The M.A. Development Studies enables students to develop the advanced knowledge, analytical skills, and conceptual frameworks required to understand and navigate the complexities of economic and social development. Students enrolled in the programme gain insights into the economic, social, ethical, and cultural contexts and constraints of development. The programme provides outstanding opportunities to put theory into practice through international field research, with a strong focus on integrating quantitative and qualitative methods. The programme addresses the worldwide need for experts in the expanding field of development research as well as for project managers in international development cooperation and is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in social science and mid-career professionals in any development-related field. Qualified students from developing and emerging countries are particularly welcome.
The programme is entirely taught in English, offers a strong focus on quantitative and qualitative methods, includes ample opportunities for field research, and offers a unique selection of language courses, including German as a Foreign Language.
The master's programme is accredited and bears the quality seal of the German Accreditation Council.
The M.A. Development Studies is an interdisciplinary master's programme with a standard period of study of four semesters and an overall workload of 120 ECTS credits, which can be taken up only in the winter semester. At the end of the programme, the academic degree "Master of Arts (M.A.)" is awarded.
Since the winter semester 2019/20, a new study and examination regulations (FStuPO 2019) including a new module catalogue (FStuPO 2019) have been in force. For students who started their studies before that date, the previousstudy and examination regulations (StuPO 2015) including the respective module catalogue (StuPO 2015) remain valid.
Courses can be found via the course administration and learning management system Stud.IP. Please pay attention to the version of the study and examination regulations that applies to you!
Study counselling is provided by the Study Course Coordination of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The academic advisor for the M. A. Development Studies is Dr Christian Dölle. Basic information on studying at the University of Passau can be obtained from the Academic Advice Service.
We recommend that you consult your academic advisor if you have questions about planning your studies, choosing your major fields of study, or changing your course of study or university. He also supports you in planning internships and/or study abroad periods.
The study course coordinator is also available to help you with any problems that may arise in the course of your studies, e.g. if you have repeatedly failed exams!
Studying abroad can be an important part of your curriculum. In order to be able to carry out your studies in as structured a manner as possible and to make the later recognition of credit pioint acquired abroad as uncomplicated as possible, we recommend that you plan your stay abroad carefully. General information about the wide range of partner universities, among other things, can be obtained from the International Office. For a more detailed counselling, please contact your study course coordinator.
Before you decide on your choice of courses, get a precise overview of the modules still to be completed in your degree programme. Then consult the person responsible for the module(s) with the relevant information. To find out who is responsible for a specific module, please refer to either the module catalogue (StuPO 2015) or the module catalogue (FStuPO 2019), depending on the version of the study and exam regulations that applies to you.
Erasmus+ and Non-EU partner universities
To study abroad at a partner university under the Erasmus+ scheme, but also outside the European Union, you will need both individual learning agreements for each course you wish to take and a framework learning agreement. You can find the relevant forms in the Download Center of the International Office as well as the Study Abroad Guide of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (German; an English translation will be published soon), which will inform you about the procedures during all stages of your stay abroad. Please submit all duly completed learning agreements to the Study Course Coordination.
For studying abroad outside our network of partner universities as a fee mover, it is still compulsory to conclude individual learning agreements so that the later reocognitions process is as easy as possible. You can use a similiar form as for the Erasmus+ scheme from the Download Center, but there is no need for a framework learning agreement. However, the general regulations of the Study Abroad Guide remain valid in this case as well.
Study stays abroad
Provided that you have carefully planned your study stay abroad in advance (see section "Studying abroad"), the later recognition of modules is usually unproblematic. For recognition, please bring the following documents with you to the office hours of the Study Course Coordination or send it via mail:
- transcript of records from your host university (a copy is sufficient)
- guidelines for grade conversion if provided by your host university
- individual learning agreements concluded before the start of the study abroad period
- fully completed recognition form
- fully completed form for recording stays abroad according to the amended German Higher Education Statistics Act (HStatG)
The program coordinator will take care of the conversion of your grades and the final recognition. Only in cases of doubt (missing or incomplete individual learning agreements) you might have to see the module coordinator again to have the qualification aims of your courses checked and recognised. Please note that learning agreements to be recognised by the School of Business, Economics and Information Systems need to be handed it in directly with the Dean's Office.
Please note that for all courses in political science, in addition to the conversion of grades after your stay, the Study Course Coordinator is also responsible for the content verification (individual learning agreements) before your stay abroad.
If you want to integrate modules into the M.A. DVS curriculum which you have already acquired either through previous studies at another university or in another degreee programme at the University of Passau, the same procedures apply as for the recognition of courses from a studies abroad period. When you apply for the recognition of credits, you first contact the respective module coordinators and finally submit the completed recognition form to the Study Course Coordination for signature. If you need any help with that in advance, please contact your Study Course Coordinator.
Afterwards, the Examination Office takes over the registration of the grades.
Please note that due to an amendment to the German Higher Education Statistics Act (HStatG), for all degrees earned from the winter semester 2016/17 onwards stays abroad must be recorded separately on this form. This applies to study stays abroad, internships abroad and projects works abroad. Please enclose the completed form directly with the other documents necessary for recognition.
In the master's programme "Development Studies" you will not be required to complete a compulsory internship. In module area D "Transfer", however, you will have to complete a project work. The aim of the project work is to put the theoretical knowledge already acquired into practice in a project, preferably outside the University.
There are two options for your project: Either you complete it as part of a voluntary internship, or you carry out an independent project outside the university, e.g. a research project related to your degree programme.
If you decide to do an internship, the Centre for Careers and Competencies will be happy to support you in all other questions concerning internships and internship scholarships. There you will also find an extensive job portal. Please also consult the Internship Guidelines for Bachelor's and Master's Programmes of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the additional information (German) due to the current Covid19 situation. Unfortunately, for legal reasons, no internship confirmation about a mandatory job placement can be issued. Nevertheless, you can obtain a confirmation that the internship is recommended and beneficial to the success of your studies upon request from the Study Course Coordination.