M.A. Historical Sciences

M.A. Historical Sciences

Study 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

This research-focused Master's programme in History imparts theory and research methods, enabling you to apply scientific principles to historical topics. You will learn to tackle complex issues and reconstruct historical developments and events by cross-referencing source material. Most history programmes tend to focus on the major historical periods; the M.A. Historical Sciences at the University of Passau additionally includes subjects from closely related disciplines. The programme is designed to allow you to actively shape your study path by selecting two focus modules to suit your personal interests and career plans.


  • A combination of conventional history course content and a choice of major epochs, subjects and regional disciplines, with the possibility to include topics from closely related disciplines
  • Core subjects: the Ancient World, the Middle Ages, Modernity and Contemporary History, Eastern European History, Ecclesiastical History and Auxiliary Sciences of History
  • You may specialise further by choosing a second focus subject
  • Supplementary qualification: Certificate of Digital Humanities

Career prospects

As an M.A. Historical Sciences graduate you may work in any occupation in which historical knowledge and the ability to critically assess historical documents and source material are important aspects of the job. Potential employers include archives and libraries, adult education, the media, publishing houses, museums with a cultural history focus, politics, the diplomatic service and the tourism industry. The master's degree also allows you to proceed with doctoral study.

Programme syllabus

The degree programme comprises eight module groups:

A) Intensive modules
B) Extension modules
C) Research module
D) Auxiliary sciences
E) Theory and methods
F) Subject-specific interdisciplinary modules

A) You will choose two focus areas from the offered historical areas as intensive modules: Ancient History, the Middle Ages, Modernity and Contemporary History, Eastern European History, Ecclesiastical History and Auxiliary Sciences of History.

B) You may choose any of the history courses offered in module group A to extend your knowledge of history.

C) You will present your own scientific aims for debate in a colloquium and critically appraise other research contributions.

D) This module teaches auxiliary sciences and predominantly source-oriented courses.

E) In this module group you consolidate your knowledge of history theory, methods and economic history. The module group also includes courses in history education, including theory and methods.

F) As the degree programme was designed to be interdisciplinary, you may attend courses for related scientific disciplines, such as Catholic Theology; Philosophy; Art History; German, English or Romance Philology; Slavic Literature and Cultural Studies; Political Science; Sociology or Geography.

As part of the degree programme you will write a thesis on a topic selected from module group A. Students who complete the programme will receive a total of 120 ECTS credits.

Module catalogue (German)

Overview of the programme structure (German)

Academic entry requirements

Applicants should have a good first degree with a result of 2.5 or better according to the German grading system or be 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. Candidates are considered to have gained a degree in a 'related' discipline if their prior degree programme included a minimum of 60 ECTS credits (or equivalent) in History, Art History or Visual Culture. One ECTS credit corresponds to approximately 25 to 30 hours of work, including self-study and contact teaching hours.

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.