International Programmes 2023/2024

Master of Arts: Sociology – European Societies Master of Arts: Sociology – European Societies

Freie Universität Berlin • Berlin

Master of Arts in Sociology
In cooperation with

Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB), German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)

Teaching language
  • English

All compulsory lectures are held in English. Most elective seminars are offered in English, and some are offered in German. Accordingly, it is possible to study in the programme entirely in English.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

Regular applications: 15 April to 31 May for the following winter semester

Applications for advanced semesters: 1 July to 15 August (winter semester) and 1 January to 15 February (summer semester)

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The "Sociology – European Societies" Master's programme is a research-oriented programme. It reflects current debates in theory-driven and problem-oriented research, and students learn to develop their own empirical research projects in the third semester. The curriculum offers a range of approaches to theory and (mostly quantitative) methods – spanning fields of culture, social structure, politics, European integration and transformation. Furthermore, it encourages active participation in research, from the identification of relevant questions to delivering sound results. The programme has a strong focus on quantitative methods for the social sciences.

The programme emphasises the comparative sociological study of European societies in a globalised and transnational world. It aims to enable students to apply theoretical and empirical tools of sociology in order to accomplish the following:

  • describe and explain social structural, economic, and cultural differences across European countries
  • understand the ways in which European societies are transformed by processes of regional integration
  • investigate Europe in the context of globalisation and in contrast and connection to other world regions

The research and teaching agenda is implemented by the Institute of Sociology together with the Institutes for East European Studies, Latin American Studies, and the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Course organisation

First semester:
The first semester requires compulsory attendance in three modules. Each module consists of a lecture and an elective seminar. Each module carries 10 ECTS credits. The lecture is assessed by a written exam (90 minutes, 5 ECTS credits) at the end of the semester. The seminar requires the successful completion of a written assignment (3,000 words, 5 ECTS credits).

The three basic modules of the first semester give an overview of the political system of the EU and the development of European societies since 1945, of sociological theories used to describe processes of integration and transformation of modern societies, and of the sociological research methods employed in analysing these processes.

Second semester:
In the second semester, attendance in three modules is also compulsory. Each module consists of a lecture and an elective seminar. Each module carries 10 ECTS credits. The lecture is assessed by a written exam (90 minutes, 5 ECTS credits) at the end of the semester. The seminar requires the successful completion of a written assignment (3,000 words) or an oral exam (5 ECTS credits).

The second semester concentrates on the analysis of main features of the social structures and cultures of European societies. Additionally, the modules analyse Europe within the context of globalisation, and in comparison to other world regions (particularly North America and Latin America).

Third semester:
The third semester consists of a research placement and two seminars. The research placement (four hours weekly) gives students the opportunity to put their research skills into practice. It offers the framework to independently conduct empirical research on one's topic of choice under close supervision. Students need to hand in a research report that consists of approx. 10,000 words. The class carries 15 ECTS credits in total.

The second module of the third semester consists of two specialisation seminars. Students are free to choose from a variety of seminars addressing topics related to previous modules of the programme. The module requires a written assignment of 3,000 words.

Fourth semester:
Students write their Master's theses in the fourth semester. Furthermore, they are required to attend a final Master's colloquium where students present and discuss the results of their theses. The length of the thesis should be approx. 25,000 words or 80 pages. It carries 30 ECTS credits and has to be completed within five months after registering for the thesis.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
  • Content-related regional focus
Integrated internships

A research placement is part of the course. Students will conduct individual research projects during the third semester and thereby prepare for their final thesis.

Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

In total, the semester contribution amounts to 312.89 EUR. It includes a fee of 198.80 EUR for the transportation ticket contribution. This allows you to use public transportation in Berlin for free. Other costs covered by the semester contribution include a 50 EUR enrolment fee, a 54.09 EUR semester contribution to the student support service ("studierendenWERK Berlin"), and a 10 EUR contribution to the student union.

Costs of living

Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. However, the cost of living has also risen somewhat in Germany in recent years. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are slightly above the EU average. You will need around 950 to 1,200 EUR each month to cover your living expenses. The biggest expense is monthly rent, which is between 400 and 700 EUR in Berlin.

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

The programme is aimed at graduates of sociology and other social sciences. Programme admission requires a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) with at least 60 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) in sociology, of which 10 ECTS are in sociological methods.

Please find more information on the eligibility requirements and the application procedure on the following website:

Language requirements

If you are not a native English speaker, or if the language of instruction at your previous university was not English, we ask you to provide evidence of strong English language competence. Your level of competence should be equivalent to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The following test results, among other tests and certificates, will be accepted:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):

  • paper-based: 500
  • computer-based: 170
  • Internet-based: 80

IELTS (International English Language Testing System):

  • 5.0 scores

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)/Cambridge Certificate:

  • First Certificate (FCE)
  • Advanced (CAE)
  • Proficiency (CPE)


  • UNICERT II, at least with grade C (3.0)

English in school:

  • at least six years of school instruction in the subject English

Stay abroad:

  • studies at an anglophone university/in an anglophone programme/of anglophone courses of at least one semester/trimester and three courses

The acceptance of other forms of evidence for English language competency is at the committee's discretion. To that effect, amount, level, and evaluation (grades) of your English course or test must be identifiable for an adequate assessment.

Application deadline

Regular applications: 15 April to 31 May for the following winter semester

Applications for advanced semesters: 1 July to 15 August (winter semester) and 1 January to 15 February (summer semester)

Submit application to

If you obtained your first degree (Bachelor's or equivalent) in Germany, please apply directly to Freie Universität Berlin. If you obtained your first degree outside of Germany, please apply via uni-assist.

For more information on the application process:

Possibility of finding part-time employment

There are many ways of earning money while you study, for example as waiting staff, academic assistants, or private tutors. Knowledge of German will improve your chances of finding a part-time job, but it isn’t necessarily required. However, it is important to be aware of the legal regulations.

The student support service at the university, called studierendenWERK Berlin, and the local representative of the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) can provide information about jobs for students. When searching for a job, look at online job boards, ads in local newspapers, and notice boards on campus.


You have the option to stay in a public/private student dormitory or in a private (shared) apartment. Student dormitories are not administrated by the university itself, so Freie Universität Berlin does not have any on-campus housing. However, it works together with "studierendenWERK Berlin" regarding student accommodation.

If you do not wish to stay in a student dormitory, you can try to find a room or an apartment on the private housing market. Many students in Berlin live in shared apartments ("WGs"). You can find these offers online (e.g. WG-gesucht or Craigslist) or on notice boards on campus.

Available rooms/apartments near the university are rare. Therefore, students mostly commute from other parts of the city. The commute via public transportation usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour, which is considered a normal travel time in Berlin due to the city's size.

Freie Universität Berlin

University location

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