Application-oriented - Plural – Interdisciplinary

The Master's program in Socio-Economics has been successfully implemented and become a popular pluralist and interdisciplinary economics degree in Germany since its foundation in 2019.

On this page we inform you about the structure, the contents, the lecturers responsible for the modules and career perspectives of the two-year MA program. You will also find information about the application process.

Everything you need to know | ➥ The basic modules in detail | ➥ Advanced modules
Our professors | ➥ Application (in German only)| ➥ Contact | ➥ The Institute for Socio-Economics

Apply now (info in German only)

Everything you need to know

  • Successful launch of the MA Socio-Economics in the winter semester 2019/20, enrollment currently open for winter and summer semester.
  • Teaching by the newly founded Institute for Socio-Economics at the Faculty of Social Sciences with four professorships and about ten research assistants
  • Six basic modules, two in-depth modules over three semesters, and a final module with internship/research project and master's thesis in the fourth semester
  • Mobility window in the third (and/or in the fourth) semester by taking advantage of courses offered by related institutes of social and economic sciences and/or a stay abroad


Application-oriented - Plural – Interdisciplinary

With the master's program in Socio-Economics, the University of Duisburg-Essen responds to the growing need to examine current key social issues using interdisciplinary and pluralistic scientific approaches. The program focuses on socio-economic issues and problems of social and economic policy relevance, for example

  •   Economic inequality
  •   The future of European integration
  •   Political economy of globalization
  •   Changes in the welfare state
  •   Growth, environment and employment
  •   Financial and economic crises
  •   Political effects of economic inequality
  •   Government tasks and public debt

A special focus is on social, institutional and political conditions and contexts of economic interrelations and on application-oriented methodological training.

In addition to interdisciplinarity, a central principle is a pluralism of perspectives, theories and models, with the aim of making the controversy of economic policy positions visible.

The target group of the program are students of economics and social sciences as well as related neighboring disciplines with career goals in the areas of

  •   science
  •   politics and policy consulting
  •   administration
  •   media
  •   Civil society / NGOs / associations
  •   (Socio-)economic and political education


The courses are held in German or English. All examinations can be taken in either German or English. Furthermore, students can take additional language courses at the Foreign Language Center and receive further support in German or English if required.

MA Socio-Economics- The basic modules in detail

Macroeconomic Analysis

  •   National Accounts
  •   Institutions of monetary/fiscal and wage policy
  •   Social and environmental embeddedness and history of macroeconomics
  •   Historical and current economic policy controversies and challenges
  •   Macroeconomic and political economy modeling
  •   International macroeconomics
  •   Varieties of capitalism and growth model


Economics - History - Philosophy

  •   Fundamentals of European intellectual history and current discourses on economic policy
  •   History of economic thought
  •   Paradigms of economics
  •   Comparative examination of economic and philosophical theories and approaches
  •   Multi-perspective consideration of social challenges
  •   Highlights of modern economic history


Comparison of Economic and Social Systems

  • Comparison of different varieties of capitalism (Varieties of Capitalism, Growth Models)
  • Comparative analysis of welfare states, labor market regimes, industrial relations and education systems
  • Socio-economic change processes (inequality, technological change, deindustrialization, financialization, globalization) and their political causes and consequences
  • Socio-economic dimension of political conflicts


Methods of Socio-Economic Research

  • Philosophy of science of economics
  •  social ontology
  •  Methodological foundations of social sciences
  •  Fundamentals of data processing in the social sciences
  •  Basics of Econometrics
  •  Applied Econometrics


Government and Economy

  • Basic objectives and issues of government activity and government finance
  • Methods of financial/governmental analysis
  • Institutional studies: government revenues and expenditures in the federal system of the Federal Republic of Germany and in Europe
  • Multi-paradigmatic impact analysis of government activity and public finances, in particular their implications for distribution policy
  • International tax competition, tax evasion and tax avoidance


Inequality - Growth - Ecology

  •  Inequality of income and wealth: measurement, causes, consequences and distributional policies
  •  Distribution and growth theories
  •  Relationship between distribution and growth
  •  Ecological economics
  •  Methods of inequality research


More detailed information...

Ma Struktur
.…about the basic modules (descriptions of the events and literature references) can be found here.



The current examination regulations for the MA Socio-Economics can be downloaded here (PDF) and the module handbook for the program here (PDF).

Advanced Modules, Practical Fields & Current Problems of Socio-Economics

Advanced courses for research and/or practice-oriented emphases, e.g., in:

  • Labor market and employment
  • Advanced macroeconomics and political economy
  • Advanced Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Globalization and Development
  • Econometrics
  • Theory and Practice of Public Finance
  • Environmental policy and ecological economics
  • Inequality research
  • Business and management
  • Behavioral theory


The Institutes Teaching Collaborations

The Institute for Socio-Economics has agreed on comprehensive teaching cooperations within the Faculty of Social Sciences and with the economics faculties of the University of Duisburg-Essen. This allows students of the MA Socio-Economics to specialize in individual disciplines (Political Science, Sociology, Economics) as well as topic-related specializations across different disciplines in the specialization modules. In addition to the specialization courses offered by the Institute for Socio-Economics, students can optionally take courses from the following Master's programs (some with limited space available):

  • M.Sc. Business Administration (MSM): Advanced Macroeconomics, International Financial Markets, Monetary Theory, Monetary Policy, Topics in International Economics, International Economic Organization, Applied Microeconomics, Topics in Labor Economics, Game Theory and its Applications, Behavioral Economics
  • M.Sc. in Economics (especially M.Sc. Economics and M.Sc. Markets and Business): Dynamic Macroeconomics, Decision Theory, Empirics of International Money and Financial Markets, Monetary Theory and Policy, (Recent Developments in European Macroeconomics), Tax Law as Part of the Market System, Economic Effects of Taxation in a National Context and others
  • M.A. Theory and Comparison: Comparative Politics - 'Political Systems in Changing Modernity' and others
  • M.A. Political Management: relevant courses from the orientation module e.g. the seminar Economic Crisis in the Euro Area as well as courses from other modules of the core curriculum
  • M.A. IBEP: Global Governance and Development" and "Causes and Dynamics of Violent Conflicts" and others
  • M.A. Sociology: seminars in the Work, Occupation, and Organization concentration as well as 'The Sociology of Labor Markets,' 'Transnational Governance,' 'From the Local to the Global Economy: Approaches to Economic Sociology,' and others
  • M.A. CEAS/MEAS: Contemporary Challenges of the Economies in East Asia, International Economic Organization, Advanced Industrial Organization, and others.
  • M.A. Social Sciences: Module Thematic Fields of Social Science on an economic thematic field
  • RUB/UAR: Complexity economics and agent-based modeling, Macroeconomics and sustainability and others

Please note that registration for these courses is done through the Institute for Socio-Economics.

Photo: Anatole Serexhe

Occupational fields and possible career paths

Graduates of the MA Socio-Economics have a wide range of career options open to them. On the one hand, they can already focus on research-oriented courses in the master’s program and prepare for a further academic career. At the same time, the strong application focus of the program opens up numerous options in the fields of politics and administration, political consulting, journalism and media, as well as civil society, associations and NGOs. Valuable contacts can be made in the respective fields during the course of study. Cooperations with universities abroad allow for an additional broadening of horizons and contacts with academics and students abroad.

Our professors

​​Achim Truger

Achim Truger
Main Research Area: Government Activity and Public Finances


"​We should always think about questions in research and teaching from the perspective of concrete social challenges"

Read more: Three questions for Achim Truger


"​Socio-Economics poses questions about distributional effects, the interaction between economic dynamics and social cohesion, and ecological foundations of life"

Read more: Three questions for Jakob Kapeller

​​Jakob Kapeller

Jakob Kapeller
Main Research Area: Plural Economics

Miriam Rehm


Miriam Rehm
Main Research Area: empirical research on inequality



"Students should also learn to develop an independent opinion and express this opinion self-confidently and actively"

Read more: Three questions for Miriam Rehm


"​Economic transactions are complex psychological relationships embedded in organizations, cultural spheres and power relations"

Read more: Three questions for Paul Marx

Paul Marx

Paul Marx
Main Research Area: Comparative political economy and economic sociology

Van Treeck

Till van Treeck
Main Research Area: Macroeconomic analyses

"Students should always be skeptical when someone justifies the lack of alternatives to political measures with supposedly universally valid economic laws"

Read more: Three questions for Till van Treeck



Your contact persons at the Institute for Socio-Economics

Daniela Strüngmann 2014

Dr. Daniela Strüngmann
Executive manager at the Institute for Socio-Economics
Tel.: +49 - 203 - 379 - 1590


Charlotte Röniger
Scientific Assistant in the institute management
Tel.: +49 - 151 - 10956820

The Institute for Socio-Economics

  • The Institute for Socio-Economics (IfSO) was established in 2017 at the Faculty of Social Sciences and pursues economic issues from an interdisciplinary and pluralistic perspective at the interface of economics and social sciences.
  • The IfSO is embedded in the Faculty of Social Sciences, which is one of the largest social science faculties nationwide with about 200 scientists, including over 30 professorships, and over 3000 students.

    In addition to the Institutes of Political Science (IfP), Sociology (IfS) and Socio-Economics (IfSO), the Institute for Work and Qualification (IAQ) and the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) as well as the Institute for East Asian Studies (IN-EAST) set special research-related priorities.

    Other institutions include the NRW School of Governance, the Käte Hamburger Center "Political Cultures of World Society", the CIVES! School of Civic Education and the Rhein-Ruhr-Institute for Social Research and Political Consulting e.V. (RISP).

  • Furthermore, the IfSO cooperates in teaching with the two neighboring faculties of Economics (Essen Campus) and the Mercator School of Management (Duisburg Campus).

Four professorships have been established at the Institute for Socio-Economics, with the following profiles

  • Macroeconomic analyses
  • Government activity and public finances
  • Plural Economics
  • Empirical Inequality Research

At the IfSO, particular emphasis is placed on the consistent transfer of research, making scientific findings accessible to the media, politics, civil society, business and the general public.


Studying at University Duisburg-Essen

The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is located in the center of the Rhine-Ruhr region, with campuses in Duisburg and Essen. With more than 43,000 students, it is one of the ten largest universities in Germany. Its broad spectrum of subjects ranges from the humanities, social sciences and education to economics, engineering, natural sciences and medicine. Since its foundation in 2003, the UDE has developed into a globally recognized research university. With its approach, the Institute of Socio-Economics fits ideally into the university's motto: Open-minded!

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