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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Studies | Counselling Services | Leaflets and FAQ | Bachelor’s and master’s courses at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Bachelor’s and master’s courses at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin offers the full spectrum of degree programmes of a very modern and research-led university (Course catalogue). All our courses, except those in Law and Protestant Theology, are at Bachelor's or Master's degree level. Courses in Medicine have some specific features. Information on them is available from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.


Bachelor's

Master's


What is a bachelor’s degree, what do B.A. and B.Sc. mean?

The bachelor’s course is the first part in a multi-level structure of study programmes. It teaches fundamental academic knowledge, methodological competence and provides professional qualification that enable graduates to enter the world of work. HU aims to combine theory and practice to prepare graduates for a life in academia as well as for jobs outside of university teaching and research. Bachelor’s courses lead to a first professional university qualification.

B.A. and B.Sc. are abbreviations of the academic degrees that are awarded at  HU. They stand for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. The title depends on the subject that has the most weight on the course. For example, graduates of courses in the fields of the natural sciences or mathematics receive a B.Sc., while the B.A. is awarded for courses largely within the humanities and social sciences.

What are the features of a bachelor’s programme?

  • The course and examination regulations contain clear guidelines on course content, learning outcomes and the organisation of the programme.
  • The programme has a modular structure. Modules are hierarchically-structured programme units containing the respective subject areas or methodological/theoretical complexes and are to be completed over a fixed period of time. They may last for one or more semesters. Students usually take the individual modules in a specific order.
  • Credits are awarded when a module is successfully completed (passed). The value of the credits corresponds to the provisions of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). They record the workload the students need to master. This includes regular attendance at lectures, preparatory and follow-up work and the examination taken at the end of a module. One credit is assigned the notional workload of 25 to 30 hours.
  • The exams are taken during the programme at the end of each module. This means that the module marks are included in the final mark from the outset. At the end of the study programme, students write their bachelor’s thesis.

What is a mono-bachelor's course?

On a mono-bachelor's course, you study a subject and the additional professional qualification. Mono-bachelor courses are made up of 180 credit points (CP). They are divided into a compulsory area, a subject-related elective area and an interdisciplinary elective area. At least 40 CP are reserved for the subject-related elective area and interdisciplinary elective area. The interdisciplinary elective area makes up at least 20 CP. Although the subjects available for this may be limited, students must be able to freely select at least 10 CP.

What is a combined bachelor's course?

Combined bachelor’s courses consist of 180 credit points (CP) and involve studying two subjects: the core subject and the secondary subject.
The core subject consists of 120 credit points (CP) and is divided into a mandatory area, subject-specific mandatory elective area and a mandatory interdisciplinary elective area (at least 20 CP).

The secondary subject has 60 credit points (CP). The subjects can be freely combined as long as the subject-related study regulations do not contain any restrictions (see following table).

Combined courses may also be studied with the aim of obtaining the admission requirements for a teacher training master’s programme. For further information see the course catalogue ‘Combined bachelor’s degrees with teacher training option’ and refer to ‘Lehramtsstudium'.

Can I choose any secondary subject to go with my core subject or are there restrictions?

When choosing your secondary subject, please use the information in ‘Combined Bachelor (not qualifying for the teaching profession)’ in the course catalogue as a guide. The following overview shows whether or not you are free to select any secondary subject from the list and where there are restrictions.

Note: If you intend to qualify as a teacher, please use the information in ‘Combined bachelor’s degrees with teacher training option’ in the course catalogue as a guide. For information on suitable subject combinations, refer to ‘Lehramtsstudium'.

Core Subject Secondary Subject

Please note: German Sign Language as a secondary subject can be combined only with Deaf Studies as core subject.

Agri- and Horticultural Scienes free choice of secondary subject
American Studies not combinable with English Studies
Ancient Greek Studies free choice of secondary subject
Archaeology and Cultural History of North-East Africa free choice of secondary subject
Biology Physics
Business Education (Economics and Administration) not combinable with Business Administration and Economics
Classical Archaeology free choice of secondary subject
Cultural Theory and History free choice of secondary subject
Deaf Studies German Sign Language is compulsory; if knowledge of German Sign Language worth 60 credit points can be proved, subjects can be combined freely.
Education Studies free choice of secondary subject
English Studies not combinable with American Studies
European Ethnology free choice of secondary subject
Fine Art and Image History free choice of secondary subject
French Studies free choice of secondary subject
German Linguistics not combinable with German Studies
German Literature Studies not combinable with German Studies
German Studies not combinable with German Literature Studies and German Linguistics
Historical Linguistics free choice of secondary subject
History free choice of secondary subject
Hungarian Literature and Cultural Studies free choice of secondary subject
Italian Studies free choice of secondary subject
Latin Studies free choice of secondary subject
Library and Information Science free choice of secondary subject
Musicology free choice of secondary subject
Philosophy free choice of secondary subject
Protestant Theology free choice of secondary subject
Russian Studies not combinable with Slavic Languages and Literature Studies if Russian language was chosen as a core subject
Scandinavian and Northern European Studies free choice of secondary subject
Slavic Languages and Literature Studies not combinable with Russian Studies if the Russian language was chosen as core subject
Spanish Studies free choice of secondary subject

Can I study the subjects at two universities in Berlin?

Not as a rule. The ‘Course catalogue’ details the exceptions in the area of teacher training.

How do I get a place on a bachelor’s course?

You can find information and contacts related to the application/enrolment/registration procedures on this website: ‘How to apply’. There are also FAQ sections on changing subjects and changing universities for the same course.

How do I organise my studies?

The courses at HU are designed to be clearly structured and have high standards for learning and qualification outcomes. The course and examination regulations contain detailed module descriptions that provide information about programme size, subject matter and requirements, including the module examinations. A suggested course curriculum supports you in planning and organising your studies. Also remember that HU is spread across several different sites, especially if you are considering a combined bachelor’s course. You will find further suggestions in the FAQ ‘Tips for Beginners’.

Can I also study abroad?

HU participates in a wide range of exchange programmes. If you want to spend some time studying abroad, you can count on the university’s support. Some courses even require you to spend some time abroad. You can find information in your faculties/departments and from the International Office. If you want the work you do overseas to count towards your course, you need to arrange ‘learning agreements’ with your subject area.

What is a master’s degree, and what do M.A., M.Sc. and M.Ed. mean?

The second stage of the consecutive course structure is a master’s programme. To enrol on a master’s programme, you usually need to have graduated from a university. The master’s programme leads to a further professional qualification. You can embark on a master’s programme straight after finishing your bachelor’s or after a phase of work. Sometimes you even need to complete a master’s programme to achieve a certain qualification objective, such as a teacher training qualification or a doctoral degree. Master’s programmes are made up of 60, 90 or 120 CP (standard time for completing course: 2-4 semesters). They are divided into a mandatory area, subject-specific mandatory elective area and a mandatory interdisciplinary elective area. HU offers:

  • Consecutive master’s courses as advanced, broader or cross-disciplinary programmes. Special rules apply to the Master of Education.
  • Continuing education master’s courses, which as a rule, require professional experience of at least one year and may be subject to fees.

M.A., M.Sc. and M.Ed. are the abbreviations for academic degrees that can be obtained at the HU. The first two stand for Master of Arts and Master of Science, which are based on the subject area that has the most weight on the course. The M.Ed. (Master of Education) is reserved for those pursuing a career in teaching. There are also other master’s titles, mainly in the area of the continuing education master’s courses.

What are the features of a master’s programme?

The structure of bachelor’s courses is repeated at the master’s level. Master’s courses are modular, exams are taken during the programme and the master’s thesis is written at the end. However, there are more opportunities to develop a personal intellectual profile, prioritise your interests and engage in more advanced scientific work. In the case of the Master of Education, the advanced education on the specific subject goes hand-in-hand with educational and didactic topics as well as practical experience in schools.

Which master’s programmes are available at HU and how do I obtain a place?

You can see which master’s programmes HU offers in the ‘Course catalogue’. The subject names link to the relevant Web pages. You will also find links to the course and examination regulations (SO and PO) and, if applicable, information about the course language or special applica­tion deadlines and procedures. As each Master’s programme makes its own regulations in terms of admission requirements and selection criteria, you can find brief information on this in the course catalogue and links to the more detailed ZSP-HU admission regulations (ZZR); furthermore contacts you can approach directly if you have any questions.

During the application periods, you apply online (for deadlines, see ‘Academic calendars and deadlines’ and ‘Course catalogue’). You will find application tips and notes on this website: ‘How to apply’.

Can I apply for a master’s course before I have finished my bachelor’s course?

If you are in the final phase of your bachelor’s degree programme, under certain conditions you can still begin your master’s course while your degree is pending. For further information please visit the homepage of the Admission Office.

Information as of: May 2017