Digital Society Minor programme

The Minor programme consists of two modules.

  • Module 1: Interdisciplinary perspectives on the digital transformation of society
  • Module 2: Theories and Case Studies

Module 1 (DSS 1) with 15 ECTS credits:

Interdisciplinary perspectives on the digital transformation of society

All lectures in Module 1 are mandatory and are offered every academic year.


The main objective of this module is to provide a conceptual and practical introduction to the digital society from an interdisciplinary perspective. It combines social sciences, history, and computer sciences so that students can understand the foundations of the digital society and its transformations. In addition, the module introduces digital research methods.


  • Social History of Computing and the Internet (3 ECTS credits) General outline of technical innovations and their social impact.

  • Foundations of Informatics (3 ECTS credits) Introduction to the fundamentals of informatics that enables students from diverse backgrounds to have a general understanding of programming, the function of algorithms and their application.

  • Perspectives in the Social Studies of Technology (3 ECTS credits) Introduction to the main theoretical and analytical perspectives and approaches in social studies of technology with special emphasis on their interdisciplinary dimensions. What are the main research programmes and domains of study? How have they evolved?

  • Digital Transformation in Society and Culture (3 ECTS credits) Using a lecture series format, interdisciplinary introduction to diverse issues and areas of research with an emphasis on longitudinal and comparative perspectives. What are the major contemporary challenges in terms of changes in the economy, work, politics, culture, sports, religion, and society as a whole? Who are the major players and their roles, what are the stakes? The lecture series is based on diverse contributors from Fribourg University and external experts.


  • Methods in studies of the digital society (3 ECTS credits) This seminar provides the students with an introduction to the methodological skills required to successfully engage with the programme and be adequately prepared for specific case studies in the module. This includes digital ethnography, network analysis, video analysis, and communication analysis of social media in relation to established social science methods.

Module 2 (DSS 2) with 15 ECTS credits

Theories and Case Studies

Module 2 offers a series of courses that allow students to explore specific topics, case studies and theories that correspond to current trends and public debates. These courses follow a flexible structure that is common in the social sciences and humanities. The courses offer a wide range of study topics to appeal to different student groups and interests. More importantly, given the rapid development of digital technologies, the aim is to keep the courses open and flexible. For this reason, the courses in Module 1 are fixed and offered every year while the courses in Module 2 alternate to always allow room for new study topics.


The objective of Module 2 is to allow the students to deepen their knowledge of certain theories, case studies and issues related to the digital society using empirical research methods. The module focuses on the macro level (society), the meso level (institutions) and how these influence the micro level of digital practices. Some courses focus on the transformation of the society from a longitudinal perspective and how this affects and is driven by different social groups and institutions. Further courses consider how individual practices are embedded in higher level contexts. Students are required to prepare a research paper on a specific issue that has been covered in one of the courses.

Lectures and seminars:

3 lectures or seminars focused on specific transformations/social groups or on specific theoretical approaches (3 x 3 ECTS credits).

These lectures and seminars may deal for example with digital law; the ethics of robotics and artificial intelligence; hacking and cybersecurity; digital infrastructures; democracy and digital media; digital religion; the digital divide and social participation; digital communication; surveillance, control, and censorship; computer games; ethnography of software engineers and hackers; education and digital inequality and so on.

Research paper

1 research paper related to a seminar (6 ECTS credits)

Study plan

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