|Programme||German Law for foreign graduates|
|Degree awarded||Master of Laws (LL.M.)|
|Duration and credits||2 semesters; 60 ECTS credits|
|Starts in||October (winter semester)|
|Language of instruction||German|
About the programme
The master's degree in German Law for foreign graduates is a research-focused degree that imparts professional legal expertise and allows you to develop your legal skills.
Unlike most other disciplines, laws are unique to the societies that brought them forth, and therefore vary significantly from country to country. There is a steadily growing demand for legal practitioners with in-depth knowledge of the German legal system.
Building on a previous law degree earned abroad, this degree programme gives you essential skills and specific expertise in German law, while placing special emphasis on research.
The Scientific Methods module enables you to leverage your methodological and systematic competences developed over the course of the degree programme when conducting independent research – skills you will apply when writing your master's thesis, which forms part of the programme.
- The Faculty of Law of the University of Passau has an excellent reputation in Germany and regularly achieves top results in the various university rankings
- A multicultural environment owing to the international orientation of the University and the Faculty of Law in particular
- German Courses Passau offers German language courses specially designed for law students, which are open to students enrolled on this LL.M. programme
- Attend modules together with German law students
- Previous coursework completed at other German universities may be counted towards the degree at the discretion of the Board of Examiners
LL.M. German Law graduates typically work in international law firms in their home country, where they will advise their foreign clients on German law, either directly or by obtaining information from a correspondent law firm and presenting the response in a form that is readily understood by their clients. One example of such a client would be a foreign business enterprise which intends to sell its goods or services on the German market.
Similarly, once you have graduated from this programme, you may advise German clients on your home country's legal system, as companies which intend to establish a subsidiary abroad, for instance, require legal advice on many issues, such as choosing the right legal form, tax laws, employment regulations and so on.
In addition to imparting important work-related expertise, this degree programme also qualifies you for doctoral study – at the University of Passau or at another German or indeed foreign university's law faculty. Being well-versed in two different legal systems, you might, for instance, engage in comparative legal research.
The degree programme consists of three modules:
1) Foundation module
2) Scientific Methods module
3) Elective module
1) Foundation module: this consists of the foundation courses in Civil Law and Constitutional Law (both courses include a lecture and a tutorial). You will choose one of these two foundation courses, each of which is taught for a period of two semesters (Foundation Courses 1 and 2).
2) Scientific Methods module: This module, which takes place in the winter semester, consists of a seminar for master's students, in which you will write a seminar paper and give a presentation.
3) Elective module: You will choose three of the following five electives: Civil Law, Public Law, Criminal Law, International Aspects of German Law and Principles of Law. Two courses are held in the winter semester and one in the summer semester. Instead of the two winter-semester courses, you may study the foundation course (Civil Law 1 or Constitutional Law 1) not already completed in the foundation module.
Academic entry requirements
You are eligible for this degree programme if you have a good law degree from a non-German university, ranked among the 25% best graduates of your cohort.
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 TDN 3×4 (i.e. level 3 in all four categories) with your application, unless German was the language of instruction for your secondary school education (e.g. Abitur at a German international school) or your first undergraduate degree (i.e. a German-taught bachelor's degree programme).
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.