Institute of Sociology

General questions about Sociology

What is the difference between sociology and social sciences?

The difference is already apparent in the words used here: In sociology we have the singular, in the social sciences we have the plural. Why? Because one is a single subject (sociology, the science of society) and the other a collective term for a series of subjects with a common characteristic: social sciences are all sciences in which social processes or institutions are of central importance. In addition to the core discipline of sociology, these would include political science, pedagogy, parts of psychology (social psychology), economics and ethnology. All these subjects have a great deal to do with how people interact with each other in social contexts, but they each focus on different aspects (politics/representation of interests/distribution of power; learning and educational processes; interaction patterns, face-to-face and in groups; economic action in societies or markets; communities and societies in foreign ethnic groups, etc.).

As far as the empirical side is concerned, all these subjects are essentially based on the same canon of empirical methods for which sociology carries out basic research.

BA Sociology - General Organisation of Studies

Preliminary remark BA/MA

There are two documents that should always be consulted first on questions of study organisation:

  • the BA/MA Study and Examination Regulations including their subject-specific annexes. There, all questions concerning the organisation of examinations as well as the required preliminary examination work are regulated in a legally binding (!) manner.
  • The curriculum for the BA in Sociology major and minor (included in the BA module handbook) or for the MA in Sociology (included in the MA module handbook). There are not legally binding, but meaningful suggestions on how to structure the course of studies. Those who adhere to them can be sure that they comply with the examination regulations.

You should study these two documents thoroughly at the beginning of your studies and use them again and again for orientation during the course of your studies.

Is it true that I can have statistics I certificates from other subjects (e.g. economics) credited in sociology?

Not generally. It depends on whether the content of the course you attended corresponds to the extent required with that of the Statistics I course offered in Sociology. Upon request, this will be checked by the lecturers of the Department of Econometrics and Statistics of the Faculty of Economic Sciences.

Can I have the courses in quantitative/qualitative methodology in political science credited to sociology?

Although there are numerous overlaps between the methodological courses in political science and the introduction to qualitative/quantitative empirical social research (ESF1+2), there are also sub-areas that are hardly or not at all dealt with in the political science courses Therefore, crediting is not generally possible.

Is there a maximum period of study in BA/MA Sociology?


Credit points system and crediting of seminars in the BA

The BA Sociology major comprises 120 ECTS (not more), which are composed of the points of the individual modules. Which courses for which modules result in how many points is largely determined by the module manual. If you have completed a course completely (i.e. you have entered a grade for it), then this grade and only this grade counts for the BA certificate. It is therefore not possible to repeat a course if the grade is not satisfactory.

Study phase abroad / ERASMUS

Where and how do I apply for an ERASMUS stay?
    For the next autumn term: application needs to be submitted by 15.3. to the departmental coordinators
    For the next summer term: application needs to be submitted by 15.9. of the previous year to the departmental coordinators
For detailed information on the application procedure please see the Erasmus page

What is an "academic transcript" and do I really need it for my application?

An "academic transcript" is a form which is available on the homepage of the Department for Academic Exchange of the University of Tübingen and in which your achievements (topics and grades) are entered in English and the grades are converted into an internationally understandable scheme. The applicants make their own entries, the respective ERASMUS consultant checks the entries and signs the form.

BA-Thesis and BA Colloquium

If you are thinking about completing your BA studies, it is time to read the study and examination regulations again.

Who supervises the BA thesis?

The BA thesis can be supervised by all persons entitled to examine it. Professors and PhD students of the Department of Sociology are entitled to sit the exam. Here you will find an overview of the authorised examiners.

Which topic is suitable for the BA thesis?

The topic of the BA thesis is discussed with the supervising examiner and is usually based on his or her main research focus. It is recommended to choose one of the topics dealt with in the modules So-B1 - So-B5.2 of the Bachelor's programme.

When can the BA thesis be registered?

According to §9(1) of the special part of the Bachelor's study and examination regulations (2018), the prerequisites for the registration of the BA thesis are "regular and successful participation in the modules So-B1, So-B2, So-B3.1, So-B3.2, So-B4.1, So-B4.2, So-B4.3, So-B5.1, So-B5-2".

How to register the BA work?

Step 1: Examiner and candidate agree on a topic for the BA thesis.

Step 2: Candidate mails the topic to Mr. Löser with the request for admission to the examination and the desired date for the start of the deadline.

Step 3: Mr. Löser mails the start and end of the deadline, including the topic, to the candidate and the supervisor and checks whether the examination requirements have been met in accordance with the examination regulations.

Where is the BA thesis handed in?

Students submit their BA thesis simultaneously to the service counter of the examination office (i.e. not directly to Mr Löser) as well as to the respective examiner. The latter determines whether he or she would like to receive a paper version in addition to the electronic version. The date of receipt at the service office of the Examination Office is decisive for the submission date.

How long does the BA thesis have to be?

The BA thesis must have a length of 60,000-70,000 characters (including spaces). That is about 30 pages of text.

How many copies of the work must be handed in?

Once to the service office at the Examination Office in printed form, and once to the examiner at the Institute of Sociology. The examiner can specify a submission format (print/PDF).

Which BA colloquium is to be taken and when?

The BA colloquium must be completed before or during the completion of the BA thesis. All students who complete the BA thesis with lecturers who have their own colloquium should please attend their colloquium. If your supervising examiner doesn´t offer an own colloquium, please attend the colloquium offered in the respective research and teaching area.

Please always contact a lecturer by email by the first day of the first lecture week of the semester in which the supervision is to begin at the latest with a suggested topic and look for supervision there. And please register only with one lecturer at a time. This is not yet an application for the examination, so you do not have to fulfil all the requirements for admission to the examination.
If you register later in the semester, you run the risk of no longer being supervised in the semester in question.


Certficates (BAföG/Transcript of Records)

What does the performance record for the BAföG office look like?

The Bafög-Amt will ask you (if you receive or apply for funding) at certain intervals to submit a so-called "proof of achievement" about the successful progress of your studies. The certificate of achievement is issued by the BAföG representative of the Institute for Sociology (Prof. Dr. Jörg Strübing). You will need the following documents: A printout of your achievements from the campus system (Transcript of Records) or all relevant certificates as well as the form "Bescheinigung nach §48 BAföG" (certificate according to §48 BAföG) available from the BAföG office (or to be downloaded here), in which you should have already completed the upper part yourself (name, subject: "Sociology" etc.). With these documents, please register for the BAföG Representative's office hours (via the Student Advisory Service).

Transcript of Records

You can obtain a certified Transcript of Records, for example to apply for a Master's programme, at the Examination Office.

Wie sieht der Leistungsnachweis für das BAföG-Amt aus?

Das Bafög-Amt fordert Sie (wenn Sie Förderung erhalten oder beantragen) in bestimmten Intervallen dazu auf, einen sogenannten „Leistungsnachweis“ über den erfolgreichen Fortschritt Ihres Studiums vorzulegen. Der Leistungsnachweis wird vom BAföG-Beauftragten des Instituts für Soziologie (Prof. Dr. Jörg Strübing) ausgestellt. Dazu benötigen Sie folgende Unterlagen: Einen Ausdruck Ihrer vorliegenden Leistungen aus dem Campus-System (Transcript of Records) bzw. alle einschlägigen Scheine sowie das beim BAföG-Amt erhältliche (oder hier herunterzuladende) Formular „Bescheinigung nach §48 BAföG“, in dem Sie den oberen Teil bereits selbst ausgefüllt haben sollten (Name, Fach: „Soziologie“ etc.). Mit diesen Unterlagen melden Sie sich bitte für die Sprechstunde des BAföG-Beauftragten an (über die Studienberatung).

Transcript of Records

Ein beglaubigtes Transcript of Records, beispielsweise zur Bewerbung auf einen Masterstudiengang, erhalten Sie im Prüfungsamt.

Application procedure and selection exam


The Bachelor's program in Sociology begins once a year in the winter semester. Since the winter semester 2007/2008 the bachelor major sociology is restricted. Since the winter semester 2019/2020 the bachelor minor sociology is approval-free. Further information can be found under the Application for a Bachelor's program.


Information on enrolment and admission requirements can be found under Application for a Master's program.

Can I transfer from another university to Tübingen in the current Master's program in Sociology?

Basically yes, if the general application requirements for the Master's programme are fulfilled. The application should be addressed to the Student Secretariat and is possible in both winter and summer semesters.

How can I change subjects in a higher semester from another subject to sociology?

The formal procedure of the transfer is carried out by the Student Secretariat. For more detailed information on the formalities, please contact them. The following documents are usually required for the enrolment:

  • Certificate of a subject course counselling (Please make an appointment with the study counselling service)
  • Certificate of placement in a higher semester (also via the study counselling service; prerequisite: previous achievements of a sociological nature that can be credited)

Scientific Term Paper (Final Thesis in BA Sociology minor)

The scientific term paper ("freie wissenschaftliche Hausarbeit") is the final thesis of the BA minor in sociology.

"The scientific term paper, which is usually written in the 5th semester, thematically follows one of the completed sociological courses. In the thesis, the student should show that he/she can independently apply the basic rules of scientific argumentation and the basal sociological approaches to problems in a self-chosen thematic context." (Modulhandbuch BA). (Module Handbook BA Sociology 2018)

The scientific term paper should tie in with the content of one of the seminars "Applied Sociology" and is written in addition to the term papers to be written there anyway.

Select an examiner (authorised examiner) and discuss the topic and the question (exposé!). The deadline is four weeks, the amount of work is 40,000-45,000 characters (including spaces). The scientific term paper is registered with the examiner.

Guidelines for the preparation of scientific papers (essays, term papers, theses)

Guidelines for the preparation of scientific papers (german version)

The specifications contained in this guideline apply to all scientific work carried out at the respective chair, unless otherwise agreed with the lecturer or specified in the schedule of the respective course.

Master Thesis / Oral Exam

What is part of the Master's examination module?

The examination module of the MA consists of three parts: 1) the Master's thesis, 2) the MA colloquium and 3) the oral exam (graded technical discussion).

How does the registration procedure for the Master's thesis work?

The Master's thesis must be reviewed by two examiners, one of whom may be the supervisor of the Master's thesis. Please note: if the second reviewer is not known at the time of registration, the name must be communicated to the examination office before the Master's thesis is submitted.

Step 1: Examiner and candidate agree on a topic for the MA thesis.

Step 2: The candidate goes to the examination office (Mr Löser), applies for admission to the Master's examination and receives the corresponding forms.

Step 3: The candidate goes to the examiner with the form for the topic issue and has this form signed there. The date on this form is regarded as the start date for the deadline of the Master's thesis (4 months).

How long is the processing period for the Master's thesis after registration at the Examination Office?

The Master's thesis needs to be completed within 4 months after registration. The Master's thesis is an examination paper, i.e. it cannot be completed during the course of study.

What is the scope of the Master's thesis?

The Master's thesis should have a length of about 120,000-150,000 characters (including spaces). As a rule, this corresponds to around 60 text pages.

It became known from well-informed circles that the content of the Master's thesis is even more important than its scope.

Who can be considered as a supervisor for the Master's thesis?

Here you can find a list of the examiners for the Master's program. "The Master's thesis is evaluated by two persons as examiners, one of whom can be the supervisor of the thesis" (cf. PO Allgemeiner Teil, §17(5)).

How does the oral exam work?

This max. one-hour, graded technical discussion is conducted on two topics that go beyond the topic of the Master's thesis (cf. module manual module So-M7). The topics are determined beforehand with the examiner.

Who can be considered as an examiner for the Master's examination?

For the examination you need an examiner and an assessor. Here is a list of the examiners in the Master's program.

"The assessor keeps the minutes. Only those who have completed the corresponding course of study or an equivalent degree can be appointed as assessors" (PO General Part). (PO General Part, §5).

You can have yourself examined by an examiner on two subjects, in which case the observer acts as a recorder. Or you can have two examiners examine you on one topic each, then the examiners take turns during the technical discussion.

Registration for the examination module

According to the examination regulations, the prerequisite for participation in the examination module is "the successful achievement of a total of at least 39 ECTS points from courses in modules no. M1, M2, M4.1-4.3" (Special Part, §8).


What is the Mentoring Program?
The mandatory mentoring program is for Master's students only. At the beginning of their studies, students select a mentor from among the university teachers* and the doctoral members of the institute, with whom they meet at least once a semester to discuss their progress and further planning. This is to ensure that students receive the best possible support during the relatively short period of their Master's studies. It is not a question of examination interviews or performance reviews, it is a support measure. With the choice of the mentor, no preliminary decision has been made for the supervision of the Master's thesis.

How do I register for the mentoring program?
Within four weeks of the start of lectures, you should send your request for mentoring by e-mail to the person you would like to be mentored by. Once you have been accepted, you inform the academic advisor who your mentor is.

Orientation Exam ("Orientierungsprüfung")

How is the orientation examination in the Bachelor's programme taken?

(cf. BA examination regulations, special part, section IV, §8)

With the orientation examination, students should demonstrate that they are able to meet the requirements of an academic course of study in the combination of subjects they have chosen and that they have acquired the necessary basic knowledge to be able to continue their studies successfully.

The orientation examination (according to BA examination regulations 2018) must be taken by the end of the second semester. If it has not been completed by the end of the third semester, including any repetitions, the examination entitlement expires unless the candidate is not responsible for exceeding the deadline.

The orientation examination is taken during the course of study. Students in the main subject and in the subsidiary subject BA Sociology have to prove achievements in the scope of 6 LP for the course "Introduction to Sociology" in the module So-B1 (grade chart).

Orientation discussion

Part of the orientation examination in the main subject BA Sociology is an orientation counselling interview that is to be conducted with a full-time lecturer. These are all lecturers, except pure lecturers, tutors and students.

The passed orientation examination is verified by the Transcript of Records. You do not have to obtain a separate certificate for this, but you should check in good time whether your performance has been correctly recorded in the campus system. Please report any errors to Mr. Löser at the Examination Office.

Parallel studies

Studying sociology as major subject in addition to another study program requires the approval of the department. For this purpose, please contact Prof. Dr. Jörg Strübing via the departmental student advisory service with a current excerpt from the grade list ("Notenspiegel") and a one-page, informal justification for parallel studies.

Forms and further information on parallel studies can be found on the website of the Student Secretariat.

Authorized examiners in Sociology

Who is an authorized examiner in Sociology at the University of Tübingen?

The current list of authorized examiners is published here.

Key Qualifications (What you always wanted to know about module So-B7...)

Where and how are the key qualifications taken into account?

The key qualifications (module So-B7 "Interdisciplinary career-oriented complementary courses") are either credited directly via the Campus System (like all other courses) or certified in paper form. Please contact the examination office (Mr. Löser) with this certificate and have the ECTS points entered from there.

How many key qualification points do I need?
You must acquire 16 ECTS in module So-B7. A further 5 are automatically added when you complete the work placement and colloquium, so that at the end there are 21 ECTS. They need therefore key qualification meetings to the extent of 16 ECTS.

What is counted as a key qualification?

In addition to the courses already marked as such on campus under Sociology, numerous courses from the Studium Professionale, the ZDV, the Fachsprachenzentrum and the Career Service are counted as key qualifications.

Relevant modern foreign languages can be taken into account up to an extent of 8 ECTS. Tutors' (2 ECTS for 1 semester or for 2 orientation weeks) and volunteers' (2 ECTS) activities can each be taken into account once. Detailed information on the notice board.

List of recognized key qualifications

What is not counted as a key qualification?

Regular courses in other subjects (e.g. Introduction to Political Science), whether seminars or lectures, cannot be credited in module So-B7. This would be "interdisciplinary" but not "career-oriented" but "subject-oriented".

Studying with family care responsibilities

Rules on leave of absence, admission to seminars, attendance and performance of examinations: general guidelines of the WISO Faculty.

To the page of the Equal Opportunities Office of the department.

Compulsory Elective Module in the MA program: sociology in relation to other disciplines

The compulsory elective module (So-M6) serves to extend and deepen the study contents in the direction of other disciplines. Students can choose courses from other disciplines (e.g. from the subjects that are approved minor subjects for the BA program) to the extent of 12 ECTS. The courses do not have to be graded.

In principle, all courses (BA and MA) ca be taken. Please note that previous knowledge is required for many MA courses. In any case, please consult the lecturer of the course.

Furthermore, courses from sociology and other disciplines as well as language skills achieved abroad can be recognised.

It is not possible to acknowledge key qualifications (e.g. from the "Studium Professionale") in this module.

Who is responsible for what? Exam organisation, semester leave, change of subject etc.

Questions about the formal organisation of examinations (registration for examinations, issue of certificates, etc.):

Admission, leave of absence, change of subject and study programme:

Questions concerning the organisation and design of the study of sociology, advice on changing subjects and study locations:

Questions about the internship:

Questions concerning the study of sociology and other subjects in Tübingen within the framework of international exchange programmes:

Questions about the possibilities of ERASMUS participation in sociology: