Man is a social being. He has always sought contact with other people and formed groups with them. Life in the community made life easier for people and ensured their survival.
Coexistence in today’s industrial and service society is, however, many times more complex than in pre-industrial times. The social sciences are about getting to the bottom of human behavior and the relationships between people . In the course of time, a large number of different courses of study have emerged that deal with the different facets of human coexistence. What they all have in common is that the researchers use certain procedures and methods that enable them to make general statements about humans and their relationships with the environment.
Social Sciences Disciplines: An Overview
Almost every German university has a faculty for social sciences. Alternatively, and thus in a broader sense, the term social sciences is also used. Both terms then usually cover the same subjects. Classic social science subjects , for which almost every university offers Bachelor and Master programs, are sociology and political science.
According to answerresume, the Sociology examines the coexistence of people in a society . She deals with the social relationships between people, such as in the family or in a partnership. And the major social developments and relationships , such as the effects of globalization, are of interest to sociology.
Gender studies are a branch of sociology . They deal with gender roles in our society and the social inequalities based on them. This area of research is so extensive that more and more independent studies in the field of gender studies arise.
Political scientists are interested in how human coexistence is regulated by politics . What political systems are there? How do political decisions come about? How are political opinions formed? The subject is usually divided into four major sub- areas:
- Political theory
- Political Systems
- Comparative Politics
- International Relations
Due to increasing globalization, international relationships are becoming more and more important. In the meantime, special courses have been created in relation to this topic.
Another focus that you can choose in a political science degree is development cooperation . There is indeed great interest and you will increasingly find your own courses on this topic , especially in the master’s area . In these courses you will get to know the various theories of development cooperation and focus on individual countries.
Religious Studies and Theology
Religion represents a further social field. In this subject area, however, the two courses of study in religious studies and theology differ fundamentally from one another.
Religious scholars try to explain the phenomenon of religion from a scientific perspective . They deal with the major world religions as well as with smaller denominations. In their studies they take social, linguistic and cultural studies research methods to help.
The study of theology is aimed primarily at future priests and pastors as well as religion teachers . Depending on their denomination, students in Germany choose between Catholic or Protestant theology. During their studies, they approach the respective religion from a scientific perspective. However, it is characterized by the fact that it presupposes belief in the Christian God .
The subject of psychology is also about human behavior. In contrast to the courses already mentioned, the experience and behavior of the individual play a role.
Psychologists are interested in how people develop or why they react in a certain way in which situations. Social psychologists primarily research the group behavior of people. Findings from biology are increasingly playing a role here.
Anyone wishing to work as a state-approved psychotherapist later must first complete a master’s degree in psychology. In addition, three to five years of additional training at a university or a state-recognized training facility is compulsory.
The subject of social work is less about scientific research into human behavior and coexistence. The focus is on the development of concrete measures to defuse social hot spots and direct contact with people who need help with social integration.
The course prepares the budding social workers for their professional tasks and above all provides theoretical background knowledge. Here the students get to know social developments and problem areas and attend lectures in the fields of psychology, education and law . In the main course, they then specialize in their later field of work.
Sports science and sports management
Also in Sport is an important social institution. There are two different types of degree programs :
- Sports science courses : Here the students actively play sports themselves
- Sport management : Here the students examine sport from an economic perspective
Most of the degree programs in the field of sports science consist on the one hand of sports practice , in which the students do sports themselves, and on the other hand they attend events in the fields of medicine , sociology, psychology and education, in which they learn about the scientific and social backgrounds of doing sports learn. At many universities there is the opportunity to specialize in a later field of work, for example in sports therapy or competitive sports. A career as a sports teacher is also possible.
In the sports management subjects, on the other hand, the focus is on sport as an economic sector . In addition to subjects such as sports history or sports medicine, business management content and legal subjects are on the curriculum. As a rule, students aim to work in the sports industry or as managers .
Requirements for a social science degree
Anyone who intends to enroll in a subject in the social sciences should primarily be interested in people and social contexts . Anyone who has already been enthusiastic about subjects such as social sciences, politics, religion or education at school has good cards. Knowledge of English is also compulsory in most courses. The courses in the field of sport are an exception: Here, physical fitness or an interest in economic contexts are primarily required.
The occupational fields for graduates of the social sciences faculties are as diverse as the subjects themselves. In some areas, the career path is relatively clear. So in the subjects of theology, social work, psychology and of course in the teaching courses .
Those who do not aspire to a career as a pastor, priest, social worker, psychotherapist or teacher will find it a little more difficult when starting their career. It is advisable to do internships during your studies in order to orientate yourself professionally and to gain practical experience. The fields of work are diverse.
Graduates work in the private sector as well as for international organizations and NGOs, political institutions, trade unions, foundations or authorities. Possible areas of responsibility are press and public relations work , consulting, personnel management , project management or (specialist) journalism . It is also possible to work as a scientific lecturer. Master’s graduates are free to add a doctorate and embark on a career in research and teaching.
Advantages of a semester abroad for social scientists
Spending one or two semesters abroad during your studies gives you the opportunity to gain additional qualifications . Summer sessions are ideal for those who prefer to spend only a short time abroad and want to advance their studies at the same time .
When studying abroad, you expand your specialist knowledge and get to know other forms of society . On the other hand, you acquire or optimize your foreign language skills and gather valuable intercultural skills . Experience abroad always looks good on your résumé and makes it much easier to start your career. There is also the opportunity to establish a network of international contacts at an early stage . Essential for those aiming for a career abroad.