At a glance

  • Field of study

    social sciences, humanities and linguistics
  • Degree type

  • Degree

    Master of Arts
  • Language of instruction

    German, some English
  • Full/part-time

    part-time, full-time
  • Course start

    winter semester
  • Admission restriction

    national admission restriction
  • Standard period of study

    Four semesters

  • ECTS credits



  • Completion of a six-semester BA programme in history or cultural studies, a six-semester BA programme in social sciences or a certificate recognised as equivalent by law or by the competent state authority;
  • knowledge of German at B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and
  • knowledge of English at B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and
  • knowledge of another modern foreign language at B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


The research-oriented and interdisciplinary master’s programme in European Studies analyses the European unification process in the form of its deepening and enlargement. Europe is considered as a political, economic, social and cultural project from a historical perspective. Central themes of Leipzig’s MA programme in European Studies are the historical moments and social arenas of processes of Europeanisation in their diversity and openness. The programme is not limited to a single interpretative approach. Instead, the aim is to enable students to make independent contributions to this scientific and political debate, which reaches into the future, and thereby increase their employability.

The programme assumes that processes of Europeanisation:

  • are not phenomena of recent decades, and their analysis thus demands adequate historical depth;
  • can be reduced not only to economic processes and their social consequences, but also include the development of political-cultural patterns of consent or defence;
  • cannot be analysed as processes of homogenisation alone, but must also be considered in terms of the differentiating effect from the perspective of European regions; and that
  • any consideration of the effect of European contexts ultimately depends on the location and the perspective of the interpreter.

Since the Middle Ages, Leipzig, a city of trade fairs, media and books, has been regarded as a hub for the transfer of science, business and culture linking Western and Eastern Europe. Leipzig University, too, has a long tradition of Europe-based research. Since 1990, the potential of Europe-based research, teaching and information services has been systematically developed using the foundations laid in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Leipzig can boast a concentration of corresponding expertise that is unique in Germany and Europe. In addition to research, the University has also carved a name for itself in the field of teaching European studies. There is close cooperation with the Collaborative Research Centre 1199 on “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition”, with Leipzig University’s France Centre, and with various non-university research institutions that conduct social, cultural and spatial research on Europe: the Leibniz Institute for History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) and the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow (DI).

In the first and second semesters, the focus is usually on considering EU Europe after its enlargement in 2004 from a historical, political, legal and economic geographical perspective. In the second semester, this content is studied in greater detail, but students can also select specialisations of their own. In addition, the module “European institutions and political systems” offers the opportunity to take part in an excursion to Brussels. Students who obtained their bachelor’s degree at a German university are required to stay abroad during the second or third semester. In the third semester, students select three modules from a range of interdisciplinary compulsory elective modules: “Europeanisation in Eastern, Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe”, “Western Europe in the Europeanisation of the 19th to 21st centuries”, “European cultural history of the Jews”, “Religions in contemporary European societies” and “Research internship”. In the fourth semester, students prepare their master’s thesis and also take an advanced module entitled “Current research in European studies”.

Starting in the winter semester 2018/19, it will also be possible to complete the master’s programme with a specialisation in “Eastern Europe – Global Area”. In addition to the compulsory modules, further elective modules focusing on Eastern Europe in its global context are offered in close cooperation with the Leibniz Campus “Eastern Europe – Global Area”.

In recent decades, the importance of the European unification process, in the form of a deepening and enlargement of the European Union, has grown rapidly. Numerous European studies programmes have responded to this, both throughout Europe and in the Federal Republic of Germany. Furthermore, a certain canonisation of the foundations of European studies has now occurred. This concerns historical foundations as well as economic, political and legal forms of Europeanisation. In a growing professional market, the acquisition of this knowledge is a binding prerequisite for positions in the national and transnational administrations of European processes, in companies and in non-governmental organisations. The master’s programme in Leipzig responds to these challenges by taking up and considering from a historical perspective the scientific and political discussion about Europe as a political, economic, social and cultural project, and researching paradigms to describe and analytically penetrate Europe. The European Studies MA is primarily conceived as an academic programme. It does, however, prepare students for a number of occupational fields away from the university.

In combination with the respective professional qualification from study at bachelor’s level, it opens up access to:

  • intergovernmental institutions, multilateral organisations and non-governmental organisations
  • intercultural mediation
  • journalism and communication
  • the fields of economics and management.

The programme offers students the opportunity to complete an internship, which is intended to establish both subject-related and personal foundations for their future professional field. It can also be the basis for a practically relevant master’s thesis topic. The following institutions are partner institutes for internships:

  • Leibniz Institute for History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO)
  • Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow (DI)
  • Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL)
  • Leipzig University France Centre


Course start: winter semester
Admission restriction (NCU): yes
Application period: 2 May–31 May
Application portal: AlmaWeb

International students can find information about application periods and how to apply here.

Options in the winter semester: 3rd semester – without restrictions on admission
Options in the summer semester: 2nd semester and 4th semester – each without restrictions on admission
Application period: 2 May–15 September for the winter semester; 1 December–15 March for the summer semester
Application portal: AlmaWeb
Special enrolment requirements: credits form (Anrechnungsbescheid)

International students can find information about application periods and how to apply here.


One semester of study at a foreign partner university