Master and More
With a strong economy supporting a historic higher education system and large numbers of courses in English, it’s no surprise that Germany is one of Europe’s top postgraduate study destinations.
In fact, Germany has more top-ranked universities than any other country outside the UK or USA. Better yet, the majority of German Masters degrees charge no tuition fees.
This guide provides detailed and up-to-date information on Masters study in Germany for 2020-21. We’ve explained how the German university system works, along with advice on postgraduate applications and student visas.
Not every country can get away with calling itself ‘the land of ideas’, but then few can boast an association with some of history’s most formidable thinkers. From the philosophy of Immanuel Kant to the theoretical physics of Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg: Germany is well established as an intellectual powerhouse.
Germany is also renowned for its research institutes, such as those run by the Max Planck Society. These carry out important research projects and often work in partnerships with universities, businesses and industry. However, they don’t normally award qualifications below PhD level.
Germany is divided into 16 states, or lander, each of which is responsible for administering its own public universities. This extends to providing them with state funding and regulating the fees they can charge.
There are around 300 public universities in Germany and the DAAD (the official German Academic Exchange Service) estimates that they teach around 95% of students.
Around 120 other institutions are private universities. They don’t receive state funding and are free to set their own tuition fees. This can mean that they charge more than public universities.
Both categories of university offer properly accredited courses and are free to develop their own degree programmes. The main difference between them concerns the fees they might charge you.
Postgraduate education in German follows a common European format developed as part of the Bologna Process.
This means that German Masters degrees are ‘second cycle’ qualifications: they usually follow a Bachelors degree (first cycle) and may prepare a student for a PhD (third cycle).
Most Masters degrees in Germany are taught courses (postgraduate research is undertaken at PhD level). You will complete a series of academic modules or other course components, followed by an independent dissertation or project.
German Masters programmes normally last for two years (or two to four semesters of study).
Your full degree will be worth 120 ECTS credits. 90 of these will be earned through modules, coursework and exams. The remaining 30 will be awarded for your dissertation.
As taught courses, most German Masters degrees award MA (Master of Arts) or MSc (Master of Science) qualifications. Alternative degree titles may be used for some specialised subjects.
The main difference between programmes concerns the way you come to study them. As postgraduate courses, German Masters degrees may be classed as either consecutive or non-consecutive.
- Consecutive Masters degrees follow directly from a closely-related undergraduate degree (for example, you might study an MSc in Biochemistry after a BSc in Chemistry or Biology. These courses do not usually charge fees.
- Non-consecutive Masters degrees focusses on a different or more highly specialised subject area. Such a course may require practical or professional experience as well as an undergraduate degree. These courses are more likely to charge fees.
Most German Masters degrees are consecutive programmes and will require an appropriate Bachelors degree.
Most German Masters degrees are organised into separate modules or other units of study.
Of course, the content of different programmes will vary. Depending on your course you might learn through lectures, small-group seminars, practical workshops, fieldwork or directed independent study:
- An academic programme at a Research University will probably involve a lot of core lectures and seminars, supported by practical work in a laboratory or by independent study and reading.
- A more professionally orientated programme at a University of Applied Science might include more hands-on training and / or workshops organised by external experts and industry figures.
- An artistic programme at a College of Art, Film and Music will be very focussed on developing and assessing your practical skills and proficiencies.
Throughout Germany, you have a wide variety of subjects and careers to pursue. If you want to be at the forefront of engineering, technological advances, and scientific discovery, then Germany has several university options that can satisfy your interests. You’ll find that some of the smartest people on the planet come to Germany to introduce new ideas and establish technology companies. You’ll also notice a long, rich history of art, music, and literature all throughout Germany. You can enjoy a trip to the opera, visit a historic museum, and collect giant beer mugs, all in one day!
The Master and More fair in Berlin is a Master’s fair, which is addressed to those for a master’s degree. Numerous national and international universities present themselves at the Master and More with current offers and information on their Master’s degree courses from different departments. Numerous lectures on topics such as: find the right Master, Master’s degree abroad, high school rankings, funding and starting salaries are also available to the Master and More Berlin.
The MASTER AND MORE fairs are aimed at undergraduate students, graduates, and young professionals looking for a Masters degree. The fairs are a unique opportunity for you to gather extensive information about Masters courses in all areas of study and discover many international and English-taught masters programmes.
All-in-one: At the Masters Study Fair you’ll receive face-to-face counselling from study advisors representing domestic and international universities. Furthermore, you can attend expert talks and university presentations. Whether you need general information about funding and study abroad or specific advice for your study choice, you’ll get it all at the MASTER AND MORE fairs.
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