The BA-program Society, Media and Politics (SMP) integrates the social sciences necessary to tackle the key challenges of our globalized world in a digitized context. Sociology, media studies and political sciences are learned from a problem-solving and research-oriented, student-centered perspective.
Students are empowered to address pressing social problems in their environment by applying their knowledge and skills not only in research but also in direct practice. They learn about their social environment on field excursions, discuss political conditions and possible solutions to social issues and learn to campaign for their initiatives with the skillful use of digital media, for example by producing their own videos or animations. Innovative forms of assessment allow them to integrate these forms of activity in their curriculum. Our students are young people who want to make a difference.
Also, SMP students are offered the unique opportunity to acquire a broad spectrum of media skills, professionally guided by our media team and provided with the necessary technical equipment by our SMP Media Center. All basic equipment for the production of media projects, be that video or animation, graphic design or podcasts, are accessible to our students in the SMP Media Center.
SMP provides an excellent basis both for graduate studies and the European and international job market for the leaders of tomorrow. Our graduates are known to build successful careers in start-ups and NGOs as well as in large companies; they have moved on to the most renowned academic institutions of the world, some of them developing impressive careers in academia; they have been successful in the most diverse branches of economy too – e.g. in finance. This is because creative problem solving, the ability to judge from a broader perspective and to think out of the box are faculties that are in very high demand in positions of leadership. Our students obtain positions that cannot be substituted by machines.
SMP (formerly Integrated Social Studies) is rated as one of the best study programs in the field of social and political sciences in Germany by the renowned CHE (Center for Higher Education Development) University Ranking.
Job description and job opportunities
Today’s professional world requires more than mere disciplinary knowledge from graduates. Students face the prospect of not only technological and societal advancement and amazing individual opportunities, but also a growing field of contradictions, conflicts and crises that our societies are confronted with. In this context, the value of young professionals who understand the relevance of a rationally informed and scientifically trained, creative and critical approach cannot be overestimated.
Studying SMP typically opens careers in the media, in non-governmental organizations, public administration, community development, international aid agencies, international business, the cultural sector, international youth and social work, fundraising and many other pursuits.
Our graduates are known to build successful careers in start-ups and NGOs as well as in large companies; they have moved on to the most renowned academic institutions in the world, some of them developing impressive careers in academia, others starting their own company. This is because creative problem solving, the ability to judge from a broader perspective and to think out of the box are faculties that are in very high demand in all positions of leadership. Our students move on to positions that cannot be substituted by machines.
What companies and NGOs also see in our graduates is the power to connect local and specific problems to societal trends and issues in a global and digital context. They are in high demand, because they are trained to think problems through from varying disciplinary perspectives. These qualities are of huge advantage for the undertaking of entrepreneurial initiative, e.g. in the context of social entrepreneurship.
Career-related services at Jacobs University provide information, counseling and training, networks, and events. The Career Services Center (CSC) as well as the Jacobs Alumni Office help students in their career development. The CSC provides students with high quality training and coaching in CV creation, cover letter formulation, interview preparation, effective presenting, project management, business communication and etiquette and employer research as well as in many other aspects, thus helping students identify and follow up rewarding careers after their time at Jacobs University. Digital job and internship portfolios help students to prepare for their career.
SMP (formerly Integrated Social Sciences) has the largest alumni community at Jacobs University. And our alumni are known to be especially closely connected – they are united by the common spirit of the study program and support each other in realizing their visions, because they value the importance of the contribution we make. The Alumni Office will help students establish a long-lasting and worldwide network which comes in handy when exploring job options in academia, industry, and elsewhere.
Today’s business world requires disciplinary knowledge from graduates as well as the ability to apply this knowledge. Career-related services at Jacobs University provide information, counseling and training, networks, and events. Jacobs University’s students participate in trainings on project management, business communication, job interview skills, and more. Digital job and internship portfolios help students to prepare for their career.
The ?rst study year is characterized by a broad offer in disciplinary education that builds on and extends the students’ entrance qualification. SMP Students select introductory modules with a total of 45 CP from the CHOICE area of a variety of study programs, of which 15 CP will be from their intended major.
Students can still change to another major at the beginning of the second year of studies if they have taken the corresponding modules of the study program in the first year of studies.
SMP students take the following discipline-specific CHOICE Modules in their first year of study:
- CHOICE Module: Introduction to the Social Sciences 1: Politics and Society (7.5 CP)
- CHOICE Module: Introduction to the Social Sciences 2: Media and Society (7.5 CP)
In these modules, students learn about key issues of society, media and politics and receive a thorough introduction to sociology, media studies and political science, covering basic concepts and schools of thought in the respective disciplines.
In their second year, students take modules with a total of 45 CP from in-depth, discipline-speci?c CORE modules. These modules aim to extend the students’ critical understanding of the key theories, principles, and methods in their major at the current state of knowledge and best practice.
SMP students take 30 CP from the following CORE modules:
- CORE Module: Systems of Social Inequality (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Comparing Mass Media Systems (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Systems of Democratic Governance (5 CP)
- CORE Module: The Sociology of Conflict and Crisis (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Crisis, Conflict and Media (5 CP)
- CORE Module: International Resource Politics (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Consumer Culture and Society (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Media, Culture and Digitization (5 CP)
- CORE Module: Mass Beliefs and Civil Society (5 CP)
15 CP in CORE modules can be selected in the second year of studies according to interest and with the aim to pursue a minor in a second field of studies.
Students are free to deepen their disciplinary knowledge by focusing more on one of the disciplines involved or by concentrating on one of the more topical perspectives offered in the three units: “Systems”, “Conflict” and “Culture”. The units consist of three modules, each of which contributes the perspective of one of disciplines. But these modules can be combined, independent of the unit they are part of, too.
The unit “Systems” concentrates on a more systemic (and, accordingly, more theory oriented) perspective, deepening students’ knowledge of understanding of society, media and politics. The sociological module focuses on the issues of inequality, while the media-oriented module delves deeper into the inner workings of mass-media systems with an international comparative perspective. Political science is involved with a module that studies democratic governance.
The unit “Conflict” discusses the conflicts and crises our societies are confronted with on a global, national and local level. The sociological module, for example, focuses on global conflicts and traces back their impact on societies all the way down to the local level. This, in the past, has typically focused on refugees and the problems of integration and xenophobia they suffer, ending in specific experiences in a local context. The political science perspective scrutinizes the conflict potential of international resource politics while the module “Crisis, Conflict and Media” critically analyses how these same conflicts are reflected in (or at times even brought about by) mass media.
The unit “Culture” consists of a sociological seminar that studies aspects of consumer culture on a societal level and a research-oriented seminar on Media, Culture and Digitization that focuses on social media. A third module looks at mass beliefs and civil society from a political science perspective.
During their third year, students prepare and make decisions for their career after graduation. To explore available choices fitting individual interests, and to gain professional experience, students take a mandatory summer internship.
The 5th semester opens also a mobility window for ample study abroad options. Finally, the 6th semester is dedicated to fostering the research experience of students by involving them in an extended Bachelor thesis project.
SMP students take major-specific and major-related advanced Specialization modules to consolidate their knowledge at the current state of research in areas of their choice.
SMP students can choose four of the following Specialization Modules:
Specialization: The Science of Happiness (5 CP)
In this module, students will gain insight to the topic and learn about basic concepts of the sociology of happiness, thus intensifying their knowledge and skills in sociology in general. They will also discuss the influence of different factors and possible political strategies of improvement in a variety of nationally specific contexts.
Specialization: Applying Social Science in Research (5 CP)
The module aims at applying the theoretical and methodological potential students acquired to ongoing socio-political debates of our time and training them to translate it into state-of-the-art research designs. Students are encouraged to find projects of their own interest and professionally guided towards an efficient implementation of an adequate research design.
Specialization: A New Cold War? EU-Russian Relations (5 CP)
The seminar seeks to discuss the different aspects of the complex development of Russo-European relations. Keeping an eye on the historical context, the military aspects of cooperation and conflict, but also the new geostrategic perspective on economic, informational, demographic and societal relations are explored. Discussions also include an analysis of the media-coverage of current issues of EU-Russian Relations.
Further specialization modules can be taken from the following closely related offerings in other majors:
- Specialization: China: Politics, Economy and Society (5 CP)
- Specialization: Oppression, Conformity and Resistance under Dictatorships (5 CP)
- Specialization: Psychology of Happiness (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Managing Demographic Change in Organisations (2.5 CP)
- Specialization: Psychology of Food (2.5 CP)
Admission to Jacobs University is selective and is based on a candidate’s school and/or university achievements, recommendations, self-presentation, and performance on required standardized tests. Students admitted to Jacobs University demonstrate exceptional academic achievements, intellectual creativity, and the desire and motivation to make a difference in the world. Please note that there is no application fee.
Fees & Finances
We believe that everyone has the right to a good education – and this is the principle we live by here at Jacobs University. This is why we offer students a personalized financial aid package to finance their studies, consisting of scholarships and deferral options, for example. You only start repaying the deferred tuition fees once you successfully entered the job market. That way you can focus completely on your studies. We are convinced that a Jacobs’ education will form the perfect foundation for your future career – that is why we are happy to invest in you. Our financing options are automatically available to you upon admission to a study program.