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Social Protection (MSc)

Curriculum - MSc Social Protection

Our curriculum reflects the core competencies that are essential for those involved in planning, managing, evaluating and reforming social protection systems. Our master’s programme blends the technical knowledge regarding the genesis, characteristics and policy instruments in social protection with the analytical skills required to tailor a social protection system to the respective economic, political, cultural and institutional opportunities and challenges of a country. Our curriculum highlights application of gained knowledge and skills, sending social protection experts into the field.

After completing each module, M.Sc. Social Protection students will be able to answer the following questions and will have achieved the following objectives:

First Semester (Winter)

  • Module 1: Comparative Analysis of Social Protection Systems: How does one compare different social protection systems and what are the constitutive elements and differences across systems?
  • Module 2: Foundational Skills: How do social protection systems respond to market failure and to economic cycles? How is it used to modify outcomes of the markets when they are not seen as acceptable from the rights, equity, and justice perspectives?
  • Module 3: Social Protection Policy Instruments: How is the choice and prioritization of instruments dependent on the inherent logic of the respective social protection system?
  • Module 4: Quantitative Methods in Social Protection: How does one assess whether the design chosen is socially, politically and economically appropriate? And whether interventions are cost-effective and fiduciary risks are minimized?

Second Semester (Summer)

  • Module 5: Social Protection Financing: How do governments finance themselves? How is it possible to mobilize resources to Social Protection programmes and what options are available to finance different kinds of programmes?

  • Module 6: Groups in Focus:  How does one determine which risks can be mainstreamed into regular social protection programming? Which risks require separate interventions? How do we design interventions in an inclusive way that does not create further disadvantages for certain groups in society?

  • Module 7: Social Protection Management: How does one overcome the different challenges that come with managing a social protection system? What role can digitalization play?

  • Module 8: Social Protection Reforms: How can policy changes and reforms best be managed and communicated with the intention of minimizing obstacles and maximizing support for the general public and policy makers?

Third Semester (Winter)

  • Module 9: Research Methods: Students will formulate a strong research question, develop a suitable research project design, and ce able to collect, analyze, and report data.

  • Module 10: Studium Generale: Students will choose soft skill courses offered by other university departments (ie: the language department) to gain an additional 5 ECTS. Summer school and MOOC credits can be used as well.

  • Module 11: Internship: Students will apply what they have learned in their courses and further acquire practical knowledge, skills and techniques required in professional fields related to social protection.

Fourth Semester (Summer)

  • Module 12: Master Thesis: Students will demonstrate their capacity to develop a relevant research question, independently devise research project design, conduct their own research, and succinctly report on their findings in a Master Thesis.