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  • Duration: 4 semesters
  • Degree Award: Master of Arts
  • Language: German
  • admission free
  • Special admission requirements

Social Studies - Master's Programme

Orientation and Goals

In our modern knowledge-based societies, skills for dealing with knowledge, particularly in the social sciences, are more important than encyclopaedic knowledge. The Social Studies Master’s at the University of Oldenburg aims to introduce students to an integrative approach to the analysis of social phenomena from sociological and political science perspectives, particularly in the fields of labour market, organization and knowledge. Practical and professional skills in the fields of labour market policies, organizational consultancy and knowledge management are taught in these focus areas.

Through the Social Studies Master’s programme, skills will be acquired to theoretically analyze issues in the social sciences, particularly in the fields of labour market, organization and knowledge – to explore empirically and reflect normatively. Social scientists must possess the ability to ponder academic or practical problems from different perspectives, place them in a larger context and work with the proper tools. The starting point of the study plan is therefore the interweaving of object-related and practical research skills with theoretical and methodological knowledge.

Study Design and Contents

In the first semester, alongside the introduction to the degree programme focus areas (labour market, organization and knowledge), students will follow a course unit in social science theories and one in social science methods.
In the second semester, students select two of the programme focus areas, beginning with the placement and project course unit. In the placement, a choice is given to either participate in an ongoing research project at the institute or complete a placement at an organization relevant to the professional orientation. The third semester expands on the chosen programme focus area and rounds off the project work and placement. In the fourth semester, students write a final thesis which is accompanied by an oral examination.

Focus Areas

In the focus area ‘Labour market’, students acquire the skills for theoretical and empirical analysis of labour markets in micro/macro, analytical and interdisciplinary perspectives. The sociological approach focuses on the micro explanation of social inequality in the labour market, taking the effects of the institutional, cultural and social integration of the labour market into account. The political science focus is dedicated to the actor-centred analysis of political decision-making and reform processes and individual attitudes regarding the design of the labour market and social policy in an international comparison. The goal of the programme is to qualify students for activities in political institutions, organizations concerned with social security, employers’ associations and trade unions as well as in research institutions for labour market and social policy issues.

In the focus area ‘Organization’, students learn how to analyze and understand organizations from political science and sociological perspectives. The sociological perspective studies the interaction between the various actors in organizations. This especially involves understanding organizations as open and heterogeneous systems. By linking theory with concrete examples, students acquire the skills needed in this focus area to analyze organizations using both political science and sociological approaches and apply this knowledge to manage organizational actions effectively.

In the focus area ‘Knowledge’, students acquire comprehensive, expert knowledge of the approaches and methods used in knowledge research. Additionally, they hone reflective skills with regard to the relationship between knowledge and society, specifically in the area of modern information and communication technology. This focus area gives students the opportunity to view the subject matter from the perspectives of communication and knowledge production while focusing on the societal implications and requirements of new information technologies. With this focus area, students are qualified for activities in the fields of knowledge, academic and innovation research as well as for work in the fields of strategy development, communication and HR in companies, associations and foundations.

Foreign Language Skills

In order to study this course at the University of Oldenburg as a student from outside of Germany, you need an adequate knowledge of German.

German Language Proficiency
You can proof your German language proficiency with the following language certificates:
  • DSH: Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (Level 2)
  • TestDaF: Test – Deutsch als Fremdsprache (with level 4 in all four areas)

English Language Proficiency or another modern foreign language, see admissions regulations

The proof of language proficiency must be presented for the enrolment. For other proof possiblities see: Language requirements

Careers and Areas of Employment

The professional fields most suited for graduates of this degree programme lie primarily in academic and science-utilizing fields. They range from careers in academia, private research institutions and opinion research institutions to academic departments in companies and public institutions as well as in media and educational institutions.

Find out more about the professional fields of Social Studies (in German).

Target Group/Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification in social studies, sociology or political science or from prior studies in a closely related field worth at least 60 credit points
  • compulsory participation in a statistics-software-course with descriptive and inductive competences worth at least 9 credit points
  • English Language Proficiency or another modern foreign language, see admissions regulations
    • on average minimum of 9 points in English language in the last two school years

Application/Admission Procedures

This is an open admissions degree course, and applications are accepted for winter semesters.
The application deadline for the winter semester is 30 September.
The application deadline for the summer semester is only in reasonable cases possible until 31 March.

Please note
For open-admission Master's degree programmes it is strongly recommended to submit their applications as early as possible before 15 July for the winter semester and before 15 January for the summer semester. If the supporting documents are submitted after these dates but before the standard application deadlines, your application can only be processed at the start of the lecture period in the new semester. This may result serious problems (German document).
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