What is sociology?

Even after several years of study, it is still difficult for us to explain the subject in short words. If you ask Wikipedia, you get the following answer:

“Sociology is a science that deals with the empirical and theoretical study of social behaviour, i.e. the prerequisites, processes and consequences of people living together.”

But this definition is still quite abstract and you don’t really get an understanding of what sociology is. So let’s give it a try: Sociology deals with society, with people living together. We look at why people act/live together as they do, what changes a society and to what extent. To this end, we develop theories and hypotheses, i.e. assumptions that describe the context we expect. We then try to test these theories empirically, mostly on the basis of survey data or the like. In a nutshell: “Sociology is psychology for society”. We have always been fascinated by people’s behaviour – why do people do what has to happen, what must people change their behaviour, do all people behave equally in this situation or are there differences between Europeans and Americans, for example? If these are questions that concern you and you are interested in people living together, studying sociology is the right thing for you.

Studying in Mannheim

Sociology studies at the University of Mannheim are characterised by several aspects. The University of Mannheim is a small university with few courses of study and small classes in sociology, which enables good supervision and a pleasant learning environment in small courses. We enjoy first-class statistical training that conveys knowledge that other universities do not focus on. Since there are several social research institutes in Mannheim, there is a close link to research and teaching. On the one hand, we benefit from practical studies and, on the other hand, there are many opportunities for students to apply their knowledge as assistants or interns. If you are planning a semester abroad, you will get your money’s worth in Mannheim and have to decide between partner universities all over the world. This is precisely why the social sciences at the University of Mannheim lead the prestigious CHE ranking. Apart from the professional advantages, we also benefit from good supervision by the dean’s office. There you will find contact persons for your study programme, stay abroad and internship opportunities to help you with words and deeds.

Besides studying, there is no shortage of studio life in Mannheim. From a wide range of sports, culture and music to fat university parties that take place every Thursday open-air in the Schneckenhof. Would you like to volunteer in addition to your studies? Then the University of Mannheim is the right place for you: You can choose between more than 50 initiatives, the political university groups and student representatives!

Please be aware that the BA Sociology requires a good knowledge in German since a good amount of the lectures will be held in German!

Important in your studies

Maths and English

Those two subjects shouldn’t make your hair stand on end. Because through the statistical focus, a basic understanding of mathematics is useful, but don’t worry – it’s not witchcraft. You should also be able to read and understand English texts, since about 90% of the literature is in English and due to the internationality of the university there are also courses in English.

Reading, Reading, Reading

Reading should give you a certain pleasure, as you will read a lot of texts during your studies.


The small courses offer many opportunities for discussion on political topics. So if you enjoy speaking and discussing, the wide range of seminars and the smaller number of lectures is perfect for you.


You wonder if studying sociology is the right thing for you? Would you like to get to know the University of Mannheim and find out more?

Then get in touch with Juli and Katharina , our university scouts for sociology, who will be happy to show you around the campus and answer any open questions about your possible future course of study.

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Further information

More detailed information can be found on the faculty’s website!