Postgraduate study in Germany

22 Jun 2023, 13:20

There is a great variety of postgraduate options to choose from in Germany.

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The German education system offers thousands of degree programmes at more than 300 institutions. You can take a research-orientated programme at a university, a more vocational course at a Fachhochschule (university of applied science) or an artistic programme at one of the colleges of art, film or music.

Germany has a two-cycle bachelors/masters system similar to that of ROI and NI. This means that it is now easier for graduates with a primary degree from ROI/NI to study a masters qualification in Germany. Many of these courses are taught in English in conjunction with a German language course. You can also undertake a doctoral programme: many international students complete research in Germany, particularly in the sciences. Bachelors, masters and doctorates have replaced the conventional German degrees ( Diplom or Magister ).

How to apply

To apply for a masters or doctoral programme, contact the university direct. If you are applying for a structured programme you will need to contact the course director for admission. Otherwise you can contact the international department, which is responsible for admissions from students with non-German qualifications. If you want to carry out a doctorate that is not part of a structured programme then you should contact the person you'd like to supervise you directly.

Entry requirements

Always check the language requirements of specific courses and universities before applying. To study the masters courses in English there is usually no need to pass a German language test. More information about German language requirements can be found at > information for foreigners > learn German > how to learn German > tests for the access of higher education.


Each federal state has its own policy on charging tuition fees, and at what level, but many now charge for the masters courses. An average fee is around €500 per semester plus an additional 'semester fee' of around €50–€250. At some universities the fee includes a 'semester ticket', which allows you to use public transport in your university town free of charge. Doctoral programmes are still free.

Funding your course

Information about scholarships for international students can be found at .

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