The programme contains the following compulsory and elective modules, whose successful completion will be certified and graded:
- Principles of Sociology
- Comparative Analysis of Social Structures
- Sociological Theory
- Economic and Social Statistics
- Methods of Empirical Social Research and Statistics
- Principles of Sociological Institution Analysis
- Key Qualifications and Informational Skills
- Professional Qualifications
- Bachelor's Thesis (12 credits/ECTS)
Principles of Sociology
The module “Principles of Sociology” introduces sociological problems and illustrates sociology's specific scientific character. It features the lecture “Introduction to Sociology” (Einführung in die Soziologie) and two seminars.
|2 Seminars||Presentation and term paper||2x6|
The lecture introduces the subject's central terminology and concepts and characterises sociology's objectives, based on an introduction to theoretical considerations. Therefore, it answers the questions “What is sociology?” and “How does it interpret and analyse social processes?” The lecture explores sociological terminology and concepts, study results and approaches to the analysis of social problems. Furthermore, it provides first experiences with the processes of sociological theory construction and interpretation. Also, it elaborates the genuinely sociological aspects surrounding the subject's views and interpretations. The lecture is offered each winter semester. The seminars introduce central sociological problems on the basis of original reading, e.g. social inequality, power and authority, gender, socialization, social change, social integration and conflict. The subjects offered in the seminars in this module vary from semester to semester.
|Lecture + Tutorial||Written exam||8|
This module provides knowledge about demographic development, household and family structures and social inequality. The latter focuses on the fields of education, employment, careers, income and prosperity development. Besides examining the current social structure, there are also international and intertemporal comparisons. The module comprises the lecture “Comparative Analysis of Social Structures” (Vergleichende Sozialstrukturanalyse) and a corresponding tutorial. The lecture and the tutorial are offered each winter semester.
This module introduces major sociological theories. Their prerequisites are discussed by looking at history of science, social history and biographical aspects. Their core principles are reconstructed and their theoretical content is evaluated within comparative context. The module comprises one of two lectures – “Sociological Theory I” (Soziologische Theorie I) or “Sociological Theory II” (Soziologische Theorie II) – and one literature seminar.
|Literature seminar||Presentation and term paper||6|
The lecture “Sociological Theory II” (Soziologische Theorie II) discusses sociological theories that have gained special importance in contemporary theory discourse. The focus lies on macrosociological approaches that apply to the emergence, the basic structure and the evolution of modern societies.
The lecture “Sociological Theory I” (Soziologische Theorie I) is offered each summer semester, the lecture “Sociological Theory II” (Soziologische Theorie II) is offered each winter semester.
The literature seminars focus exclusively on the work of one central sociological theoretist, e.g. Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, George Herbert Mead, Alfred Schütz, Norbert Elias, Jürgen Habermas, Niklas Luhmann, Pierre Bourdieu or Michel Foucault. The seminars aim to reconstruct the sociological program's line of argument, based on intensive and detailed reading of original literature. The subjects offered in the literature seminars vary from semester to semester.
|Lecture + Exercise Course||Written exam||4+1|
|Subsequent Seminar||Written exam||2|
This module covers statistic processes for analysing economic, political and social problems and developments, as well as competent knowledge in data analysis with the computer. The module comprises the lecture “Economic and Social Statistics” (Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistik), a corresponding exercise course, a subsequent seminar “Descriptive Statistics” (Deskriptive Statistik) and a tutorial.
The lecture and the corresponding exercise course examine the role of statistics in economic and social sciences. This includes methods of data gathering and standardisation, as well as frequency distribution, measures, coefficients of concentration, measures of correlation, indexes and simple linear regression.
In the tutorial, the basics of software supported data anaylsis with SAS will be practiced, including the necessary syntax for each step of complex data processing.
The subsequent seminar “Descriptive Statistics” (Deskriptive Statistik) teaches specifically sociological proficiency in descriptive statistics and software supported data processing with SAS, on the basis of the lecture and exercise course.
The lecture, exercise course, tutorial and subsequent seminar are offered each summer semester.
This module focuses on three objectives: First, statistical basics for empirical social research. Second, the basics for software supported data processing, including the necessary syntax for each step of complex data processing. Third, the methods and procedures of data collection.
The module comprises the lecture “Introduction to the Methods of Empirical Social Research” (Einführung in die Methoden empirischer Sozialforschung) and three seminars: “Inferential and Multivariate Statistics” (Schließende und multivariate Statistik), a “Project seminar” (Projektseminar) and “Qualitative Social Research” (Qualitative Sozialforschung).
|Lecture||Homework assignments, exercises||4|
|Seminar „Inference and Multivariate Statistics“ (1)||Written exam||4|
|Project Seminar (2)||Research paper||8|
|Seminar „Qualitative Social Research“ (3)||Presentation, term paper||6|
The lecture “Introduction to the Methods of Empirical Social Research” (Einführung in die Methoden empirischer Sozialforschung) presents research methods with importance for social science analysis, such as selection methods, surveys, observation, etc.
The seminar “Inferential and Multivariate Statistics” (Schließende und multivariate Statistik) teaches interpretative evaluation of statistic data and methods for multivariate data analysis. The corresponding tutorial continues the lessons on software supported data processing with SAS.
Within the “Project Seminar” (Projektseminar), which runs for two semesters, students conduct their own empirical research project. This includes the analysis and interpretation of data, the development and testing of hypotheses and the completion of an empirical research paper.
The seminar “Qualitative Social Research” (Qualitative Sozialforschung) introduces the qualitative research designs for social science.
The lecture, as well as the seminar “Inferential and Multivariate Statistics” (Schließende und multivariate Statistik) are offered each winter semester. The project seminar begins in the winter semester and requires the successful completion of the lectures “Introduction to the Methods of Empirical Social Research” (Einfürung in die Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung) and “Economic and Social Statistics” (Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistik). The seminar “Qualitative Social Research” (Qualitative Sozialforschung) is offered each semester.
|2 Seminars||Presentation, term paper||2x6|
This module introduces – theoretically and practically – the classical and contemporary states of research in three central social institutional fields, from which one is chosen as a main study focus: civil society and associational life (social order), market (economic order) and state (political order). The module comprises one of three lectures and two subsequent seminars within the chosen institutional field, one of which is practically orientated. The themes offered in the seminars vary from semester to semester. The three possible focusses are called Civil Society and Associational Life, Economy, Market and Organisation, and State and Public Administration.
This module elaborates methods and techniques for autonomous studying and working like time management, oratory and presentations, scientific writing, discourse and argumentation, research skills and information management. The module comprises a tutorial complementing the lecture “Introduction to Sociology” (Einführung in die Soziologie, Module “Principles of Sociology”), and two seminars.
|2 Seminars||Presentation, excercises||2x3|
In the tutorial, principal working methods for scientific presentation, as well as appropriate argumentation and discussion are practiced, on the basis of in depth discussions of the lecture's themes. The seminar “Key Qualifications and Informational Skills I” (Schlüssel- und Informationskompetenz I) teaches methods and techniques for autonomous studying, basic time management, oratory and presentations, discourse and argumentation, as well as information management. The seminar “Key Qualifications and Informational Skills II” (Schlüssel- und Informationskompetenz II) assesses methods and techniques for scientific writing and the use of the e-Learning plattform.
|Internship/Teaching competence||Internship report||12|
This module debates different possible professional fields for sociologists. The focus lies on elaborating one's own professional goals and applying sociological knowledge and methods at work. The module comprises one of two seminars and an 8 week internship or teaching two tutorials in sociology. The seminar “Application Training” (Bewerbertraining) provides students with techniques and a strategic approach to finding a suitable internship or profession. The seminar “Sociologists in Practice” (Soziologinnen/Soziologen in der Praxis) illustrates fields of practice for sociologists.
Choice of courses from the Sociology Lecture Catalogue, adding up to a total of 18 credits/ECTS.
Interdisciplinary Elective Module
This module comprises an obligatory course – “Interdisciplinary Institution Analysis” (Interdisziplinäre Institutionenanalyse), compulsory optional courses (choice of courses from political science or economics and a free choice of courses from the University's Lecture Catalogue. At least 6 credits/ECTS must be collected in the field of Interdisciplinary Institution Analysis, at least 12 credits/ECTS must be collected in the fields of political science or economics and up to 18 credits/ECTS can be collected from a free choice of courses.
The Interdisciplinary Institution Analysis (lecture or seminar) introduces research programmes of institution analysis. It compares the perspectives of political science, economics and sociology. Not only does it stress disciplinary exceptions, but also interdisciplinary overlaps in certain institutional constellations.
The University's current lecture catalogue and those from past semesters can be found in the University of Heidelberg's informational system. The date of publication for the catalogue is the last week of the preceding semester.