Doctoral Programme Sociology

Faculty Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Duration / ECTS-Credits 6 semesters / 180 ECTS-Credits
Academic Degree
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Qualification Level
Doctorate (Third Cycle)
ISCED-11: Level 8, EQF/NQF: Level 8
ISCED-F 0314 Sociology and Cultural Studies
Mode of Study
Study Code
UC 094 xxx | UC 794 365 xxx
Information on the Curriculum (2009W)*
Language of Instruction German/English
Admission Requirements
Relevant diploma or master's degree or equivalent and Language Certificates

* Information on the Curriculum (2009W)

The complete version of the curriculum reflects the currently valid version of the curriculum. It is for informational purposes only and is not legally binding. The legally binding version of the curriculum, including any amendments, may be found in the University of Innsbruck Bulletins.

In order to determine which version of the curriculum is applicable in your case, see the Catalogue of Studies,
  available at:
  Section: Current Curriculum version.

University of Innsbruck Bulletins » (Click to open all University of Innsbruck Bulletins)



Relevant master's or diploma degrees at the University of Innsbruck:

Proof of general university entrance qualification:

With the exception of § 64 par. 5 UG 2002, the general university entrance qualification for admission to a doctoral programme shall be demonstrated by the completion of a relevant diploma programme or master's programme or another relevant programme of at least the same level of higher education at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution. To compensate for substantial subject-related differences, supplementary examinations may be prescribed, which must be taken by the end of the second semester of the doctoral degree programme.

The rectorate may determine which of these supplementary examinations are prerequisites for taking examinations provided for in the curriculum of the doctoral degree programme.

Modules and Dissertation

Compulsory Modules
15 ECTS-Credits
145 ECTS-Credits

Dissertation Project
10 ECTS-Credits

Doctoral Thesis Defence
5 ECTS-Credits

The dissertation is a piece of scientific work which – in contrast to a diploma or master‘s thesis – serves to prove the student's ability to cope with scientific questions in an independent way.

The dissertation topic has to be chosen from the field of sociology.

The student has to propose a team of supervisors, consisting of at least two people (dissertation committee), and to nominate one of them as the supervisor mainly responsible. It is permissible to propose supervisors (with the exception of the main supervisor) from subject-related fields. In justifiable exceptional cases it is possible for students to propose only one supervisor.

Prior to beginning the work, the student has to communicate the dissertation topic and the names of the supervisors in writing to the Director of Studies. Topic and supervisors are considered as accepted, if the Director of Studies does not veto them by means of a decree within one month after the receipt of the proposal.

Elective Modules
20 ECTS-Credits

At least one module out of "Going Public":

  • Journal Articles
    10 ECTS-Credits
  • Contributions to edited volumes
    10 ECTS-Credits
  • Conference Presentation
    5 ECTS-Credits

At least one module out of "Disciplinary Competence":

  • Theoretical and Meta-Theoretical Reflexivity
    5 ECTS-Credits
  • Methods and Techniques of Social Research
    5 ECTS-Credits

More possible modules:

  • Generic Skills
    max. 10 ECTS-Credits

Qualification Profile and Skills

The Doctor of Philosophy Programme Sociology is grouped among the social and economic science study programmes.

As a reflexive discipline, sociology continually validates its issues and approaches in the light of the present day. As an empirical discipline, it constantly subjects its results to the test of experienced reality. Both aspects are reflected in the curriculum.

In accordance with the structure of the study programme, the central work on the dissertation will be accompanied by intensive mentoring by the faculty’s instructors as well as by corresponding courses (for example on questions of theoretical and methodological reflection of one’s own research). In addition, modules are offered that offer a preview of future occupational activities and that go beyond subject-specific aspects toward the development of generic competences and toward participation in the scientific community.

The Doctor of Philosophy Programme Sociology is the highest level of the scientific education and enables its graduates to theoretically structure sociological questions at the current level of the discipline, to methodically process them adequately, to present their own research results and to enter into interdisciplinary dialogue. In the modern knowledge society, graduates of the doctoral programme are equally equipped for academic careers as they are for planning and decision-making tasks at the intersections of science and practice.

Expected Learning Outcomes for the Doctorate

Graduates are qualified junior academics. They have mastered the theories and methods applied in sociological research and are capable of critically discussing, analysing, and further developing them. As they have contributed to the knowledge in the field, they possess the competence to develop and conduct substantial research projects with scientific integrity, and they are qualified to reflect on these processes scientifically and theoretically. Their acquired key competences include the ability to work independently and to communicate about their area of expertise within the scientific community and in society. They are therefore capable of making innovative contributions in scientific and professional contexts.

Future Prospects: Occupational Profiles and Career Opportunities

In the society of the 21st century that is increasingly characterised by conflicting patterns of interpretation, there is a growing need for sociological explanations. In key positions of the knowledge society (research institutes, education, public administration, economy, associations, media), but also in the political public, the consideration of sociological knowledge is important for the further development of the society. Moreover, the graduates are provided with the opportunity to participate first-hand in professional changes by acquiring social science core competences with regard to the performance demands of the rapidly changing professional world.

Information about examination regulations, assessment and grading

Examination regulations

The examination regulation is an integral part of the curriculum, detailed information can be found under the paragraph examination regulations.

Description of the applied grading system (including the grade distribution table) »

The grade distribution table is a statistical representation of the distribution of all successfully completed examinations in a given programme of study or subject (based on all registered students for the programme or subject). The grade distribution table is updated in regular intervals.

Austrian grading
Outstanding performance

= 100%


Generally good, but with some errors
Generally sound work with a number of substantial errors
Performance meets the minimum criteria
Substantial improvement necessary; requirement of further work

December 2021

Overall classification of the qualification

Not applicable
Explanation: An overall classification (mit Auszeichnung bestanden/pass with distinction, bestanden/pass, nicht bestanden/fail) – is awarded only for examinations that conclude a programme of study and consist of more than one subject (an examination of this type is not specified in the curriculum of this programme of study). 

Information about the Programme (in German only)

Forms (in German only)

Recognition (in German only)

Recognition of exams AND Supplementary Sheet

Contact and Information

Examination Office
Standort Universitätsstraße 15 Piktogramm barrierefreier Zugang

Associate Dean of Studies
Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Bernhard Weicht

Dean of Studies
Assoz. Prof. Mag. Dr. Petra Missomelius, MA

Information for students with disabilities

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