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Development Economics and International Studies (MA)

What is the degree programme about?

Development Economics and International Studies (DEIS) combines in-depth knowledge of analytical and quantitative methods with a strong focus on politics and practice. The goal is for graduates of Bachelor's degree programmes to improve their knowledge and skills in development and international cooperation for management positions in public institutions, non-profit organisations and companies.

Every year around 50 students are admitted to the Master's degree programme. We welcome both German and international applicants. The teaching language is English and the Master's thesis is also written in 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, international business studies, business and economics or mathematical economics. In certain cases graduates with a degree in social economics or oriental studies may also be admitted.

If you are interested in this degree programme and have a degree in a different subject or a degree from a different university in Germany or abroad, please contact the degree programme coordinator.

Modules and degree programme structure

The DEIS degree programme consists of the following modules:

  • Four compulsory two-part core modules (40 ECTS credits)
  • One compulsory two-part regional module (10 ECTS credits)
  • Around eight elective modules approved by the DEIS coordinator (40 ECTS credits)
  • Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits)

The compulsory core modules (Development Economics I + II, International Economics I + II, Research Methods I + II, International Business Ethics I + II) and the regional module all last two consecutive semesters. After completing both parts of a module students earn 10 ECTS credits.

The number of ECTS credits for the elective modules may vary depending on the workload. Students can also take modules from other institutes and faculties as elective modules.

Students should earn 30 ECTS credits per semester. The four core modules and the regional modules are completed over the course of the first three semesters. The remaining ECTS credits are earned through elective modules which can be selected in consultation with the DEIS coordinator. The fourth semester is devoted to the Master's thesis. Students are encouraged to spend one semester, ideally the third semester, at a partner university in a developing country.


Potential challenges:

  • You will need good 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.
  • You will be expected to do a significant amount of independent work as the degree programme consists of a high percentage of seminars.
  • Economic models are usually formally structured and analytically expressed. This requires abstract thinking and solid mathematical skills.

Frequently asked questions about the degree programme:

Do I have to have a set regional focus?
No, you can choose regional modules from different areas.

What is the difference between elective modules and elective complementary modules?
The only difference is that the grades for the elective complementary modules are not included in the final grade. A number of modules, e.g. language modules, are only available as elective complementary modules.

Admission requirements
  • A qualified degree (Bachelor's or equivalent) in Economics or a subject related field necessary. Applicants should have 70 ECTS in economics/management including at least basic knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics/econometrics.
  • Average Bachelor's degree grade of 2.5 or higher.
  • Good knowledge of English demonstrated by the following (or equivalent) test results:
    • TOEFL-IBT: 95 or more / CBT: 240 or more / PBT: 587 or more
    • IELTS: 7.0 or more, minimum 6.0 in each category
    • UNIcert® III
    • TOEIC: 850 or more
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) / Business English Certificate (BEC) Higher
    • telc English C1
    • GERS: C1
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Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Start date of degree programme: Winter Term

The FAU website provides an overview of the current application deadlines as well as information on the selection process and how to apply.

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.


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.

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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

Ladezeit: 1.05 Sekunden