The Faculty of Sociology is one of the largest social science research and teaching institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany and in Europe. The faculty unites a plurality of subjects under its roof. In addition to general sociology and several special sociologies, political science and social anthropology as well as social science (as an interdisciplinary combination of sociology, political science and economics) are represented in teaching and research at the Faculty of Sociology.
In addition to three BA programmes (Sociology, Political Science, Social Sciences), the Faculty of Sociology offers one of the largest Master's programmes in Sociology in Germany, including an international track. Currently, the establishment of a Master's programme in Political Science is in preparation. In addition, the faculty is involved in a number of interdisciplinary Master's programmes, some of which are in charge (including Gender Studies, Interdisciplinary Media Studies, Statistical Science, Inter-American Studies) and has been involved in structured doctoral training for over ten years, which is institutionalised in the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology. A total of around 3000 students study in the core and subsidiary subjects of the faculty and in the structured doctoral training.
In research, the faculty is characterised by world society studies and inequality studies. The two profile foci span a large number of individual projects and collaborative research. In addition, a large number of individual research projects are carried out at the faculty, covering a broad spectrum of sociological, political science and social science topics and research areas.
The faculty is currently divided into eleven working areas, in which a total of 30 professors and 40 academic staff members teach and conduct research.Niklas Luhmann has decisively shaped the external image of the faculty over many decades. His sociological systems theory and social theory have had and continue to have a formative effect in many fields of research in the humanities and social sciences. At the Faculty of Sociology, Luhmann's estate, including the "Zettelkasten", is being processed and made accessible to the general public. The faculty and university established the Niklas Luhmann Visiting Professorship 13 years ago in honour of Niklas Luhmann, regularly inviting scholars who make and have made contributions to social theory.The faculty celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 as one of the three founding faculties of Bielefeld University.