Objectives and Content of Program

The Master Social Policy offers the opportunity to specialise in one of three fields of social policy, Work and Social Security and European Labour Studies.

Lectures in the Master Programme Social Policy are structured in thematic modules:

Module 1a: Introduction to Social Policy Research
Courses in this module deal with fundamental aspects of social policy research. They cover central developments in the political history as well as basic structures of social policy and the welfare state

Module 3a: Comparative and European Social Policy
Module M3a deals with the comparative analysis of welfare states in OECD-countries as well as in the Global South. The development of social policy programs in the European Union and in international organizations are central elements of the study of European and international social policy. This includes a closer look at individual characteristics of national welfare states as well as an intense discussion of concrete policies in selected countries (OECD and non-OECD).

Module 4b: Governance and Management
The module M4b serves as an introduction to the social science literature on organisation, governance and steering and the economics of social policy. Fundamental concepts of the Administrative Sciences will be discussed. Moreover, administrative and organizational routines in the field of social policy and their influence on German, European and international institutional arrangements on a state-level, but also with respect to institutions of the civil society and private organizations will be questioned.

Module 5: Inequality and Justice
Module M5 gives an overview of the normative and legal theories of the welfare state and discusses fundamental problems of the justification of social policy programs. Discussions will be based on relevant literature from philosophy, law, political theory and sociology. In addition, this module analyzes social inequality as well as old and new social risks as the main problems to which the welfare state reacts.

Module 6: Specialisation

  1.  Work and Social Security
  2.  European Labour Studies
  3.  Global Dynamics of Social Policy

Module 7:
1. Research Training with accompanying colloquium OR
2. Study abroad

Module 8a: Research Design
The module deals with the development of research designs for studies in selected fields of social policy. Problems in the design and planning research studies should be discussed and analyzed. In-depth knowledge must also be conveyed in fields of applied social policy research, in particular evaluation research.

Module M10: Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
- Students recap their knowledge on methodologies and data collection and analysis.
- A detailed description of research designs that are commonly applied in social policy research (panel and trend data, as well as cohort, cross-over, and case studies) will be provided.
- Students gain an overview on quantitative, qualitative as well as interpretive research methods
- Students learn about different fields of applied research in social policy research
- In addition, questions regarding ethical and legal concerns (protection of data privacy) in social policy research will be discussed.