Societal Specialisations

Can you bridge the gap between science and society?

societal specialisations

During your science master you can choose two societal specialisations; Science Communication and Science in Society. Specialisations with which you develop skills to bridge the gap between science and society.

The specialisations are open to students in the following programmes: 

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Many of the societal challenges for research and innovation are interconnected with communication issues. Scientists are asked to engage with different publics more openly in a time when ‘the facts’ are questioned. This specialisation provides you with the relevant knowledge, skills and practical experience to help shape meaningful conversations about science in public. With this specialisation you can work, for instance, as a science journalist at a newspaper, a communication advisor at a biomedical company or a content manager at a science museum.

SCIENCE IN SOCIETY

There is an urgent need for academic professionals in the natural and life sciences, who have knowledge of policy management and entrepreneurship. This specialisation prepares you for working as, for instance, a consultant, policy-maker, (academic) researcher or entrepreneur at the interface of science, technology and society. It provides tools and strategies for understanding and approaching complex societal problems related to scientific, technological or medical developments.

During the programme you will learn to read and write policy advisory reports and improve on management aspects such as leadership styles and motivation techniques.

Isabelle Koning

Alumnus Science in Society

Isabelle Koning“Tijdens mijn Master (Drug Discovery and Safety) heb ik ervoor gekozen om het tweede jaar de Major Science in Society (SiS) te doen. De stages tijdens mijn Bachelor en eerste jaar Master waren vooral op kwantitatief onderzoek in laboratoria gericht, waar de major zich meer op kwalitief onderzoek richt, wat mijn kennis erg verbreed heeft. Het eerste half jaar leer je over kwalitatief onderzoek op theoretisch gebied, waarbij een research design geschreven wordt en een onderzoek in groepsverband wordt gedaan, ter voorbereiding op de individuele stage die het tweede half jaar plaats zal vinden. Ook leer je over communicatie en organisatie binnen een bedrijf en is er een keuzeruimte.”

“Vanwege mijn achtergrond in farmaceutische wetenschappen, wilde ik graag stage lopen bij een bedrijf binnen de farmaceutische industrie. Mijn stage heb ik gedaan bij Pfizer, waar ik echt onderdeel uitmaakte van het team en het bedrijfsleven beter leerde kennen. Mijn kwalitatieve onderzoek heb ik uitgevoerd door verschillende typen zorgprofessionals te interviewen. De kwalitatieve manier van onderzoek doen met behulp van interviews was geheel nieuw voor mij, waarbij ik heb geleerd om door te vragen, en de juiste vragen te stellen. Na de eerste interviews kom je veelal tot nieuwe inzichten, die meegenomen kunnen worden bij volgende interviews, wat het onderzoek dynamischer maakt in vergelijking met kwantitatief onderzoek. Na dit jaar waarin ik de Major SiS heb gedaan, wist ik zeker dat ik mijn carrière wilde beginnen in het bedrijfsleven en niet in het kwantitatieve onderzoek.”

Overview societal specialisations

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 July

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

FIELD OF INTEREST

Behavioural and Social Sciences
Language and Communication

FACULTY

Science

Programme

The Science Communication specialisation contains courses that introduce you to the field of science communication (1st semester). The program concludes with an internship during which you will apply the acquired knowledge and skills (2nd Semester).

In the 1st semester you have to take two compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC), and Science and Communication (6 EC). Additionally, you must choose three elective courses (18 EC total): Science Journalism (6 EC), Science in Dialogue (6 EC), Science Museology (6 EC).

The 2nd Semester, starting in February, consists of an internship (30 EC).

The Science in Society specialisation contains courses that teach you to identify, analyse and manage complex societal problems (1st semester). The program concludes with an internship in which you apply the acquired knowledge and skills (2nd semester).

During the 1st semester you follow three compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC), Analyzing Governmental Policy (6 EC), and Communication, Organization and Management (6 EC). In addition, you must choose two or three elective courses (12 EC total).

During the 2nd semester, starting in February, you do an internship (30 EC).

The Science Communication specialisation contains courses that introduce you to the field of science communication (1st semester). The program concludes with an internship during which you will apply the acquired knowledge and skills (2nd Semester).

In the 1st semester you have to take two compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC), and Science and Communication (6 EC). Additionally, you must choose three elective courses (18 EC total): Science Journalism (6 EC), Science in Dialogue (6 EC), Science Museology (6 EC).

The 2nd Semester, starting in February, consists of an internship (30 EC).

The Science in Society specialisation contains courses that teach you to identify, analyse and manage complex societal problems (1st semester). The program concludes with an internship in which you apply the acquired knowledge and skills (2nd semester).

During the 1st semester you follow three compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC), Analyzing Governmental Policy (6 EC), and Communication, Organization and Management (6 EC). In addition, you must choose two or three elective courses (12 EC total).

During the 2nd semester, starting in February, you do an internship (30 EC).

Admission

To subscribe for the Science Communication specialisation, please take the following steps:

1. If you are not a student at the VU yet, please subscribe as a ‘bijvakstudent’ of the master program MPA at the VU first. Subscribe at least six weeks before the semester starts. Go to the register form and select ‘bijvakregistratie’. For more information, see the Dutch or English information page.

2. Subscribe for each of your courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme. Subscribe at least four weeks before the semester starts.

To subscribe for the Science in Society specialisation, please take the following steps:

1. If you are not a student at the VU yet, please subscribe as a ‘bijvakstudent’ of the master program MPA at the VU first. Subscribe at least six weeks before the semester starts. Go to the register form and select ‘bijvakregistratie’. For more information, see the Dutch or English information page.

2. Subscribe for each of your courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme. Subscribe at least four weeks before the semester starts.

To subscribe for the Science Communication specialisation, please take the following steps:

1. If you are not a student at the VU yet, please subscribe as a ‘bijvakstudent’ of the master program MPA at the VU first. Subscribe at least six weeks before the semester starts. Go to the register form and select ‘bijvakregistratie’. For more information, see the Dutch or English information page.

2. Subscribe for each of your courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme. Subscribe at least four weeks before the semester starts.

To subscribe for the Science in Society specialisation, please take the following steps:

1. If you are not a student at the VU yet, please subscribe as a ‘bijvakstudent’ of the master program MPA at the VU first. Subscribe at least six weeks before the semester starts. Go to the register form and select ‘bijvakregistratie’. For more information, see the Dutch or English information page.

2. Subscribe for each of your courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme. Subscribe at least four weeks before the semester starts.

Contact

For any questions, you can contact the program coordinators at this e-mail address: sciencecommunication.falw@vu.nl.

The Science Communication program is coordinated by:

For the specific coordinators of the courses within this major, please consult the VU Study Guide.

For any questions, you can contact the program coordinators at this e-mail address: mpa.m.falw@vu.nl.

The SiS program is coordinated by:

For the specific coordinators of the courses within this major, please consult the VU Study Guide.


For any questions, you can contact the program coordinators at this e-mail address: sciencecommunication.falw@vu.nl.

The Science Communication program is coordinated by:

For the specific coordinators of the courses within this major, please consult the VU Study Guide.

For any questions, you can contact the program coordinators at this e-mail address: mpa.m.falw@vu.nl.

The SiS program is coordinated by:

For the specific coordinators of the courses within this major, please consult the VU Study Guide.


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