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The Big Bang Theory Syndrome: Why Should We Care About Stereotypes?

Module PH8120

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2020

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2021SS 2020SS 2018

Basic Information

PH8120 is a semester module in English or German language at Bachelor’s level and Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Subject-Related Supplement to the Transferable Skills Modules for Doctoral Candidates in Physics (Seminars)
  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
90 h 30 h 3 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH8120 in the version of SS 2020 was Elena Hassinger.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Which stereotypes exist and how do they affect our behavior and that of others? What consequences do stereotypes have on our career as a male/female scientist? How can we consciously deal with and react to the structural mechanisms induced by gender roles? 


This interdisciplinary seminar aims at raising consciousness about existing differences that female and male scientists encounter during their career. It is directed to both men and women who want to sharpen their perception, professionalize their interactions and their appearance and take decisions based on well-defined criteria rather than stereotypes.


After finding out about prevailing stereotypes in our daily life, we will discuss concrete contexts where stereotypes strongly affect our choices: employee selection, leadership, and career paths.

Learning Outcome

After the successful participation in this module the students will

·      Recognize stereotype perception

·      Know the main gender differences encountered during a career in a scientific context

·      Be able to argue, based on scientific studies, against standard opinions devaluating women

·      Be empowered to make informed career choices standing social pressure for stereotypes and typical roles

·      Be able to design and carry out an interactive teaching unit about a scientific study to the group of participants


Willingness for critical self-reflection

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The seminar this summer semester 2020 will predominantly use online teaching and communication techniques using a moodle platform as long as presence teaching is not possible due to the current corona situation. In the beginning of the seminar, the content and structure will be explained in a short video presentation. The seminar is divided in teaching units of two SWS according to the different topics. Every unit will be prepared by a student or a small group of students under guidance of the professor. Each group will first give a presentation about a publication on their topic. The presentation has to be made available on moodle and the format can be chosen by the group (blog entry, video presentation, text to read or live conference call presentation etc.). Afterwards, the group will also propose an activity of their choice that will consolidate the content and actively involve the other participants of the seminar. Possibile activites are a homework, a quiz, a video suggestion or a video conference discussion in small groups, but any other idea is welcome. After the teaching unit, feedback will be given to the group by all the participants and the teacher.


Moodle platform, presentations by the students (video, blog, essay or other formats), literature review, online discussions in small groups, feedback, 


Will be provided.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using presentations independently prepared by the students. The exam of 70 minutes consists of the presentation and a subsequent discussion.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • In small groups, design an interactive teaching unit about a scientific study related to the seminar subject
  • Teach your unit to the seminar participants
  • Discuss the learning outcomes with the group
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