International Programmes 2021/2022

MA Digital Narratives MA Digital Narratives

ifs international film school cologne • Köln

Master of Arts (MA)
In cooperation with

TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)

Teaching language
  • English

The lectures will be held in English.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
More information on beginning of studies

A new cohort starts every two years in October.

Application deadline

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

Tuition fee
Paid in full before the start of studies (for two years):
15,000 EUR for international students
11,000 EUR for EU students

Or paid per semester:
4,250 EUR for international students
3,250 EUR for EU students

One-time registration fee: 400 EUR

Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The ifs international MA Digital Narratives programme offers dedicated media and cultural professionals an opportunity to develop and produce stories with and for the future of digital media.

The programme combines creative processes exploring dramaturgy and design with theoretical investigations in the fields of media and cultural studies. Students will study and practice creative digital development and production methods that will enable them to create innovative and immersive narrative forms of communication for digital platforms and genres such as VR/AR, web series, apps, graphic novels, and games – to name a few.

The MA Digital Narratives supports young creative students to develop their artistic, practical and theoretical skills in the evolving business scene of digital culture.

Course organisation

The central elements of the MA Digital Narratives curriculum are as follows:

The Study of Digital Culture
Media-theoretical knowledge and research on digital transformation and disruption processes in society, economics, and the arts
Investigation of the social responsibility in arts and media for a participatory society in the digital age

The Study of Narratives
Research and development of immersive narratives based on contemporary technologies and audience engagement strategies in digital media

The Study and Practice of Creative Methods
Analysis and implementation of aesthetic strategies and creative development methods in artistic projects and creative businesses
Analysis and training of creative and agile methods for ideation, development, prototyping, and production in a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative working environment

Collaborative and individual work on artistic, entrepreneurial, and research projects together with external partners and supervised by professors and tutors

In the second year of study, the programme also offers students classes to facilitate their professionalisation, which include the study of business modelling, project financing, project marketing, deal making, and the practical aspects of intellectual property law. In addition, they can receive coaching and mentoring for their projects and for their professional life after their studies.

The programme language is English. Studying in a small group of no more than twelve students ensures an intensive and collaborative work. During the first three semesters, the courses are aimed at self-study phases to support individual and shared research as well as project development. For this, the students can use a co-working space at the ifs. Excursions to internationally relevant conferences and festivals, such as re:publica, transmediale and Clash of Realities, are an integral part of the curriculum. It is also possible for students to visit cross-institutional events and create partnerships for research and project work in order to expand their networks.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

Tuition fee
Paid in full before the start of studies (for two years):
15,000 EUR for international students
11,000 EUR for EU students

Or paid per semester:
4,250 EUR for international students
3,250 EUR for EU students

One-time registration fee: 400 EUR

Semester contribution

Semester fee at TH Köln: approx. 280 EUR (includes the ticket for local public transportation)

Costs of living

800 EUR per month

Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university

For financial assistance to cover tuition fees and/or living expenses, students may apply for an interest-free loan from the Student Education Fund from the first semester onward, which is run by "The Friends of the ifs internationale filmschule köln Society". Approval of the interest-free loans is based on the applicant’s financial situation and the funds available. Repayment of the loans begins six months after graduation/termination of studies. "The Friends of the ifs Society" awards scholarships to Master’s students with outstanding academic achievement. One tuition fee scholarship may be awarded for a period of three semesters for the Digital Narratives MA programme.

Academic admission requirements

The programme is aimed at talented and dedicated media and culture professionals in the fields of film, games, journalism, online communication, design, architecture, theatre and similar areas, who have gained relevant experience in creating and producing narrative formats in digital media. They are expected to use interdisciplinary and collaborative methods.

The requirements for admission to the Master's degree programme are a Bachelor's degree or a similar academic degree with proof of at least 180 ECTS or a higher degree, at least one year of specialised professional practice or similar professional project experience after the Bachelor's degree as well as a very good knowledge of English.

Language requirements

Applicants need to provide proof of their English language skills at B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, e.g. by a TOEFL score of 87 points (Internet-based) or equivalent test results. Native English speakers are exempted from this.

German language skills are not necessary.

Application deadline

Submit application to

Applicants should submit their application via e-mail to:

You can find additional information about the programme at:

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Tutors
Support programmes for international students

The students are professionally supervised by two professors, numerous guest lecturers and members of the faculty. Tutors assist them in their study projects. In addition, students also receive support from the administration.

ifs international film school cologne

Content Bild
ifs internationale filmschule köln © ifs

The ifs ("internationale filmschule köln") is an institution that includes both initial training and continuing education with an artistic-scientific focus serving aspiring media professionals.

As a result of the initiative of the NRW state government and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the school was founded in 2000 as a non-profit company. The Film- und Medienstiftung is the sole principal partner of the ifs. The ifs is consistently ranked as one of the best film schools in Germany, based on its outstanding student support, excellent teaching and project work, and active festival participation. It even won a Student Academy Award in 2012.

The portfolio of the ifs covers the following Bachelor’s programmes: Screenwriting, Directing, Creative Producing, Director of Photography, Editing Picture & Sound, VFX & Animation, and Production Design. The international Master’s programmes include: Serial Storytelling, Digital Narratives, 3D Animation for Film & Games, and Entertainment Producing as well as Film. The study programmes are carried out in cooperation with the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. In addition, there are several continuing education programmes for media professionals ranging from Acting to Masterclass Non-Fiction.

Individual and intensive supervision is the core focus of the initial training and continuing education programmes at the ifs. For this reason, the organisational framework is structured on a small number of students and a two-year admission cycle to the programmes. The education and training is focused on combining a foundation of scientific-theoretical and technical skills with artistic hands-on project work. The combination of professional specialisation and interdisciplinary cooperation is characteristic of the education at the ifs. Close collaboration with national and international teachers from both the industry and academia guarantees the students a first-class education.

The courage and resolve to promote ongoing development and change is what distinguishes the ifs from other schools. The school enjoys a constant flow of impulses and inspiration through its close collaborations in all of the fields of the audiovisual landscape and through its ongoing critical evaluation of its initial training and continuing education programmes. The primary focus lies on the media developments and innovations of the future. The ifs offers its students an innovative media education that imparts the artistic and technical skills and foundation for professional film making. Thereby, it integrates new technological developments. It thus also promotes and conveys aesthetic and potential for dramatisation.

The school is a member of CILECT and the International Association of Film and Television Schools. It cultivates partnerships with a global network of film schools and universities.

University location


Germany is one of the most popular destinations for international students. It is not only an attractive place to study; a German university degree is also highly valued by employers worldwide. Students in Germany benefit from a world-class education system.

Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. Science and research have a long tradition in Germany and are highly valued.

Germany has been an immigration country since the 1960s – we are open-minded and tolerant. Over 80 million people live here – more than in any other country in the European Union (EU).

Germany is one of the founding states of the EU and supports the growing integration and closer union between the European states.

Germany is a safe country, also by international standards. It can also look back on a long and famous tradition of higher education. Compared with other countries, the tuition fees at German universities are not very high, and the cost of living is at the EU average. Students also enjoy a lot of reduced prices, for example at theatres, museums, opera houses, cinemas, swimming pools and other facilities.

Germany is located in the heart of Europe. From here, you can also easily explore its European neighbours.

German is one of the ten most widely spoken languages in the world, and there are many ways to learn German, be it through a course or with German flatmates.


Its metropolitan vibe, diverse student scene and a cityscape abound with cultural and historical treasures make Cologne one of Europe’s prime university cities.

Cologne’s origins date back to the heyday of the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago. The former settlement of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium soon flourished into a major trading hub.

Today, Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city with a population of slightly more than one million and has evolved as a main economic and cultural centre at the heart of Europe.

The city’s characteristic landmark and source of pride for every Colognian is without a doubt the magnificent Cologne Cathedral, locally known as the Kölner Dom. Towering over the quaint Old Town of Cologne at 156 meters, this masterpiece of Gothic architecture is the world’s third-highest cathedral and boasts around six million visitors a year, making it Germany’s most popular tourist attraction.

However, Cologne is by no means all about its Cathedral. It has plenty more charms to offer - more than 40 world-famous museums, 120 art galleries, the Cologne Opera, a vibrant theatre scene, a plethora of concerts and musicals as well as a city-wide passion for sports all testify to Cologne’s reputation as an international art and cultural metropolis. Visitors from all over the world are bound to feel at home immediately, as Cologne is a true melting pot of cultures. Close to one-fifth of its inhabitants have an international background!

Cologne’s economy is characterised by its amalgamation of different industries and trades. Home to the country’s most influential television and radio stations, Cologne is unquestionably Germany’s media capital and plays host to some of the continent’s biggest trade fairs. Quite a few of the world’s most renowned enterprises call the metropolitan region their home, in particular corporations operating in the automotive industry, biotechnology and life sciences, chemicals and pharmaceuticals as well as commerce and banking.