Content & Structure M.A. Sociology - Study Regulations 2022

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:

6 compulsory modules, 2 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 Master's programme in Sociology has a modular structure. The programme is divided into six compulsory modules and two compulsory elective modules.

In detail, the M.A. Sociology consists of the following modules:

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

Students acquire in-depth knowledge of

  • the central theories of the subject,
  • the emergence and development of the subject in its entirety,
  • scientific theoretical foundations and the methodology of the subject.

The students acquire the competences,

  • compare theories,
  • recognise scientific progress,
  • formulate research concepts.
Compulsory electives: Two modules are selected from modules 2 to 7. The other 4 modules are not studied.

Module 2: 
Gender, Migration, Diversity

The module provides in-depth knowledge of the central approaches of several specialised fields of research, such as gender and intersectionality research, queer studies, classical and more recent theories of migration, transnationalisation research, theories on the social production of difference(s) (i.e. diversity. diversity), ethnicity and racism studies, cultural studies, feminist labour studies, recent developments in feminist technoscience studies, social movement research, methodologies and methods of gender studies, intersectionality studies, transnationally oriented migration studies and queer studies.


Module 3: 
Micro-Sociology, Social Psychology and Culture

The module provides in-depth knowledge of theories and methods of micro-sociology, social psychology and cultural theory. In theory-related courses as well as courses oriented towards specific subjects, students gain a sound insight into the epistemic foundation and conceptual tools of the interpretative paradigm of empirical social research. Psychoanalysis as a social and cultural theory plays a decisive role here, as do other paradigms of micro-sociology: symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology and ethnography, cultural studies, sociological social psychology.

Furthermore, this module pays special attention to subject areas and social spheres that are particularly relevant for the study of the connection between subject and society. In particular, socialisation theories and their application in empirical research are the focus of courses, as are related subject areas such as the social constitution of individual and collective identity. Finally, family, youth and childhood sociology form regularly recurring teaching foci of the module.

Module 4:
Economy, Labour and Organisation

In this module, in-depth knowledge of economic activity, working, organising and innovating in different historical and current forms of society is taught. This involves both conceptual and empirical studies that take up the above-mentioned topics, develop them further with a critical intention and empirically substantiate the knowledge thus gained. It is also a question of linking the individual topics in terms of content, e.g. innovation and organisation, cultures of business and work, actors of change, or power processes in organisations. Finally, events are offered that take up the above-mentioned topics with the aim of developing social theoretical implications of current dynamics.


Module 5:
Social structure, social inequality

The students deal in depth with various determinants and dimensions of social inequality and the mechanisms that generate this social inequality. The focus is on the unequal distribution of resources and opportunities for action between social groups and the associated opportunities for shaping one's life. A central 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.

In the courses, relevant social science theories and methods for the analysis of social inequality are dealt with and applied in relation to specific determinants of social inequality (such as inequality according to socio-economic status, gender, ethnic origin, age, region) as well as specific dimensions of social inequality (such as labour force participation, income, poverty, education, health, political participation, social participation). Inequalities are considered in different contexts (local, national, transnational). The module also includes the analysis of legitimisation processes as well as a comparative view 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 fields of the sociology of knowledge, technology and the environment. The seminars offered cover methods, methodologies and perspectives of international Science & Technology Studies, materialist theories and concepts as well as various schools of praxeology. Further focal points are nature/culture relations, human/environment relations, resource use and exploitation, and the regulation of life processes. Finally, specific forms of knowledge genesis in these fields will be presented and critically discussed, including approaches of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.


Module 7:
Methods of empirical social research

The module enables students to focus on research-related methods of empirical social research. At an advanced level, the module offers in-depth seminars on central research designs, methodological approaches as well as data collection and data analysis techniques of 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 deepen their training in the methods of empirical social research either in both or specifically in only one of the traditions of the subject.

When choosing this specialisation, it is recommended to complete the courses of the module before or parallel to attending the research internships (modules 9/10).

Compulsory modules
Module 8:
In the specialisation module, students take additional courses amounting to 6 SWS in one of the two compulsory elective modules they have taken from the compulsory elective phase (modules 2-7) to deepen the thematic focus of the modules.
Module 9:
Research Practice 1

The module comprises research-related courses that focus on the independent implementation of a sociological question in the context of an empirical research project by the students. The course offerings enable students to independently access theory-based data, for example by accessing the field and developing a primary survey or by providing data sets of empirical social research that can be analysed secondarily. The range of courses in the module systematically covers both areas of the qualitative-interpretative and the quantitative-statistical tradition of empirical social research in order to open up the possibility for students to specialise specifically by attending corresponding courses within the framework of the Master's programme.

It is also possible to complete modules 9 and 10 by attending a semester-long research internship under the supervision of a lecturer, in which case the first semester will typically be dedicated to the design and preparation of a primary survey and the second to the implementation of data collection as well as data analysis.

Students must prove participation in a seminar (4 SWS) and take a written module final examination in the form of an empirical research paper.


Module 10:
Research Practice 2

Same contents as module 9.

Students must provide evidence of participation in a seminar (4 SWS) and take a written module final examination in the form of an empirical research paper.

Module 11:
Option module

Courses can be chosen individually from the range of courses offered by Goethe University and the institutions cooperating with the Department of Social Sciences.

Activities in the area of university political commitment can also be credited with up to 5 CP.  


Module 12:
Final Module

Students should demonstrate their ability to develop, appropriately present orally and in writing, and answer argumentatively a comprehensive scientific question in the form of a Master's thesis.

The students acquire the competences

  • to develop a comprehensive scientific question, 
  • to develop their own complex research design,
  • to plan and implement it within a fixed time frame,
  • to independently develop sources of information,
  • to carry out and reflect on a complex research process in all its stages.

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