Sociology of Inequality – Master of Arts

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Sociology of Inequality is a consecutive Master's programme in English that builds on a three-year Bachelor's programme in the social sciences, for example in sociology, political and administrative science, economics or a similar field of study. The programme is characterised by a research-oriented study programme, deals with contemporary topics and problems and offers personal and individual supervision. The six-month external internship increases the breadth of experience as well as labour market opportunities. In its subject matter and scientific connectivity to the Graduate School of the Social and Behavioural Sciences (GSBS) and the Cluster of Excellence The Politics of Inequality, the programme is considered outstanding in Germany and in the European Union.

Students will mainly work on the following topics, often taking an internationally comparative perspective: migration and social integration, gender inequalities in organizations and the labour market, education and the labour market, organization and economy, culture and social networks. To discuss these issues – sometimes differently than expected – students need to have a good knowledge of general theoretical basics and be able to skilfully apply it. The department also places particular emphasis on equipping students with the required methodical tools and thus enabling students to collect and analyze empirical material.
Students will receive research-oriented training in theory building, thematic applications of social inequality as well as analytical and categorizing methods. Key parts of the study programme are an intense, six-month project seminar and the thesis students will write over a period of six months. All students are purposefully involved in on-going sociology research and trained to reflect on developments in society. In addition to that, students will participate in sociological research colloquia and be introduced to sociological debate culture.
The six-months compulsory internship (outside the university) will greatly expand students' range of experience as well as increase chances on the labour market. Students can complete it either at a research institution, in an organization or in a company.

Overview

Degree Master of Arts
Programme start Winter semester
Period of study 4 semesters
Application period 15.3.-30.4.
Admission restrictions no
ECTS 120
⌀ Number of students 15

Why study Sociology of Inequality in the University of Konstanz?

  • research-oriented approach to a topic that is particularly relevant today
  • close connections to top-level research in the Cluster of Excellence "Politics of Inequality"
  • outstanding student-staff ratio
  • learning atmosphere characterized by good discussions and many colloquia that encourages an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas
  • strong methodology basis that is taught in a comprehensible way and is essential for your future career
  • ideal preparation for potential doctoral research directly after the degree, e.g. at the Konstanz Graduate School of the Social and Behavioural Sciences (GSBS)
  • compulsory internship for optimum career opportunities, either in research or in practical professional work

Content

Prospects and opportunities

Career prospects

After successfully completing the Master's Programme Sociology of Inequality, students will have a whole range of career options.

Typical work areas include:

  • science and research at universities and research institutions
  • businesses, e.g. in human resources, knowledge management, quality assurance, project management, marketing, public relations
  • NGOs and NPOs, international organizations
  • journalism
  • political parties, foundations, associations, trade associations and trade unions as well as economic and labour organizations
  • agencies, authorities, ministries, public administration, municipalities, state institutions (e.g. the German Bundestag)
  • cultural, media and educational institutions

Further career prospects are available at our interview series #dreamjob - starting your career, where alumni of the University of Konstanz share their insights into starting a career.

Doctoral Research
The Master's programme offers the best follow-up opportunities to a career in science. Graduates can pursue a doctoral research in sociology (Dr. rer. soc.) to work in research and teaching. Due to its thematic orientation, the Master's programme is the optimal preparation for a doctorate at the Konstanz Graduate School of the Social and Behavioural Sciences (GSBS) in the field of "Inequality".
A doctorate is also possible outside the GSBS. In many cases, the prerequisite for a doctorate is an above-average degree. The targeted departments, faculties and graduate schools provide information on the specific conditions for application.

Programme structure

Programme start

Winter semester

Academic structure

The following illustration is an example of how students might structure the programme. The programme structure provides an overview of the ECTS credits for each semester.


Please check the Exam regulations (partly in German) for more information about the programme structure.

Internship and study abroad

Internships

A non-university internship semester is a compulsory part of the degree programme. The 6-month internship is completed full-time and can be divided into two parts. No part may be shorter than two months.
Students who wish to work in academia are recommended to complete the internship semester at an academic institution. Students who wish to pursue a career outside of academia are recommended to choose an institution related to their career aspirations. The internship place is searched for by the students themselves and approved at the internship office of the department.
For the M.A. Sociology of Inequality, the department maintains contacts with renowned national and international organisations in the university and non-university sector that are involved in the subject area and are happy to make use of our well-qualified students for their internships as part of their application process. In addition, the department's internship office or the Career Service provide support in the search for a suitable internship at home or abroad.

Study abroad

The university promotes study abroad via Erasmus+ and numerous other exchange programmes. An internship abroad is the perfect way to include a stay abroad in your MA Sociology of Inequality.

Impressions from students and lecturers

Hear from students and lecturers
In our interview series, students talk about their subject, teachers explain the department's research and tell you what topics they cover in seminars and lectures.

Get an impression
Discover online lectures and websites with more information about your prospective subject.

Requirements

What interests and skills should I have?

  • An interest in social contexts and questions
  • An interest in social inequality both in everyday contexts as well as in politics
  • High level of commitment and well-structured way of working
  • Good English skills

Language skills

English language skills

Documentation of adequate English language skills (level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is a pre-requisite for admission to this master's programme. Any one of the following language tests (or equivalent) are accepted as proof of your English language skills:

  • Five years of continuous English lessons in secondary education with a minimum grade of 9 points or "befriedigend" (satisfactory) or better (usually certified by the higher education entrance qualification)
  • Successful completion of four or more courses taught in English in a previous study programme
  • Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE), at least grade C
  • IELTS test result (International English Language Testing System), score 5.5 or better
  • TOEFL test result (Test of English as a Foreign Language) of at least 87 points (internet-based), 227 points (computer-based) or 567 points (paper-based).

Language(s) of instruction

The language of instruction is English.

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in a subject relevant for the Master's Programme Sociology of Inequality, e.g. sociology, social science, political science, economics or a comparable programme (grade 2.5 "good" in the German grading system or better)
  • Adequate English language skills (active and passive) of at least level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages proved by one of the following language tests (or equivalent):
  • Five years of continuous English lessons in secondary education with a minimum grade of 9 points or "befriedigend" (satisfactory) or better (usually certified by the higher education entrance qualification)
  • Successful completion of four or more courses taught in English in a previous study programme
  • Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE), at least grade C
  • IELTS test result (International English Language Testing System), score 5.5 or better
  • TOEFL test result (Test of English as a Foreign Language) of at least 87 points (internet-based), 227 points (computer-based) or 567 points (paper-based).

You will find more information in the admission regulations.

Fees

Semester fee

All students enrolled at the University of Konstanz are charged a semester fee each semester, similar to all other German universities. Here you can find the current semester fee and its individual components.

Tuition fees for first degree studies for certain international students
Since winter semester 2017/18, the state of Baden-Württemberg has required some international students to pay tuition fees for their first degree studies. The following students are not required to pay tuition fees: citizens of a country within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), doctoral students and certain “Bildungsinländer” (e.g. non-EU citizens with a German “Abitur”). More detailed information can be found here.

Each year, the University of Konstanz grants exemptions to a limited number of particularly gifted international degree-seeking students in accordance with the university’s “Begabtenbefreiungssatzung” (statutes governing the exemption of gifted students). More detailed information can be found here.

Tuition fees for second degree studies for all students
All students are required to pay tuition fees for their second degree studies. More detailed information can be found here.

Application and application documents

This study programme has no admission restrictions. You will find more information in the admission regulations.

An application is possible during the following period: 15.3.-30.4. (winter semester). There may be other deadlines if you are applying for admission to a higher semester (for instance, if you are changing subjects or universities). For more information please consult the university website.

Application documents

Please upload and submit the following documents along with your online application:

  • Documentation of the academic degree including a detailed description of your coursework and performance assessments. If you have not received your examination certificate by the end of the application deadline, please attach documentation of all your examination results so far;
  • documentation of English language skills (see language skills)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • If applicable, current certificate of enrolment or proof of exmatriculation (if you have studied at a German university, please indicate your "Fachsemester" and "Hochschulsemester")

Important: Please note the information provided under the tab “Admission requirements”.

International Applicants:

  • If your application documents are not available in German or English, you will need to have them translated. Please submit a German or English translation of your documents along with the original versions.
  • Applicants from China: APS certificate (original) issued by the German Embassy in Beijing
  • Applicants from Vietnam: APS certificate (original) issued by the German Embassy in Hanoi
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