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Structure and Modules



ECTS Credits

Basics (1st)


Module 1

European Integration and the Development of European Societies since 1945 (10 ECTS credits)

Module 2

Sociological Theories of Social Change and Integration (10 ECTS credits)

Module 3

Methods of Comparative Research in Social Sciences (10 ECTS credits)


Consolidation (2nd)


Module 4

Social Structure and Inequalities in European Societies (10 ECTS credits)

Module 5

Culture and Values in European Societies (10 ECTS credits)

Module 6

Globalization and Regional Development (10 ECTS credits)


Specialisation (3rd)


Module 7

Research Placement (15 ECTS credits)

Module 8

Area of Specialisation (15 ECTS credits)


Final (4th)


Final colloquium

Master's Thesis (30 ECTS credits)





First Semester

Teaching Contents

Three basic modules give an overview of:

  • the political system of the EU and the development of European societies since 1945 (Module 1),
  • sociological theories and methods used to describe developmental processes of modern societies (Module 2),
  • social research methods deployed in analyzing these processes (Module 3).

Courses and Assessment

The first semester consists of the three modules. Each module consists of two parts: a compulsory lecture and a companion seminar. There are five to six seminars offered in each module. The students choose one seminar per module.

For information on module exams/grades, please follow this link.

Second Semester

Teaching Contents

The second semester focuses on the analysis of the main characteristics of social structures (Module 4) of European societies and cultural similarities and differences among them (Module 5). Moreover, in Module 6 Europe is analyzed within the context of globalization, and in comparison to other world regions (particularly North and Latin America).

Courses and Assessment

The second semester encompasses three modules. Each module consists of a compulsory lecture and a companion seminar. There are three to four seminars offered in each module, out of which at least one is offered in German and at least one in English. The students choose one seminar per module.

Each module carries 10 ECTS credits. The lecture is assessed by a written exam (90 minutes) and is passed without a grade. The seminars in modules 4-6 are passed with one oral exam (25 minutes) and two seminar papers (approx. 3.000 words each). The students decide until the third semester week, which module they want to complete with an oral examination and which two with a written assignment. The grade for the entire module is based on the graded seminar paper or the oral exam only.

Third Semester

Courses and Assessment

The third semester consists of two modules: area of specialization with two seminars and a research placement.

In the center of the third semester is the research placement (Module 7). The students are given an opportunity to combine the methods skills and theoretical knowledge they acquired in the previous semesters and to put them into practice during their own empirical research project. Each winter term three or four research placements of thematic and methodological variety are offered. These research placements are four-hour, intensely supervised classes with a small number of participants. Qualitative, quantitative or experimental methods are applied to research into structural and cultural aspects of European integration and European societies. The module is passed with a graded research report (approx. 10.000 words, 15 ECTS)

The second module of the third semester (Module 8) consists of two specialized seminars of thematic diversity and more in-depth approach to specific social phenomena more generally discussed in previous semesters. The students are given a possibility to deepen their knowledge on research topics and problems that are particularly interesting for them. In order to have this module finished with 15 ECTS students need active participation in both seminars and a successful module examination. The successful module examination means a written term paper in one of the seminars (approx. 3.000 words). This term paper is graded as pass or fail only. Active participation can mean various criteria that are up to the discretion of the lecturer. This can include anything from attending class regularly to writing a term paper for the class. So, for example, you can end up writing two term papers, one of which counts as the module examination, the other one as proof for active participation.

Fourth Semester

In the fourth semester students write their Master’s thesis. Moreover, they attend a final colloquium in which their thesis design and results are presented and discussed.

The thesis has to be completed within five months (some 25,000 words or 80 pages long, 30 ECTS credits).

Exemplary topics of the Master’s thesis can be found in OSA. Exemplary complete theses can be accessed on the Blackboard of the FU Berlin (only with FU-ZEDAT-account) in the area “Community: Master Sociology – European Societies” under Sample Papers.