Master of Arts ­International Social Sciences­

The M.A. in International Social Sciences has a specific focus on development studies and issues around global justice. Students learn about relevant theories as well as the practical realities of the development/aid industry.
Everyone is required to do an internship and can specialize their interest through relevant electives on topics such as migration, social security, sustainability and gender.

The M.A. prepares thoroughly for an academic career in development through its emphasis on project planning courses and a focus on disaster management and a critical lens on global power relations and postcolonial perspective. Being highly cosmopolitan with students from all over the world, its specific worth lies in the opportunity to assess international issues through a literally global perspective stemming from the diversity of the student body.

Application period

for the summer semester:
applicants with a visa:
1 April – 30 September
applicants without a visa:
1 November – 28 February

for the winter semester:
applicants with a visa:
1 January – 30 April
applicants without a visa:
1 April – 31 August

Beginning of the program

Winter or Summer Semester

Time duration

full-time: 4 semesters (120 ECTS credit points) incl. a practical training session of 8 weeks

part-time: 6 semesters (120 ECTS credit points)

Study mode

full-time or part-time


Master of Arts International Social Sciences



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Tuition Fees

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Icon PlusContents

  • Theories of Development
  • Critical Reflection on Development Cooperation
  • Sustainability, De-Growth and Resource Politics
  • Development Economics
  • Social Protection and Poverty Analysis
  • Public Health in Developing Countries
  • Peace and Conflict Research
  • Religion and Development
  • Migration and Development
  • Project Planning
  • Disaster Response and Humanitarian Aid
  • Public Health
  • Internship in the Field of Development Cooperation or Humanitarian Aid
  • Methods of Empirical Research
  • Advanced Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • Research Oriented Master Thesis

Icon PlusStructure

The standard period of study is 4 semesters. It can be extended by up to 2 semesters upon application.
The programme has a modular structure. A module consists of several courses which are grouped in a thematic block. The modules generally take up one semester or one year of study. The certificates of achievement from the individual units are the basis for the module grade, which is awarded as an overall grade. Credits are assigned to the successfully completed modules according to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). The modules and their performance grades are thus recognized throughout Europe, making it easier to change one’s place of study. Transfer to an overseas institution is also possible.

Icon PlusPrerequisites

For all applicants, the prerequisite for the programme is a Bachelors degree in social science, related fields or an equivalent. All applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a result of at least 550 (PBT = paper-based test) or 213 (CBT = computer-based test) or 79 (iBT = internet-based test) points or another comparable performance, such as the IELTS (6.0) or the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (Grade B). Applicants who received their B.A. degree in an English-language study program are exempt.

Icon PlusPart-time M.A. ISS (Development Studies)

Why choose this programme?

The part-time M.A. in International Social Sciences (Development Studies) is a study programme over 6 semesters offered in the English language.It has a specific focus on development studies and issues around global justice. It aims at professionalizing those already working in develop­ment or others for whom a part-time programme seems more fitting. It offers a solid academic base in the field of development studies. Students learn about relevant theories that are nec­essary to critically reflect on current practices in the field of development aid. These includes topics such as the aid industry, migration, gender, peace and conflict, poverty as well as issues around sustainability. Practical competencies are furthered through courses such as project planning, monitoring and evaluation. Academic competencies in research methods and writing skills enable a continuation in a scientific career.

The specific worth of the programme lies in the oppor­tunity to assess international issues through a literally global perspective – stemming from the diversity of the student body.


Students will complete an internship as part of the programme. The internship is conceptualized as an opportunity for professionals to develop their expertise in areas of their interest. For example, by supporting other regional branches of the organization that they already work for – or experiencing work at a similar yet different institutions. It will be accompanied by supervision and reflection through a colloquium. Challenges for those already working will be taken into consideration.

Tuition Fees

Master of Arts (M.A): 6 Semesters

Per semester 1660 €

Admission Requirements

  • B.A. in Social Sciences, Humanities or other related fields
  • Proficiency Test in English Language (e.g. TOEFL)
  • Experience in Development Cooperation preferred but not prerequisite

Time Frame

  • 6 semesters (120 credit points)
  • Intake in winter semester
  • Each semester 2 weeks on campus
  • Additional e-learning modules

Professional Training

  • One-month internship with supervision
  • Project Planning including excursion
  • Monitoring and Evaluation


  • Theories of Development
  • Development Industry and Legacy
  • Development Economics
  • Poverty Analysis and Social Protection
  • Public Health in Developing Countries
  • Religion and Development
  • Peace and Conflict Research
  • Sustainability, De-Growth and Resource Politics
  • Globalization and Global Governance
  • Migration and Theories of Development
  • Gender and Social Development
  • Land Use, Land Rights and Development
  • Methods of Empirical Social Research
  • Project Planning
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Disaster Management and Response
  • Academic Writing and Rhetoric and Presentation Skills
  • Internship
  • Master Thesis

Application ­process

  • Submit the fully completed application package on the application website within the application period.
  • The application will be discussed at the academic admission and financial committees respectively (within 1 week to 1 month). The decision of acceptance will be made under consideration of the enrolment capacity and a completed financial plan.
  • The admission committees’ decision will be communicated to the applicant by the admissions office within one week by e-mail.
  • Admitted applicants will be asked to transfer the down payment and deposit to the University within 2-3 weeks after the admission decision is communicated.
  • Upon the receipt of the down payment and deposit, the admissions office prepares and sends to the prospective student the study documents, in case a visa is required also the relevant for the embassy which may take up to 1 month.
  • only with visa requirement: The applicant applies for a student visa. Please check in advance how much time you need in order to receive an appointment at the respective embassy. The visa application normally takes 6-8 weeks.

The easiest way to Friedensau is our online application – simply create an user account and start your application now.

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Still have questions?

I’m happy to advise you.

Ulrike Schultz
Prof. Dr. rer. pol.

Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-193

Get in contact!


The Internship is an important phase for the M.A. International Social Sciences students, in which they combine their theoretical academic knowledge with practical experiences. During internships, students begin to develop and modify their skills required for the degree. Moreover, they get an overall perspective of their future course of action and goals.

Internship Information and Forms

The institute where I did my internship is the ‘Regional Institute of Gender, Diversity, Peace and Rights’ (RIG/DPR), which is part of Ahfad University for Women in Sudan. The students I interacted with were brilliant and interesting women, having the same kind, welcoming spirit of the people I met during my time in Khartoum.
– Arlyn Avilés

During my internship at the Community Health and Development organization (CHAD) in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar, I performed tasks such as preparing lesson plans and conducting awareness trainings, recording data for the annual and quarterly plans, attended meetings and workshops with UNICEF, visited camps for internally displaced persons.
– Dawn Lu San

Get in ­contact!­