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Education Studies with a Focus on Organisational Development

Degree: Master of Arts
Application: mandatory
Course commences: winter semester only
Standard course duration: 4 semesters
Format options: full-time / part-time
Language requirements: certified proficiency in German DSH2 (for international students)
Language of instruction: German


Faculty of Behavioural and Empirical Studies


Course outline

This M.A. course is the most recent addition (as of winter semester 2010/11) to the Institute’s Education Studies programmes. Students enrolling for the course require a subsidiary (minor) subject alongside their main subject (major).

Aims of the course

The M.A. course Education Studies with a Focus on Organisational Development enables students to design individual/group-related/organisational learning programmes and systems development in a variety of educational contexts (notably schools, businesses, further-education institutions) and at various levels (individuals, groups/teams, organisations, systems). The reason for our emphasis on this aspect of Education Studies is acute awareness of the radical changes, present and future, facing the educational system. Schools, for example, are confronted by challenging restructuring tasks occasioned by the observable tendencies to strengthen the autonomy of individual schools; the continuing-education market is in a constant state of flux due to changing education interests, funding structures and governance tendencies. In addition, it is incumbent on Education Studies to ensure that key figures (headmasters, headmistresses, executives in the continuing education sector, personnel development specialists, etc.) should acquire and enhance the skills they require for tasks in the management sector.

The course is based on the theoretical contributions and empirical findings supplied by Education Studies research (national and international) with regard to individual education processes, group development processes and systems development in organisations. International comparison of cross-level innovation and transformation processes in the education system will be a key concern in the course.

Target group

With its emphasis on innovation and transformation processes in the education system, the course is angled at graduates from the B.A. course in Education Studies at Heidelberg University and graduates from other higher-education institutions with degrees of a comparable nature and the requisite aptitude for the subject. Intake is restricted.

Skills acquired by the students

  • identifying learning requirements and learning objectives for individuals, groups and systems in organisational contexts
  • initiating and shaping transformation and innovation processes enabling individual learning and systems development
  • evaluating transformation and innovation processes in educational contexts and supporting such processes via research

Course structure

The standard duration of the course is four semesters. Students need to collect 120 credit points in the course of the programme. The course ends with the M.A. thesis and qualifies its graduates to embark more or less immediately on a career in the education sector.


Module 1:    education in a globalised world
Module 2:    learning and skill development
Module 3:    innovation and transformation in educational organisations
Module 4:    management and leadership in educational organisations
Module 5:    a research- or practice-oriented project
Module 6:    M.A. thesis and oral examination

Subsidiary (minor) subject: sociology, psychology, anthropology, sport science, political science, history, etc.

Module 1 discusses basic educational theories at the macro-level and analyses the development of education systems.

Module 2 focuses on fundamental learning and skill-related issues at the micro-level.

Modules 1 and 2 build directly and explicitly on prior knowledge acquired in a B.A. course on the same subject.

Modules 3 and 4 combine various theoretical perspectives (subject-related theories, process theories, intervention-related theories etc.) on design and change in educational organisations.

Modules 5 and 6 enable students to use the skills they have acquired to engage independently with the various aspects of their subject. This makes the two modules both field-specific and skill-related in nature. Module 5 focuses on the planning and conduct of a project that can be either research- or application-oriented. Module 6 encompasses both the completion of the M.A. thesis and an oral examination.

Career prospects

Graduates from this M.A. course can expect to find a career for themselves that involves (a) the performance of supervisory and advisory functions in innovation and transformation processes or (b) the assumption of leadership functions in educational organisations.

Subsidiary (minor) subject

The M.A. course “Education Studies with a Focus on Organisational Development” can also be taken as a subsidiary (minor) subject accounting for 20 CP.

Formal requirements


Access to the course is restricted. Early application is advisable as the admission process involves an interview. The current Admission Regulations are available here.

Applications from both German and international prospective students must be submitted to Heidelberg University via a central online admission procedure.

Application deadline

15 May for the winter semester.

Further information

Updated information on the application procedure
Website of the Faculty of Behavioural and Empirical Studies

Study and examination regulations

Examination regulations M.A. Education Studies (8 July 2010)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

Academic advisor

Institute of Education Studies
Akademiestraße 3
D-69117 Heidelberg
phone: N.N.
e-mail: N.N.

Advisor for part-time studies:

Prof. Dr. Monika Buhl
Institute of Education Studies
Akademiestraße 3, Office 137
D-69117 Heidelberg
phone: +49 (0)6221-54-7483



Institute of Education Studies
Akademiestraße 3
D-69117 Heidelberg

Secretaries’ office:
Silvia Dernbach, Office 137
phone: +49 (0)6221 547522
fax: +49 (0)6221 547740


Student representation:
Café da lang (basement of the Institute)

Editor: e-mail
Latest Revision: 2018-05-02
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