What characterizes social conflicts? How do they arise? How do social norms affect action and when and why are there deviations from these norms? How do individuals interact in organizations, families, associations, companies, or networks?

How people act, why they do what they do and what consequences result from their actions is the subject of sociological research. Sociologists develop theories and methods to understand cooperation and interaction between people and thereby obtain appropriate descriptions and explanations of social phenomena. Sociology is a multifaceted subject, which is divided into more specific sociologies in order to thoroughly investigate specific social phenomena.

A key focus of sociology at RWTH is the manifold interweaving of social action with technologies and techniques. These have a great significance in our everyday lives. They help us to come to grips with life, but they also change our social interactions. Sociologists focus on the social consequences of technology and the influence of social phenomena on its emergence and development//on the creation and development of technologies.

This interaction between technology and society is the special focus of the course at RWTH Aachen University, which is a university of technology. Students will learn how to address issues and problems arising from the socio-technological developmental dynamics of societies using theoretical and conceptual frameworks, analyze them empirically, and reflect them critically. Graduates of the program are put in a position to actively shape the future. With its particular focus on the topic of technology research, the hands-on degree course offers a relevant education with an applied orientation, giving graduates a crucial competitive edge in a crowded job market .

In addition, the course offers comprehensive theoretical and methodological training in sociology. It consists of the following components:

  • General Sociology offers an introduction to the methods of scientific research, teaches basic competencies in sociology, and encourages students to apply the treated sociological theories
  • The Research Methods and Empirical Approach component trains students in applying methodological skills. They learn to define sociological problems and to work on them using social sciences research methods.
  • The Technology and Science Research component has a primary focus on the investigation of socio-technical interrelations and the fundamentals of the sociology of science.

Programme Structure

This course is complemented by an interdisciplinary area, which offers students the opportunity to acquire knowledge from psychology, computer science, economics, engineering, or ethics as electives.

An internship during your studies forms the bridge between academic and application-oriented work and is intensively prepared and followed up on. In this way, you can put the indispensable methodological and practical skills you will learn into a professional context.

Study Structure

General Sociology Introductory Course I and II, Introduction to Sociology, Invitation to Sociology, Classical Sociology, Current Topics of Sociology, Theories of Sociology, Specialization Colloquium, Bachelor’s Thesis

Area of Research Methods and Empirical Procedures
Empirical Research Methods in Sociology I and II, Data Analysis for the Social Sciences I and II, Methods of Technical and Academic Research, Teaching Research Project
Area of Technical and Academic Research Cycle of Lectures on Responsible Technical Design, Foundations of Technical Sociology, Perspectives of the Sociology of Science, Practical Disciplines of the Sociology of Science, Engineering and Society: Specialization Sociology of Technology, Technology and Diversity, Sociotechnical Transformation, “Technology, Organization, and Society”
Interdisciplinary Supplementary Area

Mandatory Section

History of Ideas and Political Theory, Introduction to Academic Theory, Programming for All, Internship

Core Elective Section

Introduction to Ethics, Decision Theory, Social Psychology, Change Management, Ergonomics and Human-Machine Systems, Data Literacy, Communication Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Media Psychology, Foreign Languages, "Presentation, Rhetoric, Communication"

Entry Requirement

  • Abitur or equivalent HZB
  • Proficiency in German

Caree Prospects

This degree program qualifies students for a variety of professions. Students are introduced to possible career prospects early on. The course of study offers a wide range of options to prepare students for the requirements of some specific occupational fields.

In the fields of technology transfer, organizational and technical consulting, technically-oriented sociologists can analytically and reflexively accompany development and organizational processes, or support organizations and companies in their commitment as technology producers in a goal-oriented manner.

The ability to analyze social phenomena in a structured way and to evaluate them as a consequence of the interaction of different actors with their own interests plays a major role in the work of associations, the public service, and management consultancy.

In market research and public relations work, too, technology-focused sociologists use their knowledge of data collection and evaluation in order to record acceptance processes and life needs and to specifically advise politicians and companies.

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