M.A. Historical Sciences

M.A. Historical Sciences

M.A. Historical Sciences
Quick facts
ProgrammeHistorical Sciences
Degree awardedMaster of Arts (M.A.)
Duration4 semesters
Starts inApril (summer semester)
and October (winter semester)
Language of instructionGerman

About the programme

Studying this research-led master's programme in Historical Sciences, you will learn to examine historical topics with scientific rigour. You will learn to reconstruct and cross-reference historical processes and developments from the source material. Furthermore, in addition to gaining discipline-specific knowledge, you will acquire soft skills such as the ability to tackle complex issues, carry out research projects, team organisation and present facts. The programme gives you the opportunity to actively shape your academic training by selecting two focus modules to suit your personal interests and career plans.

For details, please consult the Academic Advice Service's infosheet (German).


  • Combines the core history curriculum with electives in disciplines related to specific epochs, subjects and
  • regions as well as and digital research methods
  • Core subjects: Ancient History, Medieval History, Modern and Contemporary History, Eastern European History, Church History, Art History and Visual Culture, Digital History and Public History
  • You can create a specialisation by choosing the weighting of the core subjects
  • Additional qualification: Certificate Digital Humanities (highly recommended as a complement to the Digital History modules)

Career prospects

Having graduated from the M.A. Historical Sciences programme, you can look forward to a large number of occupations in which a knowledge of history and the ability to critically assess historical documents and source material are important aspects of the job. Potential employers traditionally include archives, museums and libraries, the adult education sector, the media industry, publishing houses and cultural institutions in general; graduates may also pursue a career in politics, the diplomatic service or the tourism industry. In particular, the opportunities for cross-disciplinary education and training in computer-assisted methods offered by the programme help students develop the knowledge and skills needed to work as a historian today. The master's degree also allows you to proceed with doctoral study, thereby laying the foundations for a career in academia.

Programme syllabus

The programme comprises three module groups:

A) Foundational Sciences, Theory and Methods
B) Focus areas
C) Research and Practice

A) In module area A, you will complete modules in auxiliary sciences of history or modules that are strongly source-oriented. You will also acquire knowledge of history theory, methodology and the history of science. Modules in Digital Humanities or Art History will provide you with an introduction to these disciplines.

B) Module area B gives you the opportunity to specialise in a specific area and to acquire specific skills in a sub-discipline of history. Alternatively, you may combine two to four subjects from courses/modules with a lower number of ECTS credits. You may choose from: Ancient History, Medieval History, Modern and Contemporary History, Eastern European History, Church History, Art History and Visual Culture, Digital History and Public History.

C) In module area C you will complete two or three modules: You will complete a compulsory colloquium on the subject of your research project. In addition, you may choose between a project course, an excursion and/or an internship of one or two months in length.

As part of the degree programme you will write a master's thesis on a topic selected from module group A.

Throughout the programme you will accumulate 120 ECTS credits. Depending on your individual choices, the programme can be completed with 120 ECTS credits in only one discipline or as a combination of up to five sub-disciplines.

Academic entry requirements

Applicants should have a good first degree with a result of, or equivalent to, 2.5 (or better) according to the German grading scale or ranked among the best 50% of their cohort, obtained after a programme of at least three years' full-time study in history or a related discipline. A subject is considered equivalent if at least 60 ECTS credit points were earned in History, Art History or Visual Studies/Visual Culture. The closing date for applications is 30 June or 15 January for the programme starting in the following semester.

German language requirements

You will need German language skills at level C1 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-2 or TestDaF 4 in all four categories, unless German was the language of instruction for your secondary school education (e.g. Abitur at a German international school) or prior tertiary education.

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.

Other language requirements

To register for the master's thesis in the sub-disciplines 'Ancient History', 'Medieval History', 'Modern and Contemporary History' or 'Church History', you must prove that you have a sound knowledge of Latin ('kleines Latinum'). When registering for your master's thesis in the field of 'Eastern European History', you must prove either Czech language skills at level B1 CEFR or Polish or Russian at level A2 CEFR. You may acquire those language skills by completing the relevant language courses during your degree programme.

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