MADE IN BELGIUM DEVELOPED FOR EUROPE

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.

1 Programme
2 Universities
3 Disciplines

Key threads of the programme

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.

Sociology

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.

330 students
from 70 countries

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.

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From multidisciplinarity to a specialisation

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

During the second year (still at the 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 domains 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 at Ghent University. You can further personalise your study by going abroad (on exchange via the Erasmus+ programme) and through the elective courses.

Entry requirements

In order to get accepted, you will have to meet all entry requirements:

Academic requirements

To start a Bachelor programme at the VUB, you need to have a secondary school diploma from the Belgian educational system or a secondary school credential that grants you access to higher education in your home country. Some international high school credentials are deemed equivalent to a Belgian degree of secondary education and grant direct access (if you also have a proof of language proficiency) to our Bachelor programmes. You can find the list here: list of equivalent secondary school certificates.

English language requirements

You will have to prove your English language proficiency via one of the following ways:

1. provide proof of having successfully completed secondary education in the Belgian educational system;

2. provide a diploma of secondary or higher education where English was the language of instruction;

3. provide a certificate of one of the following language proficiency tests corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference with minimum level B2: 

  • TOEFL with minimum level: iBT 79, PBT 550 or CBT 213
  • IELTS academic module, with minimum level: 6.5
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), with at least grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), with at least grade C

Certificates and other proof of language tests may not pre-date the first enrolment by more than two years.

Deadline(s)

All non-EEA students will have to submit their application before June 1st. Non-EEA applications submitted before April 1st receive an "early-bird" discount of €100 (exemption of the application fee).

All European students will have to submit their application before September 1st.

Tuition fees

All Belgian universities offer high-quality education at a very reasonable cost. The annual fee for enrolling in the Bachelor in Social Sciences, in the academic year 2017-2018 was €906,10 for regular EEA students and €2.950,00 for non-EEA students. For more information on tuition fees, go to https://my.vub.ac.be/en/student-administration/tuition-fee.

Application procedure

1. Submit your application file here

2. Screening process (both at central and faculty level)

3. Outcome of screening: if accepted, you will receive a letter of acceptance

4. Enroll at VUB university campus (in person)

Application documents

Applicants will have to upload the following documents:

  • ID card/passport copy
  • passport photo (comes on your student card, once accepted & enrolled)
  • secondary education degree
  • transcript of records (only for non-EEA diploma)
  • motivational letter (only for non-EEA students)
  • proof of English language requirement (if applicable)

If you do not possess all required documents, you can already submit your application and send us your late documents when available (you can send them to socialsciences@vub.ac.be mentioning your application context).

Frequently asked questions

  • More information on how to prepare your stay? >>> Click here
  • More information on finance and scholarship options at VUB? >>> Click here
  • More information on housing facilities at VUB? >>> Click here
  • More information on housing facilities at Ghent University? >>> Click here
  • More information on Ghent Universities in general? >>> Click here
  • More information on student visa matters? >>> Click here
  • More information on studying in Brussels City? >>> Click here
  • Go to the general FAQ page >>> Click here

Who to contact regarding what topic?

Contact central admissions office >> Questions on application procedure and enrollment procedure? (mail to: admissions@vub.ac.be)

Contact the programme coordinator >> Questions on programme content or the evaluation of academic background? (mail to: socialsciences@vub.ac.be)

Contact your future study counselor >> Questions on exemptions/credit transfers? (mail to: stbfaces@vub.ac.be)

Contact the International Relations and Mobility Office (IRMO) >> Questions on visa regulations/requirements/procedure or Refugee Programme? (mail to: international.relations@vub.ac.be)

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AFTER GRADUATION

The bachelor degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors, and gives you the opportunity to start a master programme at VUB, Ghent University or elsewhere (worldwide).

The end? Or the beginning?

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.

Master of the universe?

Well, the universe is big. But still, Ghent University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are two acclaimed universities. Both are well placed on international rankings. The joint project they offer with the BScSS is an internationally accredited bachelor programme. This means your diploma grants you immediate access to many master programmes taught abroad. That’s just one of many possible next stops for you: the UNICAnetwork, the association of universities in European capitals.

Another smart move to consider is pursuing your academic career in one of the available English-taught master programmes at Ghent University or the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. You can join, either directly or via a short preparatory programme, a Master of Science in Communication Studies or a Master of Science in Management.

Master options at VUB

Master options at Ghent University

  • Master of Science in de Sociologie (Dutch instructed)
  • Master of Science in de Politieke Wetenschappen (Dutch instructed)
  • Master of Science in de Communicatiewetenschappen (Dutch instructed)
  • Master of Science in EU Studies (Dutch instructed)

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Students have their say

"It's a luxury for a 'Bruxelloise' to have the entire world in my classroom without leaving my city."

Basetsana-Emelda Koaho

"This programme provides a wide range of information from different perspectives. It doesn't just give you three options in your career choice but it opens your eyes to seeing the world in different perspectives. You don't just learn from your curriculum but also from your diverse peers."

Ayaan Gambol

"There's no programme like this one out there. Simply put, the quality and diversity of the students has made my time so far a remarkable experience. The intellectual attitudes and uniqueness of the programme truly make it a world class experience. Not only is the Bachelor in Social Sciences at the VUB unique but it is also tailored in a way that allows me to take care of my other responsibilities."