Amsterdam, Netherlands

Social Science Switch

online course
when 26 June 2023 - 11 August 2023
language English
duration 7 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 1100

This online programme will bring together people from a variety of scientific disciplines, giving them the tools and perspectives to enhance their study, research and work by including social science theories and concepts. Participants can expect weekly live zoom meetings in addition to pre-recorded materials, readings and discussions in our online learning environment as well as assignments and comprehensive feedback from our expert faculty.

Course leader

Dr. Carla Rodrigues.

Target group

This programme is for people from a non-social science background, such as the natural or medical sciences, who are interested in learning to use social science theories and concepts in their study, research or work. The focus of the course will be on health related topics and 'well-being' in a broad sense. Most of the real world examples and literature is focused on health and illness related matters but there is space for the discussion of other cases & literature.

This programme is ideal for:
1) Those planning to start a masters or PhD in medical anthropology, sociology or global mental health and have had limited or no training in social sciences.
2) Professionals working and/or researching in the areas of public health, epidemiology, biomedical sciences, and global health looking to gain an enhanced social sciences perspective.

Motivated applicants from other backgrounds are also welcome to apply.

Course aim

In order to work through and address societal issues in a comprehensive way, emphasis has recently been placed on developing holistic approaches that combine the social and behavioral sciences with the methods and perspectives of the natural and medical sciences.
This programme is designed to offer participants with a natural/medical sciences (or other) background the opportunity to expand their perspective and knowledge, enabling them to tackle complex issues and understand them from multiple perspectives, embracing interdisciplinary and social science mentalities and approaches.
The primary difference between the social and natural/medical sciences concerns the use of theory. Hence, this programme focuses on building your skills by learning about and using social science theories. We jointly address and work through 'what theory is’ as well as what it 'does', reviewing widely-used anthropological and sociological concepts and theories, such as intersectionality, social navigation, and more. The ultimate goal is to make 'the switch' to a social science way or reading, writing and thinking.

Credits info

6 EC
6 European Credits for external candidates. Internal candidates (current UvA students) take this course on a pass/fail basis.

Fee info

EUR 1100: Tuition fee includes all course readings and materials, access to the digital library at the UvA, welcome and wrap-up sessions, both live and pre-recorded lectures, access to the digital learning environment, individual feedback from our instructors on all course assignments, and an official transcript or certificate of participation.


There are some scholarship opportunities, please check our website for more information.