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Development Studies, Master of Arts (M.A.)

Processes of development, change, and globalization in Latin America, Asia, and Africa are playing an increasingly important global role in this day and age. The interdisciplinary master’s programme “Development Studies” addresses the causes, conditions, and consequences of such processes. Here you have the chance to look at “development” from different perspectives, to link methodological and theoretical approaches, and to detect connections between social, political, and spatial conditions. During your studies, you will gain the ability to analyse development problems and processes of global and local change, to discuss them in consideration of theories from the social sciences and economics, and to apply them in practice as part of a projectfocussed unit of study.

Profile of the Master’s Programme

The programme of study combines courses in development sociology and politics, geography, and economics. On this basis, students acquire subject-specific as well as interdisciplinary and practical skills. The University of Bayreuth’s research focus on Africa and its diverse research on the Global South give you access to extensive expertise. You benefit from the close integration of the departments involved, while having the freedom to choose your own area of emphasis to be pursued in development sociology or politics, geography, or economics. Thanks to the programme’s interdisciplinary approach, you will be alert and open to the theoretical and methodological diversity that you will encounter again and again, even in practical work in the field of development. This will in turn enable you to better understand and assess complex development processes.

Double Degree in Geography: Bayreuth & Bordeaux

The Universities of Bayreuth and Bordeaux Montaigne offer three Development Studies students with the specialisation in Geography per year the opportunity to obtain a double degree. Equally, three places are offered to students of ‘Géographie – Études du Développement’ in Bordeaux.

Fields of Employment

The range of international areas of activity open to development experts is immense and continues to grow as the Global South gains more and more economic and political significance. Examples include:

  • Institutions active in development cooperation or with strong ties to the Global South, from ministries and national development agencies to the United Nations
  • Private organizations active in development cooperation such as Brot für die Welt, Care, Caritas, Oxfam, or Welthungerhilfe
  • Internationally active businesses in industry, trade, and finance
  • Industry federations: chambers of foreign trade and business associations
  • Media and cultural institutions
General Information
Final DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
Start of Studies Winter semester
Enrolment PeriodsMarch to October
Application Deadline (for international students)

March to July 15 (winter semester)
Application platform

Admission Restrictions/ Application

Please submit the required application documents no later than 15 July.

Please take note of the additional information on the course website www.developmentstudies.uni-bayreuth.de

Admission Requirements
  • A bachelor’s degree from the University of Bayreuth in Applied African Studies, African Culture & Society, International Economics & Development, African Development Studies in Geography, Philosophy & Economics, or Geography (final grade “2.5” or better), or an equivalent degree awarded by another university
  • At least four weeks of practical experience abroad dealing with development
  • English language skills (C1) and – for international students – demonstrated skills in the German language
Administrative Note

Please be aware that foreign applicants need to successfully apply for a student visa before entering Germany unless you are a citizen of a member state of the European Union or of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. The proof of adequate funding is usually a prerequisite for visa issuing. The University of Bayreuth has no scholarship programme for the M.A. level. For all requests concerning the visa application please consult the Federal Foreign Office website or contact your nearest German Embassy or Consulate-General. Considering your application for admission, please also get in touch with the University of Bayreuth International Office.

Standard Period of Study4 semesters
Special FeaturesPart-time study is possible; Double Degree (Option Geography)
Language of InstructionEnglish and German (English track available)
Programme CoordinatorProf. Dr. Alexander Stroh-Steckelberg

Further Information

Departments involved

Related Master's Programmes


Programme finder: unless stated, courses are given in German

Overview of Minors
African Culture & Society
African Development Studies in Geography
African Verbal and Visual Arts (English)
Applied Computer Science
Business Administration
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Computational Mathematics
Computer Science
Culture & Society
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Electrical Engineering and Information System Technology
Engineering Science
English and American Studies (English)
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German-French Dual Bachelor´s Degree in Law
German-Spanish Dual Degree Programme in Law
German Studies
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Intercultural German Studies
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International Economics & Development
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Music Theatre Studies
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Polymer & Colloid Chemistry
Professional education with an emphasis on electrical engineering
Professional education with an emphasis on metal technology
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Performing Arts – supplementary courses for students enrolled in teaching programmes
Professional education with an emphasis on electrical engineering
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Teaching Programme in Biology

Teaching Programme in Chemistry (in german language)
Teaching Programme in Computer Science
Teaching Programme in Economics
Teaching Programme in English
Teaching Programme in German
Teaching Programme in Geography

Teaching Programme in History
Teaching Programme in Mathematics
Teaching Programme in Physics
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Supplementary Teaching Programme with Elite Certificate "MINT Lehramt Plus"

African Culture & Society
African Verbal and Visual Arts (English)
Applied Computer Science
Automotive Components Engineering
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biodiversity and Ecology
Biofabrication (English)
Biotechnology and Process Engineering
Business Administration
Business Administration and Engineering
Computer Game Studies
Computer Science (German)
Computer Science (English)
Cultural and Social Anthropology
Development Studies (English)
Economics (German/English)
Energy Science and Technology
Environmental Chemistry (English)
Environmental Geography (English)
Environmental Sciences

Études Francophones (French)
Experimental Geosciences (English)
Food & Health Sciences
Food Quality & Safety (English)
Geschichte – History – Histoire (German/English/French)
Global Change Ecology (English)
Global History (English)
MBA Health Care Management
Health Economics
History & Economics (English)
History in Academia and in Practice
Human Geography
Intercultural Anglophone Studies (English)
International Economics & Governance
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Language - Interaction - Culture
Law for International Students & Professionals
Literature and Culture
Literature and Media
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Mechanical Engineering
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Sport, Business and Law
MBA Marketing & Sales Management
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LL.M. Sports Law
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Teaching degree elite programme in the STEM fields

State Examinations in Law
Law & Business (LL.B.)

German-Spanish Dual Degree Programme in Law
German-French Dual Bachelor´s Degree in Law

Law for International Students & Professionals

African Verbal and Visual Arts (M.A.)
African Verbal and Visual Arts: Languages, Literatures, Media and Art (B.A.)
Biofabrication (M.Sc.)
Computer Science (M.Sc.)
Development Studies (M.A.)
Economics (M.Sc.)

Environmental Chemistry (M.Sc.)
Environmental Geography (M.Sc.)
Études Francophones (M.A.)
Experimental Geosciences (M.Sc.)
Food Quality & Safety (English) (M.Sc.)
Geschichte - History - Histoire (M.A.)
Global Change Ecology (M.Sc.)

Global History (M.A.)
History & Economics (M.A.)
Intercultural Anglophone Studies (M.A.)
Philosophy & Economics (M.A.)
Scientific Computing (M.Sc.)

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