Master's Degree in Sociology.

Climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, economic crises, the decline of democracy, increasing digitalization, the shift in how we work and live, social protests, and much more. Students in the Master's degree program in Sociology focus on these areas and more!

The Master's degree in Sociology at the JKU not only qualifies you to conduct research and understand far-reaching social changes, but also how to work on these changes in a future-oriented context. And on an international level to boot!

You structure your studies by specializing in general sociology or in the field of "work/labor and society". You will also focus on how to independently conduct research and become more aware of socially-related issues and gender-related inequality. The Master's program also gives students an opportunity to complete a professional internship, giving you a chance to apply what you have learned during the program.

We recommend the Master's degree in Sociology as a continual education program for professionals as well as for senior citizens.


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Master's Degree in Sociology


Master of Social Sciences (MSSc)


4 semesters


120 Credits


German (Level C1)




Full-Time, Part-Time; 40 % of the ECTS credits can be earned through online components

What Makes This Program Special

  • Our special global research collaboration efforts give you an opportunity to be involved in international academic/scientific exchange early on. This includes, for example, attending conferences and/or lecture series as part of your studies.
  • Thanks to regional research collaboration with economic and labor chambers, companies, trade unions, NGOs, etc., you acquire real-world, hands-on experience during your studies.
  • You acquire a strong skill set to prepare scientific/academic materials to support real-world applications. The JKU greatly emphasizes sociology for the public and knowledge transfer.
  • You build a unique profile as a sociologist by combining your general graduate degree with a certified major or specialization.

Program Structure

Students in the Master's degree program in Sociology must successfully earn a total of 120 ECTS credits as follows:

Theoretical Sociology x x x  
Empirical Social Research x x x  
Sociological Research Project x x    
Autonomous Coursework x     x
Supplementary Electives   x x  
Master's Thesis     x x
Master's Thesis Seminar       x
Master's Thesis Colloquium     x  
Master's Examination       x

Main Areas of Focus

Students in the Master's degree program in Sociology will learn:

  • Theories: Lectures and renowned guest speakers talking about internationally significant debates in the fields of sociology and gender studies.
  • Methods: Lectures about research planning, survey research, evaluation research, data collection, data analysis in various research designs and using advanced statistical methods and qualitative evaluation procedures, such as seminars about applied social research.
  • Overview of Work/Labor and Society: The importance of work in society and its sociological considerations.
  • Advanced Methods, Theory or Work/Labor and Society Arbeit I and II: Advanced methods and their applications; important theoretical debates about the socio-ecological, economic, cultural and political social transformation in society and social inequality; international debates about labor, economic, technological, social research.
  • Research Project: Independent studies beginning with drafting an empirical survey, evaluating, interpreting and presenting the findings to academia and/or real-world applications in regard to society, family, politics, culture, work, technology, economic forms, living environments, forms of life, capitalism, (social) state, globalization, and much more.
  • Lecture on Gender & Intersectionality: International debates about social inequalities by gender, ethnicity, class/class.

What You Will Learn

The Master's degree in Sociology gives you an opportunity to acquire the following skill set:

  • Learn how to independently conduct research for academia, for the market and conduct survey research starting with research design development all the way to presenting findings.
  • Prepare academic and scientific material to support various areas of society, including knowledge transfer, consulting, etc.
  • You will acquire a strong understanding of socio-ecological, socio-economic, socio-political and socio-cultural transformation; in particular the way work and labor is transforming, economy, living environments, technological development and use, social inequality and always from a regional, national and international perspective on developments.
  • Your educational background will include an overview of major international debates about theory and methods; international research statuses in the sociological understanding of work, economics, technology, gender, and interactive forces; and significant international sociological social analyses and contemporary diagnoses.

Did you know that...

...empirical research conducted by the JKU Institute of Sociology has drawn attention to never before - or rarely considered - emerging social issues such as presenteeism or NEET youth?

­Your Career Prospects

Universities, universities of applied sciences, education colleges, and adult education centers: Sociologists work as scientists in research, education, and self-administration; in administration areas (human resource management, equal opportunity and diversity departments), in research and project management, as specialists for socio-political issues and as professional speakers.

Economic chambers, locl authorities, health insurance companies, interest groups: Sociologists work as consultants in research-related areas, in fields of communication or media or as consultants for individual areas such as economic development, working conditions, health development, etc.

Trade Unions and Other NGOs: Sociologists work as consultants and in fields of communication and media.

Business, industry, administration: Educated sociologists work primarily in the field of human resource management and/or as consultants in various subject areas, including different positions as experts in equal opportunity and/or diversity.

Specialization in the area of "work and society" can be particularly interesting for businesses and industry, such as economic and labor chambers as well as unions.


On average, graduates in this field find a job 2 months after completing the program.

„Sociology has given me important insight into my professional field of healthcare and nursing. For example, the sociological perspective helps me better understand its feminization and associated devaluation. With my academic background, I can take a critical stance in regard to these factors and advocate for more fair and just conditions.“
Maria Dammayr
Graduate in Sociology
Maria Dammayr, Masterabsolventin Soziologie

Register to Enroll


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

  • Successful completion of a Bachelor's degree in Sociology (JKU) or a comparable undergraduate academic degree program equivalent in content and scope.
  • If your first language is not the language of the degree program, you will be required to submit proof of a C1 level of language proficiency in German.

Register to enroll within the deadlines; you can also begin the program at the start of the Summer Semester.

If you have any questions about the Master's degree program in Sociology, contact the Institute of Sociology by sending an e-mail to: Master-Soziologie(at), opens in new window

Still have questions?

Then contact us!


Admissions Office


Bank Building

Frequently Asked Questions

You should decide fairly soon after starting the program. The course "VU Arbeit und Gesellschaft" is a good place to start and learn more about this subject area. All students are required to take this class during the first semester of the program. Deciding early on is important as you have to decide on your sociological research project and specialization fields in sociology accordingly.

If your major is Social Economics, you can take courses as listed in the curriculum for sociology. You can choose here. If you would like to write your Master's thesis in sociology, make sure the courses you select will familiarize you with the subject area in a theoretical, methodological and/or empirical way in regards to approaches and the academic level of sociology that play a role in your thesis topic. 

While part-time studies are always more difficult than studying full-time, the Department of Sociology realizes and understands that many students work and/or have childcare responsibilities. Students can take some courses online. This digital option is always offered on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings. You can also follow the recommended study plan. In any case, there will be times where you will be required to be on-site at the JKU to complete some sections of the program and, despite all of the flexibility we offer, you will also need to plan for the fact that you need to be well prepared when attending a class and complete the required assignments after class. You will have to reserve and commit time for your studies.

You can include a study abroad program at a university and take courses that are comparable in content and scope to the program here and get the credits transferred. The experience is different and valuable, even if you study theory or methods in-depth at a university abroad including, for example, the topic of "work/labor and society". The educational content and working methods will be different than here. How and what content is covered also depends on how and what is the area of research at the respective institute. Studying abroad is an opportunity to learn about the many differences as well as discover many new things. Our sociology department has a strong network of international contacts and if you are considering a study abroad semester, please contact a course instructor.

In general, it is easier to work on a topic once you have attended classes. During the course of the program, one option would be to consider what topic(s) you are most interested in. Graduate students in sociology conduct their own research as part of research projects and this can sometimes turn in a Master's thesis topic. You can also approach prospective thesis supervisors with an outline of ideas briefly describing potential research questions you would like to pursue and how you aim to explore the area for a Master's thesis. Some ideas come from outside of the university and academia. For example, as part of our collaboration with the Upper Austrian Chamber of Labor, you could also select a Master's thesis topic that is of interest there.

Your Master's thesis will supervised by course instructors who hold a doctorate or post-doc/habilitation degree. In general, once you have an idea in regard to a topic, you can put together a small outline of ideas and ask course instructors whether or not they can supervise your thesis. We also recommend checking the website to see what kinds of topics different department institutes are working on as this makes it easier to find a thesis supervisor who conducts research and/or teaches in that particular subject area. We also supervise our students' Master's theses during academic advising sessions in which, for example, individual thesis chapters or methodological approaches are discussed, etc. These academic advising sessions are also a part of the Master's colloquium requirements. At the end of the program and once your thesis has been submitted and graded, there is no examination in a conventional sense. Instead, you will present your Master's thesis and discuss it in a broader sociological context. In this regard, we also strongly recommend getting in touch with the examiners early on in order to discuss the presentation, etc., in advance.

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 Degrees at the JKU

After successfully completing the Master's degree program, you can opt to pursue a doctorate degree:


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