The M.A. programme "Labour in Society" provides insights into theoretical debates as well as empirical research regarding the complex interrelations between labour, work organization, and their social, political, and economic embeddedness.

  • How is work organized and how does corporate utilization of labour power change over time?
  • How is labour regulated politically and legally - and what is the impact of (changes in) labour market policy, educational and social policies or labour law on work organization and employment biographies?
  • How does the division of labour along the axes of gender, generation or class influence they ways how people work and live?
  • What conflicts evolve around issues of work and labour, between employees and management, or employers' associations and unions?
  • How did the world of work and labour change in Germany and other regions of the world - and how is this related to transnational corporate activities, to migration or to economic cycles?
  • How to put work and labour into a transnational perspective?
  • How to envisage the future world of work - and what theoretical concepts and empirical data are required in order to shape it?

In this M.A. programme, such questions are addressed from different disciplinary perspectives, including Sociology, Economics, Cultural Anthropology, History, Diversity Studies, and Law.


Students acquire a qualification profile geared towards a career in research, business, media, university teaching, public service, unions, associations, or non-governmental organizations.
The M.A. programme promotes practical skills, such as interdisciplinary communication and research management, which are crucial for many careers open to social scientists. Due to its special focus on labour and society, its interdisciplinary features as well as the close link between theoretical and applied research, it is particularly suited for students with prior work experience.


Students are free to choose between different areas of specialization, from the political or legal regulation of labour to the organization of work in corporate environments, and to explore different (sociological, economic, ethnographic or historical) approaches to labour in society.

A core curriculum comprising three modules:

  • An interdisciplinary introductory lecture on the topics covered in the programme.
  • A training research project (covering two semesters), in which you will gather hands on experience with designing and conducting your own research, with analysing your material and with interpreting the results.
  • A colloquium, in which your masters' thesis is discussed with peers and faculty.

Academic and practical orientation.
In order to analyse labour in its corporate and larger social environment and to identify the (changing) processes, structures, and power relations that shape it, it is crucial
  • to know, compare and critically assess the most important theoretical concepts, empirical facts, and debates in the academic disciplines concerned;
  • to develop individual and independent research questions, and to explore methodologies and theories;
  • to discuss, improve, and defend empirical findings in interdisciplinary debates.

Hence this M.A. programme is characterized by a strong research orientation. At the same time, it is devoted to practical applicability in at least three ways: students gain hands on experience with empirical research; they are invited to study in close exchange with representatives of the academia, companies, associations, and unions; and students with work experience are especially welcome.


Applicants must have a bachelor‘s or equivalent degree in one of the fields mentioned below. For studies not yet completed at the time of application, a minimum of 150 credits (ECTS points) is required. For further information, please refer to the Application for the Master`s Degree Programme Website.

Formal requirements are as follows:
  • At least 50 credit points in sociology or related social sciences, or
    at least 30 C in sociology or related social sciences and 20 C in economics, law, history, or cultural anthropology/ethnology.
  • Applicants whose native language is not German must provide proof of DSH 2, TestDaF (4x4) or telc C1.