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An Interdisciplinary Programme of the University of Bayreuth

Development Studies (M.A. Programme)

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Information for application

Does my academic background suit the requisites of the M.A. Programme?Hide

A number of B.A. degrees from the University of Bayreuth, listed in the Application & Admission section of this website, are accepted. Non-Bayreuth degreed will be checked for their equivalence.

Is my degree equivalent to the requirements of the M.A. Programme?Hide

The assessment of equivalence depends on the individual focus that you have chosen in your application. All applications will be checked individually. In some cases, you might be admitted subject to catching-up with some additional B.A. courses. 

If you selected “Advanced Development Sociology and Politics,” the assessment takes into account the candidate’s knowledge base in the social sciences demonstrated in a detailed transcript of records. Candidates are expected to have successfully covered a range of introductory courses in the social sciences in their previous studies; approximately including a general introductory course to the social sciences, sociology, or political science, quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as some development issues and/or sociology/politics in regions or countries of the Global South.

If you selected "Advanced International Economy," the assessment takes into account the candidate’s knowledge base in economics demonstrated in a detailed transcript of records. Candidates are expected to have successfully covered a range of introductory courses in economics in their previous studies; approximately including micro- and macroeconomics, statistics, as well as applied economics.

If you selected "Advanced Geography," the assessment takes into account the candidate’s knowledge base in geography demonstrated in a detailed transcript of records. Candidates are expected to have successfully covered a range of introductory courses in geography in their previous studies; approximately including human geography, basic theories of social and cultural studies, quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as development issues and/or the regional geography of a region in the Global South.

Is my grade equivalent to 2.5 or better on the German grading scale? Hide

Your grading has to be transferred into the German grading system. This will be checked based on your formal application and the documents provide by you. In this case the copy of your certificate and of the transcript of records is required. The German grading system distinguishes four performance levels of successful graduates. Mark 1 is the best whereas 4 indicates that the cadidate scraped through with great difficulties.

Which English language tests (C1 certificates) are accepted?Hide

We accept a variety of language tests from official agencies. For example, English skill can be proven by TOEFL results equal to or above 95 points or IELTS results equal to or above 7 points. We also do accept "DAAD Einstufungstests" issued by some German University language centres.

What is meant with "School Leaving Certificate"?Hide

The “School Leaving Certificate” is the school certificate which allows you to either enter a university directly (e.g., German Abitur) or which is the fundamental requirement for university applications.

What is meant by “practical experience abroad dealing with development”?Hide

Practical experience abroad dealing with development of at least four weeks’ time is expected. 'Practical experience ' includes traineeships and formal employment. 'Abroad' particularly applies to applicants who do not originate from a developing country. ‘Dealing with development’ means that the organisation, public agency or business should be related to development issues. However, the admission assessment weighs different aspects of your practical experience.

If you have no such proof yet, for example, because you will only realize the intership in the summer after the application, please provide an official acceptance letter for the intership. Under specific conditions, the internship can also take place within the first year after the inscription. Again, please provide an acceptance letter for the internship in such a case.

What is meant by "Internship Proof"?Hide

You can provide proof of an internship dealing with development through submitting an internship certificate after you have already completed your internship. An internship contract is not a sufficient proof of internship. The certificate must be issued by the employer/internship provider after the internship and must contain the duration of the internship as well as references to the contents of the internship.If you are still in the process of completing the internship you can submit an official letter that proves that you have started the internship already.

In case you haven't started your internship yet, an internship contract or an acceptance letter by your future "employer" is sufficient. Just keep in mind, that the period of internship has to be four weeks minimum.

How can I hand in my application?Hide

Currently, it is only possible to hand in the application for the Master program online via Campus Online. Hard/Printed copies which are send in per mail are not accepted. The same applies to soft copies which sent by email. Due to the high number of applications we cannot return individual notices in such cases. For more information, please take a look at the 'Application and Admission' section on our Website.

When are the application deadlines?Hide

All application deadlines are available here.

Application ends for international students on 15 July 2024 for winter semester 2024/25. Early applications are very welcome but not before March when the online system opens. We advice international students who need a visa and who have to expect a rigorous visa application process to apply before the end of March. You will be informed about the decision in due time.

When does the M.A. Programme start?Hide

Programme entry is restricted to winter semesters. You can find the official start of the lecture periods on the website of the Bavarian Ministry for Higher Education. Usually, the winter term starts in mid-October.


International Students

Do I have to request my VPD (Preliminary Review Documentation) via uni-assist? Hide

Applicants from outside the EU who have obtained their Bachelor degree abroad have to upload their application documents via uni-assist and undergo a fee-based special procedure in addition to the application at University of Bayreuth via CampusOnline.

You can find the relevant information about the document checking process here and under "Application & Admission" on this website.

In the following cases, an application via uni-assist is not necessary:

  • You have a German, EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship
  • You are already enrolled as a student at the University of Bayreuth
  • You have already obtained your entrance qualification for master's programmes (usually your first degree) at an accredited university in Germany.
What do I do if the German consulate asks for an admission letter carrying the university's letter head?Hide
  • Double-check if you have submitted the correct e-mail and the supplementary letter.
  • If you did so, get immediately in touch with developmentstudies@uni-bayreuth.de, tell us about the situation and include all available information about the visa process, in particular, the location of the consulate where you submitted your documents, your visa application number and a contact name and address if available. Only write to us after you have tried yourself to explain to the consulate that the e-mail and the supplementary letter are the official admission documents. In your communication, you should refer to the website section 'Information for foreign representations' on the application and admission page.
Which document exactly is the admission letter that is required to apply for a visa?Hide

The official admission letter is the e-mail from the "Masterbüro" (Master's office) that explicitly says that you have been accepted to the Master's programme in Development Studies. It is valid without a signature. This letter can be handed in together with the supplementary letter to the admission notice as the supplementary letter carries a signature and the official university letter head. Please, do not try to apply for a visa with the supplementary letter only. The supplementary letter has the title "Complementary information concerning your admission to the Master's Programme 'Development Studies' at the University of Bayreuth", it is a PDF document attached to a second e-mail.

Is a German language proficiency required to apply for the M.A. Programme?Hide

All necessary courses are taught in English. In rare cases of catching-up requirement a self-study plan may substitue the attendance of a specific course which is not available in English. However, admission requires to demonstrate German language skills at the A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, at the latest until the end of the first year of studies. A series of certificates are accepted. We strongly recommend to our international students to start with the language classes as soon as possible. In some cases, you might be able to take the first German classes at your current location even before coming to Bayreuth.

Are there possibilities to take German language classes?Hide

Yes. The Language Center (Sprachenzentrum) at UBT offers German courses and a variety of other languages. Check out their courses here.

Where can I find information concerning my arrival from abroad?Hide

The University of Bayreuth’s International Office provides detailed information about arriving in Germany and Bayreuth, including accommodation, enrolment, visa, and many more topics.

Master Thesis

Who is eligible as my MA thesis supervisor?Hide

Generally, all professors and lecturers who are part of the departments and units listed in the ‘Programme Overview’ section are eligible as MA thesis supervisors. You will have one supervisor and two reviewers. The supervisor is automatically one of the reviewers. At least one of the reviewers must be part of the faculty, which is responible for your individual focus. Sometimes, second reviewers play a more active role regarding supervision and advise. If you seek to have a supervisor/advisor who is not part of the listed units, please get in touch with the programme advisor. In cases of general uncertainty, you can get in touch with the programme coordinator (Dr Barbara Polak).

Transferring credits

Are M.A. courses from other post-graduate programmes transferable?Hide

The transfer of courses of other master's progammes is possible if the courses are equivalent with regard to content and workload (according to European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System = ECTS points) to courses taught in this M.A. Programme. You need to provide a description of the course. The grade will be transferred into the German grading system. Contact the programme coordinator for further advice.

​How can I accredit courses/ECTS from another University (e.g. from a semester abroad)?Hide

Applications for the recognition of examination and study achievements/competencies must be submitted to the examination office together with supporting documents. If you have any questions, etc., you can contact the examination office responsible for the degree programme.

Request for accreditation of fulfilled study requierements (in German)
​English translation assistance

Financial aspects

How much are the tuition fees per semester?Hide

The University of Bayreuth charges no tuition fees. Only a student fee of € 137 per semester must be paid. The student fee includes a ticket for local public transport and entitles you to reduced prices at the University’s canteen.

Are there opportunities for scholarships and study grants?Hide

There is no general M.A. scholarship programme available from the University of Bayreuth. International students may apply for an educational grant at UBT’s International Office. For a detailed description on scholar opportunities, please visit their website. You may find other possible scholarships on the website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Studying in Bayreuth

Where is Bayreuth and what can I do there in my leisure time?Hide

Bayreuth is the capital of the Upper Franconia (Oberfranken), a picturesque region located in the Free State of Bavaria, Germany. It is also the home of the classical music composer Richard Wagner and the correspondent world-famous festival. Owing to over 13,000 students at UBT – many of them from foreign countries.

Bayreuth hosts a fairly active nightlife and many recreational opportunities for young people. Just in distance are the ‘Fränkische Schweiz’ (Franconian Switzerland) and the Fichtel Mountains, which are great spots for outdoor activities like rock climbing, hiking, skiing (well, at least sometimes), road and mountain biking, or kayaking. The city of Nuremberg is only an hour away.

Further the International Office and Erasmus Student Network Bayreuth organize many activities to get to know Bayreuth, meet new people and explore the surrrounding area.

How do I find accomondation in Bayreuth?Hide

The local Association for Student Affairs (Studentenwerk) offers dorminory rooms for which you can apply here.

Apart from student dorms most students in Germany live in shared flats with other university students or young adults. Finding a private room is possible through several websites or Facebook groups. Here you can find a detailed list of possibilities where to look for accomondation.

Webmaster: Prof.Dr. Alexander Stroh

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