The Faculty of Social Studies was established in 1998 and it is among the newest and most dynamic parts of Masaryk University. Its social science tradition dates back as far as 1921, when I. A. Bláha, a direct pupil of Émile Durkheim, established the Department of Sociology. Since the 1920s, sociology and psychology have been taught at the Faculty of Arts, and joined by other disciplines, they established a unique social studies school in the late 1990s. The Faculty has continued developing dynamically while focused on education in the fields of sociology, political science, psychology, social policy and social work, media studies and journalism, environmental studies, international relations, European studies, gender studies, social anthropology, and recently, also security and strategic studies and energy policy studies. It strives for a connection between education and the research performed by the departments as well as by its large-scale research teams. Thus, its courses are permanently enriched with the latest gnosis of both basic and applied social science.
Today, the Faculty of Social Studies comprises seven departments, three research institutes, specialized units of IT support, and a comprehensive library. It educates more than 4,300 students in full-time and part-time forms of study and also participates in the life-long learning scheme. The Faculty is located in a recently reconstructed building in the city’s historical center, offering its students and employees excellent conditions for study and work. It houses modern lecture halls, a research library, several computer labs, specialized desktop publishing studios and multimedia rooms, as well as a student club with a cafe and a gallery for student activities. The glazed patio hall, amazing with its layout and architecture design, is a common location for social gatherings.
The Faculty of Social Studies engages in a wide spectrum of research and development activities in all fields that correspond to the study programs offered. Among the research topics are the social reproduction and integration of society, with a focus on family and populations studies, as well as the new risks of the labor market and social exclusion, longitudinal research on children and adolescents, psychosocial and cognitive development of the personality, psychology of the Internet – including cooperation with the EU Kids Online project, psychotherapy processes, elections and electoral systems, political party systems and challenges to European democracies, European integration and institutions, international relations and political conflicts, energy security risks and solutions, social aspects of environmental issues, reproduction of gendered institutions and interactions, urban studies and diversity in the cities of Central Europe, migration and ethnic identity studies, and research on collective trauma and cultural memory.
Faculty members publish regularly in international journals and anthologies and some produce monographs as well. The staff is very active in international research networks, participating not only in EU projects but also in a European-wide network of excellence. Research activities are funded by a number of grant programs, agencies and other institutions and are carried out in association with Czech as well as foreign partners.
The Faculty of Social Studies has witnessed enormous interest in studies since its establishment as the social sciences studies offer a unique opportunity to examine still unmapped social and political changes and, also, individual adaptations in the complex world. Besides extensive collaboration in the area of research, the faculty has internationalized its teaching as well. It currently offers two fields of Master's degrees taught in English (European Politics and Sociology) and all doctoral programmes are also held in English. Integral parts of the classes are other courses held in English, mostly offered by foreign lecturers. The faculty has also been involved in the lifelong learning concept since the academic year 2001/2002.
The Faculty graduates pursue their careers in a number of professions from government administration, service and advisory, research and analysis institutions, research and teaching activities at universities through political parties’ apparatuses, journalism or international organizations grounds.