Basic Information

Full-time Master’s program, 120 ECTS, 2 years


English and Spanish language study program


Integrated research stays or internships abroad


Study location: Heidelberg University, Germany


Lectures begin October 2021

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Martha Rudka, M.A.
+49 (0)6221 54 19 334

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Wednesday 3 pm

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M.A. Course Catalog
Winter Term 2021/22

1. Fundamental Competencies
2. Methodology
3. Advanced Competencies
4. Key Transversal Skills
Additional course offer

Classes in the winter term 2021/22 will be offered in person. However, if the pandemic situation changes, classes may be required to take place in a blended learning format (a combination of in-person and online meetings) or completely online depending on the exact regulations imposed by the state of Baden-Württemberg and Heidelberg University. Registered students will be informed as new information becomes available.


1. Fundamental Competencies

Lecture: Latin American Politics
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alejandro Ecker


This lecture introduces students to the key theoretical concepts and the main empirical questions of Latin American politics. It provides students with a broad understanding of the political systems and the social and economic challenges in the macro-region of Ibero-America. Against the backdrop of the enormous political and social diversity in the region, this lecture explores the causes and functioning of different institutional structures and their impact on politics and society.
The lecture is structured into four overarching topics:

  • The first thematic block is devoted to the political and economic development of Latin America.
  • The second thematic area covers issues of citizen representation and competition between political parties.
  • The third overarching topic is the change in societal values and the causes and consequences of migration for the region.
  • The fourth thematic block discusses the influence of political actors and institutions on the capacity of states in Latin America.

The course counts as lecture for Module 1. More



Seminar: Migration across the Americas
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Soledad Álvarez Velasco


What structural conditions explain the diverse migratory movements that have formed and transformed the Americas? How do migratory patterns have changed throughout recent history and in particular during the last three decades? Who are the migrants that comprise the current global diaspora that transverse borders across the Americas? What has been the role of the U.S. and the effects of its externalized border regime across the Americas? What have been the strategies deployed by Latin American, Caribbean, Asian and African migrants to sustain their mobilities and their lives across the Americas? How States and societies in the Americas respond to such migrant mobilities?

Drawing upon critical interdisciplinary scholarship –mainly Critical Migration and Border Studies, Latinxs Geography, Geographies of Mobilities and Migration –, the course addresses those central inquiries. It offers a multi-scalar geographical perspective, which underscores the historical interconnectedness of global, regional, national and local spaces, to analyze how the tension between migrant mobilities and control has historically and presently shaped unequal spaces of migration across the Americas.

The course counts as seminar for Module 2. More



Seminar: Lenguas, comunicación y discursos de Iberoamérica
Prof. Dr. Francisco Moreno-Fernández, Prof. Dr. Óscar Loureda


El curso presenta la diversidad lingüística de Iberoamérica, así como sus principales variedades y prácticas comunicativas. Se presta atención al modo en que esta diversidad y variedad contribuyen a la configuración de las comunidades y naciones iberoamericanas. Para ello se tratan particularmente cuestiones relativas a las lenguas y sus usos en distintos ámbitos de comunicación, tanto en los países iberoamericanos, como en otros espacios donde estas lenguas y usos tienen una presencia social o mediática. Asimismo, se analiza cómo y en qué medida el uso de las lenguas y sus prácticas discursivas contribuyen a la creación de identidades, actitudes e ideas en los países iberoamericanos. Estas realidades se ponen en relación con otros aspectos cruciales de las sociedades iberoamericanas, como las migraciones, la movilidad social, la comunicación pública, la diversidad etno-racial, la desigualdad o la discriminación de minorías. Todo ello permitirá a los estudiantes realizar sus actividades profesionales o de investigación basándolas en un adecuado conocimiento de la realidad social y comunicativa iberoamericana.

The course counts as seminar for Module 3. More



Practical: Communication and public spheres in Ibero-America
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Pablo Porten-Cheé


This practical studies the public sphere, comprised by the media, civil society, and politics, and looks at their relationships from a communication perspective. The practical therefore introduces to a selective conceptual vocabulary that is regarded instrumental to understand the communicators of political information, such as journalists or today’s ‘users’. Further, the practical discusses characteristics that typically guide the content of political information and serve to uncover structures of the communication itself. Moreover, the effects of communication are discussed applying approaches from media effects research.

The practical sets a strong emphasis on the context communication takes place, on three dimensions: Firstly, it focuses on the Ibero-American context and regional case studies inform about public sphere mechanisms around actors, content, and reception in the macro-region. Secondly, the public spheres are studied under conditions of deeply changed media environments shaped by the production and use of online media. Thirdly, the practical addresses current debates on societal processes, such as fragmentation and polarization of the public sphere, that are suspected to be fueled by virulent online communication (e.g., hate speech).

The course counts as practical for Module 3. More


2. Methodology

Seminar: Quantitative Research Methods: Content analysis
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Pablo Porten-Cheé


After an introduction on the aims of quantitative methods (e.g., generalizability, explanation), the seminar focuses on the content analysis method. Quantitative content analysis is applied to investigate the structure and content of messages. The seminar combines theoretical inputs with exercises where some steps in the content analysis process are practiced. In this vein, we will practice with the “Manifesto Project data set South America” that comprises structure and content data of messages in party programs in the Ibero-American macro-region and provides with related measures.

Students will learn how to run selected statistical analyses with the Manifesto data applying SPSS software. This knowledge will be applied in student papers where individual research questions are answered with own analyses.

The course counts as seminar for Module 4 or Module 7 (a/b). More



Practical: Qualitative Research Methods: semi-structured interviews on agrarian change in Ibero-American contexts
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Rosa Lehmann


Emissions from agriculture are a major contributor to global warming. Hence, the sector is increasingly in the focus of debates on a socioecological transformation. Additionally, agroindustry’s use of pesticide is criticized for negative impacting human health, as well as for unfair labour conditions of agricultural workers and sometimes dubious practices of land acquisition. In this practical, we depart from current challenges and problems regarding the agrarian transition in Ibero-American contexts and will deepen our knowledge by conducting qualitative semi-structures interviews with actors from the field. Hence, the goal of the practical is to gain knowledge on a) qualitative methods of social science research – particularly on how to conduct and examine semi-structured interviews –, and, b) to engage with a highly relevant societal issue.

The course counts as practical for Module 7 (a/b). More



3. Advanced Competencies

Seminar: Politics and energy transition in Ibero-America
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Rosa Lehmann


To mitigate climate change, renewable energies are of increasing importance. Different countries of the Ibero-American macro region have been changing relevant regulation and implementing RE projects. Concrete policies and projects show ambivalent results and are often contested by different actors. Against this backdrop, the seminar will cover concepts and thematic issues in relation to energy and energy transitions in the Ibero-American space. The goal of the seminar is to provide students with knowledge about a) conceptual understandings of the energy-society nexus, b) the historical emergence of the fossil regime and the prevailing importance of fossil energy in and for, specifically, Latin American societies, as well as c) conflicts, inequalities, and the search for energy justice related to the energy transition. The seminar is based on academic literature and recent quantitative and qualitative studies, and will further integrate radio features, movies, and non-academic literature.

The course counts as seminar for Module 5. More



4. Key Transversal Skills

Practical: Estudios demolingüísticos: teorías y métodos
Prof. Dr. Francisco Moreno-Fernández, Prof. Dr. Óscar Loureda


La demografía lingüística o demolingüística es el estudio de los datos demográficos en relación con las lenguas. Aunque este tipo de estudios se interesó en sus orígenes por las lenguas minoritarias especialmente, los fines de la demolingüística no tienen por qué circunscribirse al análisis de los procesos de sustitución, desplazamiento o abandono de las lenguas, sino que ofrece otras muchas posibilidades: en principio, todas las que tengan que ver el dinamismo, el crecimiento o la distribución de la(s) lenguas(s) o las variedades utilizadas por una población. En tanto que demografía, la demolingüística tiene se interesa por el análisis del tamaño, la distribución territorial y la composición de una población identificada por sus perfiles lingüísticos sociolingüístico, así como de los cambios que en ella se producen en relación con los nacimientos, las muertes y las migraciones de los hablantes.

Estimar el número de hablantes de una lengua o variedad determinada no es sencillo y las distintas estimaciones pueden divergir considerablemente. Esto se debe a la existencia de diversos retos teóricos, como la definición de lengua, la identificación de variedades y su relación o no con una sola lengua, o a la determinación de lengua materna. Desde el punto de vista metodológico las principales dificultades radican en la insuficiencia de datos censales. Otros importantes retos nacen de la combinación de métodos interdisciplinarios: cuantificar el grupo de hablantes de una lengua o variedad y describir sus rasgos definitorios tiene una implicación geográfica, como descripción de la lengua hablada en un territorio; lingüística, como descripción de la lengua de los hablantes de dicho territorio, y sociológica, como descripción de las condiciones de uso de la lengua en la sociedad.

El curso pretende tratar las principales cuestiones teóricas y metodológicas de la demografía lingüística. En particular se atenderá a las comunidades de hablantes del español en tres espacios: Iberoamérica, Europa y los Estados Unidos. Los estudiantes deberán realizar un proyecto demolingüístico propio relativo a las lenguas en Iberoamérica.

The course counts as practical for Module 7. More


Additional course offer

Extracurricular German-course
Festigung der Sprachkompetenz B2 Deutsch

Prof. Dr. María Fernández de Casadevante Mayordomo (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain, visiting lecturer at Heidelberg University). 


Practical: Slavery in the Medieval Mediterranean
Prof. Dr. Nikolas Jaspert


Seminar: spanische Sprachwissenschaft: El contacto de lenguas en los países del Mercosur
Prof. Dr. Sybille Große


Practical: Communication and cognition – Research with eye tracking
Dr. Adriana Cruz Rubio


Seminar: Komplexe Annotationen in der Diskursanalyse
Prof. Dr. Vahram Atayan, Bettina Fetzer
(4EU+-offer, DE)


Seminar: Measuring, rating, ranking. Evaluation Processes in Organizations and Social Life
Dr. Stefan Belijean


Seminar: Wissen und Politik (DE)
Prof. Dr. Kathia Serrano-Velarde


Seminar: Comparative Methods in Macrosociology
Prof. Dr. Matthias König


Seminar: Qualitative und quantitative Inhaltsanalyse (DE)
Dr. Filip Zielinski


Seminar: Law, Crime and Society -From rule in form to rule in action
Dr. Elizangela Valarini, Maria Trombini, Mario Jorge


Seminar: Experimental methods in political science
Dr. Delia Dumitrescu


Seminar: Political communication: methodological approaches and applications
Dr. Delia Dumitrescu


Seminar: Resilient Cities – A comparative European Perspective
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ulrike Gerhard


Seminar: Geographical Analysis of Social Media Data
Prof. Dr. phil. Alexander Zipf, Hao Li, Johannes Fürle


Policy design analysis and evaluation
10.1.-19.3.22, Università Degli Studi di Milano (online)



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Latest Revision: 2021-11-04
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