Master's Degree in Social Economics

The Master's degree program in Social Economics qualifies you to meet great challenges in business, government, and society.

The Master's degree program in Social Economics prepares you for management or key positions at social economic companies, interest groups, international organizations as well as corresponding educational and research institutions.

The program teaches you how to independently conduct research and gives you an opportunity to select a specialization, such as public and non-profit finance, gender studies, educational science and didactics, law, sociology, general management competence, social science methods, etc.


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Key Facts


Master of Science (MSc)


4 Semesters


120 Credits


German (Level C1)





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What Makes This Program Particularly Attractive

  • Individuality: Customize your program! A large part of the Master's degree program consists of classes you select as your area of specialization.
  • Depth: How does restructuring social systems impact people, how does society react to increasing pressure to perform? What will happen in the future to relatives who require health assistance and caretakers? You will be able to answer all of these life questions. We teach you how to critically reflect and give you with basic tools and methods to conduct empirical research. You are ready to meet the enormous challenges in business, government, and society.
  • Great flexibility: You will train your versatility and can then pursue a career path in all areas of business, private or non-profit.

Main Areas of Focus

The Master's degree program in Social Economics allows you to deepen your problem-solving skills in the areas of business, civic studies, and society:

  • Labor and employment, policy fields, social security, democracy and society, institutions and policy processes, gender and diversity, social science methods

In addition, you can choose your individual area of specialization:

  • Public and Non-Profit Finance, Gender Studies, Educational Sciences and Didactics, Law, Sociology, Social Philosophy and Philosophical Anthropology, Philosophy and Economics, Economic Theory, Advanced Topics in Applied Economics, General Management, Business Language of choice, Social Science Methods

What You Learn in this Program

The Master's degree program in Social Economics gives you the freedom to learn how to work independently as a scientist and acquire the following skills:

  • Assess prerequisites and conditions for social and socio-political activities
  • Classify welfare state concepts in the more general context of state and democratic theories
  • Focus on theoretical concepts and conduct empirical research about the political treatment of social, economic and technological structural change
  • Assess socio-political interventions and measures (such as social benefits like unemployment benefits, unemployment assistance, family allowance, child support) based on theoretical concepts (analysis of reforms)
  • Analyze Austrian (social) policy from an international comparative perspective. You will learn about differences between the countries.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the Master's degree program in Social Economy can pursue a variety of occupations. You set your area of focus and determine your career path.

  • Administrator or management in the public and/or third sector either locally, nationally, or internationally:
    With social services providers both in the public sector and in the voluntary welfare sector; with other third sector organizations, associations, clubs or in public administration with local authorities and federal states, federal ministries, social insurance institutions.
  • Organizational and design tasks in the area of human resources at companies in the private or public sector (also in the area of company social policy)
  • Office positions, consulting activities for decision-makers and research services for companies, public authorities, political parties, interest groups, social insurance institutions and associations
  • Political communication and public relations as well as journalistic activities (journalism)
  • Teaching and lecturing activities in the area of extracurricular education for youths and adults as well as training and continual education for professions in healthcare or social work
  • Research and teaching as part of an academic degree program in social sciences and business at universities of applied sciences and universities

On average, graduates in this field find a job immediately after completing the program. After 3 years on the job, their average monthly gross salary is € 3.483.

„The most attractive program feature of the Master's in Social Economics is the broad, interdisciplinary curriculum. My view of socio-political challenges is based on a broad horizon.“
Anna Puett, Graduate
Master's in Social Economics
Zitat Anna Puett Master Sozialwirtschaft

Recommended Study Plan

As part of the Master’s degree program, students are required to complete courses totaling 120 ECTS credits in the following areas.

Labor and Employment x      
Institutions and Policy Processes x      
Policy Fields   x    
Social Security   x    
Gender and Diversity   x    
Democracy and Society     x  
Social Science Methods x x x  
Electives x x x  
Autonomous Coursework x x x  
Master's Thesis       x
Master's Thesis Seminar       x
Master's Degree Examination       x

Register to Enroll


In order to be admitted to the Master's degree program in Social Economics, you must fulfill the following requirements:


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Frequently Asked Questions

The academic degree program in Social Economics focuses on deepening and supplementing interdisciplinary problem-solving skills at the interface of politics, society and business. You learn how to look at social problems from different academic perspectives as well as play a key role in developing integral solutions.

The Master's degree program in Sociology is comprised of a comprehensive and in-depth theoretical and empirical analysis of social problems from a sociological perspective.

The Master's degree program in Civic Studies focuses primarily on contributing to democratic co-determination in the sense of being an "adult" citizen.

The Master's degree program in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare (COSOPO) is unique in Austria, offering an opportunity to study social policy from a comparative European perspective. Students can study on a part-time basis and part of the program is held at European partner universities. The COSOPO program is held entirely in English.

Even if your undergraduate degree is not in Social Economics, you can still enroll in the Master's degree program in Social Economics. The pre-requisite is being able to show you have had 12 ECTS credits in the subject area of of Societal and Social Policy, 12 ECTS credits in Business Administration, and 12 ECTS credits in the subject area of Sociology. If you lack some of the required ECTS credits, you can still be admitted to the program on condition (in the form of taking individual courses, but only up to a maximum of 20 ECTS credits). Detailed information is available in the curriculum under §2 Admission Requirements.

In general, yes. However, courses requiring on-site attendance take place throughout the day (such as immersion courses, seminars) so that you must have a certain amount of flexibility in your schedule..

There are no formal requirements for proficiency in English, however, you should be able to understand articles and textbooks written in English. During the semester you can improve your English through independent studies.

In addition to taking mandatory subjects in the field of societal and social policy, the Master's degree program in Social Economics requires completing a minimum of two elective subject areas worth a total of at least 30 ECTS credits. You can choose from a broad range of elective classes. Some elective courses have no prerequisites, such as a main focus on law, philosophy and economics, a main focus on gender studies, main focus on social philosophy and philosophical anthropology, main focus on educational sciences and subject didactics, etc.

Subjects you already completed during your undergraduate studies also required for admission to the graduate degree program are excluded. This means, if you completed a Bachelor's degree in Social Law for example, you will have to take Labor Law, or vice versa.

Some elective subject areas allow you to choose between a main area of focus with 12 and/or 9 ECTS credits or the specialization field with 18 ECTS credits. If you wish to take the elective course "Public and Non-Profit Finance", for example, the prerequisites include having taken and successfully passed the introduction course to Public and Non-Profit Management (PNP 1).

You can only transfer credit for a maximum of 3 electives. If you do not wish to specialize, then you must choose 3 focus courses that will also appear on your transcripts. You must, however, complete these courses in full (any additional ECTS credits cannot count toward fulfilling the autonomous studies requirement).

You may choose an area of specialization and a focus within the same subject area - i.e. General Management Competence - providing you choose different classes.

In order to successfully complete the Master's degree program in Social Economics, you must submit a Master’s thesis, pass a Master's thesis colloquium as well as pass a Master's examination. In addition to the Master's thesis, you must also complete a Master's thesis seminar. The Master's thesis should be between 70-100 pages. Additional information is available on the Gespol-Institute's Moodle page regarding academic papers, opens an external URL in a new window as well as in the course catalog, opens an external URL in a new window.

Still Have Questions?

Do you need help registering or do you have questions about the program? Contact the JKU's Office of Student Information and Academic Advising (SIBS)!

Advanced Degree Programs

After completing your graduate degree, you can continue your education by pursuing an advanced degree:

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