ASOA16296U Experimental Sociology

Volume 2023/2024

Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Sociology
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Psychology
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Anthropology 
  • Master programme in Global Development
  • Master programme in Political Science
  • Master Programmes in Social Data Science

The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities

Do employers discriminate against mothers when hiring? Will forced relocation of individuals through ‘Ghetto’ laws lead to better outcomes for those relocated? Do we swipe right or left based on the politics of a potential date? Can banning Instagram actually weaken censorship efforts of authoritarian regimes?

Our contemporary world presents many complex societal challenges and questions that sociologist and practitioners try to tackle. Interviews and observational methods are limited when these questions concern theorized mechanisms and causal relations. Therefore, sociologists were among the first social scientists to apply experimental methods to these problems. This course dives into the world of experimental sociology from its foundation to latest empirical evidence.

The course introduces students to the experimental method, its strengths and weaknesses, and its applications in sociology and related disciplines. We will review methodological developments that freed the method from the laboratory, such as survey and field experiments, and discuss how we can use the experimental logic even when intervening ourselves is not feasible or ethical. As we learn different experimental designs, we will study how their application to varied sociological questions has contributed to knowledge in many subfields of the discipline: including sociology of culture, the environment, and discrimination.

After successful participation, students will be comfortable reading current social science research using experimental methods, evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, and be able to identify potential research questions in sociology that can be answered using experiments. To this end, the course will include group work, debates, presentations, and guest speakers to create an engaging and interactive environment.

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in the class, students will be able to:


- Account for sociological topics and issues that have benefited from experimental research to date

- Identify different experimental approaches and the sociological problems they are suited to answer

- Understand the advantages of applying different experimental approaches to study sociological questions


- Comprehend and evaluate experimental designs from different social science areas

- Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of given experimental designs in contrast to non

- experimental designs


- Independently formulate research designs that leverage the potential of the experimental method

- Specialize in cutting-edge experimental methodologies


Course material will primarily include peer-reviewed journal articles, supplemented by relevant scholarly monographs, journalistic articles, and podcasts where applicable.

- Lectures
- Class discussions
- Student presentations
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 104
  • Exam Preparation
  • 60
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

- Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

- Structured feedback to student presentations

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment

Policy on the Use of Generative AI Software and Large Language Models in Exams

The Department of Sociology prohibits the use of generative AI software and large language models (AI/LLMs), such as ChatGPT, for generating novel and creative content in written exams. However, students may use AI/LLMs to enhance the presentation of their own original work, such as text editing, argument validation, or improving statistical programming code. Students must disclose if and how AI/LLMs have been used in an appendix, which will not count toward the page limit of the exam. This policy is in place to ensure that students’ written exams accurately reflect their own knowledge and understanding of the material.



Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

Please see the learning outcome