Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences (Sociology)

Complex societies require complex thinking. In a world of rapid changes and shifting boundaries there is a growing need for minds that are capable of switching perspective and thinking outside of narrow academic boxes. That is why the VUB and Ghent University have joined forces to create an innovative model of interdisciplinary and interuniversity education: the Bachelor in Social Sciences (BScSS). Located in the heart of Europe and boasting a student body of seventy different nationalities, the BScSS provides a uniquely diverse learning environment that helps students to tackle the global problems of the future.

Opbouw

Drawing on the combined insights of three disciplines – sociology, political science and communication studies – the BScSS offers a three-year, English-language program 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 program.
Communication Studies

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 program provides you with the concepts and techniques that help you to critically reflect upon the every-increasing role of (digital) media in our society.

Sociology

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 program provides you with the concepts and techniques that help you study and understand these principles.

Political Science

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 program 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.

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.

Waarheen?

There is no doubt that Bachelors of Sciences in Social Sciences (BScSS) will stand out on the labour market. However, the biggest added value of the program lies in paving the way for ambitious follow-up trajectories, such as Master programs and internships.
Your third bachelor year is designed to help you prepare for this choice. You major in one of the three social sciences composing the program. It allows you to build expertise in this domain, but without losing track of the other two. That way all choices for Master programs remain open, but you’ll have more insight on what you really want to master in.
At the same time, this last bachelor year offers you multiple contacts with professionals from organisations gravitating around the EU institutions through guest lectures, site visits and internships. A great way to start building your network, with an eye on the future.