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An Interdisciplinary Programme of the University of Bayreuth

Development Studies (M.A. Programme)

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Navigating Module Area E

The ‘project-focussed units’ takes a crucial role within the programme: students can either do an internship, or carry out a study project or a field research, both of which are guided. The project-focussed units merge theoretical knowledge and concrete empirical or professional work. Moreover, students have the opportunity within the project-focussed units to critically examine current processes of development and change in a chosen region, the field of development practice or development politics. Besides the scientific-methodological content, the active participation in planning and organizing the project offers important experiences and skills, which are necessary for employment in the scientific community as well as in other demanding professional fields.

Step 1: Early Planning and Concluding a Project PlanHide

A crucial part of succesfully completing the E1 Module is planning it out in advance. Very soon after the beginning of your studies in this programme, you should determine whether you would like to complete an internship, a study project or field research.

As early as possible, you must conclude a project plan for Module Area E with the relevant member of the examination board. Before this meeting, you must download the relevant form (Module E Project Plan) from this website and fill in the one page that is relevant for you as far as possible. There is one standard option for each disciplinary focus, but also a page for individual arrangements. You can discuss your first ideas with the respective member of the board of examiners.

Once the project plan has been concluded (dated and signed), you are responsible to send a copy (hardcopy or PDF scan via email) to the programme advisor. Also, you must not lose the original document since you will be responsible to collect the necessary signatures and stamps on the project plan. 


Step 2: Select and Pass Your Classes in the E1 ModuleHide

You will work closely with your project mentor on the project plan and on determining the respective coursework. You must complete one methodological course and one thematic course. They should both be related to your project conducted under module E2 and your Master's thesis. In the case of an internship, the relevance of a methods class is not always obvious, but think twice before you conclude that there was no connection at all.

You should register online with the relevant courses contributing to module E1 as a participant. In most cases, you will also be able to register for the exam via CampusOnline. Get in touch with the programme advisor if issues occur. This may be the case if you pick a class that has not been for the purpose of E1 before (which is the more likely, the more specific your project plan is, so actually a sign of quality and reflection).

Module E1 is fully accounted for via CampusOnline/CM_life. The project plan is for information only with regard to module E1 and guarantees that the courses you choose will be validated for E1 in the end.

The Master's thesis can also stand independent from Module Area E, but we strongly recommend to create and use synergies.

Step 3: Realize Your Individual Project in the E2 ModuleHide

The E2 Module focuses on completing the chosen project, research or internship. It is crucial to work with your individual project advisor and to complete a project plan. 

In the framework of the field research, students develop and work on a research topic. The empirical work is usually conducted in a developing or transitional country using research guided by a lecturer. Students will also be guided in preparing, organizing and conducting the research and follow-up. 

The internship links knowledge in development politics with practical, professional experiences in relevant institutions, organizations or in the economic sector. Afterward, experiences are reflected on and written down in a report. Thus it is possible to connect personal experiences with theoretic- conceptual questions.

In the study project, student work on a selected topic on the basis of theoretical and methodological knowledge. It is designed as a research project in which selforganized groups of students deal with development-related issues in depth. Within the study project, students acquire the ability to organize their work, plan their actions, and to analyze and present them. 

The research or internship, including follow-up, should amass to 450 hours and may inform the master's thesis. This means that internships shall cover at least 8 weeks of full-time employment and research stays should take at least 6 weeks. Combinations of both are possible.

Suggested TimelineHide

Semester 1:  

  • Concluding a plan with your project advisor

Semester 2:

  • Taking the methodological course and thematic course

Semester 3 or recess after Semester 2:

  • Completion of the project focussed unit (project, research or internship)
Members of the Board of ExaminersHide

Individual Focus => relevant contact person

Economics => Professor David Stadelmann
Geography => Professor Stephan Ouma
Sociology/Polics => Professor Alexander Stroh-Steckelberg

If you already have a more specific idea about your project, you may also contact another professor in the field of development studies as listed in the programme overview section of this website.


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