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Using Social Theory

Course · 15 credits


Using Social Theory

The student will learn to use theories in two ways. First, they will learn to understand and review the structures of theories themselves (meta-theory), and second, they will learn how theory is connected to the gathering and analysis of empirical data (applied theory).

In contrast to courses that teach theory only from the perspective of given scholars, themes, and content, this course aims to demystify theory-driven research by making the practical knowledge of both meta-theory and applied theory explicit. The student will thereby acquire the practical tools to understand, evaluate, and use theories in general in terms of both the structure (Part 1) and application of theory (Part 2).

In Part 1, the student will learn how to understand and critique theory. The ‘Structure of Social Theory’ part highlights (a) concepts and their relationships as the building blocks of theory and teaches students how to identify these as well as (b) the levels of analysis (e.g. micro, meso, or macro) and (c) functions and their corresponding levels of abstraction (e.g. ‘middle-range,’ ‘critical,’ or ‘grand’ theories) of theories. Each week will introduce one of these ‘building blocks’ of theory structure and illustrate how these blocks work in the context of an example topic area of social theorizing. Students will then learn to directly apply these in understanding and critiquing a specified body of theoretical content. Part 1 will culminate with students simultaneously using all of these ‘building blocks’ within their critical reviews of selected theories.

In Part 2, ‘Applying Theory within Research,’ the student will apply the same body of social theories used as examples in Part 1 ( e.g. theories of identity) to concrete research projects. Students will adapt the theoretical content introduced in Part 1 and design their own research questions. Students will proceed by operationalizing these research questions and gathering relevant data. They will then complete an analysis task, focusing on the relevance of their findings for the original theory.

For more information contact: master [at] sam [dot] lu [dot] se 

Closed for applications

Application opportunities


Graduate School

Requirements and selection

Entry requirements

To be eligible for the course students must have a Bachelor’s degree with a major (i.e. at least 90 ECTS credits) in Development Studies, Gender Studies, Human Geography, Political Science, Social Anthropology, Social Work, Sociology or Sociology of Law, or the equivalent.

Oral and written proficiency in English equivalent to English 6/B (advanced) from Swedish upper secondary school is a requirement. International qualifications will be assessed in accordance with national guidelines.

Selection criteria

Seats are allocated according to: Previous college/university studies (APAV): 100 %.

English language requirements

Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under 'Entry requirements'). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.

How to prove your English proficiency –

Country-specific requirements

Check if there are any country-specific eligibility rules for you to study Master's studies or Bachelor's studies in Sweden.

Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –

Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –


Start Spring Semester 2022

Day-time Lund, full time 100%

In English

Study period

17 January 2022 - 22 March 2022


Closed for applications

How to apply

Lund University uses a national application system run by University Admissions in Sweden. It is only possible to apply during the application periods.

When to apply for studies

Step 1: Apply online

  • Check that you meet the entry requirements of the programme or course you are interested in (refer to the section above on this webpage).
  • Start your application – go to the University Admissions in Sweden website where you create an account and select programmes/courses during the application period.
    Visit the University Admissions in Sweden website
  • Rank your programme/course choices in order of preference and submit them before the application deadline.

Step 2: Submit documents

  • Read about how to document your eligibility and how to submit your documents at the University Admissions in Sweden website. Follow any country-specific document rules for Master's studies or Bachelor's studies
    Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –
    Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –
  • Get all your documents ready:
    - official transcripts and high school diploma (Bachelor's applicants)
    - official transcripts and degree certificate or proof of expected graduation (Master's applicants)
    - passport/ID (all applicants) and
    - proof of English proficiency (all applicants).
  • Prepare programme-specific documents if stated in the next paragraph on this webpage.
  • Upload or send all required documents to University Admissions before the document deadline.
  • Pay the application fee (if applicable – refer to the section below on this webpage) before the document deadline.

* Note that the process is different if you are applying as an exchange student or as a part of a cooperation programme (such as Erasmus+).
* If you have studied your entire Bachelor's programme in Sweden and all of your academic credits are in Ladok, you do not have to submit transcripts or your diploma when applying for a Master's programme. However, there may still be other documents you need to submit! See the link below. 

Svensk student? 
Läs instruktionerna om att söka till ett internationellt masterprogram på

Tuition fees

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Full programme/course tuition fee: SEK 27 500

First payment: SEK 27 500

Convert currency –

Citizens of a country outside of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees. You pay one instalment of the tuition fee in advance of each semester.

Tuition fees, payments and exemptions

EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland

There are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Application fee

If you are required to pay tuition fees, you are generally also required to pay an application fee of SEK 900 (approximately EUR 100) when you apply at the University Admissions in Sweden website. You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.

Paying your application fee –

Exemptions from paying the application fee –

*Note that there are no tuition or application fees for exchange students or PhD students, regardless of their nationality.

Scholarships & funding

Lund University Global Scholarship programme

The Lund University Global Scholarship programme is a merit-based and selective scholarship targeted at top academic students from countries outside the EU/EEA.

Lund University Global Scholarship

Swedish Institute Scholarships

The Swedish Institute offers scholarships to international students applying for studies in Sweden at Bachelor's, Master's, PhD and post-doctoral levels.

Scholarship options at the Swedish Institute website

Country-specific scholarships and funding options

Lund University has agreements with scholarship organisations and funding bodies in different countries, which may allow applicants to apply for funding or scholarships in their home countries for their studies at Lund University.

External scholarships

Information about scholarships from external organisations