Danish Society – A sociological perspective

Course content


This course is designed for foreign students so they become acquainted with sociological theories and empirical studies

in relation to different issues in the Danish Welfare State. The course will offer in depth analyses of key institutions in the Danish Society.  Different topics will be presented: the Scandinavian models of welfare, and comparisons between different welfare systems, also with regard to discourses on gender, citizenship and family friendliness. The labour market, industrial relations, employment relations, flexicurity, youth unemployment and the crisis. National health and care policies, health inequalities and elder care. Environmental issues, sustainable city building. Penal relations and prison treatment. Religions and believers.  Alternative, utopian communities. These topics will be analyzed in lectures and readings and there will be an excursion to one of the alternative communities in Copenhagen, Christiania.  The students will meet some of the best scholars in these various fields


Elective course

ONLY Exchange BA-Undergraduates and Exchange MA-level students can sign up for this course

Learning outcome


The aim is for students to develop

- a critical understanding of the underlying values and political ideas in the Danish society, and how the society is re-shaping itself

- knowledge of the complexities, problems and ambiguities of the ’Danish Model’.


By the end of the course students should

• Select and formulate a research question within one of the course themes

• Structure and argue convincingly in accordance with the defined research question

• Describe historical and current traits of the chosen topic

• Include relevant literature from curriculum such as essential concepts, sociological theories and empirical documentation.

• Include supplementary literature if the research question invites to further investigation.

• Apply competing sociological concepts and theories if relevant to the defined research question

• Discuss the applied literature independently and critically.



By the end of the course student should demonstrate ability to:

•  Formulate and research key questions or problems about Denmark and the Danish society

•  Identify, evaluate and utilise appropriate research resources;

•  Familiarise with different theoretical perspectives and types of evidence in addressing questions relating to Denmark

Professional practical skills:

Students will acquire the organisational and writing skills necessary to convey their analyses in clear concise terms.

Transferable (key) skills:

• Students will develop the ability to work in groups, make class or small group presentations, and lead discussions on particular issues

• Feel empowered to speak knowledgably about Denamark

• Academically engage with peers who are also international or exchange students



By the end of the course students have competences in

- exercising sociological reflection

- formulating research questions concerning sociological issues related to the functioning of Danish society.

Teaching methods
The course is organised around a series of lectures, followed by more in-depth analysis and discussion of the issues in classes.

Materials for the course

Required readings for the course have been compiled into a reader(s) and other are available online.

Additional material that is relevant, useful, or of particular interest to the issues of the class will be posted on Absalon - Logon at https://intranet.ku.dk 

Elective course - ONLY Exchange BA-Undergraduates and Exchange MA-level students can sign up for this course

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Free written take-home essays are assignments for which students define and formulate a problem within the parameters of the course and based on an individual exam syllabus. The free written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 118
  • Exam
  • 60
  • English
  • 206