• Orientate Yourself
  • Inform Yourself
  • Online Test
  • Degree Programmes
  • Begin Studies

Development Economics and International Studies (MA)

What is the degree programme about?

The “Master of Arts in Development Economics and International Studies” (MA DEIS) is an economics-centered program designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of students planning to work in or seek leadership responsibilities in public, non-profit, and private sector organizations for international cooperation and development. It is also aimed at students intending to work at the intersection between research and practice and at those pursuing an academic career in study-related subjects.

It is a two-year (four-semester) program and includes rigorous training in analytical as well as qualitative and quantitative methods. In particular, with the increasing availability of data and the importance of evidence-based policy making, students learn how to do applied empirical work, with a special emphasis on impact evaluations (both experimental methods, such as randomized field experiments, and quasi-experimental methods). As part of this training, students will become acquainted with the statistical software Stata.

Each year, a group of about 20 students enrolls in the programme with 50%-70% of students coming from abroad. The language of instruction is English.

What type of Bachelor's degree do I need?

The Master's degree programme is open to students with a Bachelor's degree in economics or a related field. Applicants should have at least 70 ECTS in economics/management including at least basic knowledge of (a minimum of 5 ECTS each in) microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics/econometrics.

Modules and degree programme structure

The DEIS programme of study has four required core module pairs. These are designed to provide students with rigorous academic training. Each of these module pairs is taught over the course of two consecutive semesters, and they are compulsory for all students:

Research Methods I + II: These modules introduce students to quantitative methods that are used in economics to empirically test theories and to evaluate the impact of policies. Students also learn to work with the statistical software Stata.

Development Economics I + II: These modules give an introduction to the economics of developing countries. A significant part of the modules is devoted to discussing empirical work, such as impact evaluations of programs run by state and non-state actors in developing countries.

International Economics I + II: These modules offer an introduction to the theory and policy of international trade, and introduce students to empirical work in this field.

International Business Ethics I + II: These modules introduce students to the theory and concepts of business ethics as well as to a series of ethical challenges currently facing the corporate world by taking an international and inter-cultural perspective of analysis and problem solving.

Additionally, students in the DEIS programme take at least two regional modules, such as Political Economy of the Middle East, Social Health Protection in South and East Asia, Business and Society in Latin America.

There is a choice of various elective modules offered by the Institute of Economics, such as Behavioral Development Economics and Development Economics and Policy, which may vary over time. Students may also enroll in graduate-level courses on diverse topics of International Studies at other institutes of the Faculty, such as courses on human rights, as well as in graduate-level courses offered by the School of Business, Economics, and Society in Nuremberg.

Finally, students can take several complementary elective modules that are ungraded. Besides regional and elective modules, students can choose among numerous language courses (e.g. Chinese, Spanish, Swahili) at various levels. Students may also earn up to 10 ECTS for completing an internship related to the program.

The DEIS programme requires the completion of:

  • 4 core module pairs (40 ECTS)
  • 2 regional modules (10 ECTS)
  • Elective modules (20 ECTS)
  • Complementary elective modules (20 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

By completing both parts of a core module pair, students receive 10 ECTS credits. Students are expected to acquire on average 30 ECTS in each semester. Note that there are numerous options for students to spend their third semester abroad at one of our partner universities. We currently have exchange programmes running with universities in China, India, Mexico, South Africa, and South Korea, among others.

For an example curriculum, see


Frequently asked questions about the degree programme:

Please visit the MA DEIS website for frequently asked questions:

Potential challenges:

  • You will need good English language skills to succeed in the degree programme. Insufficient knowledge of English can cause problems, particularly in seminars where students are required to complete written assignments independently.
  • You will need advanced knowledge of statistics for Research Methods I and II. Knowledge of inductive statistics is particularly important.
Admission requirements

Please also see

  • Qualified degree (Bachelors, Diploma or equivalent) in Economics or a related field. Applicants should have 70 ECTS in economics/management including at least basic knowledge of (a minimum of 5 ECTS each in) microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics/econometrics.
  • Grade point average of 2.5 or better (in the German marking system) in the undergraduate program.
  • Sound knowledge of English with one of the following test scores (or equivalents):
    • TOEFL–IBT: 95 or above / CBT: 240 or above / PBT: 587 or above / ITP: 627 or above;
    • IELTS: C1 / 7.0 or above; minimum of 6.0 in each section
    • UNIcert® III
    • TOEIC: 945 or above
    • telc English C1
    • CEFR: C1.
Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Please find more detailed information on how to apply for a Master or advanced degree programme on the following website:

Start date of degree programme: Winter Term Application deadline for the program starting in the respective winter term is normally July 15 of the same year.

Compare degree programs

Open comparison on a new page


Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

Back to degree programmes


Degree type: Master of Arts (MA)
Type of study: Master
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 4 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: English
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology