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  • Master of Arts

    There are many reasons to attend the master degree course in philosophy at Bielefeld University. Click on the arrows to explore.

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Important: Knowledge of the German Language is Required

Please note that most of our courses are held in German. Therefore, sufficient knowledge of German is required in order to successfully attend the master degree programme in philosophy.

Study Programme

The standard duration of the master degree course is four semesters. Of these four semesters, the last is intended for work on the master's thesis. Studies can be commenced in both winter and summer semester.
In addition to introductions into both Practical and Theoretical Philosophy, you will have the opportunity to specialize in one of these fields through your choice of modules and the thematic focus of your master's thesis. The academic student counselling service, as well as lecturers in both fields, will be able to assist you in this regard.

Study Structure

In a first stage of your studies, you attend in both theoretical and practical philosophy a basics module (each 15 ECTS-points):

A basics module consists of two graduate seminars (each 2 semester hours) and a workshop seminar (2 semester hours). All three seminars must be assigned to theoretical or practical philosophy, respectively. The basics module is completed by a seminar paper of 6.000 words.

The workshop seminar is a fixed and regular part of the master degree programme. Whereas the reception of philosophical literature has mostly priority in conventional study programmes in philosophy, the workshop seminars are supposed to purposefully and systematically train participants to develop their own ideas and arguments and to produce their own philosophical texts. Each participant puts their own text (that is related to one or both of the graduate seminars) forward for discussion. The texts are distributed and all participants prepare intensively in advance of the respective meeting. Afterwards, drawing on the discussion, the participant is supposed to revise their text. The completed, revised text is the final result of the workshop seminar (and the basis for the mark for the module).

In the second stage of your studies, you complete three further modules (each 15 ECTS-points). You can choose between the following options but you have to attend at least one specialization module and one presentation module:

Specialization modules are structured like basics modules. The only difference: the module is completed by a seminar paper of 8.000 words.

A presentation module consists of two graduate seminars and a presentation workshop. Both graduate seminars must be assigned to theoretical or practical philosophy, respectively. The module is completed by a presentation in the presentation workshop. The presentation and the subsequent discussion are each supposed to last about 20 minutes.

The optional internship module conduces to career orientation and to additionally acquire key skills such as the ability to work in a team, to manage planning, to deal with conflict and to solve practical problems. An internship of about 300 working hours is intended for this purpose. The internship colloquium (1 semester hour, block course) provides the possibility to exchange experiences and to discuss other questions concerning career orientation. In addition, you have to write a short internship report (1.500 words).

The increase of philosophical studies is accompanied by the

The individual supplementary area must contain at least one complete module. The remaining credit points can gained by means of single courses. The modules and courses can be chosen from the range of courses at Bielefeld University without restriction.
You can find a document with detailed information on the individual supplementary area in the top right sidebar.

The third stage of your studies consists of the

In the fourth semester, you are intended to write the master's thesis comprising about 25.000 words. Subsequently, the contents of the master's thesis are discussed in a disputation colloquium (60 minutes).

You can find examples for possible courses of study here (in German). See also the examination regulations (in German) and the list of modules with descriptions.

The current range of courses ...

... you can find here.

Application and Admission

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Any more questions? Ask academic master's student counselor, Dr. Roland Kipke.

Dr. Roland Kipke

Dr. Roland Kipke

Akademische Studienberatung Master

You can find information about the application procedure here. The documents required for application are specified in the subject-specific regulations. You can find information about the enrolment procedure here. The documents required for enrolment are specified here. Dates and deadlines concerning application, enrolment and more are listed here.

Please note that there may be admission restrictions for applicants with foreign educational certificate.

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