First State Examination, Master's degree and traineeship
For a traineeship ('Referendariat') and to subsequently work as a teacher at a Bavarian state-run school, you are required to pass the First State Examination for Teachers; the coursework completed for your Bachelor of Education degree is insufficient for admission to the State Examination.
If you proceed to study the Master of Education degree programme upon completion of the B.Ed., you will sit the State Examination during the second semester into your Master's study. This is followed by advanced pedagogy studies in the third semester. You will write your thesis in the fourth semester of your Master's programme.
On the other hand, if you decide against studying the Master’s degree, having completed the B.Ed. programme, you can switch to the traditional Lehramt Realschule programme and sit the First State Examination for Teachers.
|Programme||Secondary Education teaching degree (Realschule track)|
|Degree awarded||Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.)|
|Starts in||April (summer semester)|
and October (winter semester)
|Language of instruction||German|
About the programme
Most degree programmes in Germany are in the process of being adapted to the international Bachelor's and Master's degree system; among the few exceptions to this rule are the civil-service-track teaching degree programmes ('Lehramt'), which still conclude with a State Examination in Bavaria. In connection with this it should be pointed out that you must have German or EU nationality to qualify for a civil service career in Germany.
The University of Passau has launched a new type of secondary teaching degree to train teachers for the German 'Realschule', a selective 6-year secondary school which qualifies pupils for higher-level vocational work or vocational higher education. The Bachelor of Education, currently in its pilot phase, takes the conventional Lehramt Realschule curriculum and gives it the new, internationally recognised first and second-cycle degree structure.
If you are interested in studying the Lehramt Realschule programme, the Bachelor of Education may be an interesting alternative for you.
- The pilot scheme imparts the necessary competences for teaching at secondary schools. If you proceed to study the M.Ed. Teaching and Learning Processes in School Education, you will be able to sit the First State Examination for Teachers, which in turn gives you the formal qualification needed for a civil service teaching career at a Bavarian Realschule school. If you follow this path you actually receive three qualifications: the First State Examination, the Bachelor of Education and the Master of Education.
- Compared to traditional teacher degrees, the B.Ed. and M.Ed. route contains a greater proportion of pedagogy and teaching theory modules, which will prove useful during your traineeship and throughout your career as an educator.
- You will study one of your two chosen teaching subjects up to 90 ECTS credits – the same as students of Gymnasium schools (Gymnasium is a secondary school that prepares pupils for access to higher education). Technically, this results in a higher qualification than the traditional Lehramt Realschule teaching qualification and makes it easier for you to switch to a different secondary school track or change your main teaching subject if you wish to do so while enrolled on the degree programme.
- Although currently in its pilot phase, there is no risk involved in studying this degree programme: if you do not wish to study the Master of Education after completing the Bachelor’s degree, you can easily switch to the traditional Lehramt Realschule teaching degree programme and sit the First State Examination for Teachers.
First you study for your Bachelor of Education degree, which is designed for a study period of 6 semesters. During this time you will accumulate 180 ECTS credits from your dissertation and the four module groups:
A) Education Science (Pedagogy)
B) Teaching subjects
C) Subject-specific teaching theory modules
A) The Education Science modules impart expertise and methodologies in the subject areas of general pedagogy, school pedagogy and psychology.
B) You choose two teaching subjects. The primary subject will then be studied in greater depth with 90 ECTS credits, while the secondary subject amounts to 50 ECTS credits (list of available teaching subject combinations).
C) In this module group you study the teaching method for your chosen teaching subjects.
D) At this stage you will complete a number of internships where you will do actual teaching at a school to give you practical experience at an early stage. You will write your thesis on a topic taken from module groups A or C.
Upon completion of the B.Ed. degree programme, you may proceed to study the Master's degree programme (subject to access requirements).
Academic entry requirements
To apply for this degree programme you need a recognised university entrance qualification, e.g. the German Abitur or an equivalent qualification.
German language requirements
You will need German language skills at level B2 CEFR or higher to study this degree programme, as that is the main language of instruction for this programme. Therefore, you will have to provide a recognised German language certificate such as DSH-1 or TestDaF 3×4 with your application, unless German was the language of instruction for your secondary school education (e.g. Abitur at a German international school).
The University of Passau has set up a German language teaching unit, German Courses Passau, which offers a selection of preparatory language programmes tailored to the needs of international students. These range from summer courses to a full academic year and cater to learners of all levels.