Master's Degree in Social Economics

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

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

You not only learn how to independently conduct research, you have 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.


Page Content

Key Facts


Master of Science (MSc)


4 Semesters


120 Credits


German (Level C1)





What Makes This Program Particularly Attractive

  • A Tailored Curriculum: 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 respond to increasing pressure to achieve? What will happen in the future with relatives who need healthcare assistance and caretakers? You will be able to repond to all of these life questions and more. You learn how to reflect critically and apply basic tools and methods to conduct empirical research. You will be ready to meet the enormous challenges facing business, government, and society.
  • Flexibility: You will hone your skills in versatility and be in a position to pursue a career path in business, at private companies, or non-profit companies.

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 scholar and acquire the following skills:

  • Assess prerequisites and conditions to support social and socio-political activities
  • Classify welfare state concepts to 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 that include unemployment benefits, unemployment assistance, family allowance, child support) based on theoretical concepts (reform analyses)
  • 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:
    As a social services provider (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 teens and adults, as well as training and continual education for professions in healthcare or social work
  • Research and education 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 one month after completing the program. After three years on the job, their average monthly gross salary is € 3,403.

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


Still Have Questions?

Then contact us!


Admissions Office


Bank Building

Frequently Asked Questions

The academic degree program in Social Economics focuses on honing in-depth, interdisciplinary problem-solving skills at the crossroads of government, society and business. You will learn how to examine 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 one's 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 proof of 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 under certain conditions (meaning you will have to take individual courses, but only up to a maximum of 40 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 your schedule must be flexible to a certain extent.

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 a minimum of 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 worth 12 and/or 9 ECTS credits, or a specialization field worth 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 academic credit for a maximum of 3 electives. If you do not wish to specialize, then you must complete 3 focus area courses (that will also appear on your transcripts). You must, however, successfully complete these courses (any additional ECTS credits cannot count toward fulfilling the autonomous studies requirement).

You may choose an area of specialization and a focus on the same subject area, meaning General Management Competence, providing you select 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 about 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:

Similar Degree Programs

You might also find these academic degree programs interesting:


Student Housing at the JKU Campus

Your home away from home. Student dorms or shared flats - learn more about student housing options here.

Recreation at the JKU Campus

Cafés, the university cafeteria, beach volleyball courts, fitness studio, shopping - everything you need on a daily basis, plus recreational activities on campus.
Beachvolleyball Platz Linz