Development Economics and International Studies (DEIS)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Aug 15, 2021
StudyQA ranking:514 Duration:2 years

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The Master of Arts in Development Economics and International Studies (DEIS) is an economics-centred, multidisciplinary, two-year (four-semester) programme. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of graduate students seeking leadership responsibilities in public, non-profit, and private sector organisations for international cooperation and development.
Each year, a group of about 50 students enrols in this selective programme. Both German and international candidates are considered for admission. In a typical intake, around 70% of students come from abroad. Instruction is carried out in English. The Master's thesis will be written in English.
The DEIS programme of study has four required core module pairs. These are designed to provide students with rigorous academic training and tools that can be used in the practice of international cooperation and development. Each of these two semester-long module pairs consists of a taught course with tutorial (part I) and a seminar (part II). These module pairs are compulsory for all students:

  • Development Economics I + II: these modules explore the models introduced by classical and modern economists to explain long-term economic growth in developing countries. Specific topics such as population growth, income distribution, environmental issues and project management as well as policy issues of international cooperation and development are covered.
  • International Economics I + II: these modules are designed to examine current policy issues in international economics and to foster the ability of students to apply models of international trade and finance to problems of emerging economies and developing countries.
  • International Business Ethics I + II: these modules introduce students to the theory and concepts of business ethics as well as to a series of ethical challenges currently facing the corporate world by taking an international and inter-cultural perspective of analysis and problem solving.
  • Research Methods I + II: these modules approach quantitative methods that are frequently used in economics from an applied point of view. Standard and more advanced techniques will be introduced with an emphasis on regression analysis and time-series analysis.

In addition to these four core module pairs, students in the DEIS programme take at least two regional modules. Such regional modules are for example:
  • Economic Development of the Middle East I + II
  • Research Seminar on Iraqi Economy
  • Introduction to the Chinese Economy I
  • Introduction to the Chinese Economy II
  • The Economy of the United States
  • Energy and Development in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Business and Society in Latin America
  • An Introduction to Population Studies: Southern Africa
  • Development Issues of Mexico
  • Economía, sociedad y politica en el mundo iberoamericano

Students are advised to take elective modules offered by the Institute of Economics covering special fields of the theory and policy of economic development such as:
  • Behavioural Development Economics
  • International Finance
  • Development-Oriented Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Sustainable Development and National Strategies
  • Qualitative Methods for Policy Research
  • Politics in Non-European Regions
  • International Relations
  • Human Rights and Human Rights Policy
  • Work and Organisation
  • Comparative Analysis of Societies

They may, however, also enrol in graduate-level courses on diverse topics of International Studies, including language studies, offered by the Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences, as well as by the Faculty of Law, Business and Economics.
A wide range of language courses at various levels (e.g. Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili) is also available as elective modules.
In the fourth semester of their studies, students undertake research by writing a Master's thesis.

Educational organisation

The DEIS programme requires the completion of:
  • four required core module pairs (40 ECTS credits)
  • two required regional modules (10 ECTS credits)
  • eight elective modules upon approval by the DEIS Coordinator (40 ECTS credits)
  • Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits).

The required core module pairs stretch over two consecutive semesters consisting of a taught course with tutorials (three hours a week) in the first semester and seminars (two hours a week) in the second. By completing both parts of a module, students receive 10 ECTS credits. Elective courses may have different ECTS credits depending on the workload.
Students are required to acquire 30 ECTS credits in each semester. In the first three semesters of their studies, they have to take the four core module pairs and at least one regional module pair of their choice. The remaining ECTS credits are gained by attending elective courses upon approval by the DEIS Coordinator. The fourth semester is reserved for the Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits).
Students are advised to spend one (preferably the third) semester of their study at a partner university in a developing country.

Study abroad unit(s)

The Institute of Economics maintains exchange programmes with universities in China, Iraq, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
The Institute of Economics also offers a dual degree programme with three Iraqi universities, Baghdad, Mustansiriya, and Salahaddin. It is possible to undertake an MSc in Economics at these universities.

Forms of assessment

In part I of the core and regional modules (taught courses with tutorials), ECTS credits and grades are awarded for written or oral exams and/or paper presentations. In part II (seminars), ECTS credits and grades are awarded for writing and presenting a paper, mostly in form of an assignment. These rules may apply to most elective and optional courses, too.

Course objectives

The DEIS programme of study combines rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of graduate students seeking leadership responsibilities in public, non-profit, and private sector organisations for international cooperation and development, and for those intending to pursue careers in teaching and/or research in the general field of economic development.

Language requirements

One of the following (or an equivalent test result):
  • TOEFL iBT: 95 or above / CBT: 240 or above / PBT: 587 or above / ITP: 627 or above
  • IELTS: C1 / 7.0 or above; minimum of 6.0 in each section
  • UNIcert® III
  • TOEIC: 850 or above
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) / Business English Certificate (BEC) Higher
  • telc English C1
  • CEFR: C1

Academic requirements

Qualified degree (Bachelor's, German Diploma ("Diplom") or equivalent) in Economics. Applicants with a degree in a related subject must present evidence of a strong focus on economics and quantitative methods in their undergraduate education.

Enrolment fees

The contribution to student services currently amounts to 42 EUR per semester. An additional charge of 65 EUR per semester covers the mandatory basic "semester ticket", a transit pass that provides students with unlimited access to public transport in the metropolitan region of Nuremberg from 7pm to 6am on weekdays and at all times at weekends. (For an additional optional charge, the validity of the pass can be extended to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)

Costs of living

The cost of living can only be approximated very generally, as the needs and living conditions of every student are different.
Rent: 250-600 EUR per month
Health insurance, doctor, medicine: approximately 70 EUR per month
Food: approximately 165 EUR per month
Study materials: approximately 30 EUR per month (depending on the subject)
Transport: minimum 65 EUR per semester
Student services: 42 EUR per semester
For more information, see:
General information on the average cost of living in Germany is available online:

Funding opportunities within the university

The Central Office for International Affairs offers scholarships from Bavarian state funding to allow highly qualified international students in Master's, German Diploma ("Diplom"), and State Exam degree courses to complete their degrees.

Arrival support

The Institute of Economics offers an introductory meeting for all MA students. Details about the study programme, the study plan, and the organisation will be explained at this meeting. This comprises, for example, information about important locations at the university, language courses that are offered by the Language Centre, and the teaching staff. Furthermore, it explains how to use the learning platform of the university and how to find lectures in the lecture directory. Moreover, examination rules and procedures are explained in detail.
The institute organises get-togethers which allow students to get to know each other and the culture of their fellow students. Furthermore, there are special English library courses. In these courses, students will learn how to effectively search, refine, and secure quality resources for their research projects. We also offer refresher courses for statistics and academic writing.
Individual support and advice will be given by the course coordinator. Additionally, there are student assistants who help international students in gathering information and in organising their studies. They will also be helpful in communication with public authorities.

Services and support for international students

The Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) will provide you with detailed information on all important topics relating to your studies (study courses, subject combinations, application requirements, support with organising your study programme and complying with all assessment/examination requirements) and on settling in at the beginning of the semester (coping with particular difficulties, changing subjects or suspending studies). For more information, see
The Career Service of FAU will provide you with information on career opportunities and the specifics of an application procedure in Germany. For information, see:
The Student Service Centres (SSC) and student advisers in the faculties will provide you with further advice on your particular course of study. Programme coordinators organise subject-related orientation events and guide you through the entire study period.
The Central Office for International Affairs (RIA) will provide you with detailed information on accommodation, visa issues, and scholarship possibilities. In cooperation with the IBZ, it also organises information events and general orientation courses for first-semester-students.
The Alumni network provides students with many topics and events for professional advancement. See:


Erlangen and Nuremberg are attractive cities with a historic flair and modern infrastructure. Therefore, the housing market is quite tight. FAU will do its best to assist new students in finding accommodation.
Student halls in Erlangen and Nuremberg can only provide accommodation for a small number of students. Another option is the private housing market. If you extend your search to neighbouring towns, such as Fürth and Forchheim, your choice of accommodation is much larger and rents are lower, while the well-developed local public transport system ensures that you're never far away from the university. In addition, there is the option to sublet a room, or you can share a flat with other students. This option not only saves you money but also helps you settle in quickly and make friends in your new home. You can find information to help with your housing search on specialised websites and the university's notice boards.
Detailed information on finding accommodation is available at
If you need further assistance, you can also turn to the Accommodation Service of the Central Office for International Affairs (RIA). E-mail:
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