The three-year undergraduate program involves six semesters of study with a total of 180 ECTS credit points (CP). The curricular structure follows an innovative and student-centered modularization scheme - the 3C-Model - that groups the disciplinary content of the three study years according to overarching themes:
Study program structure
The ﬁrst study year is characterized by a broad offer in disciplinary education that builds on and extends the students’ entrance qualification. SMP Students select introductory modules with a total of 45 CP from the CHOICE area of a variety of study programs, of which 15 CP will be from their intended major.
Students can still change to another major at the beginning of the second year of studies if they have taken the corresponding modules of the study program in the first year of studies.
SMP students take the following discipline-specific CHOICE Modules in their first year of study:
- CHOICE Module: Introduction to the Social Sciences 1: Politics and Society (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: Introduction to the Social Sciences 2: Media and Society (7.5 CP)
In these modules, students learn about key issues of society, media and politics and receive a thorough introduction to sociology, media studies and political science, covering basic concepts and schools of thought in the respective disciplines.
In their second year, students take modules with a total of 45 CP from in-depth, discipline-speciﬁc CORE modules. These modules aim to extend the students’ critical understanding of the key theories, principles, and methods in their major at the current state of knowledge and best practice.
SMP students take 30 CP from the following CORE modules:
- CORE Module: Systems of Social Inequality (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Comparing Mass Media Systems (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Systems of Democratic Governance (5 CP)
- CORE Module: The Sociology of Conflict and Crisis (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Crisis, Conflict and Media (5 CP)
- CORE Module: International Resource Politics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Consumer Culture and Society (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Media, Culture and Digitization (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Mass Beliefs and Civil Society (5 CP)
15 CP in CORE modules can be selected in the second year of studies according to interest and with the aim to pursue a minor in a second field of studies.
Students are free to deepen their disciplinary knowledge by focusing more on one of the disciplines involved or by concentrating on one of the more topical perspectives offered in the three units: “Systems”, “Conflict” and “Culture”. The units consist of three modules, each of which contributes the perspective of one of disciplines. But these modules can be combined, independent of the unit they are part of, too.
The unit “Systems” concentrates on a more systemic (and, accordingly, more theory oriented) perspective, deepening students’ knowledge of understanding of society, media and politics. The sociological module focuses on the issues of inequality, while the media-oriented module delves deeper into the inner workings of mass-media systems with an international comparative perspective. Political science is involved with a module that studies democratic governance.
The unit “Conflict” discusses the conflicts and crises our societies are confronted with on a global, national and local level. The sociological module, for example, focuses on global conflicts and traces back their impact on societies all the way down to the local level. This, in the past, has typically focused on refugees and the problems of integration and xenophobia they suffer, ending in specific experiences in a local context. The political science perspective scrutinizes the conflict potential of international resource politics while the module “Crisis, Conflict and Media” critically analyses how these same conflicts are reflected in (or at times even brought about by) mass media.
The unit “Culture” consists of a sociological seminar that studies aspects of consumer culture on a societal level and a research-oriented seminar on Media, Culture and Digitization that focuses on social media. A third module looks at mass beliefs and civil society from a political science perspective.
During their third year, students prepare and make decisions for their career after graduation. To explore available choices fitting individual interests, and to gain professional experience, students take a mandatory summer internship.
The 5th semester opens also a mobility window for ample study abroad options. Finally, the 6th semester is dedicated to fostering the research experience of students by involving them in an extended Bachelor thesis project.
SMP students take major-specific and major-related advanced Specialization modules to consolidate their knowledge at the current state of research in areas of their choice.
SMP students can choose four of the following Specialization Modules:
- Specialization: The Science of Happiness (5 CP)
In this module, students will gain insight to the topic and learn about basic concepts of the sociology of happiness, thus intensifying their knowledge and skills in sociology in general. They will also discuss the influence of different factors and possible political strategies of improvement in a variety of nationally specific contexts.
- Specialization: Applying Social Science in Research (5 CP)
The module aims at applying the theoretical and methodological potential students acquired to ongoing socio-political debates of our time and training them to translate it into state-of-the-art research designs. Students are encouraged to find projects of their own interest and professionally guided towards an efficient implementation of an adequate research design.
- Specialization: A New Cold War? EU-Russian Relations (5 CP)
The seminar seeks to discuss the different aspects of the complex development of Russo-European relations. Keeping an eye on the historical context, the military aspects of cooperation and conflict, but also the new geostrategic perspective on economic, informational, demographic and societal relations are explored. Discussions also include an analysis of the media-coverage of current issues of EU-Russian Relations.
Further specialization modules can be taken from the following closely related offerings in other majors:
- Specialization: China: Politics, Economy and Society (5 CP)
- Specialization: Oppression, Conformity and Resistance under Dictatorships (5 CP)
- Specialization: Psychology of Happiness (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Managing Demographic Change in Organisations (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Psychology of Food (2.5 CP)
As a core element of Jacobs University’s employability approach students are required to engage in a mandatory two-month internship of 15 CP that will usually be completed during the summer between the second and third year of study. This gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand practical experience in a professional environment, apply their knowledge and understanding to a professional context, reflect on the relevance of their major in employment and society, reflect on their own role in employment and society, and find professional orientation. As an alternative to the full-time internship, students interested in setting up their own company can apply for a start-up option to focus on the development of their business plan.
The Jacobs Track, an important feature of Jacobs University’s educational concept, runs parallel to the disciplinary modules across all study years and is an integral part of the study program. It reﬂects a university-wide commitment to an in-depth training in scientific methods, fosters an interdisciplinary approach, raises awareness of global challenges and societal responsibility, enhances employability, and equips students with extra skills desirable in the general ﬁeld of study. Additionally, it integrates (German) language and culture modules.Methods and Skills modules
Methods and skills such as mathematics, statistics, programming, data handling, presentation skills, academic writing, and scientific and experimental skills are offered to all students as part of modules within the Methods and Skills area.
SMP students take the following Methods modules:
- Methods Module: Academic Writing and Academic Skills (5 CP)
- Methods Module: Data Collection and Empirical Research Methodologies (5CP)
- Methods Module: Qualitative Research Methods (5CP)
For the remaining 5 CP SMP students can choose between the following two Methods modules:
Big Questions modules
- Methods Module: Applied Statistics with R (5CP)
- Methods Module: Applied Statistics with SPSS (5CP)
The modules of the Big Questions area intend to broaden the students’ horizon with applied problem solving between and beyond the disciplines. The offerings comprise problem-solving oriented modules that tackle global challenges from the perspectives of different disciplinary backgrounds and that allow, in particular, a reflection of the acquired disciplinary knowledge in economic, societal, technological, and/or ecological contexts.
SMP students 2-4 courses from a big portfolio of modules.Community Impact Project
In their 5th semester, students are required to take a 5 CP Community Impact Project (CIP) module. Students engage in on-campus or off-campus activities that challenge their social responsibility, i.e., they typically work on major-related projects that make a difference in the community life on campus, in its neighborhood, in Bremen, or on a cross-regional level.Language modules
Jacobs University supports its students in acquiring and improving these skills by offering a variety of language modules at all proﬁciency levels. Emphasis is put on fostering German language skills of international students as they are an important prerequisite for non-native speaking students to learn about, explore, and eventually integrate into their host country and its professional environment.
All students take four language courses in the first and second year.
The curriculum of the study program is outlined in the schematic study plan: