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Social Inequalities

Erasmus University Rotterdam

M.Sc. On Campus Blended
12 months
15500 EUR/year
2168 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Why are social divisions in society increasing? Are you interested in knowing how welfare policies can help to reduce social inequality? Then this master might be the right choice for you. You will approach the issue of social inequality from different scientific perspectives. The theoretical pluralism of the programme provides you with essential critical, analytical and methodological skills.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Why is the gap in social, behavioural, and financial outcomes between individuals from higher and lower social strata increasing over time? Why are family ties becoming more important in order to be successful in life? How can welfare policies help to reduce social inequality in a given society? This master programme offers insights into causes and consequences of social inequality, and sheds light on ways in which social policies can reduce it.

In this master programme we want to understand the complex interplay between social structure, family environment and individual behaviour. Therefore it is important to bridge divisions between disciplines. This provides a detailed understanding of the ways in which social inequality manifests itself across diverse communities and contexts. Both at national and international level.

Due to the unique interdisciplinary approach you will learn to answer questions like:

  • What has been the impact of the recent economic crisis on individuals' living and working conditions, on their family and career choices, and on social inequalities?
  • How does the interaction between markets (e.g. availability, quality, and cost of services) and states (e.g. social policies and national laws) shape family experiences and social inequalities?
  • What is the impact of changes on the macro level (e.g. policy changes such as those aiming at higher levels of individual responsibility; parental leave) on individual life courses and outcomes (e.g. employment, health, and socioeconomic status)?
  • How do the institutions of welfare states and the labour market mitigate social risks? 


The master Social Inequalities programme at Erasmus University Rotterdam  is a comprehensive and wide-ranging programme. It provides an introduction to a range of interdisciplinary approaches to the social scientific analysis of social inequalities. This master programme prepares you for policy, research and applied careers:

  • in the government sector;
  • at NGOs;
  • in politics;
  • in public administration;
  • at social and health services
  • in journalism and (human resource) management.

The programme will enable you to develop theoretical awareness of different conceptions of the meaning of inequality. It introduces you to different methods that can be applied to measure inequality, both quantitative and qualitative. In addition, this programme equips you with in-depth insight in the complex interplay between individual behaviour, family environment, organisational characteristics and social structure. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme provides you with critical, analytical and methodological skills. Thus, you are able to deploy your specialist expertise in a clear, efficient and effective manner. You will develop transferable skills in research, analysis and communication. Furthermore you develop in-depth knowledge you can apply across a range of domains and contexts.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Social Science Research in Practice
  • Families and Inequalities
  • Governing Social Inequalities: The role of welfare states and labour market characteristics
  • Political Attitudes and Behaviour in Context
  • Infrastructures of Power

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines






On Campus, Blended

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

Depending on the specialisation you wish to apply for, you are eligible for admission to the programme if you have obtained a relevant bachelor or undergraduate degree (comparable to the Dutch academic level according to the standards of the Dutch Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic)) from a research university that includes at least 7,5 EC in social science research methods and techniques. Some examples of relevant bachelor programmes are:

  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology
  • ESSB pre-master Sociologie (in Dutch)
  • Management of International Social Challenges
  • Public Administration
  • Gender Studies
  • Social Policy
  • Demography
  • Pedagogical sciences
  • Liberal Arts
  • Political Science
  • European Studies
  • International Relations
  • Communication Sciences
In addition to the credentials mentioned above, the Admissions Board will also take into account your academic performance, i.e. your grades.   

Tuition Fee

  • International

    15500 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15500 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA

    2168 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2168 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • €2,168 (Statutory fee: Dutch / EEA students)
  • €12,300 (Institutional fee: Dutch / EEA students)
  • €15,500 (Institutional fee: non-EEA students)
  • Funding

    For the applicants of the various degree programmes of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam the following funding possibilities are available:

    • Holland Scholarship for excellent non-EEA applicants
    • L-EARN for impact Scholarship
    • Erasmus Trustfonds Scholarship

    Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

    Fresh content

    Updated in the last 9 months

    Check the official programme website for potential updates.

    Social Inequalities
    Erasmus University Rotterdam


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