Your first semester
Useful information for first semester students
- Welcome Brochure: Please make sure to have a look into our Welcome Brochure that contains all general information that new students need to know!
- Program Information: At the beginning of each semester, we publish our updated Program Information that contains relevant information for the coming semeser, such as the course registration period, planned teaching formats (in presence, online or hybrid teaching), the course catalog, events such the Welcome Event or the Campus Tour, etc.
- Mailing Lists: We run two mailing lists that students of our program can subscribe to:
This is our internal mailing list for important information about the MA program, advertisments, events, etc. With this list, you get regularly informed about teaching, research, and job offers at the Institute and its affiliated research centers. You can subscribe to the internal mailing list here.
This is our external mailing list for external job advertisements and information on academic events that are not organized by members of the Institute but might still be relevant to you. You can subscribe to the external mailing list here.
You can also use this mailing list to inform your fellow students about events, job advertisements, etc. Please note, however, that the mailing list is moderated and only relevant content will be forwarded.
- Academic Calender: Please make sure to regularly check the Academic Calender that contains information about the semester duration, teaching activity, holidays, re-registration periods etc.
- How to get access to FU services from outside the Campus
How to access literature from outside the Campus?
Connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) of Freie Universität Berlin:
1. Download the software “AnyConnect Client” (https://www.zedat.fu-berlin.de/VPN - choose your respective operating system)
2. Click on the AnyConnect-Icon. Choose the name of the VPN-Server (vpn.fu-berlin.de), then click connect.
3. Enter your username and password and press ok.
- Information on different types of exams
Please find below some information on how to write a seminar paper, a master thesis, conduct a power point presentation etc.
... write an exam?
All lectures are completed with a written exam (90 minutes) or test (<90 minutes). The lecturer decides about his/her specific exam conditions. S/he will explain it at the beginning of the course. The written exam normally consists of questions directly referring to the lecture’s topics. We recommend attending the lectures regularly and always reading the basis texts. If you have understood issues within their contexts, you don’t have to learn by rote at the end of the semester.
… write an essay?
Some lectures prefer three essays instead of a seminar paper. An essay examines a scientific question in a precise and ambitious form (about 5-8 pages). In contrast to a seminar paper, the essay is not a systematic and comprehensive handling of a topic but more a “lax”, but critical reflection. A good essay needs to raise an interesting question that has to be answered plausibly (question, thesis and topic). It also needs an argumentative structure.
The Harvard College Writing Center provides valuable strategies for essay writing.
An oral exam takes about 20-30 minutes. The lecturer will explain his/her conditions at the beginning of the seminar. You either choose two or three topics from the seminar or you prepare a lecture about a topic of your choice and the lecturer will ask some additional questions. A good preparation is to hold a speech about your topic on your own or to your friends.
- Information on plagiarism
Please read all relevant information about plagiarism carefully.
Sample papers can be found on the Blackboard of the FU Berlin. The selection is meant to give students an orientation in writing their own seminar papers (semesters 1 & 2), research reports (semester 3) and masters thesis (semester 4). Access: Follow the link to Blackboard, log in, go to "Community", search for the organization Master "Sociology - European Societies" (just search for "sociology"), become a member. In this organization, there is a separate area "Sample Papers".