Master of European Social Security (Leuven et al)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

This one-year advanced master's program deals with social security and social protection from a legal, economic, sociological, administrative and philosophical perspective. In addition to being multidisciplinary, the curriculum contains a strong comparative and multinational component focusing on the provision of social protection rights across Europe. 

What is the program all about?

The Master of European Social Security gives you the opportunity to understand the many different approaches to social security that co-exist within the historic continent of Europe. At the same time, you will gain a better understanding of your own national system within the context of the wider continental picture. The program also includes a careful, in-depth study of the role of international bodies such as the European Union.

As a student of the program, you’ll become part of an international network of experts in the field of social security. Students come from various European countries and beyond and have different academic backgrounds and motives for participation. The teaching staff consists of renowned professors from KU Leuven and other European universities specializing in various disciplines related to social security.


The program comprises 60 ECTS, starting with a summer school in August and concluding in July the following academic year.

During the Master of European Social Security, your academic skills will be developed and challenged through the experience of an internship in a social security institution or organization. Through our partnerships you can take on an internship position in proportion to your own level of experience and field of expertise, focusing either on practice or research. 

The in-person classes and workshops, held in Leuven (Belgium), are condensed together into a limited number of weeks. The remaining coursework is completed via a digital learning platform. The platform connects you to Europe's best lecturers, who guide you through their specially designed course materials remotely.


  • The unique teaching format offers you the best of both worlds: an authentic university experience at one of Europe's foremost universities and the flexibility to complete the majority of the program from home.
  • Throughout the program, you will be connected to a unique international network of universities and be in contact with teaching staff and fellow participants from all over Europe.
  • The multidisciplinary and multinational approach will broaden your perspective and will help you look at problems from a new angle. This alternative approach develops your ability to adapt to new situations and will be highly valuable throughout your professional career.

Is this the right program for me?

You may be a master’s graduate eager to specialize in social security, a social security researcher or teacher, or a professional involved in social security administration and/or policy development.

Ideally, you have:

  • good knowledge of your own social security system and its workings;
  • an ability to formulate research questions and carry out corresponding research in the area of social security;
  • high-level skills to critically evaluate national social security research within your own discipline;
  • an appropriate degree in a social security-related discipline.

While all prospective students should have knowledge of social security acquired by study, those with practical experience, e.g. experience working in a social security administration, are particularly valued. Some previous exposure to European social affairs and/or foreign social security systems is also helpful.

Career opportunities

Past graduates are often employed in European, international or national social security institutions or administrations, in insurance companies, in NGOs or academic research, and in institutions dealing with social security and social protection.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews.  For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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