Two-year course

Since 1987, zap is offering a two-year further education course for employees qualified at the level of skilled worker and other interested people. The objective is to acquire basic knowledge in the social sciences and its main methodological approaches to get a better understanding of society and political contexts and processes. Being an academically-oriented course, participants have the possibility to obtain a subject-linked university entrance qualification upon successful completion of the course. They may then continue to study selected study programmes at the University of Bremen or the Bremen University of Applied Sciences.

The course seeks to foster political education and civic engagement. The acquired skills and competences may thus not only be useful for further studies, but with its comprehensive approach the course further supports:

  • Obtaining a better understanding of society and interdependencies of actors and processes in a complex world;
  • Practicing the political discourse and learning how to reach a general judgment. This may be particularly relevant for people who would like to work as a volunteer for schools, NGOs, citizens’ groups, the Church, political parties or get involved as an employee representative in the company;
  • Discovering new interests for specific topics, social issues and political questions;
  • Developing critical thinking by means of mutual exchange and innovative learning approaches;
  • Gaining new insight and knowledge in the areas of sociology, economy, history, political science and cultural studies;
  • Exercising the elaboration of a topic according to scientific principles and practices (including text analysis, academic writing, referencing, methodological approaches);
  • Learning and studying together with people from different educational and cultural backgrounds.

To date, more than 800 participants have attended the course, which is a well-documented and evaluated success model based on an interdisciplinary approach. This approach combines biographical perspectives with practice-based learning and learning by examples in that topics are being selected to develop a one-year self-organised research project in the second year. This process is scientifically guided by the course leader, supporting the concept of “Forschendes Lernen”.

Covering 400 hours, the course is mainly organised by weekly evening classes (taking place from 18:00 to 21:00 o’clock) and occasional one-day seminars on Saturdays. In addition, course participants are expected to attend three full weeks usually granted by the employer as leave for further education (“Bildungsurlaub”). The participation fee is 600 Euros, whereby entitled individuals (such as unemployed) can get a reduction.

The course flyer, a brochure and the admission form are available under the download section (in German).