European Studies on Society, Science and Technology

***Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label, Keuzegids 2018***


Are you a socially conscious, critical thinker? Are you interested in politics and technology? And does the connection between innovation and society intrigue you? Then the master’s European Studies on Society, Sciences and Technology (ESST) might be what you are looking for. As an ESST student, you will investigate the relationship between science, technology, and society, from a cultural, political, economic, and historical point of view.

The programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary for understanding and managing the complex issues of modern innovation. The programme approaches these problems from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, such as history, sociology, ethics, and political science.

This programme is offered together with 12 partner universities across Europe. You will spend your first semester taking courses at Maastricht University. During the second semester, you will select a specialisation and write your thesis either at Maastricht University or at one of the programme’s partner universities abroad.

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Samuel Gürtl, Student Ambassador European Studies on Society, Science and Technology

“During my bachelor’s I focused on social entrepreneurship and not-for-profit organisations. After I had spent a semester at Maastricht University as an exchange student I knew that I wanted to do my master’s here. I much prefer the Problem-Based Learning approach over the conventional way of teaching. While being on exchange for a semester here, I also got to know Maastricht as a city, which enabled me to get off to a flying start now as a master’s student.

I applied for this 1-year programme because you study how society influences scientific and technological developments and vice versa. You become ‘a specialised generalist’ with a broad knowledge of multiple topics. I am very interested in the redistribution of wealth, the impact of economic systems on society and the drivers behind it. In my second semester I want to write my thesis on public governance, preferably during an internship at the Maastricht Institute for Sustainability.
My dream is to work for an NGO in Brussels, focusing on mitigating climate change and lobbying on a European level. Before that, I would like to work for the European Commission, to gain more experience.”

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Samuel Gürtl, Ambassador MA European Studies on Society, Science and Technology 2020-2021

“As a generalist, specialised in public governance, it is my goal to contribute to mitigating climate change on a European level.”


Samuel, 23 years old, is from Austria and has a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Vienna.

UM Campus Tour

Are you about to start your Master's programme at Maastricht University? Our UM Campus Tour offers prospective students who wish to start in September 2021 the opportunity to explore the city, our faculty buildings and facilities for students. Discover and learn what it is like to live and study in our vibrant city.

Kickstart your career at our Master's Open Day

Experience Maastricht University: find out more about one of the most international universities in Europe, immerse yourself in your programme of choice, and explore our beautiful city. The next Master’s Open Day is on Saturday 20 November 2021.

UM Campus Tour - Register now!

Pre-master's programme

If you do not satisfy the admission requirements of this Master's programme you may be able to enrol in a Pre-master's course year. Check out the Pre-master information and learn more about the programme, the courses and the requirements.

  • “I’m fascinated by how society is influenced by technological developments and science – and vice versa. I want to decipher recurring patterns.”
    Thomas Verra, Student Ambassador European Studies on Society, Science and Technology 2019-2020
  • “In this programme you find yourself at the crossroads of society & culture and science & technology. With everything that is going on in today’s world, I cannot think of a more interesting place to be!”
    Inger Rutten, Student Ambassador European Studies on Society, Science and Technology 2018-2019
  • I would like to raise awareness about the growing influence of technology and science on people’s lives and the possible downsides of that development.
    Florieke Bogaarts, Student ambassador European Studies on Society, Science and Technology 2017-2018
  • After finishing my bachelor in European Public Health (EPH), I was looking for a more critical master which focuses on why our society looks the way it looks today. I wanted to go deeper into the “system” to be able to change it and hereby improve the health and sustainability of our society.
    Maartje Zaal, European Studies on Society, Science and Technology
  • “In my future career, working in consultancy or conducting research, I will greatly benefit from the open-mindedness which is cultivated and highly valued here.”
    Shelly Tsui, Student Ambassador European Studies on Society, Science and Technology 2016-2017
  • ESST offered me the opportunity to take a step back and learn more about how technology affects society and how society determines which technologies are accepted
    Erika Boeing (United States), European Studies on Society, Science & Technology

Study at FASoS during COVID-19

FASoS HvT achterzijde

The past year the world has been dominated by the covid-19 crisis. The impact of the coronavirus on society has been huge and special measures have been taken to ensure a safe and healthy environment. We understand that in these uncertain times it is difficult to assess what the academic year looks like. These uncertainties logically raise many questions: How about safety in Maastricht? What does education look like at FASoS? What can you expect from student life? We can't give a conclusive answer to all these questions, but we can try to help you as best we can.

Education at FASoS remains online for the remainder of the academic year 2020-2021. Please visit our information page for more details.


  • Elsevier best Studies 2019

    First place rankings and medals for FASoS programmes in Elsevier Best Studies 2019

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    In the Elsevier ranking 2019 several FASoS bachelor's and master's programmes were ranked first in their category. 

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  • Carla Greubel

    Thesis award for Master student Carla Greubel

    Tuesday, February 5, 2019

    Carla Greubel, Master's student ESST won the 2018 Thesis Award.

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  • Keuzegids 2018 Top rated programme

    Keuzegids Masters 2018: three designated ‘top study programmes’ at FASoS

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    FASoS master's programme ESST and research master's programmes European Studies and Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology Top rated programmes in the Keuzegids Masters 2018.

    Read more

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