Knowledge and technologies are deeply intertwined with the ways we live in the world. How we communicate, move, work, and care for our health – all this is constantly changing through new scientific and technological options. Understanding the complex relations of science, technology and society is crucial in the world of today. The master’s programme Science-Technology-Society aims at training students to acquire expertise in this domain. It was established in 2009 and is a two-year English language programme.
University of Vienna, Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung (IWT)
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Aims of the Study Programme
The Master programme ‘Science-Technology-Society’ aims at providing abilities which prepare students for work in a range of different contexts at the interfaces of science, technology and society. These abilities include:
- acquiring the sensitivity to recognise the multi-dimensionality of current technoscientific challenges;
- enhancing the ability to approach complex problems both systematically and imaginatively;
- gaining the expertise to recognise the social and ethical dimensions of science and technology;
- learning to communicate issues related to science, technology and society.
Topics / Content
A research based critical understanding of the relations of science, technology and society are central to the programme’s profile. Main elements of the profile are
- a strong research orientation,
- internationality both in the scope of teaching as well as in the background of the students,
- a clear social science approach with a dedicated openness to the heterogeneous disciplinary backgrounds of its students and
- a focus on complementary skills vital in today’s academic and knowledge work contexts.
The master programme is structured in two strands, which correspond with its main didactic aims. The first is devoted to teaching students the basic theoretical and methodological approaches to the interfaces of science, technology and society as well as to guiding them to develop in-depth knowledge on selected research specialisations within this field. In the second strand students are trained in the skills they will need to develop and apply this knowledge in the academic field and beyond.
In its respective specialisations, the MA in Science-Technology-Society provides a comprehensive and critical approach to analysing
- how (techno)sciences and society communicate and interact;
- the cultures and contexts in which knowledge and innovations are produced and used;
- how politics frames and is framed by science and technology.
Time to complete
4 semesters (2 years)
Start of studies
Requirements and Admission
The master programme Science-Technology-Society has a strong international and interdisciplinary orientation. A reasonable command of English is needed to participate in classes and academic discussions, but also for written assignments.
For admission to the master programme a Bachelor or equivalent academic degree is required. For prospective students with a Bachelor degree which is not in the social sciences, a selected number of additional courses in theory and methods may be prescribed.
The selection procedure will be carried out in three stages:
- Examination of the formal requirements; this particularly includes an examination whether the bachelor diploma has been issued by an accredited institution of post-secondary education and whether it is equivalent to a social science bachelor, or whether this equivalence can be reached by prescribing additional courses up to a maximum of 30 ECTS;
- Examination of English language proficiency;
- Assessment of the argumentative quality of the letter of motivation.
The alumni of the programme are trained to pursue an academic career in the context of PhD programmes in Austria and internationally. Furthermore, the programme addresses students seeking employment opportunities in science communication, in national and international institutions specialised on funding, governing and managing research and technology, and in companies or NGOs, which need to take decisions related to science, technology and society in rapidly changing contexts.
The programme is open for students from different cultural backgrounds, as well as from different disciplines – ranging from the social sciences to the humanities, the natural sciences and engineering.
Deadlines for application
Further information and contact persons
Dr. Maximilian Fochler (Director of Study Programme)