The German-taught bachelor’s program in Sociology provides you with a solid foundation in the field: You will learn how you employ scientific methods to study human communities, i.e. their different manifestations and their development over time, and how to identify interdependences between them. In Mannheim, the focus is placed on quantitative social research. As a graduate of the University of Mannheim, a number of interesting career paths lie ahead of you. Numerous rankings confirm that the Department of Sociology is excellent in both teaching and research: According to the 2019 QS World Ranking, the University of Mannheim is the best German university in the Social Sciences category. Our program has successfully undergone a program accreditation process, which was carried out on the national level by the accreditation agency evalag. The accreditation is valid until 31 July 2023.
Sociology at the University of Mannheim
In teaching and research, each university has its own unique profile that sets them apart from one another. That is why deciding which higher education institution you would like to go to matters for your future career.
In Mannheim, research and teaching activity at the Department of Sociology is primarily geared towards European societies. Our courses look at specific subfields of sociology relating to work and employment, education, family, migration, organization, the economy, or social classes. One of the special features of the Sociology program at the University of Mannheim is the fact that it includes Social Psychology. In these modules, students are introduced to the social self-concept, group processes, attitudes and attitude change, and stereotypes, and learn to better understand them. In addition, the Department of Sociology has earned an international reputation for its strong focus on empirical-analytical research using quantitative methods, such as computer-assisted data analysis. That is why we offer special courses that allow you to practice carrying out your own research projects.
Statistics courses are an integral part of the bachelor’s program in Sociology. Using statistical formulas, you test the validity of your hypotheses and calculate social interdependences and influencing factors. Don’t worry, though: you do not have to be a mathematical genius to do well in Statistics during this program.
Much of the sociological literature is written in English. You should therefore be able to understand English texts. However, you do not need to speak English fluently.
Usually, term papers are written in German. Some seminars may be offered in English, requiring you to hold your presentations and write your term papers in English. In most cases, participation in these seminars is voluntary.
Working with people
People often falsely assume that by studying Sociology they will be trained to become a social pedagogue and be qualified to provide social care after graduation, e.g., in kindergartens, homes for children and young people, or institutions that provide counseling to addicts or assist disabled people. If you are interested in this kind of work, a program in Social Pedagogy or Social Work will be the right fit for you. Studying Sociology is therefore not the same as studying Social Pedagogy or Social Work. By pursuing a degree in Sociology, you will neither learn how to work with disabled people nor acquire pedagogical skills.
Sociology does not deal with child rearing and different parenting styles either. These topics are covered by programs in Educational Science.
Principles of psychological counseling
As a student of Sociology, you will not learn how to provide people with psychological counseling, as this falls within the area of Social Pedagogy or Psychology, too.
Developmental Psychology is covered by the Psychology program and, in this form, is not part of the Sociology program’s curriculum.
Empirical social research concerns itself with the systematic collection of data on interdependences in society by way of observations, interviews, and experiments, and analyzes them using different statistical methods.
The quantitative methods employed in empirical social research comprise all procedures that enable the numerical representation of empirical facts on the one hand and that support conclusions drawn from empirical findings using inferential statistics on the other. Quantitative methods include sample selection, data collection, and data analysis, for example, and can be used to formulate new hypotheses as well as to test the validity of previously proposed hypotheses.
During the program, you will first take the basic module Methods and Statistics. It addresses the following topics: drawing up surveys, developing questionnaires, devising measuring instruments, and setting up research designs and schedules, as well as the practical implementation of a study, such as data collection and analysis using statistical methods. Subsequently, you will team up with your fellow students to carry out your own research project, which is part of the research internship in the advanced module.
During the bachelor’s program, I focused on social research and sociological theories, and improved my analytical skills. I was able to personalize my degree program by spending a semester at a university abroad, studying a minor, and deciding which advanced modules to take. While studying, I worked as a student assistant, which enabled me to gain practical experience that I could link to the content learned on the program. The program of study opened up interesting and varied career options, but I decided to develop the skills I had learned through the bachelor's program, and pursue a master’s degree in Sociology.
What I liked best about the University of Mannheim is its international orientation. Students who wish to organize a stay abroad can always count on the School of Social Sciences for support. Spending a period of study abroad at Swansea University, Wales, enabled me to approach my program of study from a very different angle. In Mannheim, I met lots of students from all over the world, and the city, with its multicultural neighborhoods, has a lot to offer, too. This diversity made me fall in love with Mannheim in no time. During seminars, I also had ample opportunity to exchange ideas with people from different countries. And I even gained some practical experience during the program by completing several internships and working as a student assistant. From September 2018 onwards, I will pursue a master’s degree in Human Resources Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The German-taught program comprises the core subject and the supplementary modules. The supplementary modules constitute the career development module (including a mandatory internship), the social skills module, and the minor. This structure allows you to benefit from the university’s interdisciplinary orientation and to develop your own profile.
The bachelor’s program in Sociology at the University of Mannheim provides you with a solid foundation in the field. It comprises basic and advanced modules with an express focus on four areas of study:
General and Specific Sociology introduces basic sociological theories, and deals with their application in empirical analyses on a variety of topics, such as the sociology of work and employment, education, family, migration, the economy, organization, and social classes. Examples are mostly drawn from the context of German society.
The modules in Comparative European Societies address macrosociological theories about modern societies as well as empirical analyses that compare the components of a society at an international level, such as welfare states, education systems, employment relations, labor markets, and civil society in Europe. Special emphasis is also placed on the processes of Europeanization and globalization and their impact on the nation states.
The area of Social Psychology deals with questions and perspectives of sociopsychological research, such as the social self-concept, group processes, attitudes and attitude change, stereotypes, health psychology, and social psychology of gender.
Apart from attending lectures and seminars, students independently carry out a research project in Methods of Empirical Social Research.
The career development module is made up of three parts:
In the lecture, the Internship Office of the School of Social Sciences will inform you about job opportunities for sociologists and bring you up to speed on how to write an application. Employers from the private and public sector regularly attend the lecture as well. They will tell you how you can start a career in their line of work and what different career paths there are.
You will complete the six-week mandatory internship in a sociological field, ideally during the semester break. The Internship Office will be happy to support you in finding a suitable internship. It also regularly informs all students at the School about vacancies (internships, part-time student jobs) in its newsletter and internship database.
In the exercise course, you will discuss your experience from your internship with your fellow students, and together you will research master’s programs offered by universities in Germany or abroad and find out about how you can start a professional career right after graduation.
The social skills module offers practice-oriented courses that complement your core and minor subjects. It includes courses on presentation skills, software and statistics applications, media, and foreign language skills, which are taught at the Center for Development of Key Competencies (ZfS). Due to the interdisciplinary approach reflected in this program of study, students will learn exactly what they need to know to be successful on an ever-changing labor market. During the program, they are required to take two social skills courses, one focusing on IT skills and one in another area.
When choosing their minor (approx. 32 ECTS credits), students can take courses offered by the Business School and the Department of Economics and thereby benefit from their excellent reputation. They can also opt for Political Science, Psychology, Public Law, Mathematics, or Informatics. In addition, the School of Humanities offers English and American Studies, German Studies, Romance Studies (French, Italian, Spanish), History, Media and Communication Studies, and Philosophy as a minor. Students select their minor after enrolling in the program at the University of Mannheim.
First of all, you should demonstrate your interest in learning about interdependences in society and analyzing them using statistical methods, be committed to your studies, and be able to work independently. Apart from that your application must include the following:
The bachelor’s program in Sociology starts in the fall semester. Therefore, the University of Mannheim accepts applications every year between 15 May and 15 July. You need to apply online. After that, you print the application form and send it by post to the Admissions Office of the University of Mannheim. Your letter must include all documents required for your application and arrive at the university by 15 July at the latest. If you have any questions on the application process, please contact the Admissions Office.
The University of Mannheim participates in the so-called dialog-oriented service procedure (DoSV), a new centralized procedure coordinating the allocation of study places. If you want to apply for admission to the first subject-specific semester of a program at the University of Mannheim, you must register for the DoSV at www.hochschulstart.de first.
There, you may submit up to three (main) applications of admission to the first subject-specific semester of a selective bachelor's program at the University of Mannheim.
For comprehensive information on the application process and the DoSV, please see the guide to applying for admission to a bachelor’s program (only available in German), particularly subsection 3.2.1.
Please note: International applicants from countries outside of the EU/
Please read the Admissions Office’s guide to applying for admission to a bachelor’s program carefully (and pay particular attention to subsection 3.1.7.). It includes everything you need to know about the application process and the dispatch of official letters of admission. Go to the Admissions Office for more information.
If you have any questions on your degree program (course contents, program structure, stays abroad), don’t hesitate to contact our program managers. For questions relating to the application process, please contact the Admissions Office.