Content & Structure M.A. Sociology - Study Regulations 2015

At a Glance

Standard period of study:


4 semesters (2 academic years)

Programme start:


Winter semester only

Admission restrictions:


Admission to the programme is restricted.



120 credit points (CP)

Number of modules:


5 compulsory modules, 3 compulsory elective modules

Module examination formats:


Term paper
Written test
Project work or empirical research work
Oral examination

Languages of instruction:


German, English

Programme Director

Professor Alexander Schmidt-Catran

Video presentation on the organisation of the M.A. programme in Sociology

Modules & Content Structure of the M.A. programme Sociology

The MA Sociology degree programme is modularised. It is divided into five compulsory modules and three compulsory elective modules.

In detail, the MA Sociology consists of the following modules:

Module Name

Module Contents


Module 1:
Sociological Theory, History of Sociology and Philosophy of Science

Students look in detail at the social determinants of the emergence and development of the subject, the central classical and current theories as well as important discourses in the philosophy of science. They deal in depth with the relationship between social change and theory formation, the problem of the unity and diversity of theories as well as their descriptive and explanatory potential. In the process, they also familiarise themselves with the interdisciplinary connections between sociological theories and other theories from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Students must produce proof of participation in three seminars and sit a written, course-related end-of-module examination.


Compulsory Electives: From Modules 2 to 8, students choose three. Students must complete one of the two end-of-module examinations in Modules 2 to 8 as an oral examination (30 minutes). The other two end-of-module examinations in the compulsory electives must be completed as a written test or a term paper.

Module 2:
Gender, Migration, Diversity

The module teaches advanced knowledge of the key approaches of several specialised fields of research, such as gender and intersectionality studies, queer studies, classical and recent theories of migration, transnationalisation research, theories on the social production of difference(s) (i.e. diversity), ethnicity and racism studies, cultural studies, labour feminism research, recent developments in feminist technoscience studies, social movement research, methodologies and methods of gender studies, intersectionality research, transnational migration studies and queer studies.


Module 3:
Microsociology, Social Psychology and Culture

The module teaches advanced knowledge of theories and methods of microsociology, social psychology and cultural theory. In theory-related courses as well as courses geared towards specific topics, students acquire a sound insight into the epistemic foundations and conceptual tools of the interpretative paradigm of empirical social research. Here, psychoanalysis as a social and cultural theory plays a decisive role, as do other paradigms of microsociology: symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology and ethnography, cultural studies, sociological social psychology.

Furthermore, special attention is paid in this module to topics and social spheres that are particularly important for studying the connection between subject and society. In particular, courses focus on socialisation theories and their application in empirical research as well as on related thematic areas such as the social constitution of individual and collective identity. Finally, family, youth and childhood sociology are recurring themes in this module.


Module 4:
Economy, Work and Organisation

In this module, advanced knowledge of the economy, work, organisation and innovation in different historical and current societal models is taught. This involves both conceptual as well as empirical studies that address the above-mentioned topics, further develop them with critical intention and empirically substantiate the findings thus gained. In this context, the aim is also to link the individual thematic areas in terms of content, e.g. innovation and organisation, work and business cultures, stakeholders of change, or power processes in organisations. Finally, courses are offered that address the above-mentioned thematic areas with the aim of processing the social theory implications of current dynamics.


Module 5:
Social Structure, Social Inequality

Students deal in depth with various determinants and dimensions of social inequality and the mechanisms that create it. Important in this context is the unequal distribution of resources and courses of action between social groups and the opportunities for shaping one's life that accompany them. A key question is how social institutions such as the economic system, the labour market, the education system, the family or social policy (re)produce such social inequalities.

Important social science theories and methods for the analysis of social inequality are treated in the module's courses and applied to specific determinants of social inequality (such as inequality because of socio-economic status, gender, ethnic origin, age, region) as well as specific dimensions of social inequality (such as participation in the labour market, income, poverty, education, health, political involvement, social participation). Here, inequalities are considered in different contexts (local, national, transnational). The module contents also include the analysis of legitimisation processes as well as a comparative contemplation of inequality (e.g. in a country comparison or over time).


Module 6:
Knowledge, Technology and Environment

The module provides an overview of the research areas of the sociology of knowledge as well as of technical and environmental sociology. The seminars offered cover methods, methodologies and perspectives of international science and technology studies, materialist theories and concepts as well as various different schools of praxeology. Other focus areas are nature/culture relationships, human/environment relationships, resource use and exploitation, and the regulation of life processes. Finally, specific forms of knowledge genesis in these fields are presented and critically discussed, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research approaches.


Module 7:
Methods of Empirical Social Research

The module enables students to set a research-based focus in the area of empirical social research methods. At an advanced level, the module offers seminars on central research designs, methodical approaches as well as data collection and data analysis techniques in empirical social research. The courses offered in the module systematically cover areas of both the interpretative/reconstructive and the quantitative/statistical tradition of empirical social research in order to give students the opportunity to consolidate their training in the methods of empirical social research either in both or specifically in only one of the traditions of the subject.

It is recommended that students who choose this advanced course complete the courses in the module before or in parallel to attending the research practice courses (Modules 9/10).


Module 8:

Courses can be individually selected from the compulsory elective modules as well as from the theory and methods courses. This includes Modules 1-7 as well as all courses within the intra-faculty and cross-faculty research priorities (for advanced thematic studies).

Special rule:

Students may submit an application (one page) to the Module Supervisor to earn up to 9 CP in the framework of an internship. Students must make clear how the internship contributes to their specialisation. The examination (5 CP) cannot be substituted.

Active participation in university politics is also considered as equivalent to an internship. Activities can be recognised that are based on an election and have been exercised for at least one year, whereby only directly elected offices are taken into consideration. 3 or 6 CP can be credited for participation in university politics: Students' Union Executive Committee (6 CP), a Students' Union office (3 CP), Student Parliament Executive Board (3 CP), Senate (6 CP), Faculty Council (3 CP), Departmental Student Representative Committee (3 CP), Women's Council (3 CP). The examination cannot be substituted in this case either.


Research Practice (compulsory)

Module 9:
Research Practice 1

The module comprises research-related courses that centre on the independent processing of a sociological question in the framework of an empirical research project by students. The courses enable students to access theory-led data independently, for example through access to the field and developing a primary survey or by making available empirical social research datasets for secondary analysis. The courses offered in the module systematically cover areas of both the qualitative-interpretative and the quantitative/statistical tradition of empirical social research in order to open up the possibility for students to specialise by attending corresponding courses within the master's programme.

It is also possible to complete Modules 9 and 10 by attending a research practice course lasting two semesters under the supervision of a lecturer, in which case the first semester will typically be dedicated to designing and preparing a primary survey and the second to data collection and analysis.

Students must produce proof of participation in a seminar (4 semester hours per week) and sit a written, course-related end-of-module examination in the form of an empirical research paper.


Module 10:
Research Practice 2

Same contents as Module 9.

Students must produce proof of participation in a seminar (4 semester hours per week) and sit a written, course-related end-of-module examination in the form of an empirical research paper.


Completion of Studies

Module 11:
Dissertation Colloquium

Here, students treat sociological topics and questions of their own choice within an independent research paper. They can apply the methods, theories, concepts and working techniques they have learned to the chosen topic and combine them in a targeted research process.

Students must produce proof of active participation in two colloquia and sit an oral end-of-module examination on their master's dissertation.


Module 12:
Final Module

Composition of a master's dissertation on a topic of one's own choice on a sociological research question.


Image credit: CC0-license free image


Dipl.-Soz. Alexander Simon

Student counselling for B.A. programs in Political Science and Sociology / Student counselling for M.A. programs / M.A. admission / B.A./M.A. internship counselling 

Telephone: +49 069/798-36596


PEG Room 2.G 133

Open consultation hours:

Tuesday 11a.m - 1p.m.

Thursday 11a.m. - 1 p.m.

In lecture free time only on Tuesdays

Open telephone consultation hours:

Wednesday 11a.m - 1p.m.

or by individual arrangement

Department 03
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6
60323 Frankfurt am Main