Master of Arts ­Development Studies­ – Online

It aims at professionalizing those already working in development or others for whom an e-learning program seems most fitting. It offers a solid academic base in the field of development studies. Students learn relevant theories that are necessary to critically reflect current practices in the field of humanitarian and development aid. Courses such as project planning, monitoring and evaluation advance students’ practical competencies. Academic competencies taught in the area of research methods and writing skills enable a continuation in a scientific career. Stemming from the diversity of the student body, the specific worth of the program lies in the opportunity to assess international issues through virtual co-learning with professionals from across the globe.

Application period for online studies

March 1 to June 30

Language: English







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  • Theories of Development
  • Development Industry and Legacy
  • Development Economics
  • Poverty Analysis and Social Protection
  • Global Public Health
  • Religion and Development
  • International Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Methods of Empirical Social Research (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Academic Writing and Rhetoric and Presentation Skills
  • Planning, Management and Evaluation of Development Projects
  • Disaster Management and Response
  • Sustainability, Degrowth and Resource Politics
  • Globalization and Global Governance
  • Migration and Development
  • Gender Intersectionality and Development
  • Land Use, Land Rights and Development
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Research-Oriented Master Thesis

A specialization in an area of concentration is possible.

Handbooks | Regulations | Academic information

Module Guidebook  M.A. Development Studies   Effective from October 1, 2020

Module Guidebook  M.A. Development Studies   Effective from Ocrober 1, 2022

Program-Specific Study Regulations M.A. Development Studies (online, 4 semester)  German Form  Effective from December 1, 2021

Program-Specific Study Regulations M.A. Development Studies  Effective from October 1, 2020

General Study and Examination Regulations for Programs of the School of Social Sciences  Effective from July 01, 2018

Program structure overview


Dr. Kwaku Arhin-Sam

Ph.D., M.A., B.Ed.
Director | Friedensau Institute for Evaluation
Lecturer | School of Social Sciences

Telephone: +49 (0) 3921-916-144
Fax: +49 (0) 39291-201

An der Ihle 5A
39291 Möckern-Friedensau

Dr. phil. Jill Philine Blau

Head of Program | Development Studies – Online for Professionals

Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-153
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-201

An der Ihle 5 A
39291 Möckern-Friedensau

Prof. Dr. Daniel Bendix

Ph.D. (University of Manchester, UK)
Professor of Global Development | School of Social Sciences

Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-203
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-201

An der Ihle 5 A
D-39291 Möckern-Friedensau

Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Ulrike Schultz

Professor of Development Sociology and Economics | School of Social Sciences
Program Director M.A. International Social Sciences (Development Studies)
Vice Dean | School of Social Sciences

Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-193
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-201

An der Ihle 5 A
39291 Möckern-Friedensau

Prof. Dr. phil. Thomas Spiegler

Professor of Sociology and Empirical Social Research | School of Social Sciences
Dean | School of Social Sciences

Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-202
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-201

An der Ihre 5 B
39291 Möckern-Friedensau

Jun.-Prof. Dr. phil. Annette Witherspoon

Lecturer International Social Sciences

Telephone: +49 (0) 39291-137
Fax: +49 (0) 39291-201

An der Ihle 5 A
39291 Möckern-Friedensau


Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor degree in social sciences, humanities or other related fields
  • English proficiency test (e.g. TOEFL) or a Bachelor degree taught in English
  • Experience in development cooperation

Time Frame

  • 6 semesters / 3 years (120 credit points)
  • Intake only in winter semester (October)
  • Application period from March 1 – June 30
  • Courses start in October

Language: English

Tuition Fees

  • 11.994,– EUR in total, i.e. 1.999,– EUR per semester for the three-year online program
  • Plus 200,– Euros registration fee each semester


Please start your application below.


Icon FragezeichenIs this online program and degree accredited?

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The MA Development Studies (part-time) offers the study program of the accredited MA International Social Sciences (Development Studies) as part-time distance learning for students with relevant professional experience.

Icon FragezeichenIs there an opportunity to accelerate the degree completion?

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It is not possible to accelerate the duration of the study. In case you have studied some similar courses, an accreditation of the courses can be discussed.

Icon FragezeichenDo you offer scholarship for the MA Development study program?

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No scholarships are offered at the moment.

Icon FragezeichenHow is the classroom structured?

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The Master Development Studies is based on a combination of synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods.  The synchronous classes are facilitated through the platform zoom.

For the asynchronous teaching, we use the leaning-platform Moodle.

Icon FragezeichenAre classes self-paced or scheduled?

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Students should plan to be available to study between 10–15 hours per week. Most of the studying will be self-paced, but the students should be available for the synchronous session. These will be coordinated depending on the time zones of the students in the program.

Icon FragezeichenHow many students in courses?

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To ensure the quality course delivery, online courses have an enrollment of about 10–25 students.

Icon FragezeichenWhat platforms or systems are used?

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We use Moodle as our learning platform, a virtual portal where students can view the syllabus and grades; contact professors, classmates and support services; access course materials; and monitor their progress on lessons.

This platform is where students find their individual assignments. For each individual assignment, the lecturer gives personal feedback. Forum discussions and other interactive forms where the students get the opportunity to interact complement this.

Most instructors utilize Zoom or Skype for class chats or conference calls.

Icon FragezeichenHow does a platform interface look like?

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Icon FragezeichenWhat are typical assignments?

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In general, students should expect assignments similar to in-class programs, such as research papers and proctored exams in addition to online-specific assignments such as responding to professor-posed questions in a discussion board. Standard assignments include reading the course text and additional materials, active participation in online discussions, quizzes, writing papers etc.

Icon FragezeichenHow much time should I expected this program to entail a week?

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Students are expected to spend 10 to 15 hours a week on coursework. This varies depending on the individuals background and skills. Do not expect your course to be easier just because it is online.

Icon FragezeichenIs the material available online from the beginning till end?

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All obligatory and additional readings are available online during the semester and students will receive virtual access to the universities library.

Icon FragezeichenAre there group projects within class and how can we work it out?

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Yes, also virtual group assignments are part of the coursework.

Icon FragezeichenHow are online classes graded?

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The grading is based on continuous assessment and a final term assessment, which is either in the form of a term paper, a presentation or an oral exam. This varies depending on the course.

Icon FragezeichenHow do I interact with the professor?

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Professors are very accessible and responsive to students. Students and instructors communicate primarily through the platform moodle in online courses. Most instructors also utilize Zoom  for class chats or conference calls.

Icon FragezeichenWhat technology do I need to be successful?

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Students are expected to be confident with their skills regarding standard computer applications for completion of your coursework and have sufficient internet access for a zoom class.

Bild der THH Friedensau

We are happy to advise you!

… on study programs
… on the registration
… on the finances
… or general?

If you want to apply for this program, please contact Dr. Jill Blau, Head of study program Development Studies.

Dr. phil. Jill Philine Blau

Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-153

Get in contact!