M.A. European Studies


Program Description

About the programme

This cross-disciplinary master's programme, which combines elements of the humanities and social science, offers you the chance to consolidate and expand the knowledge and competencies gained in your undergraduate studies in a social or cultural discipline, lending it a (greater) European dimension. In this programme, you will explore European culture, history and intercultural communication. You will be able to set your own study focus by choosing from a wide variety of subjects, including a number of European linguistic subjects and media studies, history, sociology, political science, geography, art history, East Central European studies and philosophy. You will also improve your foreign language skills in a European language.


  • Core subjects: linguistics, literary, cultural, socio-historical and geographic studies, intercultural communication and foreign languages
  • Shape your academic profile by choosing your own focus areas
  • Subject-specific language programmes in nine languages with a focus on business/economics or cultural studies
  • Double degree options with Universidad de Málaga (Spain) and Université de Strasbourg (France)
  • Languages of instruction: German, English and, depending on your choice of cultural region, an additional European language

Career prospects

Graduates from the M.A. European Studies programme are sought after wherever in-depth knowledge of Europe, its societies, institutions and cultures is needed. The career choices open to you depend on your chosen focus areas and the work experience you gather while at university. For instance, you could work for the public sector, supranational institutions and organisations, commercial enterprises, e.g. in the tourism or advertising industries, foundations, at cultural organisations or education providers, to name but a few. The programme also prepares you for a research role in such organisations. To achieve the desired outcome, you must demonstrate a high level of independent thinking, determination and dedication, not only in your job but during your studies. You will have the opportunity to develop your own individual study focus, which may later form the basis for your doctoral research, should you decide to continue with an academic career.

Programme Syllabus

The degree programme is divided into four module groups:

A) European core modules
B) European cultural studies
C) European social sciences
D) European languages

A) Subjects treated in the core modules are European politics, culture and history as well as intercultural communication.

B) You can choose one or two focus areas from the following subjects: English Studies, French Romance Studies, German Studies, Spanish Studies, East Central European Studies (literature and culture), Media Studies and Intercultural Communication.

C) In addition, you will choose one or two further focus areas from the following subjects: geography, history, Eastern European history, art history and visual culture, sociology, political science and European philosophy.

D) You will also choose one foreign language to study as a subject-specific language programme. You can choose one from: Czech, English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish or German as a foreign language (for non-native speakers). The language programme will be subject specific, i.e. focused on either cultural studies or business/economics.

At the end of the programme, you will write a master's thesis on a topic concerning Europe. This topic will be chosen from a subject covered in module group B or C. Throughout the programme you will accumulate 120 ECTS credits in total.

Module catalogue (German)

Academic entry requirements

To apply, you need a good first university degree in a humanities subject or social science, earned after a standard period of three years' full-time study, with the result of 2.5 or better according to the German marking system (or an equivalent grade in a foreign grading system) or be ranked among the best 50% of your cohort.

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, unless German was the language of instruction for your secondary school education (e.g. Abitur at a German international school) or your prior university degree (e.g 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.

Additional language requirements

Applicants need to have language skills at level C1 of the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR), or the equivalent level in another certification system, in at least one of the following languages: Czech,English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

Since opening its doors to the public in 1978, the University of Passau has quickly developed into a first address in German academia. The University regularly attains top positions in academic rankin ... Read More

Since opening its doors to the public in 1978, the University of Passau has quickly developed into a first address in German academia. The University regularly attains top positions in academic rankings, most recently in the TImes Higher Education's 2019 World University Rankings, where it attained a place among the 20% best universities worldwide. Read less