About us

Sociology and Social Policy Department


Sociology and social education in Debrecen

  • Although the education of sociology has been present at the University of Debrecen since 1963, the Department of Sociology was established only in 1984. Besides sociology courses, our tutors had the chance to participate in the establishment of social education in Hungary among the first ones after the fall of the previous regime in 1989.
  • In 1992, the social worker and social policy programme was established, while in 1993, the sociology programme was created. As part of the transition to the Bologna system, our department started its social policy and sociology BA programmes for which it received accreditation in 2006, while for the social policy and sociology MA programmes it was in 2009.  At the Sociology and Social Policy Department of the University of Debrecen in the 2014/2015 academic year, the number of students participating in the social programmes (social worker BA, social policy MA) is 219, while those participating in sociology programmes (sociology BA, sociology MA) is 120.
  • In the 2013/2014 academic year, we also initiated our PhD programme, in which there are 17 participants at the moment. On the three programme levels altogether, there are currently 15 full-time and many guest tutors.
  • Due to the wide array of our educational and research activity, our department has become the centre of social and sociology education and research in the Tiszántúl region.

From the Bachelor’s Degree to the Doctorate

Our department offers BA and MA programmes, has both day and correspondence courses, and also provides the option to continue with doctoral studies and to receive a PhD degree.  

  • Sociology BA: Aims to teach students the most basic concepts of sociology, its theoretical problems and their empirical projections, so that they become competent to understand and analyse today’s social processes as well as to teach them how to carry out tasks related to the BA level of sociology. Experts who receive their education here are able to work as research organisers, research assistants or in public administration, informational and public cultural institutions, political and public organisations and also in the field of human policy.
  • Sociology MA:  Aims to train experts with diverse knowledge, who can become decision-makers in different academic, social and cultural organisations as well as state, private and public administrational institutions but also who can qualify for the requirements of the PhD degree if they are interested in an academic career. Within this programme, there are two different specialisations available:
    • Research and Project Management;
    • Social Development and Change Management.
  • Social Worker BA: Aims to train experts who can easily realise the formation of various social problems in different environments and systematically analyse them as workers at the state and local governmental institutions.  During their work, they should be able to carry out direct social work phases creatively, develop the relations, lobbying skills and problem-solving skills of target groups that enjoy social work services and they should be able to give advice efficiently on human rights cases.
  • Social Policy MA: Aims to train experts with interdisciplinary knowledge and practical skills who can identify social problems, create a strategic plan to handle these problems, operate social policy institutions and support systems, assess and analyse the related activities as well as design and develop new services and welfare systems. Within the programme, we offer two different specialisations:
    • Employment Policy
    • Child and Youth Policy
  • Doctoral Programme (PhD): talented and motivated students get a chance to continue their studies within our doctoral programme, namely the Sociology and Social Policy Doctoral Programme of the Human Studies Doctoral School. The University of Debrecen was the third university (after ELTE and Corvinus) to initiate a sociology and social policy doctoral programme in Hungary. The main scientific and research topic of the programme is the question of social integration in modern society, the socio-historical aspect of its changes, the study of the integration mechanisms of institutions and specific groups of society, socio-political, social policy and public policy systems, the conditions of local societies and developments and also the study of ethnic, national and other minorities. The Programme highly supports the application of students from across the border as well. In the 2014/2015 academic year, the number of our students participating in the doctoral programme is 17, out of which 4 are being involved in scholarships.

Research and Projects

  • The Sociology and Social Policy Department is carrying out basic or applied research in various topics, mainly in youth research, regional and settlement sociology, employment policy, gender research and social history research. In recent years, several local and international education and service development projects (EQUAL, Leonardo da Vinci, HEFOP, TÁMOP or OFA funds), as well as research projects (within the OTKA, HURO, Innotárs or EU7 Framework) have been carried out successfully by our department.
  • Members of our department are also active members of the Nagyalföld Department of the Hungarian Association of Sociology as well as the Sociology Work Team of the Debrecen Academic Board of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Our research and development programmes always involve students and expert field workers in order to make the integration of theory and practical knowledge the most effective.

International Relations

  • Due to our international research projects and the Erasmus Plus mobility programme for tutors and students, our department has an extensive network of international connections. At the moment, we are exchanging students with eighteen Erasmus Plus partner institutions based in Pamplona (Spain), Cork (Ireland), Kuopio (Finland), Naples (Italy) and more. Each year, 4-5 of our students participate in our abroad partners’ training courses and classes for a semester or a whole academic year within the Erasmus Plus programme. In addition, through our international research and development projects, we are in professional contact with dozens of foreign institutions, especially universities, research institutions and civil organisations.

Field Practice

  • Within our training programmes, students can participate in professional practice for much more hours per week than students of other fields. Every semester, 260 of our students participate in field practice at any of our 140 practice locations. Our network of locations mainly consists of state and civil organisations responsible for the care of children, senior citizens, the unemployed, individuals suffering from various addictions, psychiatric patients, Roma people or refugees. This network also includes private and state organisations that manage grants; companies’ HR departments, headhunter agencies, state and private research institutes and ministry departments as well. Our career centre provides specialised help for students in job seeking: organises training courses for jobseekers and also aids them in acquiring the work experience needed for finding a job by recruiting people for volunteering and internships.

If you have any other questions call us on 06 52 512 900 / 22118 or send us your enquiry via

Debreceni Egyetem Szociológia és Szociálpolitika Tanszék
4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1.


Updated: 2018.05.28.

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