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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 with an examination grade of “2.5” or better in Applied African Studies, African Culture & Society, or International Economics & Development, or African Development Studies in Geography, or Philosophy & Economics, or B.Sc. Geography, or Culture & Society in the subject area Sociology from the University of Bayreuth, or an equivalent degree
Equivalency of the completed bachelor's degree is the responsibility of the board of examiners and is not determined conclusively until the application process is under way; for this reason, no information can be provided in advance

Other Admission Requirements
evidence of a career-relevant internship of at least 4 weeks or professional experience in a qualifying area of practice

Language Proficiency
ENGLISH: level C1
Applying Without a Degree Certificate
Applications may already be submitted before completion of the bachelor's degree; however, a total of at least 150 credits and a minimum grade of "2.5" are required by the time of application
Special Conditions
Conditional admission is possible; special conditions may comprise up to 30 credit points (see Examination Regulations § 2 para 2)
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

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Programme finder: unless stated, courses are given in German

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Supplementary Teaching Programme with Elite Certificate "MINT Lehramt Plus"
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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biodiversity and Ecology
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Biotechnology and Process Engineering
Business Administration
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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)
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Physics (English)
Polymer Science (German)
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Computer Science (M.Sc.)
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Economics (M.Sc.)

Environmental Chemistry (M.Sc.)
Environmental Geography (M.Sc.)
Études Francophones (M.A.)
European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies (M.A.)
Experimental Geosciences (M.Sc.)
Food Quality and Safety (M.Sc.)
Geschichte - History - Histoire (M.A.)

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

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