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Master of Science

Master Sociology – Social and Economic Psychology

Using Psychology to solve Societal and Economic Issues

Master Sociology: Social and Economic Psychology

Key Facts

Degree: Master of Science
Duration: 4 Semesters
Credits: 120 ECTS
Language: English
Content: Knowledge, theories and methods in Sociology as well as in Social and Economic Psychology are applied to relevant current problems and used to develop solution strategies.
International: 1 Optional Semester Abroad

This programme provides you with:

  • a solid foundation in sociological and advanced methods of cross-sectional data analysis.
  • in-depth knowledge of social and economic psychology, including advanced skills in decision-making, persuasion, consumer behavior and organisational psychology.
  • skills for planning, conducting and evaluating psychological studies.
  • general analytical skills for identifying, understanding and solving societal problems.

Studying social and economic psychology was very inspiring and gave me many new insights. I can already apply this knowledge in various areas such as my part-time job and also in my private life.

Thomi, Student at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Science

This programme is right for you if you:

  • have successfully completed a bachelor’s or equivalent degree in psychology, sociology, management or business administration, economics, political science, or another relevant discipline, in which you received at least basic understanding of statistics.
  • are interested in understanding the psychological explanations behind various social and economic phenomena.
  • are interested in furthering your analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills and wish to refine your writing and language skills.
  • would like to improve as a team player, because working in groups is often practiced in seminars and will be an asset to you within a working environment.
  • are eager to develop a profile that will prepare you for working responsibly in exciting areas

Prior knowledge of social and economic psychology is advantageous but not mandatory.

Maria Fernandes and Detlef Fetchenhauer about the new master's programme major social and economic psychology of the WiSo Faculty

Due to the programme’s interdisciplinary nature and also because of the diversity in the backgrounds, students are encouraged to broaden their horizons. Additionally, this program puts an emphasis on the area of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Theoretical and methodological skills in sociology and psychology are continuously applied to current issues during the course of study.

Programme Overview

Preparing you to solve societal and economic issues

The M.Sc. Sociology – Social and Economic Psychology at the University of Cologne is unique in its interdisciplinary orientation and combination of different subjects. It is also characterised by its well-balanced composition of theory and practical application.

In addition, this programme, with its limited number of places (a maximum of 25), offers you the opportunity to actively engage in discussions with lecturers and fellow students and to intensively work together in small groups.

Prof. Dr Detlef Fetchenhauer

This programme provides fascinating and in depth insights into the different areas of social and economic psychology. In addition, courses in business administration (e.g. Marketing, Corporate Development) or other areas of social sciences can be chosen, which allow for individual specialisation. This programme is complemented by a theoretical and methodological foundation in sociology.

Prof. Dr Detlef Fetchenhauer, Chair of Economic and Social Psychology

We give you the chance to complete your master’s degree entirely in English. You will receive training from the internationally renowned Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology (ISS). The ISS has been ranked as Germany’s top department in sociology (Shanghai Ranking 2018, 2019, 2020) and is known for linking sociology and psychology.

Furthermore, the two Chairs of Social and Economic Psychology take on a leading role within the programme: Prof. Dr Fetchenhauer has gained international recognition as a result of his research focus on social trust, economic lay theories and evolutionary psychology, and Prof. Dr Hölzl is an expert on economic decisions, affective forecasting and cognitive judgement errors.

If you would like to find out more about specific details of your master’s programme, you will find it on the program structure page.


English taught programme

The M.Sc. Sociology – Social and Economic Psychology is taught entirely in English. Therefore, this programme is open to students from countries all over the world. Hence, studies occur in an environment that is international and intercultural.

Optional semester abroad

The integration of the “Studies Abroad” module into the programme provides you with attractive options for spending a term abroad.

Career Opportunities

Skills acquired in the M.Sc. Sociology – Social and Economic Psychology programme prepare you for a broad range of international professional careers in private enterprises, civil service or in non-governmental organisations.

The special combination of methodical skills and advanced social and economic psychological knowledge, supplemented by further economic or social science subjects, allows you to develop a unique profile, which qualifies you to work in areas such as:

  • Organizational Development Coaching or Consulting Management and HR Development Market and Opinion Research Marketing and Communication Media
  • Trainee Programmes Academic Research
  • This programme offers career opportunities in a wide range of branches, such as in the private sector, in research institutions, public, private or non-governmental institutions.
Professor Dr Erik Hölzl

Consumer behaviour has both individual and societal aspects. The choice of products, their use, and their disposal are influenced by situational, personal and social factors. Exemplary societally relevant dimensions of consumption are compulsive shopping, consumer debt, or sustainability.

Professor Dr Erik Hölzl, Chair of Economic and Social Psychology


Detailed information and contact

rundes Porträtbild von Professor Fetchenhauer


If you are interested in more detailed information on the contents of the programme or the course of study, please contact Prof. Dr. Fetchenhauer, Chair of Social and Economic Psychology:

We are happy to support you in your ambitions:

Beratungssituation: Dialog im WiSo Student Service Point

For students the WiSo Student Service Point offers not only advice on studying but also support on all aspects of career choice, career planning and the application process: