Digital Humanities and Social Analytics

Learn to use digital technologies to analyse social media and humanities data

Text mining, data analysis and visualization

The sources and objects studied in history, media, literature, art, and social sciences are increasingly becoming available in digital formats. You will learn how to create and analyze different types of data collections using tools for text mining, data analysis and visualization. Courses include hands-on training, research internships in ongoing research projects as well as theoretical reflection on the promises of ‘the digital’ for your own discipline. Practical computational training will sharpen your analytical skills and enhance your job opportunities in the future. To organize this minor VU works closely together with the KNAW Humanities Cluster in Amsterdam where students participate in cutting edge digital humanities projects.

Why you should follow the minor Digital Humanities and Social Analytics

Hear it from students and staff

The Digital Humanities minor consists of 8 courses, making up for 30 EC. (In period 1 you take 2 classes of 3 ec and 1 of 6 ec; in period 2 you choose 2 out of 3) The last course in period 3 entails a short internship.

Computational thinking (3 ec)
This course introduces humanities and social science students to some of the basics of computer science. You will learn to analyze problems and strategies to solve problems, create algorithms, and translate algorithms to a flowchart.

Hermeneutics for computer science students (3 ec)
This course familiarizes students from computer sciences with the questions, methods and sources (data) of the humanities.

Exploring the field of Digital Humanities (3 ec)
In this class you will study current developments in the field of Digital Humanities and Social Analytics through reading, excursions, evaluation and discussion.

Digitization: From Object to Data (6 ec)
Social behaviour increasingly leaves digital traces and creates enormous collections of digital-born data in the social media and on the internet. Meanwhile physical objects (printed and handwritten texts, images, music) are converted into digital data as well. How are these data structured? And how can they be accessed, modelled and analysed?

Text Mining for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences (6 ec)
Students learn how to, both manually and automatically, annotate larger amounts of textual data. They will analyse the results and reflect on the implications and promises for their own discipline.

Programming for Humanities and Social Sciences (6 ec)
Students and scholars in the humanities generally rely on prefabricated applications to do their research. Creating your own research tools allows for more flexibility and more control over your data and queries. Python is the coding language widely used in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Visualizing Humanities and Social Analytics (6 ec)
Students learn to apply various visualization techniques for the exploration, analysis and presentation of textual, spatial, historical and social data. In terms of critical reflection and theory this is a more advanced course: how do we represent uncertainty and different perspectives? 

Internship: Digital Humanities and Social Analytics in Practice (6 ec)
Through an intensive internship at an ongoing research project of their own choice, students put their new theoretical knowledge and skills into practice. The students will be guided by a tutor from VU and one cultural heritage professional.
For specific information about each course, please visit our study guide.

Admission and registration


The minor Digital Humanities and Social Analytics is an interdisciplinary minor, welcoming especially computer science students, social and political science students and humanities students of all disciplines. All courses are taught in English and focus on collaboration and project-based learning.


The minor in Digital Humanities and Social Analytics is a university minor, which means that you do not need permission from your own Exam Committee. For information about the application procedure, please visit this page

For UvA students / Other students

For registering for the VU-courses, you need to enrol as a guest student at VU for a Bachelor of the Faculty of Humanites. Please visit this page for more information about the application procedure. 

Questions about the programme

If you have detailed questions about the contents of the programme, please contact:

Dr. Erika Kuijpers
+31 20 59 84448

Skills for employment market

Humanity students do not need preliminary computational skills but will enhance their career opportunities by:

  • Becoming more familiar with computational techniques and software
  • Exploring a whole new world of e-resources and e-data
  • Acquire skills for data modelling and analysis
  • Train hands-on useful basic programming skills
  • Use advanced visualizations in research and presentations
  • Participate in ongoing research projects in the booming field of Digital Humanities

For Computer scientists humanities and social science datasets are excitingly complex and a chance to explore innovative digital technologies. This minor offers the opportunity to

  • Work with and develop solutions for Big and Linked Data sets
  • Expand on state-of-the art natural language processing tools and methods
  • Investigate and develop innovative visualisation and analysis methods
  • Embed your computational research in multi-disciplinary and socially relevant projects

Social Science students will realize that social behaviour (searching, shopping, traveling, dining, dating, discussing politics, social networking) increasingly can be studied through digital data. This minor gives them the opportunity to:

  • Use data analytics to study public opinion, social behaviour and communication
  • Learn how to scrape, create, interpret, analyze and visualize different types of data
  • To explore the challenge of working with big data and computational methods

Throughout the minor, you will engage in critical reflection on the tools and methods used, and explore the way digital techniques influence current research in your own discipline.

Related Master's programmes

Samenvatting Digital Humanities and Social Analytics




1 semester (30 EC)


1 September


Gedrag en Maatschappij
Informatica, Wiskunde en Bedrijf
Kunst, Cultuur en Geschiedenis
Talen en Communicatie