STUDY

Master Science, Technology & Society Studies

Contents of degree programme

Be it digitalisation, energy transition, medicine or bioeconomy, scientific and technological innovations are closely linked to societal developments. In this Master’s programme, you will learn to see the interactions between science, technology and other societal areas, such as economics, politics, and media from new perspectives. You will acquire the skill of identifying and assessing, in a differentiated manner, the social conditions and effects of scientific and technological innovations. You will be able to recognise ‘hype’ surrounding new technologies or scientific breakthroughs, and intervene and arbitrate in public debates on the risks, ethical controversy or social desirability of innovations.

The Master’s programme, which runs for four semesters, is interdisciplinary in its approach and draws on theories and methods from social and cultural studies. Enrolled students will develop knowledge of the fundamental importance of science and technology to modern societies. The programme will prepare you for challenging jobs, in areas such as research and technology funding, political and corporate consultancy, EU and international administration, media, public relations, cultural organisations, technology assessment, and university and non-university research.

Understanding the social dynamics of knowledge and technology, shaping the future in a sustainable manner.

Fact Box

Duration:
4
Semester
ECTS:
120

Level of qualification:
Master's degree programme

Degree:

Master of Arts (MA)


Prerequisites:

Yes


Entrance examination:

No


Language of instruction:

German (C1), English

Particularities

Want to study all over Europe? No problem!

The University of Klagenfurt is a member of the Europe-wide association ‘European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology’ (ESST). As a student in the Master’s programme ‘Science, Technology & Society Studies’, you will benefit from this network. You will be able to complement your Master’s study with a specialization module, and write your Master’s thesis at an ESST partner university. This will give you the opportunity to acquire the ESST Certificate or the ESST Diploma Master of Arts ‘Society, Science and Technology in Europe’ in addition to the Master’s degree from Klagenfurt.

During the programme, you can focus on the following subject areas:

  • Governance, innovation, sustainability: you will examine the ambivalences of science and technology in ongoing controversies and risk debates, for example concerning climate change, food security, health and justice. You will develop skills that enable you to comment critically on approaches to sustainable governance of research and innovation, and to refine approaches in research and innovation.
  • Knowledge, culture, digitalisation: you will learn about the emergence of ‘modern’ science and current developments in scientific organisation and practice. You will engage with epistemic approaches, practices and work environments of different knowledge cultures, as well as with the changing meaning of data, information and communication in the digital age.
  • Democracy, power, politics: you will explore the interrelatedness of science and politics by asking how power relations shape, and are shaped by, knowledge and technology. You will be trained to reflect on, and engage in, political debates on science and technology at the local, regional, national, and international level.
  • Gender & diversity, bodies, identities: you will acquire the skills to uncover the context-dependency of knowledge and technology. This will enable you to identify the characteristics and limits of ethnocentric claims to objective knowledge, and to show how individual and collective identities, in particular gender representations, are constructed, perpetuated, or challenged by science and technology.

Small working groups and optimal teacher-student ratios enable productive exchange between students and lecturers

Contact details

Study objectives

Upon completion, graduates of the Master's degree programme “Science, Technology & Society Studies” are able to:

  • perform analyses of current problem areas and fields of conflict with regard to science, technology and innovation;
  • comprehend interactions between scientific-technological developments and societal change;
  • process insights from social-scientific science and technology research for the benefit of societal decision-making and design;
  • apply the acquired skills in the strategic planning and project management of businesses and in public engagement processes; and
  • contribute actively to scientific research projects.

Admission to the degree programme

The admission to the degree programme must take place before the end of the extension period (winter semester: 9 July to 30 November | summer semester: 8 January to  30 April).

 

Prerequisites

Bachelor’s degree programme from all fields completed at a University or a University of Applied Sciences, or a degree programme of equivalent academic value, completed at a recognised post-secondary educational institution.

Students who have successfully completed a Bachelor's degree programme assigned to the groups of Engineering Sciences, Natural Sciences, Medical Sciences, or the Arts, must demonstrate that they have acquired an adequate level of knowledge in the following areas (overall 12 ECTS credits):

  • Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Science and Technology in Society, e.g. History of Technology, Philosophy of Technology, Sociology of Technology, Technology Assessment, Environmental Policy, Participatory Processes and Civic Participation, Technology and Science Communication, Ethics of Medicine, Technology or Environment, Sustainability Research, and/or
  • Fundamental Principles of the Social and Cultural Sciences (theories and methods), particularly from Sociology, Political Science, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Geography, and/or History.

Programme structure

Overview

Fach
Fachbezeichnung
ECTS
Pflichtfächer
Grundlagen der Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
22
Empirische Forschungspraxis
12
Kompetenzerweiterung
12
Gebundenes Wahlfach
Wahl von zwei Fächern:
  • Governance, Innovation, Nachhaltigkeit
  • Wissen, Kultur, Digitalisierung
  • Demokratie, Macht, Politik
  • Gender & Diversität, Körper, Identitäten
24
Praxis
Praxis (alternativ 3. Gebundenes Wahlfach)
12
Masterarbeit
Masterarbeit
22

Begleitung von Masterarbeiten
4
Freie Wahlfächer

12
Summe

120

Practical training

Within the scope of the degree programme students can complete a placement in an organisation, for example:

If it is not feasible or possible to complete a placement, students can earn 12 ECTS credits by completing an additional Elective from the Master's programme.

Following the completion of the placement, students report on the project semester in the course “Reflection of the Placement” (2 ECTS credits) and record their experiences in a written project report.

Relevant professional activities conducted prior to or during the Master's programme may be accredited as practical experience worth a total of 10 ECTS credits in justified cases.

Periods of study abroad

In general, students are encouraged to spend at least one semester studying abroad. This particularly applies to periods of study spent abroad at the locations of members of the European Programme “European Studies of Society, Science and Technology” (ESST), in which the University of Klagenfurt is an active member. It is recommended to schedule the ESST study visit abroad in the third or fourth semester. Examinations successfully completed within the context of a study visit abroad shall be recognised, provided that the student obtains the programme director's specific permission in advance.

Careers and occupational profiles

The Master's programme aims to prepare students for work in various institutional contexts. Job opportunities, among others, exist in:

  • university and non-university research as scholars;
  • the media, museums, and in research centres as experts in science and technology communication;
  • the public administration of the EU, as well as national, provincial and local governments, professional associations, and civil society organisations as specialists in research, technology and innovation;
  • international organisations as programme managers;
  • research funding organisations as experts in programme management;
  • companies as innovation managers or sustainability officers;
  • policy and business consultancy; and
  • mediation and as moderators in public participation processes.

Continuing your studies

Upon successful completion of the Master’s degree programme “Science, Technology and Society Studies”, students can continue their studies in the Doctoral degree programme for Science and Technology Studies.

Specialist courses

Within the scope of the free electives and in accordance with the respective curriculum, students can receive credits for individual courses or for entire modules from other subject areas.

Term dates & deadlines

Winter semester 2019/20

General admission period:
9 July to 5 September

Extended admission period:
6 September to 30 November

To the academic year

Term dates & deadlines

Summer semester 2020

General admission period:
8 January to 5 February 2020

Extended admission period:
6 February to 30 April 2020

To the academic year