(Master of Arts)

In the background there are three groups with differently colored pawns and in the foreground there is a black pawn alone. © industrieblick / Fotolia
© industrieblick / Fotolia


Course type
Postgraduate studies (Master)
Standard Course Duration
4 semesters
Course Start
Winter semester
Language of Instruction
Language Requirements

German HZB: none
International application: German C1
Find out more

Restricted admission

Stay abroad possible, but not obligatory.

Short Description

The declining birth rate, greater life expectancy and ongoing inward or outward migration result in significant changes in age structures and ethnic or cultural compositions of populations as well as in new patterns of social inequality. Not only demographic change but also processes of globalisation intensify the pressure for change in social organisations. For instance, labour markets and economic systems are rapidly being structured in an international context, traditional institutions of the nation state are being called into question by the internationalisation and transnationalisation of the population. Societies are marked by new lines of conflict, e.g. with regard to welfare state transfers, access to education and jobs, and income fairness. Efforts to resolve these conflicts or forms of escalation define the transformation of social organisations and institutions, as well as individual biographies and options for action. Consequently, they are a core subject-matter of the Master’s degree programme in Sociology at Hannover. The close integration of sociological theory and empiricism from an explicitly integrative perspective features strongly in the teaching structure. The notion of practice-based training finds its place here as in the Practical Training module and the “Conference” seminar, in which the design of the student’s research work is presented and discussed.

Further information on the website of the Institute of Sociology (German language only)

Course Content

  • Advanced sociological theories and methods: comparison as a method of sociological knowledge and as an object of sociological research
  • Population, organisation and conflict from a comparative perspective
  • Social development processes
Course Structure

Population, organisation and conflict from a comparative perspective: this degree programme embraces comparison as a basis of sociological theory and empiricism; as a method of sociological knowledge; and as an object of sociological research, which it then applies to the thematic areas of population, organisation and conflict. At the start of the degree programme, fundamental courses in advanced sociological theories are offered, enabling students to critically examine the opportunities and problems surrounding qualitative and quantitative empirical methods. In the second half of the degree programme, students focus on discussing selected societal problems, involving an in-depth examination of a current issue from each of the three areas: population, organisation and conflict. This substantive exploration is undertaken from various theoretical and/or empirical perspectives, pursuing comparative perspectives at the national or international level or exploring comparison as a structure-forming element, e.g. in the context of organisations and institutionalisation processes.


Compulsory modules

Compulsory elective modules


Introduction to the Master’s Degree Programme in Sociology (5 CP)

Sociological Theory (5 CP)

Methods of Empirical Social Research (10 CP)

Social Development Processes - Part A (15 CP)



Sociological Theory and Empiricism (10 CP)

Social Development Processes - Part B (CP see above)

Profile module - Part A (25 CP)

Practical Training (20 CP)


External module 1 (10 CP)


External module 2 (10 CP)

3 Profile module - Part B (CP see above).
4 Master’s thesis (30 CP)
Recommended Abilities
  • Students should understand the basics of sociology and essentially know the theories and methods involved. They should also be interested in subject-specific and research-oriented interrelations.
  • Applicants must prove their German language proficiency. Other foreign language skills – particularly English – are of course recommended for achieving academic success
Career Opportunities


  • University career in sociology
  • Research management at higher education institutions and research institutions

Public sector:

  • Educational institutions
  • Public administration
  • Funding bodies and international organisations

Private sector:

  • Market and opinion research
  • Organisation and management consultancy
  • Human resources consultancy and development
  • Publishing
Admission requirements and application

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate degree in a related field of study, such as

For master's degree programmes with restricted admission, places shall be allocated according to the university’s own selection procedure, if there are more applicants fulfilling the admission requirements than there are places available. The exact admission requirements can be found in the admission regulations: 

Application Deadlines

First-year students

  • June 1st – July 15th of the year for the winter semester

Students resuming their studies and transfer students (application in a higher semester)

  • June 1st – July 15th of the year for the winter semester
  • December 1st – January 15th of the year for the summer semester
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Zentrale Studienberatung
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover
Zentrale Studienberatung
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover