Critical theory and the social sciences

Course content

This course has its base in the cross-disciplinary research centre Centre for Anthropological, Political and Social Theory (CAPS) at the faculty of the social sciences, University of Copenhagen.

The general topic of the course is the meaning and role of critique in the social sciences. The course will focus on different theoretical conceptions of critique and the application of critique in different fields of research across the social sciences.


The teaching in spring 2022 will be online until the 1. of April due to the Covid19 situation.

As soon as it is permitted and justifiable, it is up to the individual lecturer whether to transition to a blended format or wish to continue with full online teaching for the rest of the semester. The individual lecturer will inform you of the above choice in the Absalon room for each course. 

Courses with oral exams will be held online if the relevant restrictions have not been lifted at least four weeks before the individual exam. This will be notified in Absalon. Courses with written take home exams will not experience any changes in relation to the normal exam form.


Elective course

Course package (MSc 2015):

Welfare, inequality and mobility
Knowledge, organisation and politics
Culture, lifestyle and everyday life

Creditstudents can be at either bachelor or master level

The course is a cross-disciplinary course and aims to attract students from Sociology, Anthropology and Political Science

Learning outcome


The student must in a first step be able to understand what distinguishes different conceptions of critique and the role critique plays in different conceptions of social science. In the next step the student must be able to relate these conceptions to different ways of conducting critique in different interdisciplinary research fields and compare and critically discuss these ways.


The course provides students with the practical skill of criticizing social problems or pathologies and to use this skill in research across disciplines in investigations of the social world.


To plan an perform research and investigations of different aspects of the social world in which critique plays a crucial role. The student will be able to choose and apply the right way of criticizing in different kinds of interdisciplinary research.

There will be a combination of lectures and discussions

A combination of articles, chapters in edited volumes and 2-3 books.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Through discussions in class

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.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Exam
  • 64
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

See timetable
Vejl. 46 personer
Department of Anthropology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Sociology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinators
  • Mikael Carleheden   (2-5b514e817d713c79833c7279)
  • Lars Tønder   (2-7a824e7774813c79833c7279)
    Political Science
  • Heiko Henkel   (12-737074767a397370797670774b6c797f737d7a397680396f76)
Saved on the 23-03-2022

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students