Teacher training programme for secondary education (Gymnasium)

Teacher training programme for secondary education (Gymnasium)

Student at Passau
Quick facts
ProgrammeTeacher Education for Secondary Education (Gymnasium)
Qualification gainedFirst State Examination for Teachers
Duration9 semesters
Starts inApril (summer semester)
and October (winter semester)
Language of instructionGerman

About the programme

In Germany, the Gymnasium is one of three types of secondary school (next to Realschule and Hauptschule or Mittelschule). Pupils attend the Gymnasium from 5th to 12th year and complete their schooling with the Abitur, the German university entrance qualification. For you as a budding Gymnasium teacher this means you will be accompanying the pupils in your care from their late childhood until early adulthood.

Pupils at this type of secondary school are taught a wider range of school subjects; this sets it apart from the other school types. You will help your pupils discover and develop their talents within your chosen range of subjects. This sets the foundation for lifelong learning and personal growth of your pupils.

In order to give pupils the best possible education, it is important that the teacher have in-depth expertise; you will develop this expertise and receive training in pedagogy, psychology and subject-specific didactics as part of your studies at university. Various practice teaching sessions at schools, which will give you a practical insight into the teacher's perspective in the classroom, will round off your studies.


  • Centre for Careers and Competencies (ZKK): The ZKK offers free seminars tailored to students enrolled in teacher training programmes, such as: "Being Well Prepared as a Teacher for Consultation Hours with Parents" or "Using Your Voice Effectively and Carefully".
  • Study abroad: More than a third of University of Passau students spend at least one semester abroad.
  • Teacher Education Centre (ZLF): The ZLF co-ordinates various tasks in connection with teacher training, connects tertiary, secondary and primary teacher training, and combines theory and the realities of the occupation – to help you develop a professional teacher personality (e.g. in biographical seminars). The Teacher Education Centre issues your syllabuses for the chosen teaching subject combinations and gives you information on practice teaching and internships.

Career prospects

This programme concludes with the First State Examination for Teachers, followed by a two-year preparatory traineeship, which in turn ends with the Second State Examination for Secondary School (Gymnasium) Teachers.

Please consult the Prognose zum Lehrerbedarf in Bayern publication from the Bavarian Education Ministry for a forecast of the required number of teachers.

Once you have completed the state examinations, you are also qualified for occupations outside of the school sector, e.g. by working as an education official at educational establishments, in the non-school youth education sector, for continuing professional development training bodies, pedagogy-related occupations at specialist publishers and more – the Careers Service will be happy to give you more information.

Forecast for the required number of teachers in Bavaria (as of February 2012; German)

Programme syllabus

The curriculum of the modular programme of study is determined in the Bavarian teacher education regulations (Lehramtsprüfungsordnung I, LPO I). You will accumulate 270 ECTS credits by studying the following modules:

  • Advanced study of two teaching subjects (subject and educational expertise)
  • Pedagogy
  • Practice teaching at schools and one internship to be completed at a company
You will choose a subject combination, e.g:

German – EnglishEnglish – FrenchFrench – History
German – French

English – Geography

Geography – Business and Economics

German – Geography

English – History

Computer Science – Mathematics

German – History

English – Computer Science

Computer Science – Business and Economics

German – Catholic Religious Education

English – Catholic Religious Education

Catholic Religious Education – Physical Education

German – Mathematics

English – Mathematics

Mathematics – Catholic Religious Education

German – Civics

English – Civics

Mathematics – Physical Education

German – Physical Education

English – Physical Education

Mathematics – Business and Economics
English – Business and Economics


Please note that an aptitude test is carried out for Physical Education.

Please refer to the website of the Teacher Education Centre for the detailed teaching subject syllabuses.

Complementary subject:
You may additionally select a second subject from the above list or Philosophy/Ethics, which you will then study as a complementary teaching subject.

This module includes the courses General Pedagogy, School Pedagogy and Psychology.

Practice teaching and internships:

  • Orientation practice (ideally completed prior to starting on the programme)
  • Pedagogical and didactic practice teaching in your teaching subjects or Exercitium Paedagogicum: Subject-Specific Practice Teaching in Secondary Education
  • first teaching-subject-specific part-time internship (accompanying coursework)
  • a business internship at a non-school organisation or company

The First Examination for Teachers consists of module examinations, which are administered by the University and should be completed while studying the programme, and the First State Examination, which will take place after the degree programme has been completed. (Please note that foreign language qualifications are now a requirement for admission to the First State Examination.)

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.