Universität Bielefeld

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Study Programme

The Masters of Arts in Sociology at Bielefeld University, comprisesCredit Points (CP or LP=Leistungspunkte).Credit Points are the measure of hours you work during your Master studies. 1 CP = 30 hours of work, which includes the time in class and the estimated time of preparation. To receive your Master, you need to comprise 120 credit points. This means to receive your Master after two years, which is the standard duration of studies (Regelstudienzeit) you will have to study 40h a week in 45 weeks a year.

Structure of the Master Sociology

Introductory Module

The Introductory Module will give you an overview on sociological theory, quantitative methods and qualitative methods, in three lectures. For each lecture you will receive 2 credit points, so that the module will give you 6 credit points overall. The Introductory Module is mandatory. The idea is not to provide an introduction to absolute beginners, but to refresh/systematize/re-arrange your previous knowledge and to bring students with diverse academic backgrounds to a „common ground“.

Thematic Modules

Main part of the MA Sociology are 6 thematic modules (for example “Sociology of the Global World and Anthropology” or “Political Sociology”). Each module consists of two seminars and one examination. One seminar gives you 4 CP and an examination 6 CP, so that one thematic module (one seminar without examination 4 CP + one seminar with examination 4+6 CP) will give you 14 CP while all six thematic modules give you 84 CP. However, at least one, but at most two of the thematic models must be studied in the form of a student research project, which will give you 14 C. You are free to choose different thematic modules, but you must decide on a thematic profile, which consists of three modules from the same thematic area.


Seminars are regularly weekly sessions, with 1.5 hours of time per week. To receive your credit points, lecturers will give different tasks, the so called “study performance”. These tasks might be text summaries, oral presentations, response papers or similar tasks. You will only receive your credit points if you complete the study performance task! To complete a module, you will have to complete two seminars of the same thematic area. You do not have to study both seminars in the same semester, but to complete a Module you will have to take an examination in one of the seminars. You are free to choose in which seminar you want to take the examination.


Examinations in the MA Sociology are term papers. A term paper has to be 20 – 25 pages long and must be written after the rules of academic writing. A term paper is always graded and the grade of the term paper will be the grade of the thematic module. Term papers can only be written in combination with a seminar. This means that in one of the two seminars of a thematic module you must write a term paper, to complete the module.

Student research project (LeFo)

The student research project is a special kind of thematic module. It is mandatory to complete one student research project, to receive your Masters of Arts. In the student research project students develop their own research project, connected to a seminar topic. It has either the duration of two semesters (classical form), which consists of one seminar in the first semester and one in the second semester, or it has the duration of one semester (intensive form) with one seminar double amount of class hours per week. The seminar prepares for the research paper you will have to write to complete the empirical student research project. The research paper has to be 20 – 30 pages long, is graded and will be the grade of the module. The classical form of the empirical student research project normally starts in summer semester, the intensive form in winter semester.

Profile and other modules

To get your Masters of Arts, you have to study 6 thematic modules. You are free to choose these modules, but you will have to follow certain structures to receive your degree at the end of your studies. First of all you will have to decide on a Profile. A profile consists of three thematic modules from the same thematic area. The last three of your thematic modules can be studied as a Specification and a single module, or as three single modules. A specification is two thematic modules from the same thematic area. A single module is one thematic module. Single modules, specification and profile must be from different thematic areas. This means that you can only study a maximum of three modules in one thematic area and you can only do this once. The rest of the three modules must be from different thematic areas: Either from three different areas, which cannot be the thematic area of your profile (three single modules), or from two different areas, which cannot be the thematic area of your profile (specification and single module). It is recommended to have your profile in “Sociology of the Global World and Anthropology” or “Social Structure Analysis and Social Inequality”, since in these thematic areas a broad range of English language courses are offered. However you are free to choose any thematic area, where it is possible to study a profile (see below).

Thematic areas

The Faculty of Sociology offers 10 different thematic areas to study. It is not possible to have a Profile in every thematic area. For students of the International Track it is strongly recommended to have their profile in “Sociology of the Global World and Anthropology” or “Social Structure Analysis and Social Inequality”.

Thematic area

Profile possible?

Sociological Theory


Sociological Methods


Sociology of Organizations


Political Sociology


Social Structure Analysis and Social Inequality (recommended as Profile)


Sociology of the Global World and Anthropology (recommended as Profile)


Media Sociology


Sociology of Gender


Sociology of Labor and Economic Sociology


Sociology of Law and Regulation




Grade Description






very good: an outstanding achievement









good: an achievement substantially above average requirements









satisfactory: an achievement which corresponds to average requirements









sufficient: an achievement which barely meets the requirements



not sufficient/fail: an achievement which does not meet the requirements

Study examples

Please read the information above carefully before having a look on the study examples.

Master thesis and Colloquium

Your master thesis and the colloquium will be the final part of your studies. The colloquium is intended to help you in the progress of work. You will present parts of your work or your ideas to fellow students, to discuss your progress of work and to get help with difficulties.The Master thesis has to be approximately 70 pages long and you have 6 months to write it. You will have two supervisors of which one has to be a professor. They supervise you before and during the progress of writing and give your work a grade in the end. There is no oral defense of the master thesis. The Master thesis and colloquium gives you 30 CP. The participation in a colloquium is mandatory.


Events & Deadlines

PDF-DokumentEnglish Courses for exchange students - WS 2019/20


Alle Kurse für das kommende Wintersemester 2019/20 sind auch im eKVV online einsehbar! Englischsprachige Veranstaltungen finden Sie HIER.

All courses for the upcoming winter semester 2019/20 are also available online in the eKVV. You can find an overview of courses in English HERE.









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