What are the aspirations and objectives of the PPE – Master in Social TransFormation?

The Master in Social TransFormation – Politics, Philosophy & Economics is situated in, and responds to, calls of our current time and for a more sustainable future to come.

Our present economic and socio-political situation and its complex globalized context, is characterized by a multiple crisis, unethical practices and unsustainable developments. Understanding and dealing with these realities require a more integral approach and holistic perspectives.

On the academic and public policy fronts, this is due to the fact that conventional theoretical and empirical approaches are fragmented, oftenmerely focusing on one specialized discipline, which is inadequate. Isolated perspectives are insufficient for a much needed comprehensive and inter- and transdisciplinary understanding of the pressing political, social and cultural as well as ecological/economic challenges we face.

Furthermore, with the emergence of new forms of populism, nationalism, and the rising tide of authoritarianism, and fundamentalism, democratic institutions are weakened and civic liberties restricted. Accordingly, there is a growing need for thinking and acting in terms of a post-national and intercultural orientation, especially concerning meaningful policy-making and collective-decision-making.

Based on these developments and needs, the overarching objective of this master program is to qualify students to become adept andresponsible that is ethically reflective leaders (or being part of team-leadership or distributed leadership practices), who can analyse critically and deal with uncertain, conflictual or ambiguous situations and problems in our complexified world. Studying the master program “Master in Social TransFormation – Politics, Philosophy & Economics” enables one to critically analyze, understand and reflect in a holistic way.

This study course starts in October (fall semester).

Content of the PPE – Master in Social TransFormation

What will be emphasised, throughout the study, is the exercise of critical reasoning as well as developing the capability of judgement. Connected to this astute reflexivity on societal, political and economic or organizational questions, issues and problems, will be the learning of more practical skills. These skills serve communicating and implementing ideas, decisions, and policies as well as assessing their efficacy. Thus, the emphasis is laid on a theoretically rigorous and critical investigation, together with a practical orientation, both related to real world challenges of our time and for a future to come.

Following the self-understanding of Karlshochschule as a place of higher education the overarching goal is bringing out an educated, emotional and socially intelligent person,who contributes responsibly to the transformation of civic society and economy.

Studying "Master in Social TransFormation – Politics, Philosophy & Economics" is not only about acquiring a diverse set of knowledge, but much more about the ability to change perspectives and to study in a cross-disciplinary fashion in order to understand interdependencies and interconnected dimensions in real world, applicable way.  

As part of an integral education with this study program at Karls University as an “university of the future”, it provides a transformative civic education or “Bildung”.This education aims at contributing to a rethinking, reimaging and redoing as well as reintegrating of the political, economic and philosophical realms whilst being practically informed. Moreover, these re-orientations are also about redesigningalternative ways of living, recreating a world beyond capitalism as we know it, serving as a pathway for legitimized reform of the political and economic life-worlds.

Overall the study program aspires to mediate a transformation towards SustainableDevelopment for a more just, wiser world to come on various levels and in a plurality of enriching ways.

The Structure

The first semester teaches the fundamentals of the three disciplines at the micro level:

  • Philosophy: Introduction Philosophy of Action
  • Politics: Introduction Political Action & Agency
  • Economics: Introduction Behavioral Economics

After this advanced introductory phase, the following meso-level topics are taught in the second semester:

  • Philosophy: Relational Practices and Politacal Philosophy of Resonance, Resistance & Responsibility
  • Politics: Political Practices, Social Movement & Civic Engagement
  • Economics: Alternative Organizational & Socio-Economic Practices

In the third semester, topics follow on the macro or mundo level:

  • Philosophy: Integral Practical Wisdom & Global Justice
  • Politics: Integral Political Institutions & Global Governance
  • Economics: Integral Pluralist, Global Economics

PPE – Master in Social TransFormation: The Modules

The main (mandatory) modules are like a backbone, which are complemented by two out of the following seven holistic specializations that are elective modules partly in connection with the Master's program:


> Brands & Stories

> Creativity & Innovation

> Cultural Change & Society

> Human Resources & Diversity

> Digital Media

> Sustainability & Urban Development

> Globalization, Governance & Trade


The design is organised for and will be enlivened by those, who care about shaping the world we live in and becoming a game changer! Accordingly, the program serves both to develop the capacity to think beyond current confines and to engage – in a theoretically informed and philosophically reflective way – with developments in the real political and economic life-worlds. That is, studying here is both being a visionary for a possible world, and also working within the parameters of the possible.


Study year 1  

Specialization I


Specialization II


Introduction Political Action, Agency & Affect


Introduction Philosophy of Action


Introduction Behavioural Economics


Leading Yourself - Personal Capabilities


Specialization I


Specialization II


Political Practices, Social Movement & Civic Engagement


Relational Practices and Political Philosophy of Resonance, Resistance & Responsibility


Alternative Organisational & Socio-Economic Practices


Leading Others - Power, Conflict and Negotiation


Study year 2  

Specialization I


Specialization II


Integral Political Institutions & Global Governance


Integral, Practical Wisdom & Global Justice


Integral Pluralist, Global Economics


Leading Change - Creativity, Improvisation & Play


Special Issue (Transformative Research Project) or Internship (Transformative Practice Project)


Research Colloquium


Master Thesis


Personal Transformation - Lifelong Learning


Your job opportunities for Social TransFormation are unlimited:

100+ partner universities, international groups of students, lecturers and staff, as well as the variety of language courses make experiencing interculturality a natural part of everyday life at Karls.

Intercultural, Every Day!

We are a gathering point for highly motivated and open-minded individuals with the passion and desire to innovate and co-create sustainable change.

Co-Creation Space

A degree is nothing if you cannot live up to it. In our programs, we provide the ground to transform, embrace and share experiences in a creative but critical way, and thereby develop personally.

Personal Growth

Our network in economy, art, culture, politics, science and society does not only exist on paper. It develops every day through a lively exchange with our partners.

Lifelong Network

The manifold participation in joint projects with real practical relevance gives a foretaste what it is like to perform on the world stage and opens up opportunities to make new contacts for future professional projects.

Best (is) Practice

Karls people have a strong, intimate bond and close relationships. Students, professors, staff and alumni relate to, engage with and appreciate each other. Here, in Karlsruhe and all over the world.

Academic Home & more

Located right in the center of Karlsruhe, a young, vibrant, multi-cultural student city in southern Germany, we are at the pulse of Europe: cultural and economic diversity, urban lifestyle and pure nature.

Heart of Europe

We engage in new perspectives on management & society. Our interdisciplinary programs empower to tread new paths.

ReThinking Management & Society

All our programs have been accredited by FIBAA with highest praise and received 8 premium seals. That places us among Germany's top management universities.

In the Lead

Our students learn to think critically about today's realities, seek responsibility and find disruptive solutions to complex problems.

Change Makers & Care Takers

FAQs about the Master's program

Who is this study program for? 

We are looking for students, who are interested in continuing and deepening their expertise and engagement in the fields of political economy, democratic processes, societal and economic transformation, European and post-national integration and global socio-economic-cultural dynamics. In regards to personality, we are looking for people with curiosity, open-mindedness and an engaged interest in our world and its further development towards a more sustainable, just and flourishing future to come.

Qualification requirements, for enrolling into this consecutive master program you would need a Bachelor degree in philosophy, political sciences, sociology, economics or a closely related field from social sciences or humanities.

Information about all necessary application documents can be found here.

What is the teaching philosophy of the study program? 

Karls has a unique approach towards learning, didactics and education. Basically, there is not the standard, spoon-feeding lecture, but more seminars with a participatory teaching approach. Specifically, in this Master program, this is characterised by a strong emphasis on critical reflection and intensive social inter-action in small classes. Various trainings offer possibilities for developing one’s theoretical skills alongside one’s practical policy oriented and diplomatic practices.

Correspondingly to this understanding of education Karls has already followed for many years the “Principles for Responsible ManagementEducation” as part of the UN Global Compact.

What career options do you have with a Master in social TransFormation? 

Studying a degree “Master in social TransFormation - Politics, Philosophy, and Economics” at Karls equips students with capabilities and proficiencies required in the public and private sectors, and for work in civil organisations, including consultancy, law and civil service, but also NGOs, NPOs etc. Additional, other possible fields include education, journalism, or new media etc.

Moreover, for those who are interested in an academic career, there will be options for further postgraduate research at the PhD level with one of our partner univerisities.

What makes this program unique? 

The master study program “Master in Social TransFormation – Politics, Philosophy, and Economics” at Karls is among the very few English-only programs in the German speaking countries. In particular, it has an edge with its focus on a culturalist and integral perspective that aims at understanding the interplay of philosophy, politics and economics as well as transformational perspectives as an interwoven nexus.

There are specific potential synergies and possibilities to integrate with the existing Master management structure and students. As this is a non-management program, some of the more generalist, holistic specializations and modules apply, e.g. from “Cultural Change & Society” and “Sustainability” along with some aspects of the main Master program already in place (Culture, Markets & Consumption; Governance: Norms, Rules, Rituals; Legitimacy: Ethics & Aesthetics).

What does it cost? 

The tuition fees are the same for all of our programs: 690 €per month. Please contact our Admissions & Counseling Team if you have questions in regards to funding and scholarships: admissions(at)karlshochschule.de or +49 721 48095 777