Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Chair of Sport Sociology

Our understanding of teaching

Content and objectives

The staff of the Department of Sport Sociology offer foundation (level 01) and advanced seminars (1) in bachelor's and master's degree programs at the Institute of Sport Science and seminars on the didactics and methodology of sports (2). The content and objectives of these seminars are equivalent to levels 6 (Bachelor) or 7 (Master) of the German Qualifications Framework (Deutscher Qualifikationsrahmen, DQR) (see Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 2017).

(1) The foundation (level 01) and advanced seminars in social sciences provide students with fundamental insight into theory-based and research-based approaches to sport, in particular from sociological and historical perspectives. The seminars also aim at enabling students to develop and reflect on corresponding topics independently and transfer their knowledge to individually chosen terms of reference.

Examples of seminars include: “Introduction to the sociology of sport”, “Sports clubs and federations”, “Analyzing sport as a social phenomenon”, “Sports organizations”, “Sport as a medium of social work”, “Selected historic and current problems in international sport” and “Scientific work in the social sciences of sport”.

(2) In the seminars that address the didactics and methodology of sports (DMS), students acquire competencies in various fields of physical exercise. The seminars enable students to design, direct and support offers in sports, play and physical exercise for various target groups in a manner that initiates lifelong health and education processes.

Selected seminars refer to major sports games such as handball, volleyball and soccer, focusing specifically on talent selection and talent scouting in soccer, inline skating, cross-country skiing and cycle excursions.

Conceptual approach

Seminars held by the Department of Sport Sociology are focused on the fundamental idea of research-based education, which significantly draws on the department's research topics.

A model of research-based education developed by J. Ruess, C. Gess and W. Deike (2016) in bolgona. lab, the teaching and learning laboratory of HU Berlin, provides the conceptual reference framework. The model is defined by two axes:

  • Teaching can refer to research results, research methods or the entire research process (subject focus of teaching);
  • Students can learn receptively, apply the knowledge they have gained or carry out research themselves (student activity level).

The seminars offered by the Department of Sport Sociology are designed to enable students to experience the various fields in the matrix, including the different forms of teaching and learning, over the course of their bachelor's or master's degree programs. By following this approach, students are successively prepared for addressing and researching a topic independently using scientific methods and findings (e.g. in their master's thesis).

Forms of seminars

Foundation seminars (lectures, tutorials) inform students of the current status of research, including relevant basic problems, initial questions and stages of development. The contents of the findings are discussed from the perspective of specific disciplines. In addition, the seminars teach the techniques and methods of academic work and presentation.

Advanced seminars focus more strongly on independent literature research in a subject field and on the practice and independent use of research methods and diagnostic procedures based on case studies. In addition, findings are discussed in a theory-driven manner and considered in terms of future professional activities.

In selected advanced seminars (research colloquia, project seminars), students can discuss their own research projects, trial independent research activities under the instruction and supervision of the teaching staff and present their own results. In this context, they either experience the entire end-to-end research process or focus on individual dimensions of this process.



Federal Ministry of Education and Research (ed.) (2017) Der Deutsche Qualifikationsrahmen für lebenslanges Lernen. (German qualifications framework for lifelong learning). Access at

Rueß, J., Gess, C., & Deicke, W. (2016). Forschendes Lernen und forschungsbezogene Lehre - Empirisch gestützte Systematisierung des Forschungsbezugs hochschulischer Lehre. (Research-based learning and research-related teaching – Empirically based systematization of the research focus of university teaching) ZFHE, 11(2), 23-44.