In both master’s programs, students deal with the interdependencies of science, technology (development), politics and social dynamics. The “Science and Technology Studies” (M.A. STS) program has a greater focus on the foundations of science and technology studies as a field of research, the philosophy and history of science and technology, methods of qualitative research and in-depth exposure to specific research topics. The program “Responsibility in Science, Engineering and Technology” (M.A. RESET) also deals with the above-mentioned topics but approaches them from a more practice-oriented perspective, always putting emphasis on the question: What does responsibility mean in this context?
In the first semester, students of both programs learn the basics of qualitative social research. They are familiarized with specific methods as well as their underlying philosophical assumptions. The RESET M.A. program is dedicated to practice-oriented learning. In a semester-long immersion project, students learn to apply theories to a current controversial debate in small project groups. Closely related to this, the module “Technology and Society” examines the interactions between science, technology and society in five blocks (politics, economics, law, ethics and media). The STS M.A. program, on the other hand, takes a closer look at the foundations and history of the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). How has STS developed as a field from sociology, philosophy, history and anthropology? Students are familiarized with the development and approaches of major STS currents by learning about the most important theories, researchers and case studies. In the modules STS2 (“Philosophy of Science and Technology”) and STS3 (“History of Science and Technology”), they learn about the philosophical foundations and historical developments of science and technology (development).
In the second semester, both M.A. programs are devoted to an in-depth examination of core STS topics. Students can select three core topics in accordance with their interests, e.g. biomedicine or industries and innovation. Furthermore, they attend STEM courses and analyze the respective disciplinary knowledge cultures (RESET students also focus on issues of responsibility in the respective discipline). Furthermore, STS M.A. students deepen their knowledge in social science methods whereas RESET M.A. students acquire practical skills e.g. in moderation, intercultural communication or international project management.
In the third semester, STS M.A. students devote themselves to a selection of four advanced STS topics whereas RESET M.A. students apply their acquired knowledge in an internship and present and discuss their internship experiences and analyses in a self-organized mini symposium (the “Science School”). Furthermore, they acquire science communication skills in the “Master’s Blog” course. Both M.A. programs also include a “Practicing Research” module, in which students work on research questions or a full research project to help prepare them for their master’s thesis. The fourth semester is then dedicated to the master’s thesis.
If you are unsure about which program to choose, you are welcome to do the MCTS Master’s program quiz.