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What will I learn?

The emergence of new technology - such as smart phones, social networking, nanotechnology, robotics, sustainable energy, and disability and technology opens up both opportunities and threats to modern societies and economies. Citizens, governments, businesses and universities face great challenges when trying to take advantage of the seemingly infinite opportunities of scientific and technological innovations, not least because of the unintended consequences that may accompany them.

Convinced that 'innovation' cannot be captured by economics alone and that a purely technical approach is not enough to understand today’s knowledge society, ESST focuses on governance, sustainability and cultures of innovation from a multidisciplinary approach. The ESST programme explores the interrelated worlds of the scientist, engineer, politician, and citizen by examining the values, language, history, politics, and economics of our modern cultures of innovation. Furthermore, the global, multicultural, and environmentally conscious perspective of the programme develops ethical awareness and public responsibility.

In this programme, you will:

  • Get insights into controversial areas and acquire knowledge of the research methodologies needed to study debates, policies, and the underlying assumptions about the relationships between science, technology and society
  • Become adept at looking at issues from a variety of perspectives
  • Learn how to tackle complex ideas, which are indispensable to real-world problem solving
  • Become a ‘systematic thinker’ so you can build bridges between different parties involved in a given situation


Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (Austria) - Governance, Innovation and Sustainability; Autonomous University of Madrid - Economics and Management of Innovation; IT Copenhagen University - Navigating Complexity: Representation, Objectivity and the Digital; Lund University - Sustainability Transitions and the Geography of Innovation; Maastricht University - Science and Public Policy; NKUA/NTUA, Athens - Philosophy and History of Science and Technology; Science, Technology and Sustainability: North-South Comparison; Enabling and Disabling Dimensions of Technological Change; Law, Science and Technology; University Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur - Historical, Philosophical, Ethical and Governance aspects of ICT; Attention economy and grey ecology.

Your future

Governmental, non-governmental and private organisations are increasingly faced with rapidly changing decision-making conditions. In a period where the information society is becoming more complex there will be an increasing need for generalists who are able to deal with our cultures of innovation in a reflexive and politically conscious way.

Career prospects

From all ESST graduates 90% is employed, 10% work as a PhD Candidate or have chosen to do a second master elsewhere.

Many ESST graduates find work in non-academic institutes, such as:

  • Governmental agencies and NGOs (Analyst, Parliamentary Assistant)
  • Advisory bodies, e.g. think tanks, health councils (Advisor)
  • Private research institutes, e.g. sustainability centres (Policy Analyst, Research Assistant)
  • Commercial companies or consultancies specialising in science and technology and innovation (Marketing and Communications, Business consultant)

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 Year)

Tuition fees
€13,800.00 (11,14,701) per year
Statutory fee for this programme is € 2,083
Start date

Expected September 2022


Maastricht University

Minderbroedersberg 4-6,



6211, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have eligible for admission if you have a bachelor's degree from a relevant academic field, for example, philosophy or sociology. English language requirements: IELTS (6.5); TOEFL Paper-based test (575); TOEFL Internet test (90); TOEIC listening and reading (720) and speaking and writing (310); Cambridge [Advanced (CAE) Grade C (scale 180-184), First Certificate in English (FCE) Grade A (scale 180-184), First Certificate in English (FCE) Grade B (scale 176-179)].

For international students

You are eligible for admission if you have a bachelor’s degree from a relevant academic field: social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or humanities. You also need to have an interdisciplinary interest, and can prove this by transcripts showing interdisciplinary coursework, a CV with relevant work experience, or documentation of relevant extra-curricular activities.

  • IELTS test: minimum score overall 6.5 and writing minimum score 6.5
  • TOEFL test: overall, internet-based minimum score 90 and writing minimum score 25
  • TOEFL test: overall, paper-based minimum score 575
  • TOEFL test: overall, computer-based minimum score 232
  • A Cambridge certificate: C or higher for the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English)

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