Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS)


The objective of the European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies is the scientific training of scholars who intend to dedicate themselves to academic careers or to serve as experts in national or international organisations where they are called to analyse and cope with social issues in an encompassing perspective. Didactic principle and explicit scientific aim is the development of knowledge regarding the interplay of economic and social phenomena based upon empirical research, adopting the most appropriate and advanced statistical methods. Sess.EuroPhD is thus guided by the socio-economic paradigm, as first proposed by Max Weber, and its application to empirical social science research. Disciplinary specialisation in the social sciences on the one hand and economics on the other tends to disregard the coherence underlying the structure and functionality of modern societies. The socio-economic paradigm is focussed on overcoming this disciplinary fragmentation when studying societies and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

Sess.EuroPhD is a programme awarding the doctoral degree Doctor Europaeus. It meets the criteria laid down for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in the Bergen declaration in 2005. Based on this declaration, interdisciplinarity is also given a special emphasis.

Sess.EuroPhD strives to attain the following:

  • to strengthen European and international research through the transnational promotion of young scientists
  • to harmonize doctoral education through a common curriculum, semester abroad, the transfer of credit points, coordinated counseling, and the reciprocal recognition of the degree
  • to advance interdisciplinary research through a common educational strategy; a distinctive goal of Sess.EuroPhD is the understanding of the interdependence of social and economic phenomena and data-based research through advanced statistical methods
  • to stimulate inter-cultural and comparative research along these lines
  • to develop a specific PhD culture, resembling the Anglo-American system of graduate schools, but preserving the specific national  European traditions typical for the participating countries.

In line with the Bologna reforms, the European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies is designed for a period of three years of study. A preparatory phase of 6-12 months in the form of a Preprogramme Academic Training is optional however, depending on the qualification levels of the individual applicants.

The European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies offers students the opportunity to perform their studies at different university sites and of familiarising themselves with traditions, cultural activity and socio-political factors characterising different parts of Europe. It is assumed that such eye-opening experiences represent a positive challenge for personal development and, indirectly, for the improvement of international relations.