The Faculty

About the Faculty

Goals and Development

Mission Statement for the teaching of the Faculty

History of the Faculty

About the Faculty
The socio-cultural behaviour of the human being is the focal point of science and research of the Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies of Heidelberg University. The institutes of the faculty pursue a wide range of scientific issues. Their scheme of work is as independent as it is interdisciplinary, whereby scientific cooperation within the faculty is vividly supported.

The faculty consists of five scientific institutes: The Institute of Educational Science, the Institute of Anthropology which in addition also includes the Department of Anthropology at the South Asia Institute, the Institute of Gerontology, the Institute of Psychology as well as the Institute of Sport and Sport Science.

Institute of Educational Science: Educational science deals with the theory and practice of education and training. It analyses the connections between education and training and develops perspectives for an improved design of education and training in practice.

Institute of Anthropology and South Asia Institute, Department of Antropology: Anthropology (or ethnology) is a descriptive, empirical and field-oriented cultural science. Its goal of research is to uncover and to describe cultural dynamics and social processes of groups as well as the underlying motives of individual persons.

Institute of Gerontology: Gerontology deals with phenomena of ageing processes and old age and analyses the psychological, social, historical and cultural aspects of it. Great research interest is put on the analysis of challenges, that elderly people are confronted with today and the forms of public and private dealings with the finitude and vulnerability of human life.

Institute of Psychology: Human experience and behaviour are central to science of psychology. It examines the development during the life-course and for this all relevant internal and external causes and conditions.

Institute of Sport and Sport Science: The Institute of Sport and Sport Science analyses problems and phenomena in the context of sports and movement of the human body. Sport science is interdisciplinary in character and thus connected to a large number of other sciences, which explains the institute’s wide range of research.

Goals and Development
The cross-cutting issues, that are central to the faculty in the next ten to 15 years, include:

(a) education and development in the vita,
(b) consulting, training and therapy,
(c) techniques and media,
(d) intercultural competencies and migration.
The work on these four cross-cutting issues requires a close cooperation between the different disciplines, which will be supported by the creation of interdisciplinary working groups, which in turn are regarded as the faculties most valued instruments to further its international competitiveness. The definition of cross-cutting issues and the content-wise cooperation of disciplines are important milestones for the improvement of the research profiles of the single institutes. In addition, the implementation of interdisciplinary study-courses will foster the intra-faculty cooperation in the field of teaching. Continuous communication as well as the development of research proposals on a transdisciplinary level should be supported by a newly established faculty-fund. The cross-cutting issues should also be included in the communication with other faculties, especially with the intersections of social sciences, the humanities and theology as well as medicine and the life sciences. Therewith and by contributing to university-wide graduate schools and other study-courses the faculty accounts for the mission statement of the comprehensive university.

Mission statement for the teaching of the Faculty
The goal of teaching is the qualification of students for a wide range of activities in the field of research and practice

From the very first semester the teaching at the faculty has a strong research orientation. Latest research results are being included in the teaching and students get involved in ongoing research projects wherever possible in order to qualify them for independent scientific work.

At the same time the teaching is characterized by a strong practical orientation by which the students are being prepared for demanding professions as well as innovative fields of work.

In order to qualify students to go beyond the borders of individual disciplines, the teaching is partly being placed in transdisciplinary study-courses.

A variety of teaching-learning formats are used to ensure high learning success and motivation. To achieve these goals, the lecturers make use of both established and innovative methods in teaching which encourage students to get involved and make themselves heard.

The support of on-site-teaching through e-learning (e.g. blended learning) provides our students and lecturers with new forms of cooperation and communication. Web-based communication and the offering of web-based tools in teaching and learning intensify the exchange of knowledge with other students, and improve the individual support by lecturers.

Through teaching, the students will be prepared for the requirements of an increased internationalization. For this purpose, study-courses introduce in cross-cultural competencies and are partly offered in bi-lingual form. During the standardized B.A. and M.A. study programmes international exchange is being encouraged and supported by the faculty.

The quality of teaching is systematically guaranteed and improved, by regular evaluations of individual courses, degree programmes and graduate surveys.


History of the Faculty
In 2002 the senate of Heidelberg University decided a reorganization of the faculties. The former 15 faculties were reduced to 12. In this context the name of the faculty was changed from Faculty of Behavioural Studies into Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies. Since then, the Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies exists in its present form. Being established in the 19th century, all disciplines represented in the faculty share a relatively young history.


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Latest Revision: 20.09.2021