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About the Faculty of Social Sciences

Social Sciences at the VU: understand the questions of today, contribute to the world of tomorrow.

The world is becoming more dynamic, diverse and international. This asks for highly educated people who can fathom today’s and tomorrow’s difficult problems from different perspectives and who have the skills to come up with surprising solutions. Social Sciences at VU Amsterdam educates you to be a critical thinker and practitioner.   

With us, you will receive a thorough education in one of the social sciences and at the same time, you will learn to look at big current social issues from different angles. There are no ready-made solutions for these so-called ‘wicked problems’. For example look at issues such as how to deal with illegal immigrants, privacy in a digital world and the question of whether there are boundaries to freedom of speech. These problems are so complex that you need several social sciences to understand them. At the VU you will learn to combine the disciplines in the second year in themes where these actual issues are discussed. You will learn to ask new questions, think of surprising solutions and make well-considered decisions. In short, you will learn by thinking and not settling for easy answers. 

Unique combination social sciences

At the VU you will find a unique palette of social sciences. The VU is the only university in the Netherlands that combines classic social sciences (Cultural anthropology and development sociology, Political Science and Sociology) with modern social sciences (Public Administration and Communication Science). Because of this unique combination, you can get access to almost every social sciences master at the VU after your bachelor's (for English-language masters there is a language requirement, Political Science sets additional requirements).

A VU social scientist adds something

This approach makes sure that you can offer a contribution to society and find an interesting job in which you can use all your analytical talents. VU social scientists end up in different careers after graduation: from consultant to a journalist, and from communication advisor to policy employee. Anywhere people are living together, collaborating and communicating, a VU social scientist has something to add. 

Small scale and diverse

There is a lot of attention for your personal development. We know you and your fellow students, at most departments education is organized on a small scale and there is a lot of personal guidance. Above all, we are proud of our diversity: everyone is welcome at social sciences and you see that in the students that are walking around. People with various backgrounds, religious beliefs and nationalities can develop their talents at the VU: after all, we are named Vrije Universiteit for a reason. 

Broaden your perspective and get the best out of yourself

You are studying at an international top university and at the same time, our campus makes sure you will feel at home quickly. Here you will find everything to make your student life a success: you will follow education and can eat, work out and, in a while, live there. But we also challenge you to look further. A lot of our students go abroad in their third year to work, intern or study. At the VU social sciences department, we want you to broaden your perspective and that you not only gain knowledge but also learn how to tackle and solve societal problems. In this way, you are not only getting the best out of yourself but also contributing to the world of tomorrow.