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The Teacher-Training Programme

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Bielefeld School of Education

Study advisory service

Homepage
www.uni-bielefeld.de/bised
E-Mail
lehrerausbildung@uni-bielefeld.de
Office
UHG L5

Bielefeld University’s teacher-training programme is characterised by its practice-based focus and educational innovation. It was one of the first universities in Germany to introduce practical teaching elements, and has integrated them more closely into the course curriculum. The two experimental schools in Bielefeld, the Laborschule (Laboratory School) and Oberstufenkolleg (High School College), have been a driving force for important initiatives in school reform for over 40 years.

The special and inclusive education programme, established in 2002 and unique in Germany, serves as a model for teacher training in the age of inclusion. 

Which Teaching Professions can I study in Bielefeld?

Combined Bachelor with Teacher-training Option

Teacher-training Bachelor (6 semesters)
for Advanced Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Gymnasien' and 'Gesamtschulen', GymGe)

major subject
90 credit points
minor subject
60 credit points
Educational Sciences
30 credit points
Bachelor's thesis

This programme type with the professional goal of becoming a teacher at Advanced Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Gymnasium' and 'Gesamtschule', GymGe) combines a major subject (90 credit points) with a minor subject (60 credit points) and Educational Sciences (30 credit points). Students who wish to become teachers must follow this programme type with a Master of Education for Advanced Secondary and Comprehensive Schools (GymGe ).

This programme type is similar to the structure of the combined Bachelor's degree with one minor subject (academic, non-teaching). Therefore, it is theoretically possible to switch between these two programme types during the first semesters. In any case, early consultation is required.

Overview of the major subjects (Advanced Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Gymnasium' and 'Gesamtschule', GymGe))

Overview of the minor subjects (Advanced Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Gymnasium' and 'Gesamtschule', GymGe))

Information on Educational Sciences

Overview of possible subject combinations (Advanced Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Gymnasium' and 'Gesamtschule', GymGe))

Teacher-training Bachelor (6 semesters)
for Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule', HRSGe))

subject
60 credit points
subject
60 credit points
Educational Sciences
60 credit points
Bachelor's thesis
in one of the subjects or in Educational Sciences
10 credit points

In this programme type with the professional goal of becoming a teacher at Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule', HRSGe), two subjects (60 credit points each) are combined with Educational Sciences (60 credit points). Students who wish to become teachers must follow this programme type with a Master of Education for Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule', HRSGe).

Interested students can also specialize in Special and Inclusive Education and acquire the qualification Educational Science for Special Needs
with the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education with a further master's degree. In this case, however, one of the subjects chosen must already be German Studies or Mathematics in the Bachelor's degree and the other subject must be one of the following: English Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Protestant Theology, German Studies, History, Art, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Social Sciences, or Sports Science.

This programme type is similar to the structure of the combined Bachelor's degree with one minor subject (academic, non-teaching). Therefore, it is theoretically possible to switch between these two programme types during the first semesters. In any case, early consultation is required.

Overview of the subjects (Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule', HRSGe))

Information on Educational Sciences

Overview of possible subject combinations (Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule', HRSGe))

Teacher-training Bachelor (6 semesters)
for Primary Schools ('Grundschulen', G)

major subject¹
Bachelor's thesis
60 credit points
subject
('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich')
40 credit points
subject
('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich')
40 credit points
Educational Sciences
40 credit points
¹ intensively studied 'Unterrichtsfach/studierter Lernbereich'
  Note: Elementary Mathematics and German Literacy must be studied

In this programme type with the professional goal of becoming a teacher at Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G), a 'Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich', as well as the two 'Lernbereiche' German Literacy ('Deutsch') and Elementary Mathematics ("Mathematik") must be studied. One of these ('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich') is studied as a major subject to the extent of 60 credit points. The other two elements are studied to an extent of 40 credit points each. In addition, there are the Educational Sciences, also with 40 credit points. If you wish to become a teacher, you must follow this programme type with a Master of Education for Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G).

You can still change the major subject in all semesters following enrolment. To do so, it is only necessary to apply for this change by means of the application for change of programme in the Student Office by November 15th or May 15th, respectively. In case of a major subject change during the bachelor course, the current subject-related semester will be continued, by handing in the form (PDF) 'Vordruck für den Wechsel des Schwerpunktfachs'. An application for recognition and classification is not necessary. Special regulations may apply for 'BAföG' recipients; please seek advice from the 'Studierendenwerk' before changing the subject. In case of a change during the Master's programme, you have to reapply for the Master of Education programme; for this, please refer to the BiSEd's information on approval for external / additional applicants.
It is strongly recommended to consultat the BiSEd before applying for a change of major subject in order to discuss any advantages and disadvantages that may arise.

Overview of the specialisation subjects (Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G))

Overview of subjects (Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G))

Information on Educational Sciences

Overview of possible subject combinations (Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G))

Teacher-training Bachelor (6 semesters)
for Primary Schools ('Grundschulen') with a Focus on Special and Inclusive Education (G ISP)

major subject ('Schwerpunktfach')
Educational Sciences/
special and inclusive education
Bachelor's thesis
60 credit points
Elementary
Mathematics
40 credit points
German
Literacy
40 credit points
subject
('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich')
40 credit points

This programme type with the professional goal of becoming a teacher at Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G) with Integrated Teacher-training for Special Education (G ISP) allows specialisation in special and inclusive education with the special education subjects "Emotional and social development" and "Learning". A 'Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich' (40 credit points), as well as the two 'Lernbereiche' German Literacy ('Deutsch') and Elementary Mathematics ("Mathematik") (40 credit points each) must be studied. In addition, there are the Educational Sciences - Integrated Teacher-training for Special Education, which are studied as a major subject (60 credit points). If you want to become a teacher, you have to follow this programme type with a Master of Education for Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G) with Integrated Teacher-training for Special Education (G ISP). For the qualification in the context of Special Education, a further (one-year) study programme in

Educational Science for Special Needs in Special and Inclusive Education must be connected to this Master's degree.

Overview of the subjects for the teaching profession at Primary Schools with Integrated Teacher-training for Special Education (G ISP)

Information on Educational Sciences - Integrated Teacher-training for Special Education

Overview of possible subject combinations for the teaching profession at Primary Schools with Integrated Teacher-training for Special Education (G ISP)

Master of Education

Master's Programme for the Teaching Profession(4 semesters)
at Advanced Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Gymnasium' and 'Gesamtschule', GymGe)

subject¹
20 credit points
subject²
40 credit points
Educational
Sciences
14 credit points
German as a Second Language
6 credit points
Teaching Experience Semester 25 credit points
Master's thesis in one of the sujects or Educational Sciences 15 credit points
¹ Continuation of the major subject from the Bachelor's degree
² Continuation of the minor subject from the Bachelor's degree

Master's Programme for the Teaching Profession (4 semesters)
at Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule', HRSGe)

subject¹
30 or 20 credit points respectively
subject¹
20 credit points
Educational Sciences
24 or 34 credit points respectively
German as a Second Language
6 credit points
Teaching Experience Semester
25 credit points
Master's thesis in one of the subjects or Educational Sciences
15 credit points
¹ Continuation of the two subjects from the Bachelor's degree

Master's Programme for the Teaching Profession (4 semesters)
at Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule')
with a Focus on Special and Inclusive Education (HRSGe/ISP)

subject¹
30 or 20 credit points respectively
subject¹
20 credit points
Educational Sciences or
Educational Sciences - Integrated Teacher Training for Special Education
24 or 34 credit points respectively
German as a Second Language
6 credit points
Teaching Experience Semester
25 credit points
Master's thesis in one of the subjects or Educational Sciences
15 credit points
¹ Continuation of the subjects from the Bachelor's degreee
  Note: One of the subjects has to be German Studies or Mathematics

The (first) Master's degree ends with the qualification for the teaching profession at Secondary and Comprehensive Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschule', HRSGe). In order to additionally acquire the qualification for the career perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education, the additional (second) Master's degree "Educational Science for Special Needs with the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education" is required. The second Master has a four semester standard period of study, but only lasts two semesters for Bielefeld Bachelor and Master graduates. Special approval requirements apply to this Master's degree:
At least one of the two subjects must be German Studies or Mathematics. Other subjects to choose from are: English Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Protestant Theology, German Studies, History, Art (from winter semester 2024/25), Mathematics, Music (from winter semester 2024/25), Philosophy, Physics, Social Sciences or Sports Science.

Master's Programme for the Teaching Profession (4 semesters)
at Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G)

major subject¹
20 credit points
subject²
('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich')
15 credit points
subject²
('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich')
15 credit points
German as a Second Language
6 credit points
Educational Sciences
24 credit points
Teaching Experience Semester 25 credit points
Master's thesis in one of the subjects or Educational Sciences
15 credit points
¹ Continuation of the major subject from the Bachelor's degree
² Continuation of the minor subject from the Bachelor's degree

Master's Programme for the Teaching Profession (4 semester)
at Primary Schools ('Grundschule') with a focus on Special and Inclusive Education (G/ISP)

major subject
Educational Sciences
/ Integrated Teacher Training for Special Education
29 credit points
Elementary Mathematics
15 credit points
German Literacy
15 credit points
German as a Second Language
6 credit points
subject¹
('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich')
15 credit points
Teaching Experience Semester 25 credit points
Master's thesis in one of the subjects or Educational Sciences 15 credit points
¹ Continuation of the subject ('Unterrichtsfach' or 'Lernbereich') from the Bachelor's degree

The (first) Master's degree ends with the qualification for the teaching profession at Primary Schools ('Grundschule', G). In order to additionally acquire the qualification for the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education, the additional (second) Master's degree "Educational Science for Special Needs with the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education" is required. The second Master has a standard period of study of four semesters, but only lasts two semesters for Bielefeld Bachelor and Master graduates.

Master's Programme Educational Science for Special Needs
with the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education
(4 semesters, shortening to 2 semesters possible by credit recognition)

special education subject „Learning“
50 credit points (shortening to
26 credit points possible by credit recognition)
special education subject "Emotional and social development"
55 credit points (shortening to
34 credit points possible by credit recognition)
Master's thesis in one of the special education subjects ('Förderschwerpunkte')
15 credit points (credit recognition possible)

Prerequisite for the Master's degree "Educational Science for Special Needs with the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education / Primary Schools" is a Master's degree for the teaching profession at Primary Schools or for the teaching profession at Secondary Schools ('Haupt-', 'Real-', 'Sekundar-' and 'Gesamtschulen') (one of the subjects must be German Studies or Mathematics). In order to additionally acquire the qualification for the career perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education, the additional (second) Master's degree "Educational Science for Special Needs with the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education" is required. The second Master's degree has a four semester standard period of study, but only lasts two semesters for Bielefeld Bachelor's and Master's graduates.

Teacher Training Sections

In the school-specific Bachelor's degree programmes, the selected subjects and Educational Sciences must be studied. The combination of subjects is continued in the Master of Education, in which the Teaching Experience Semester with preparatory training is also completed. In order to meet the growing intercultural challenges in everyday school life, the Master also includes the module "German as a Second Language".

Students who wish to become teachers for special needs education must follow the Master of Education with an additional one-year Master's degree in Educational Science for Special Needs with the Career Perspective Teacher in Special and Inclusive Education.

Following the Master's programme, the 18-month preparatory service ('Referendariat') is completed under the responsibility of the state (and without the involvement of the universities).

Integration within the Bielefeld Study Model

Bachelor graduates acquire - depending on the chosen combination of subjects - either the degree "Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)" or "Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)", regardless of whether they studied a subject with or without the professional goal of becoming a teacher.

In order to become a teacher, you must follow the school-specific Bachelor course with a Master of Education. In principle, the teaching-related Bachelor's degree also opens the door to a career outside the classroom and, in some cases, to an academic master degree programme. In case of a change, please ask for advice from the respective departmental student advisor.

Counseling Services and Information for the Teacher-training Programme

The Bielefeld School of Education (BiSEd) at Bielefeld University offers information and advice related to the teaching profession. On the website you will find information for prospective students and students of the teaching profession. Teacher-training students at Bielefeld University have the opportunity to intensively examine their own choice of study or career and the complex profile of requirements as a teacher with the offers of team 'PULS' in the 'Zentrum Praxisreflexion in der Lehrer*innenbildung'. The focus of the offers is on the promotion of observation and reflection skills.

On a separate page you will find all information about the theory-in-practice courses in the teacher-training programme.

The BiSEd staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Overview of all contacts.

In addition, the Ministry of Education of North Rhine-Westphalia provides you with basic information for the teaching profession.

Frequently Asked Questions

The choice of the teacher-training programme depends primarily on who and how you want to teach and support. It is also helpful to consider the age of the pupils in each type of school. For example, do you want to introduce young children to learning, support children and young people with special challenges, or guide young adults to the 'Abitur'? A look at the employment opportunities can also support the decision: Especially in the fields of 'Hauptschule', 'Realschule', 'Sekundarschule', 'Gesamtschule', 'Grundschule', but also 'Integrated Special Education', there are good hiring opportunities. There is also a great demand for teachers in the STEM ('MINT') subjects (with the exception of biology). Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that you teach the content for a long time. So you should be interested in what you teach and study what you feel enthusiasm for.

Estimations of hiring opportunities are available, for example, from the NRW Ministry of Education. However, the data basis for the estimations is only updated at longer intervals. Guided self-explorations, e.g. on the choice of subjects, are offered by the Carrer Counselling for Teachers portal.

As a teacher-trainign student, do you dare to look beyond your own nose? Why not do a teaching experience semester abroad or study abroad for a semester? In perspective of multicultural classrooms and the demands of (cultural) heterogeneity and inclusion, it is helpful for you as a future teacher to gain intercultural and international experience during your studies.

It's worth browsing through these pages.

There are the modules "Internationalization" for English Studies or "Intercultural and Professional Competence" for French and Spanish, in which a stay abroad of at least three months is planned, e.g. in the form of an internship.

Alternatively, however, the module "Internationalization at home" for English Studies can be chosen in justified cases.

In the area of teacher training, special approval requirements apply to the Bachelor's degree for the subjects Art, Music, Latin and Physical Education:

Art, Music: Aptitude Test
Note: In the teacher training programmes, if the aptitude test for art or music is passed, the 'Abitur' grade for the application procedure is improved by a whole grade.

Latin: Proof of inguistic aptitude

Sports: Proof of aptitude

At Bielefeld University, the 'Latinum' is only required for some subjects in the teaching degree for advanced secondary and comprehensive schools. The Master's degree for History requires proof of knowledge at the level of the 'kleines Latinum' and for Philosophy proof of knowledge at the level of the 'kleines Latinum' or the 'kleines Graecum'. In the subject Latin, approval for the Bachelor course already requires the 'Latinum'; for the Master's degree, the 'Graecum' is then additionally required.

There are practical studies for professional orientation with aptitude reflection as well as a theory-in-practice course in the Bachelor's programme. In addition, a practical semester with preparatory training must be completed in the master's programme.

An overview of the theory-in-practice courses can be found here.

(An aptitude internship before course start is not necessary).

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