the three scientific disciplines that build the core of our programme.
Is China on its way to becoming the next global superpower? Did the USA become more polarised under Donald Trump? What explains the rise of populism? Should migrants have the right to vote in their host countries? What does democracy really mean? Political scientists love to sink their teeth into these types of questions, and analyze how societies govern themselves and make decisions. The political pillar of our programme provides you the theories, concepts and techniques to better understand the ways in which power operates from the level of everyday citizen interactions to political struggles situated at the international level.
Which role did the tabloid press play in “Brexit”? How is the refugee crisis portrayed in the media? What is the business model of Netflix? Why do some of us share private information and intimate feelings on social media? Communication scientists are fascinated by these types of questions and wish to know more about the impact of media and communication on our everyday lives and on society as a whole. The communication angle of the programme provides you with the concepts and techniques that help you to critically reflect upon the ever-increasing role of (digital) media in our society.
Why do certain kids do better at school than others? Which factors determine the type of job or income a person will get? Where do differences in musical taste come from? Why is our society so obsessed with beauty and slimness? Why do certain people live longer and healthier lives than others? These are just some of the questions posed and answered by sociologists. From the structure of large-scale social systems – like states or labor markets – to the fine details of everyday interaction, sociologists aim to uncover the basic principles that shape social life. The sociological pillar of our programme provides you with the concepts and techniques that help you study and understand these principles.
At the BScSS we aim to train students who are not only capable of discussing complex problems, but who can also effectively study those problems. That is why a considerable part of the curriculum is devoted to acquiring some of the key methods deployed by the social sciences from statistical analysis to interviewing and from participant observation to content analysis. Through a combination of theoretical lectures and hands-on exercises you will learn to formulate key research problems and pick the techniques that are best suited to solving them.