Ph.D. On Campus

European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies (SESS)

Humboldt University Berlin

36 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies (SESS) is an international, interdisciplinary graduate programme in which nine partner universities are cooperating. After the completion of the programme the doctoral degree Doctor Europaeus is awarded. This European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies (SESS) programme is offered by Humboldt University Berlin.


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.

This European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies (SESS) programme is offered by Humboldt University Berlin.

Key facts:

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.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • The interrelationship between economic and social structure
  • Processes of change of economic organisations and institutions
  • Markets understood as social structures and networks
  • Labour markets, employment, and conflict
  • Welfare state analysis and social security
  • Economic and social inequality and perceptions of social justice
  • Socio-economic inequality and the vulnerabiliy of democratic societies

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines




180 ECTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Candidates must have completed an academic education with above average results of a minimum of five years in the fields of social sciences or economics
  • They should have fulfilled the degree requirements equivalent to a Master of Arts as established by the respective national grant authorities or laid down in the guidelines of the respective university
  • The degree must be obtained by the beginning of the academic year they want to apply for
  • English proficiency at an academic level
  • For BGSS at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Please note our regulations regarding doctoral funding
  • Mission Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copies of Degrees and Certificates
  • Certificates of Language Ability (TOEFL, IELTS, C-level etc.)
  • Exposé of Doctoral Project
  • Statement of Skills and Experiences with Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
  • Two Letters of Recommendation

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Berlin

836 - 1340 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.



Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last 6 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Our partners

European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies (SESS)
Humboldt University Berlin


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