What will I learn?

The one year (two semester) consecutive research-oriented master program qualifies students with a background in political science, sociology or an adjacent discipline for a PhD program in Germany. A core element of the master program is an individual curriculum developed for every student in order to provide him or her with the best possible preparation for an application at a Graduate School or in a Research Training Group. Two groups of students are especially encouraged to apply for this unique program:

  • International M.A.-graduates who want to prepare themselves for their application for a PhD program or graduate school in Germany or elsewhere.
  • Strongly research focused B.A. or M.A.-graduates with a minimum of 240 ECTS from Germany and abroad.

The individual curriculum provides every student with the freedom to work on his or her weaknesses, be they methodical, theoretical, topic-specific, language-related or due to the lack of socialization in the German academic system.

The individual curriculum of each student is agreed upon in an in-depth counselling meeting with the program’s director of studies at the beginning of the fall term. The outcome will be fixed in a binding learning agreement. Students are expected to prepare for this meeting by checking the institute’s course offer and by critically reflecting on their knowledge of methods and other qualifications needed in order to work on their topic.

Compulsory courses will be taught in English, for the elective courses there is a large variety of courses offered in both, English and German.


The Research Training Program in Social Sciences consists of four modules:

  • Module A: Research Design and Professional Development
  • Module B: Theories and Methods
  • Module C: Current debates in Social Sciences
  • Module D: Thesis Module

In Module A students attend the Research Design Course as well as the Professional Development Seminar, courses which are exclusively designed for MA RTP students. Therefore, an intensive and personalized study environment in a small group (max. 15 students) is guaranteed. These mandatory courses will be taught in English.

In Module B students choose one specific course from the regular ISW course table connected to either theoretical or methodical concepts which will help them to concretize their research questions.

In Module C students select additional courses based on their individual learning agreement. These courses should be chosen according to the respective needs of each student. In addition, students may take language classes or intercultural training courses.

In Module D students participate in the research colloquium of their supervisor and write their MA thesis. The thesis should be approximately 18.000 words long.

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
There are no tuition fees at the HU. However, as a HU student, you will have to pay a semester fee of around EUR €300 (degree students)
Start date

14 October 2019, 14 April 2020


Humboldt University of Berlin

Unter den Linden 6,


10099, Germany

Entry requirements

For international students

Degree in social sciences or related subject

English language skills: TOEFL internet based 87, Paper based 560, IELTS 5.0, UNIcert 3,0, FCE B-C, BULATS, ILEC, LCCI.