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BScSocial Sciences

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This ambitious joint programme by top universities Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel tears down the walls between political science, sociology and communication studies – enabling you to build solid bridges between them. The best of three worlds, one in which you’re about to excel thanks to your analytical approach, methodological strength and of course, your authority on European institutions and social issues.

Political science

In your first year you’ll spend quite some time coming to terms with fundamental principles and concepts in political science. In your second year, you start applying these for a critical look at timeless issues in political science – you learn about the political deliberation of conflict and contradiction in societies. If you choose the political orientation for your third bachelor year, the focus of your courses shifts to contemporary global and European topics.


In your first year you get to meet the world of thought of godfathers of sociology like Max Weber and Jurgen Habermas. The sociologist is fascinated by all sorts of social conduct, and aims to explain its causes and consequences. This critical thinking takes a central place in your second bachelor year. If you choose the sociological orientation in your third bachelor year, you dive deep into topics like health sociology, social demography and European welfare state politics.
Communication studies
How did communication studies come into existence? How did they evolve and what are the big research questions? Food for thought for your first year. Afterwards, you take a much closer look into these research questions, and learn how to develop and answer one yourself. If communication studies turn out to be your thing, choose the specialising orientation for your third bachelor year. You’ll focus on European media policy, for instance, and on the political economy of communication.

Methodological core

An indispensable discipline for all scientific research: statistics. You’ll get acquainted with statistics applied to social sciences in your first bachelor year. Another course introduces you to domain-specific methodologies for social, political and communication studies. The year after, you dig deeper for knowledge and skills in the domain of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Courses in all three bachelor years on current issues help you translate what you’ve learned into practice.

Programme structure

From the start, courses will be taught by both VUB and Ghent University lecturers. The first bachelor year (organised at VUB Campus) focuses on introducing the three main disciplines: political sciences, sociology, communication studies. From the start you will be trained in a variety of methodological techniques, you will develop academic writing skills, and engage in lively classroom debates and discussions.

During the second year (organised at VUB Campus), we go more in depth and further develop students critical thinking skills. The focus shifts from multidisciplinary to interdisciplinary, highlighting how the three domaines interlink.

In the third year, you will have to pick a study field that will determine your specialisation: political sciences, sociology or communication studies. In this year, a series of courses will be organized by (and at) Ghent University. You can further personalise your study by going abroad (on exchange via the Erasmus+ programme) and through the elective courses you will have to choose from (see programme overview here below).

Career opportunities

There is no doubt that your Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences (BScSS) will stand out on the labour market. However, the biggest added value of the programme lies in paving the way for ambitious follow-up trajectories, such as master programmes 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 programme. It allows you to build expertise in this domain, but without losing track of the other two sciences. That way all choices for master programmes remain open, but you’ll have more insight about 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 and site visits. It’s a great way to start building your network, with an eye on future.

Apply now! Fall semester 2020/21
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Studies commence
Sep 2, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States