Global Studies Programme

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: May 31, 2023
80 place StudyQA ranking:2380 Duration: You need IELTS certificate

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The one-year (two semesters) consecutive research-oriented Master's programme qualifies students with a background in political science, sociology or an adjacent discipline for a PhD programme in Germany. A core element of the Master's programme is an individual curriculum developed for every student in order to provide him or her with the best possible preparation for an application at a graduate school or in a research training group. Two groups of students are especially encouraged to apply for this unique programme:
  • International MA graduates who want to prepare themselves for their application to a PhD programme or graduate school in Germany or elsewhere.
  • Strongly research-focused BA graduates with a minimum of 240 ECTS from Germany and abroad.

The individual curriculum provides every student with the freedom to work on his or her weaknesses, whether they are methodical, theoretical, topic-specific, language-related or due to the lack of socialisation in the German academic system.
The individual curriculum of each student is agreed upon in an in-depth counselling meeting with the programme's director of studies at the beginning of the fall term. The outcome will be fixed in a binding learning agreement. Students are expected to prepare for this meeting by checking the institute's course offer and by critically reflecting on their knowledge of methods and other qualifications needed in order to work on their topic.
Compulsory courses will be taught in English. For the elective courses, there are a large variety of courses offered in both English and German.
The ISW has a long tradition and much experience in educating PhD candidates in a variety of research options, especially through its excellent graduate school, the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences.

Educational organisation

The Research Training Programme in Social Sciences consists of four modules:
  • Module A: Research Design and Professional Development
  • Module B: Theories and Methods
  • Module C: Current debates in Social Sciences
  • Module D: Thesis Module

In Module A, students attend the Research Design Course as well as the Professional Development Seminar, courses which are exclusively designed for MA RTP students. Therefore, an intensive and personalised study environment in a small group (max. 15 students) is guaranteed. These mandatory courses will be taught in English.
In Module B, students choose one specific course connected to either theoretical or methodical concepts which will help them to concretise their research questions.
In Module C, students select courses from the regular ISW course table based on their individual learning agreement. These courses should be chosen according to the respective needs of each student. In addition, students may take language classes or intercultural training courses.
In Module D, students participate in the research colloquium of their supervisor and write their MA thesis. The thesis should be approximately 18,000 words long.

Language requirements

Proof of good English language skills: for example, through TOEFL internet-based 79, IELTS 6.5, UNIcert, BULATS, ILEC, LCCI. If English is your mother tongue, (e.g. citizens of USA, Canada, the UK, Ghana) the English test can be waived. This also applies if the language of instruction of your last degree programme was English. This has to be stated in the diploma supplement or attested by the registrar's office.
Proof of beginner's level German language skills can be submitted in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or A1 level. If German is your mother tongue, the test can be waived. This also applies if the language of instruction of your last degree programme was German. This has to be stated in the diploma supplement or attested by the registrar's office.

Academic requirements

Applications from international graduates are especially welcome. Applicants must have a first university degree (Diploma, Master's or Bachelor's with at least 240 ECTS) in political science, sociology or an adjacent discipline.

Please check our website for more information:

Applications may be submitted from 1 to 31 May every year. After the application deadline, all submitted applications will be reviewed and ranked in June. Individual interviews will take place from 1 to 15 July via Skype or in person. Please plan accordingly.

Enrolment fees

300 EUR per semester
Fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Berlin metropolitan area.
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