Interdisciplinary Studies on Eastern Europe

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: German
Deadline: Jul 15, 2024
401–500 place StudyQA ranking:1526 Duration:2 years

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The Giessen Centre for Eastern European Studies (GiZo) is the regional studies research and teaching centre for Eastern Europe at Justus Liebig University of Giessen. By combining cultural and social science research on Eastern Europe, the centre provides an excellent basis for interdisciplinary research on the region. The GiZo offers an accredited two-year full-time Master's degree programme, the Interdisciplinary Studies on Eastern Europe Master of Arts. The programme is notable for its interdisciplinary and international nature, as well as its emphasis on applied research.
The course programme is conducted in German and provides students with the professional competence and expertise to analyse, reflect upon and evaluate social, political, legal and cultural developments and relations in the Eastern European region (also Turkey and the Turkic-speaking regions of the former Soviet Union). The wide range of disciplines and courses offered allows for an individual curriculum and the opportunity to build a research-based as well as job-oriented profile.
The curriculum consists of one major subject (50 CP) and two minor elements (20 CP each). The programme concludes with a Master's thesis (30 CP) based on the student's major, but may also include additional interdisciplinary topics.

Students can choose from the following subjects:
  • Majors: Slavic studies, history of Eastern Europe
  • Minors: Slavic studies, history of Eastern Europe, Turkic studies, law, political science, economics

Educational organisation

The study programme includes 120 ECTS, which are accumulated over two academic years. There are five modules that have to be completed in the major subject, whereas the two minors consist of two modules each. All modules have to be completed during the first three semesters. The Master's thesis concludes the programme and is to be written in the fourth semester.
Module titles (selection): Interdisciplinary Module on Eastern Europe, Language Module, Slavic Languages & Cultures, Turkish: Politics, Society, Language, Conflict & Cooperation in Europe, Transformational & Integrational Economy, European Law: Institutional Principles & Eastern Enlargement
A complete overview of the programme's organisation can be found on the website of the GiZo:

Study abroad unit(s)

The curriculum of the study programme does not include study abroad units, but the Giessen Centre for Eastern European Studies supports students' efforts to do internships in Germany as well as abroad.


The curriculum of the study programme does not explicitly require an internship, but it is highly recommended that students do internships, and required project work can be replaced by an internship in Eastern European-related institutions or enterprises in Germany or abroad.

Forms of assessment

Depending on the chosen major and minors, students will have to sit different kinds of examinations at the end of each course or each module. These may be written exams, longer written texts combined with an oral exam (project, thesis), essays, seminar papers or a combination of any of the above.

Course objectives

The Master's programme aims to:
  • acquaint students early on with interdisciplinary research on Eastern Europe including the Turkic-speaking regions
  • provide students with a diverse, interdisciplinary and distinguished curriculum covering current processes and transformation in Eastern Europe and features a broad historical focus in teaching on Eastern Europe, from the Middle Ages up to the 21st century
  • equip students with high-level academic skills in the methodology of the humanities and social sciences
  • offer students the opportunity to build a simultaneously research-based and job-oriented profile, characterised by Eastern European expertise, as well as an excellent knowledge of cultural, historical, legal, political and economic processes in Eastern Europe
  • relate theory to practise by means of intensive projects and internships, whether in Germany or abroad
  • prepare students for doctoral studies

Language requirements

Since most of the courses are held in German, good language skills in German are absolutely mandatory.
German: DSH-2 ("Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang") or one of the following:
  • TestDaF with at least TDN 4 in all parts of the exam (4x4 points)
  • ZOP ("Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung" Goethe-Institut)
  • GDS or KDS ("Großes oder Kleines Sprachdiplom des Goethe-Instituts")
  • "Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz Stufe II"
  • DSH ("Feststellungsprüfung eines Studienkollegs")

As a major subject, the history of Eastern Europe requires a very good command of an Eastern European language, preferably one of those taught at the university: Russian, Polish, Czech or Serbo-Croatian. Applicants are kindly asked to provide a full account of their language skills in the application.
As a major subject, Slavic studies requires a very good command of one of the following Slavic languages: Russian, Polish, Czech or Serbo-Croatian. Applicants are kindly asked to provide a full account of their language skills in the application.

Required DSH / TestDaF


Academic requirements

BA (or an officially accepted and equivalent degree) with an ECTS grade of B- or higher and with some relation to the chosen major (20 CP) and one of the minors (10 CP)

Enrolment fees

JLU Giessen does not charge tuition fees (except for the Master's course in Global Change, taught in English)! You only pay a semester contribution (280 EUR per semester) covering the costs for the student body, student services, and the unlimited use of public transport in Giessen and large parts of Hesse (semester ticket).

Costs of living

The average cost of living in Giessen is approx. 700 EUR per month.
  • Meals: The cheapest option is the student cafeteria (Mensa), which is definitely a good choice. Prices range from 2.50 to 6.40 EUR.
  • Drinks in a bar/restaurant: A small soft drink or a cup of coffee usually amounts to 2 EUR, and a cappuccino or a beer costs around 2.30 EUR.
  • Public transport: Regional public transport within the Rhine-Main and Northern Hesse region is free for students at JLU Giessen.
  • Cinema: 5-8 EUR

Job opportunities


Arrival support

The international students' advisory office organises an orientation week at the beginning of each semester and provides special counselling for international students.

Services and support for international students

The international students' advisory office supports international students with general information on studying at the university, living in Giessen and activities offered by Justus Liebig University of Giessen.


As a student in Giessen, you can choose between private accommodation or life in a student hall of residence. JLU's accommodation office (Studentenwerk Giessen) offers you support in finding a place to stay.

Student halls of residence
If you wish to rent a room in a hall of residence, you have to submit your application directly to the Accommodation Office of the Studentenwerk, which accommodates over 2,500 students in 10 halls of residence and apartment buildings. It offers a welcome package for newly arrived students.

Private apartments and rooms:
If you choose to rent an apartment or room on the open market, the print and online editions of Giessen's local newspapers contain listings:

Please remember that Giessen has the highest student density of all German university towns. Thus, it is a good idea to start your search for accommodation as early as possible.
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