The research-based Master’s program “Sociology – European Societies“ is hosted by the Institute of Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin. In academic training and research, the program focuses on the sociological inquiry of European societies in a global and transnational world. The program’s main emphasis in faculty research and graduate training is on comparative social analyses, transnationalization, and Europeanization.
Our program builds on a solid foundation of sociological theory and social research methods, supporting students in carrying out their own research and connecting them to different data sources and techniques of data acquisition and data analysis. Students work closely with faculty to develop theoretically informed empirical research using various methods and research designs. The curriculum offers a range of approaches to theory and research – spanning fields of culture, social structure, politics, integration, and transformation – and encourages active participation in research, from finding interesting and relevant questions to delivering informative results.
The Master’s program “Sociology – European Societies“ is unique in that teaching and research are carried out in close cooperation with leading research centers and institutes in Berlin. Three institutes for Area Studies at Freie Universität, the Institute for East-European Studies (OEI), the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies (JFK), and the Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI), offer institutional and historical comparative perspectives on European societies in a global context. Two world leading research centers in the social sciences, the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), offer rich and in-depth perspectives on stratification and social inequalities and provide invaluable data sources.
During the first two semesters, students become acquainted with the structure and culture of European societies from a global comparative perspective. They learn both the theoretical and methodological bases for conducting comparative sociological research. The third semester then is dedicated to deepen one’s theoretical and methodological knowledge in areas of interest and to apply this knowledge to an original research project. Finally, students complete their degree after writing a thesis in the fourth semester. The program can be studied both in German and English. While all the compulsory lectures are held in English, around half of the elective seminars are offered in German, and the other half in English. Please note therefore, that you can only choose from a limited course offer if you would like to study in English exclusively. There are no tuition fees.
Upon graduation, students obtain a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in sociology with excellent job perspectives. The degree qualifies for postgraduate positions in academia and various science-based professions. The knowledge, skills and analytical competencies acquired in the program are sought by various European and international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, as well as by many businesses and corporations.