German as a Foreign and Second Language

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: German
StudyQA ranking:1459 Duration:2 years You need IELTS certificate

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The Master's programme "German as a Foreign and Second Language" in Kassel is based on theory and practice as well as on research. Thus, in addition to acquiring teaching expertise and cross-cultural competence, students develop skills in empirical research.

The first semester comprises the following compulsory introductory lectures and seminars:
  • "Basics of German as a foreign and second language"
  • "Research methods in German as a foreign/second language"
  • "Observation and analysis of foreign/second language teaching/classrooms"
  • "Theories of foreign/second language acquisition and learning"
  • "Methods of teaching foreign/second languages"

In the following two semesters, students will acquire knowledge and develop skills in the following areas:
  • Factors influencing the process of teaching and learning a foreign/second language (autonomy, motivation, learning style, etc.)
  • National and international standards and curricula of teaching foreign languages
  • Principles of teaching German to specific learner groups (e.g. children, adults, students, professionals, illiterates)
  • Language (learning) awareness, bi- and multilingualism, etc.
  • Current trends in teaching language and culture
  • Linguistic skills in phonetics, lexis, grammar, literature, and cultural studies
  • The role of (digital) media in foreign/second language teaching and learning (e.g. e-learning, blended learning, m-learning)
  • Development, evaluation and implementation of learning media
  • Analysis of teaching materials

Our Master's programme comprises an intensive teaching phase, which is prepared, accompanied and evaluated in affiliated seminars and tutorials.
Another central feature is the obligatory research project during which students learn how to plan, carry out and evaluate an empirical study in the context of learning and teaching German as a foreign/second language.

Educational organisation

Modular arrangement of courses (lectures, seminars, tutorials, and independent project work in groups); student working groups; intensive tutoring and individual support

Forms of assessment

Written tests, oral exams, written seminar papers, oral presentations, oral and written reports; Master's thesis (about 80 pages) plus oral exam (Master's colloquium)

Course objectives

Our Master's programme trains students for the following professional tasks:
  • Teaching German as a foreign/second language
  • Training language teachers
  • Working as experts or mediators in terms of German language and culture at universities, in commerce, administration, or politics
  • Designing, administrating, and evaluating new curricula and textbooks (digital and print) on modern language teaching
  • Developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative ways of teaching/learning foreign languages
  • Planning, carrying out, and evaluating empirical studies in foreign/second language research

Language requirements

Excellent command of German (TestDaF 4x4/DSH-2/Sprachdiplom of the Goethe Institute C1 and higher)

Required DSH / TestDaF


Academic requirements

Enrolment fees

Mandatory registration fees allow students to use public transport free of charge and the university's refectories and cafeterias at reduced prices. For example, the registration fee for the summer semester of 2016 amounted to approx. 275 EUR.

Costs of living

In order to cover personal expenses while studying in Kassel, it is recommended that students budget around 750-900 EUR per month for accommodation, food, health insurance, books, and miscellaneous expenses.

Job opportunities

Students can apply for various part-time jobs or work as student assistants on campus. Please have a look at Some departments also provide positions as tutors or student assistants.

Arrival support

An orientation week is regularly offered to international students. During information sessions, tours, excursions, events, and leisure-time activities, international students get to know their departments, courses, the campus, and life in Kassel or Witzenhausen and become acquainted with their lecturers and fellow students. Students get the chance to make new friends during the campus rally or at the get-together brunch. Senior student tutors will assist foreign students with any questions or problems they may encounter during their stay.

Services and support for international students

Orientation week at the main site in Kassel:
Support service at the campus site in Witzenhausen:
Contact for exchange students:
Welcome Centre:


International students enrolled at the University of Kassel can choose between staying at a student residence hall (Wohnheim) or private accommodation. There are about 1,000 rooms available in student residence halls in Kassel and Witzenhausen, administered by Studentenwerk Kassel. Please have a look at Rent for a room varies from 200-320 EUR per month depending on the location and facilities. Students can choose between a single apartment with en-suite facilities or a room in a flat shared with fellow students. Finding private accommodation in Kassel is usually not difficult. Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available. Vacancies are posted in the local press and on the Internet.
Similar programs:
Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Local:$ 21.5 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 21.5 k / Year(s)
251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 1095 You need IELTS certificate