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M.A. International Cultural and Business Studies

Course Description

About the programme

Are you keen to give your studies an international orientation and do business, languages and culture fascinate you? This degree programme is both interdisciplinary and international, giving you the chance to acquaint yourself with business and economics, combined with two foreign languages and a cultural studies focus in a cultural region related to one of your chosen languages. This programme teaches you to think in terms of networks and allows you to develop strong organisational and communication strategies, as well as developing important key skills, such as project management, leadership and problem-solving skills. This is an accredited programme which has received the Seal of Quality of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Study Programmes in Germany.

Language requirements

German at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR): As German is the primary language of instruction for this degree programme, you need to be proficient in German to apply (at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, as evidenced by a DSH-2, TestDaF 4×4 or an equivalent language certificate or by a previous secondary or tertiary education qualification completed in German). If you need to learn or perfect your German first, you may be interested in the University's preparatory German language offering, German Courses Passau. Other languages: You should have C1-level language skills in one of the following: Chinese, Czech, English, French, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai or Vietnamese.


– A combination of business, economics, cultural studies and languages that is unique in Germany
– Cultural studies in one of seven cultural regions:
America and the British Isles
The French-speaking world
The Ibero-Romance cultural region
The Italian cultural region
East and Central Europe
Southeast Asia
Only for international students: the German-speaking world
– Subject-specific language programmes with a business or cultural studies focus
– A hands-on programme with project work in a cultural field
– Double degree options in partnership with our partner universities in Scotland, France and Turkey

Programme syllabus

The programme comprises four module groups:

A) Core modules
B) Regional area studies
C) Business administration and economics
D) Foreign languages

A) The core modules are further subdivided into two areas: theory and methods as one area and applied skills as the other. You will gain well-founded knowledge of intercultural communication and comparative cultural studies, intercultural management and academic research. Moreover, you will work on a cultural project outside the University and hone transferable skills by choosing your own Key Competencies courses taught by professional instructors.

B) In this module group you will consolidate your knowledge related to your chosen cultural region in up to three of the following subjects: cultural studies, literary studies, linguistics, history, geography, political science, sociology, history of art/visual culture, intercultural communication, communication studies, media studies, philosophy or digital humanities.

C) You will choose business studies or economics modules in this module group: The business modules are concerned with international market-oriented business management and organisation as well as marketing; the economics modules include international economics, development economics, economic policy and behavioural economics.

D) You will choose two of the following foreign languages: Chinese, Czech, English, French, German (for speakers of other languages), Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai or Vietnamese. If you intend to choose the English language option you will need to have advanced English language skills. No existing language skills are presupposed for the other languages (i.e. they are also available ab initio). However, if you do have existing language skills, they will be taken into account by way of a placement test. The subject-specific language programmes are available with a business/economics focus or a cultural studies focus.

You will write your master's thesis on a topic derived from module group B or C.

Visit the M.A. International Cultural and Business Studies page on the University of Passau website for more details!

Entry Requirements

To apply, you need to have a good first (undergraduate) degree gained after a standard period of study of three years' full-time study with a cultural studies and business/economics focus, with an average mark of 2.5 or better according to the German marking system or the relevant foreign equivalent, or be ranked among the best 50% of your cohort. You should also have at least:40 ECTS credits in business administration and 40 ECTS credits in a subject included in module group B (see Course Description). As this programme is taught in German, you need German skills at level C1 CEFR.

Course Fees

72 euros per semester (student services contribution and bus pass fee)

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