Faculty of PhilosophyJewish Studies – Master

The degree programme in Jewish Studies considers the Jewish religion, history and culture from the Antique period to the present day. Building on good language skills, it draws on a range of subdisciplines to offer students a comprehensive academic course.

Facts & Formalities

DegreeMaster of Arts
Type of programmeConsecutive
Start of programmeWinter and summer semester
Standard period of study4 semesters
Language(s) of instructionGerman
Fees and contributions171.80 € / Semester
Application procedureZugangs- und zulassungsbeschränkter Masterstudiengang Jüdische Studien
Application deadlinesInformation about deadlines can be obtained after you have put together a degree program.
May be studied as a minor subjectYes

Course Content

The consecutive Master’s degree programme with Jewish Studies as a major subject, is intended for students who have successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree programme in Jewish Studies, and who wish to further develop their specialist knowledge in this field.

Graduates of the Master’s degree programme are able to critically reflect on the cultural foundations of society and the Jewish population. They are able to understand, clearly present and analyse data to offer a comprehensive picture of the lived Jewish experience in Germany, Europe and the world, both in the past and in the present day. Students of the Master’s degree programme benefit from the research conducted at the Heidelberg College for Jewish Studies and have a much greater degree of flexibility than they had during the Bachelor’s degree programme to develop their own area of specialisation.

Students work increasingly independently, applying the principles of academic practice to their work. This culminates in completion of the Master’s thesis.

Graduates of the Master’s degree programme in Jewish Studies (major subject) may pursue doctoral study in the field of Jewish Studies.

The degree programme is non-denominational.

Jewish Studies may also be taken as a minor subject worth 20 credits, as part of another Master’s degree programme studied at Heidelberg University. In this instance, students will not be required to have prior knowledge of Jewish Studies.

Course Structure

The standard period of study is four semesters. Where Jewish Studies is taken as a major subject, students must acquire 100 credits in Jewish Studies, and a further 20 credits in a minor subject, studied at Master’s level at Heidelberg University.

The degree programme consists in four extension modules and three intensive modules, as well as a project module and the module relating to examination prerequisites from the elective segment.

The extension module serves to develop students’ language proficiency via practice classes and language courses attended throughout the degree programme. Students can thereby develop a high level of active language proficiency in Hebrew (biblical, rabbinic, medieval, modern), Aramaic, or Yiddish.

For the intensive modules, students select lectures and courses in the various subdisciplines including the Bible, Talmud, history, art, literature, Yiddish studies, philosophy and intellectual history, Hebrew linguistics and Near Eastern studies. All lectures and courses fall within one of three thematic modules - “culture and literature”, “Jewish experiences” or “religion and philosophy”.

Over the course of the Master’s degree programme, students complete one intensive module for each of the three thematic modules. Each intensive module consists in one seminar, and one lecture or practice class.

Students are generally able to choose when they complete each module and the relevant lectures and classes.

During the project module, students familiarise themselves with the latest research being conducted in a specific field, for example via project work, work as a tutor, or a work placement. Students’ first independent research projects support the development of their methodological skills, which aids them in later completion of the Master’s thesis.

Students select a subdiscipline of Jewish Studies within which to complete their Master’s thesis. This concludes the degree course. In close discussion with, and under the supervision of a lecturer from the field of Jewish Studies, students work independently to explore a clearly defined academic question.