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Integrated Social Sciences

BA undergraduate program


In this program students learn how contemporary societies have developed and how they function, with a focus on the key challenges these societies are confronted with (e.g. economic globalization, the growth of megacities, ethno-cultural diversity, and the rise of the critical citizen). None of these issues can be fully grasped, let alone addressed, through the prism of a single social science. A comprehensive understanding will only come from integrating insights from all the social sciences, together with relevant facts identified by the natural sciences. The aim of this program, which combines the four disciplines of political science, mass communication, sociology, and economics, is to train students in gaining such an all-round perspective on human behavior and social organization.
The Social Science was top ranked in the CHE Rankings 2018.

Alumni Lara Laila Gärber about Integrated Social Sciences and Jacobs University.

Program Structure and Content

Jacobs ISS program modules

Year 1

Take 3 CHOICE Modules, at least one free selection

Introduction to the Social Sciences
Introduction to the Social Sciences is an introductory module which provides the essentials for understanding contemporary societies. You will study what the main differences between democracies and other political regime types are (the political science perspective); how the set-up of societies change over time and differ across world regions (the sociological perspective); and how mass communication systems work and which role they play in politics and society (the mass communication perspective). This module provides the basis from which you progress to higher-level modules in the Social Sciences.

Year 2

Take 3 CORE Modules, at least 2 from study program

Communication, Culture and Consumption
Communication, Culture and Consumption is an advanced module which focuses on the pervasive role mass communication and consumerism play in contemporary societies globally. Starting from sociological conceptions of capitalism and consumer society, you will learn to assess the value and problems of modern consumerism, the choices and constraints of humans in societies that have been increasingly shaped by consumption behavior. Recently, due to digital globalization, social network sites and the spread of technological tools easy to use for lay people, consumers become ever more competent in not only passively consuming goods and services, but actively shaping these products and services through the cultural practice of “prosumption”, a fusion of formerly separated social roles of producer and consumer. You will further analyze mass communication systems from a production, consumption, and prosumption perspective. Finally, the module provides you with the methodological tools and research skills to analyze communication systems and consumption, based on a variety of data sources. The module combines rich theoretical insights with many empirical examples and exercises.

Crisis and Conflict Management
Crises and conflicts are characteristics of our time. This module addresses current questions of war and peace, of man-made and natural disasters, and how societies, political systems and media respond to these challenges in a complex networked and globalized international environment. The courses introduce to theoretical approaches in political science, sociology, communication science, and their interdisciplinary interfaces. Both, global crises and conflicts as well as the key demands of liberal democracy, civil society and mass beliefs are analysed and potential solutions to these key issues in the 21st century are being developed. A particular emphasis is also placed on the role traditional mass media and digital social media play interacting with political power, social, cultural and religious forces, shaping the world for current and future generations.

International Politics and Policy
This module offers an introduction to the politics and policy-making of international relations. It does so through discussing some of the most pressing questions of global politics and policy today. These include: what is democracy, should it be spread around the world, and can it be incorporated at the international level? Moreover, is it possible to reduce warfare, terrorism and other forms of transnational violence? Last, what roles can diplomacy and foreign policy play in bringing about a prosperous, equitable and peaceful international system? The module shows that alternative theories in political
science provide different answers to these questions, and it helps students critically reflect on these frameworks.

Year 3

Take CAREER Modules, choose between World and Campus Track

1. World Track
5th Semester:

  • Program-specific Internship / study abroad

6th Semester:

  • Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
  • Program-specific Specialization Module
  • Exemplary course offering:
    • Cooperation and Conflict: Russo-European Social, Economic and Political Relations
    • From Theory to Practice: Sociological Theory and its Application to Reality
    • Between Respect and Rebellion – The Sociology of Generations across Times and Cultures
    • Advanced Methods in the Social Sciences
    • Women in History and International Politics
    • Oppression, Conformity and Resistance under Dictatorships

2. Campus Track

Students who do not enter the World Track follow the Campus Track
5th and 6th Semester:
  • Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
  • Program-specific Specialization Module (Please see World Track for exemplary course offering)
  • Additional CORE Module