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Courses

The standard duration of all Sociology Master’s programs is four semesters. To earn the degree, students must obtain 120 ECTS credits for coursework, successfully complete a thesis (about 20 000 words in length) and pass a final examination. Students take 85-90 ECTS credits worth of coursework in compulsory courses and 30-35 ECTS credits in optional courses.

The optimum workload per semester is around 30 ECTS credits. Besides the program courses, you can take options from the whole-university offer, including languages and sports. Up to 5 ECTS credits out of free electives will count towards the total credit value.

Please look at the Optimal study plan – Sociology or Optimal study plan – Cultural Sociology to see how the programs are structured and make your own plan of studies. The list below shows all courses offered by the Department of Sociology at Master level in a given academic year.
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Course descriptions

Click on a course name below to see the course objectives, short syllabus, all teachers and seminar tutors, basic literature, course requirements and assessment methods in Masaryk University information system (IS MU) online catalogue. Full syllabi and reading lists are available to authenticated users of IS MU.

Compulsory Courses – fall semesters

SOC571 – Introduction to Cultural Sociology
Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky, Radim Marada
Compulsory for Cultural Sociology.The course presents cultural sociology as a specific analytical perspective or paradigm: as a sociological (sub-)discipline which differs from other analytical perspectives in sociology and social sciences by a particular methodological standpoint rather than by a specific subject of study. Broadly speaking, to approach the world in the perspective of cultural sociology is to take meaning as a basic social fact and to understand the social actor as a homo interpretans. These are the most general parameters that will lead our discussions of the selected topics and texts. And it is exactly the understanding of cultural sociology as a method of inquiry that makes it possible to speak about it as a sociological (sub-)discipline rather than a specific field of study. The method makes us sensitive to the social and historical impact of the relatively autonomous world of meanings, it brings under attention the cultural aspects and background of social practices, material objects, institutional arrangements, behavioral inclinations, etc.

SOC755 – General Sociology
Csaba Szaló, Werner Binder, Pavel Pospěch
This course is compulsory for Sociology. It introduces students to the wide range of social theory that has accumulated in the discipline of Sociology, providing exposure to classical, modern, and contemporary theories. The first half of the course focuses on this survey of the development of sociological thought, while the second half of the semester features in-depth study of three books representative of important themes in the field that continue to shape sociological thinking today. This literature, as well as the two general textbooks, is on the required reading list for the final state exam for students to earn the Masters degree in Sociology.

SOC755a – Seminar to General Sociology
Gábor Oláh
This course is a required seminar for students enrolled in General Sociology (SOC755). The purpose of this seminar is for students to gain deeper knowledge, think critically about, and discuss the social theories introduced in the General Sociology class.

SOC756 – Research Methods in Sociology
Beatrice Elena Chromková Manea
The course will provide students with comprehensive understanding of the diverse research methods used in the Social Sciences, and the necessary practical skills required for their application. The students will learn the basic methods of qualitative and quantitative research. Consideration given to formulation of problems, techniques or gathering data, presentation and interpretation of research will be some of the discussed issues. By learning this, students will be able to carry out social research by themselves and to find answers to relevant social science questions.

SOC756a – Seminar to Research Methods in Sociology
Beatrice Elena Chromková Manea
This seminar is associated with SOC 756, Research Methodology. It will provide students with an opportunity to delve more deeply ad profoundly into the weekly readings. The overarching goal is to offer students a comprehensive understanding of the diverse research methodologies in the social sciences and their ontological and epistemological bases. Students will also learn the basic methods of both qualitative and quantitative research and gain an overview of the necessary practical skills required for their application. Individual weekly topics include the choosing a methodology, formulating research problems/questions, techniques for gathering data, presenting and interpreting results and research ethics.

SOC749 – Thesis Project
All teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last but one semester and start working on their final thesis.

SOC749a – Thesis Project in Migration Studies
Migration studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last but one semester and start working on their final thesis.

SOC749b – Thesis Project in Population Studies
Population studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last but one semester and start working on their final thesis.

SOC759 – Thesis Writing Seminar
All teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last semester, when working on their final thesis under the supervision of their academic adviser.

SOC759a – Thesis Writing Seminar to Migration Studies
Migration studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last semester, when working on their final thesis under the supervision of their academic adviser.

SOC759b – Thesis Writing Seminar to Population Studies
Population studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last semester, when working on their final thesis under the supervision of their academic adviser.

Compulsory Courses – spring semesters

SOC575 – Advanced Methods of Interpretation in Cultural Sociology
Werner Binder
This course is compulsory for Cultural Sociology program, but can be taken as optional in Sociology program. The lecture gives the students an overview over theories, methods and techniques of interpretation important for qualitative social research, particularly in cultural sociology. The first half deals with the fundamentals of interpretation, whereas the second half is devoted to different areas of research and specific methodological instruments.
Objectives: Upon successful completion of the course students should have a broad knowledge in methodology and methods of interpretation used in cultural sociology and related fields. Students should be able to deliver sociological interpretations of images and texts, including interviews and media discourses.

SOC575a – Seminar to Advanced Methods of Interpretation in Cultural Sociology
Werner Binder

SOC757 – Contemporary Sociological Theory
Dominik Bartmanski, Radim Marada
At the end of the course students should be able to: understand major paradigmatic areas of contemporary social theory and sociological research, discussing texts by sociological classics of the second half of the 20th century and by authorities in social theory who draw on, develop, and modify the classical traditions today, understanding continuities and discontinuities in contemporary social thought, comprehend links between the micro and macro levels of social research and analysis, demonstrate the empirical relevance of abstract sociological concepts.

SOC757a – Seminar to Contemporary Sociological Theory
Dominik Bartmanski, Radim Marada, Zuzana Réveszová
Seminar course to Contemporary Sociological Theory. The purpose of this seminar is for students to gain deeper knowledge, think critically about, and discuss the social theories introduced in the main course.

SOC776 – Writing Sociology
Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
This course is intended to help masters students improve their academic writing skills and practice English. This is a writing-intensive course that provides training in the methods of researching and writing Sociology essays in several different styles. The intent is to boost students’ confidence in all stages of the writing process, to prepare students to write well in a variety of academic literary genres, to introduce various perspectives on proper professional writing, and to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of sociological theory and methods.
By the end of the semester, students will gain experience writing:

  • Book reviews
  • Expository essays
  • Social issue reaction papers
  • Reports on quantitative and qualitative research according to social science journal guidelines

Special attention is given to learning effective methods of research and norms for proper citation of sources to maintain academic honesty. Student also gain experience organizing the writing process, making in-class presentations, offering and receiving constructive criticism, and revising first drafts.

SOC749 – Thesis Project
All teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last but one semester and start working on their final thesis.

SOC749a – Thesis Project in Migration Studies
Migration studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last but one semester and start working on their final thesis.

SOC749b – Thesis Project in Population Studies
Population studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last but one semester and start working on their final thesis.

SOC759 – Thesis Writing Seminar
All teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last semester, when working on their final thesis under the supervision of their academic adviser.

SOC759a – Thesis Writing Seminar to Migration Studies
Migration studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last semester, when working on their final thesis under the supervision of their academic adviser.

SOC759b – Thesis Writing Seminar to Population Studies
Population studies teachers. The course is offered in both semesters.
Students should register this course in the last semester, when working on their final thesis under the supervision of their academic adviser.

Optional Courses – fall semesters

SOC577 – Population Change in Contemporary Europe
Beatrice Elena Chromková Manea, Adéla Souralová, Lucie Vidovićová

SOC585 – Migration, Transnationalism and the City
Radka Klvaňová
The course departs from the intersection of migration and cultural studies. We will explore questions such as how notions of gender, race, and class circulate within transnational social fields and are reconstituted differently across borders, how social remittances or the ideas, practices, and know-how that are exchanged contribute to immigrant incorporation and homeland development, how different regimes of ethnic and religious diversity management or what Adrian Favell calls philosophies of immigration shape immigrant integration and enduring homeland ties, the ways governments use multiculturalism to reposition cities and nations geopolitically and how social welfare provision and the social safety net is being rewoven in response to migrants transnational lives—if and how do educational, health care, and legal institutions change when communities constitute themselves across space?
By the end of the semester, students should be able to:
• Define and discuss transnational studies and transnational approaches to migration;
• Understand and explain migration related phenomena in the perspective of cultural sociology and cultural studies;
• Apply the transational perspective to different domains of social life;
• Design a research methodology for studying culture in motion;

SOC792 – Social Stratification and Labour Market
Beatrice Elena Chromková Manea, Tomáš Katrňák
At the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate that they are familiar with the basic concepts by which social scientists understand social stratification, labor market and socioeconomic inequalities. They should be able to describe the major changes related to the study of socioeconomic inequalities. They should describe the trends in sociological and economic theories in the field of labor market and socioeconomic inequalities as well as to evaluate the contributions made by various theoretical perspectives to our understanding of labor market and socioeconomic inequalities, and provide examples of their application in the field of labor market and socioeconomic inequalities. They should also to demonstrate that they are familiar with some of the most important terms and trends related to research in the field of labor market, social mobility, educational and socioeconomic inequalities. Last but not least, they should be able to describe how and why contemporary societal trends influence labor market and socioeconomic inequalities, and the consequences of such changes on it.

SOC793 – Supervised research practicum
Benjamin J. Vail

Optional Courses – spring semesters

SOC575E – Advanced Methods of Interpretation in Cultural Sociology
Werner Binder
Course description: The lecture gives the students an overview over theories, methods and techniques of interpretation important for qualitative social research, particularly in cultural sociology. The first half deals with the fundamentals of interpretation, whereas the second half is devoted to different areas of research and specific methodological instruments.
Objectives: Upon successful completion of the course students should have a broad knowledge in methodology and methods of interpretation used in cultural sociology and related fields. Students should be able to deliver sociological interpretations of images and texts, including interviews and media discourses.

SOC575a – Seminar to Advanced Methods of Interpretation in Cultural Sociology
Werner Binder

SOC758 – Statistical Data Analysis with SPSS
Beatrice Chromková Manea
The course is designed to introduce the basic statistics necessary to analyze data provided by various quantitative studies using SPSS. The main aims are: 1) to introduce the basic notions in statistics – population, parameters, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, sample, variables etc.; 2) to build and use variables and databases using SPSS; 3) to introduce the basic statistical data analysis methods using SPSS. In other words, graduates of this course are able to: explain basic notions in statistics; demonstrate ability to build databases in SPSS; employ SPSS in order to analyse data.

SOC763 – Changing Political and Social Identities in Post-Cold War Central Europe
Miklós Vörös
The course encompasses a variety of themes concerning the reconstruction of social identities in Central Europe after the fall of communism. The particular interconnected topics to be addressed in this course are: the political reconstruction of memories and identities in the conditions of cultural revolutions, the establishment of post-socialist hegemony in relation to cultural practices of nationalism, and the challenge of re-emerging forms of ethnic conflict and solidarity in the form of mythic and utopian imaginary communities. The basic approach of the course is to demonstrate various cultural patterns of continuity and change by means of theoretically framed case studies that compare precommunist, communist and post-communist phenomena.

SOC783 – Transnational Studies
Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
In recent years, ‘transnationalism’ has become a common reference across the social sciences. Moving beyond theoretical approaches to the study of global social phenomena that have traditionally centered on the nation state as the central conceptual unit of analysis, transnational studies considers social life as the constantly evolving product of multiple economic, political, cultural and historical factors that manifest across ‘social fields.’

This course charts the evolution of transnational studies from a sociological standpoint, taking into account multiple forms of regional, international and local scales, identities and scopes of inquiry. We will compare and contrast transnational dynamics in various social spheres – the state, the economy, the family, education, religion and civil society – to rethink assumptions about identity, sovereignty, citizenship and the political economy.

SOC787 – Foundations of Cultural Sociology
Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
Arguably, signs, symbols and meanings have always been the province of sociologists but not always their primary concern. Many believe we have finally taken or are in the midst of taking a “cultural turn” in contemporary sociology. Problems of meaning, discourse, aesthetics, value, textuality, and narrativity, topics traditionally within the purview of humanists, have come to the fore as sociologists increasingly emphasize the role of meanings, symbols, cultural frames and cognitive schema in their theorization of social processes and institutions. This course will chart such a move, providing a wide-ranging overview of the ways in which culture has been conceived and utilized in the evolution of contemporary cultural sociological thought, culminating in the Strong Program beginning in the 1990s in the United States.