Overview and Structure


Different types of courses are derived from the aims of the doctoral teaching programme. Courses are offered either by the collaborative centre/institution (e.g., graduate colleges) or the GSBC itself. The programme is organised in modules, represented in credit points (CP). All classes should be attended in the first two years of the PhD studies.

Structure of Study Programme

Structure, content and amount of the GSBC study programme are based on the long-term experience of contributing institutions. The study programme enhances students’ skills in four areas:

  1. Advanced subject/discipline related competence.
  2. Advanced competence in methods and methodology.
  3. Basic knowledge in at least one additional subject or discipline or knowledge in social policy and applied contexts.
  4. Transferable skills (scientific writing, presenting, reviewing, moderating, problem solving, theory of science, time management, media).

The third year allows for the completion of the thesis. Stays abroad or internships in related fields of practice can be acknowledged as equivalents of respective study programme activities. Altogether, each PhD student has to provide evidence for a minimum of 35 CP distributed to the several areas of competence.


All elements of the study programme are deemed very important, but their load for students’ timetables will be held at a level compatible with the requirements for efficient work on their dissertations.