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Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures (MA)

What is the programme about?

Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures (SDAC) is an interdisciplinary study programme that allows the students to acquire profound academic and methodological knowledge, as well as additional key skills regarding decision-making processes in East Asia. The MA degree program requires a BA degree of variable disciplinary orientation. Students may choose their academic focus (linguistic-cultural, comparative-philosophical, cultural-religious) by selecting accordingly from the courses offered at the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg as well as the ECCS in Beijing. During their obligatory stay at the European Centre for Chinese Studies (ECCS) in Beijing, students will be given the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to both academic and everyday situations in China.

Students shall acquire profound academic and methodological knowledge, as well as additional key skills regarding decision-making processes in East Asia. Over the course of the degree program, students receive profound insights into the processes of decision-making, e.g. in entrepreneurial, political, and cultural situations (rational choice theories in particular). They will develop a new cross-cultural perspective on decision-making processes, utilize their knowledge in an interdisciplinary context, learn to approach research questions from an academic perspective and to cultivate their independent thinking. These qualities will eventually enable them to delicately deal with intracultural and cross-cultural decision-making processes.

The acquired knowledge from the fields of sinology, history, philosophy, religious studies, economics, social and cultural anthropology, and the history of science will enable them to gain skills in the fields of communication and critical thinking, as well as to work in an independent, solution-oriented, critical, analytical, and application-oriented manner in various professional circumstances requiring expertise from humanities, area studies, and social sciences.

The specific expertise opens job perspectives for the graduate in professions concerned with culture, politics and business, as well as in intercultural work environments where the aforementioned fields of study intersect. Graduates will be capable to take a culturally sensitive and discerning stance when participating in real world decision-making, both in an international and specifically Asian-European context. Their skills and expertise to operate in an international environment qualifies them for leadership positions.

Programme structure

The programme is organised into four semesters. Students must acquire a total of 120 ECTS credit points. The Master's thesis is due at the end of the fourth semester. The study plan includes lectures (including the IKGF lecture series), seminars and tutorials. All courses are held in English.

The programme consists of the following modules:

  • Modul 1: Theories of Decision-Making Across Cultural Contexts
  • Modul 2: Concepts of Chinese Cultural Orientations and Decision-Making
  • Modul 3: Comparative Philosophy / Fate, Freedom, and Prognostication I
  • Modul 4: Influences of Cultural-Religious Variances on Decision- Making Processes / Fate, Freedom, and Prognostication II
  • Modul 5: Specific Approaches of Selected Academic Disciplines - Europe
  • Modul 6: Rationalities of Decision-Making
  • Modul 7: Contexts of Decision-Making in China
  • Modul 8: Specific Approaches of Selected Academic Disciplines - East Asia
  • Modul 9: Developing Transcultural Sensitivities
  • Modul 10: Master Thesis
Application and admission

Graduates with either a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, diploma, magister or state examination in a study that focusses on philology, social sciences, historical sciences, pedagogy, philosophy, religious studies, ethnology, economic sciences, law, psychology or medical science are eligible for the Master’s degree programme.

Applicants with one of these degrees are admitted only after a successful selection interview if they have an overall grade of at least 2.00 or if they are one of the best 50 p.h. of their year. If they have an overall grade of 2.01-2.5 or if they are one of the best 60 p.h. of their year they have to prove further qualifications that are relevant for the Master’s degree programme, e.g. modules with trans-cultural topics or internships in a non-western culture, then they are admitted only after a successful selection interview.

Detailed information about the requirements can be found in the degree programme and examination regulations for the Master's degree programme ‘Standards of Decision Making Across Cultures (SDAC) – Knowledge, Authenticity, Time' and the General Examination Regulations for the Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programmes at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology of Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg.

English language proficiency of at least level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or comparable knowledge (UNIcert C2) must be proven if the school graduation or Bachelor’s degree has not been acquired in English.

Foreign speakers of German need to prove their German language skills with a minimum of A1 of the CEFR (can be submitted within the first year of the programme).

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:

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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: Grade/Interview
Size: (1-24 Students)
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology