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An Apple for the Teacher: Education for Teachers in Germany

A postgraduate degree in education is a must for anyone who wants to be considered for administrative or leadership positions within schools or educational consultancies. From collaborative programs with other European universities to degrees in science teaching, studying in Germany is a good option for all those pursuing this path.
BY Achala Upendran |   22-01-2014
Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Why Study in Germany?

Compared to their British and American counterparts, German universities have lower tuition fees. The German educational system also promotes internships and work experience as a part of the educational process, and the academic institutions are renowned for their well-funded facilities and professors. The country is also well located in the middle of Europe and offers easy, student-budget friendly travel opportunities!

According to a 2013 IIE report, Germany offers one of the highest numbers of courses taught in English at the university level, for a non-native English speaking nation. The report stated that there are over 745 programs available at the Masters level alone. These programs are called International Degree Programs (IDP).

Times Higher Education has reported that the German government and educational bodies are planning to increase international student intake - aiming for up to 25% more students from abroad by the end of the decade.

Why do a Masters in Education?

Masters in Education (M.Ed) degrees prepare students for immediate employment by schools at both elementary and secondary levels.

Anyone with a B.Ed (Bachelors in Education) from a recognized university is eligible to apply for an M.Ed. degree. Some universities also accept students with degrees in ‘relevant’ fields. For instance, if you want to do an M.Ed in Biology, it would certainly be a huge advantage if you already hold a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in the subject.

International students hailing from a country where English is not regarded as a native language are required to submit proof of their competency via a recognized proficiency test such as the TOEFL or IELTS.

The following M.Ed programs in Germany vary in scope and focus, branching from educational management to teaching children with learning disabilities. They are all taught in English.

University of Applied Management (UAM)

Established in 2004, the University of Applied Management is the biggest private educational institution in Bavaria. It offers, in partnership with three other European universities, a Master’s in Educational Management which qualifies students to take up positions of leadership in the education sector. For instance, a student with a degree in Education Management is eligible for an administrative position in a school, college, or could even join a corporate education consultancy as a planner and researcher.

This is a two year program that offers student the option of taking courses in four different educational institutes: UAM, the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Academy (RPIVA), Latvia, the Private University College of Education of the Diocese of Linz, Austria and the Private University Seeburg Castle (Austria). Each school offers on-campus residence for the tenure of the student’s stay, along with culture and language classes for international students.

The final M.Ed degree is awarded upon the completion of a thesis, and bears certification from UAM, RPIVA and the Private University Seeburg Castle.

Humboldt University of Berlin

Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; Photo courtesy of www.hu-berlin.de

For Humboldt University, M.Ed  applicants are required to hold a B.Ed prior to entry. Humboldt offers several subject specializations, including an M.Ed. in Business Education and degrees that train teachers to work with children with special needs.

There are two ‘levels’ of M.Ed. programs: the ‘Little Master’ which requires the completion of 60 credits over two semesters, at the end of which the student is qualified to teach in elementary and secondary schools; and the ‘Large Master’ which requires the completion of 120 credits over four semesters and qualifies the student for teaching in secondary, higher secondary (vocational) and comprehensive schools.

Humboldt’s M.Ed. program requires the completion of teaching internships in Berlin schools: one internship for the ‘Little Master’ program and two for the ‘Large’. The university offers placement opportunities for all those who complete the courses.

Technical University of Munich (TUM)

TUM’s School of Education trains teachers in what are referred to in Europe as the 'MINT' subjects - Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Science and Technology.

The faculty offers four different postgraduate programs: Master of Science Education, Master of Education for teaching at vocational schools, Master Research on Teaching and Learning and Master of Science and Technical Philosophy. Vocational education students are given the option of specializing in Sport education and training to be school gym teachers.

Technical University of Munich, Germany; Photo courtesy of www.tum.de

All programs are four semesters. To apply, students need to pass an aptitude test, which includes evaluation of the student’s professional credentials (hence, students with work experience are favoured for this degree), and then an interview with the school.

TUM places great value on internships and work experience, and expects its students to complete several over four semesters. The specifics differ according to the program; for instance, the Master of Science Education students are required to complete a 40-day internship in a school, as well as additional training in subject teaching.

The University offers work placement opportunities after the completion of the student’s course.


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