International Programmes 2023/2024

Social and Cultural Anthropology Social and Cultural Anthropology

University of Bayreuth • Bayreuth

Master of Arts
Teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in English.

Full-time / part-time
  • full-time
  • part-time (study alongside work)
Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

Application for EU citizens
1 March to mid-October

Application for non-EU citizens
1 March to 15 July

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme


The MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology is a research-focused Master’s programme that offers students an advanced orientation in sociocultural anthropology and guides them through an ethnographic research project. Students engage with enduring and contemporary questions in the field of anthropology and learn to use ethnography as a reflexive lens onto a particular research problem. The programme is informed by its emphasis on the multiplicity of human experience and on its global entanglements. Students benefit from a close working relationship with academic staff and may take advantage of the University of Bayreuth’s distinction as a centre of African Studies.


The MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology is an internationally oriented degree that builds on BA-level training in anthropology or related disciplines. At the heart of the programme is the "guided research" component, in which students develop independent research projects in close conversation both with teaching staff and the other students in their cohort. Fieldwork, which often takes place in collaboration with institutions abroad, usually lasts at least six weeks and can be conducted either as part of a group or individually. The guided research project is co-sponsored by the University of Bayreuth.

Course organisation

Structure and content

In the first semester, all students participate in foundational courses (module A), which serve as an advanced introduction to anthropology. These include courses on Social and Cultural Theory and World Anthropologies as well as a course on questions in ethnographic methodology, "Doing Ethnography". In Contemporary Themes in Anthropology (module B), students will engage with central concepts in contemporary anthropology that are relevant to their research projects. The core of the programme is the research project (module C). It consists of a series of scaffolded courses which include preparation, fieldwork and analysis. Fieldwork takes place in the third semester and can be combined with a study abroad programme. The research project is guided by senior members of the teaching staff, thereby offering students the opportunity to pursue their research interests with careful mentorship. In addition, students have the opportunity to choose from a number of elective courses (module D) to shape their programme according to their own interests. This includes the opportunity to study a foreign language (other than English or German).

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A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Study trips
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
  • Content-related regional focus
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

In Germany, students at all higher education institutions pay a semester contribution. This payment (University of Bayreuth: 142.85 EUR per semester) has nothing to do with tuition fees; rather, it covers your contributions to student services and the student government. At the University of Bayreuth (which combines the campus in Bayreuth and our Faculty VII located in Kulmbach), it includes a "semester ticket" that allows you to use public transport in the region.

Costs of living

The cost of living in Germany, e.g. accommodation, food, clothing and recreational activities, is about average compared to other European countries. Living expenses are significantly lower than in countries like Denmark, Luxembourg or Switzerland, but they are rather high compared to countries like Poland, the Czech Republic or Italy. Compared to other large German cities, such as Munich, Berlin or Hamburg, Bayreuth's low cost of living and affordable housing make the city and the region particularly attractive to young people and families. The DAAD website will tell you what living expenses to expect in Germany:

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

Scholarships for international students: International students and doctoral researchers have the opportunity to apply to the International Office for a study grant. Limited funding from the State of Bavaria and the DAAD is available for this purpose. The application deadline for the winter semester is 31 August and for the summer semester 28 February. All grants can be awarded for up to two semesters.

Unfortunately, first-semester students cannot be funded, i.e. applications cannot be submitted until the second semester of study for funding starting in the third semester of study. Above all, academic achievements from the previous semester are decisive for the evaluation of the application.

Academic admission requirements
  • Cover letter: All applicants must submit a cover letter comprising a maximum of two pages in which they explain why they consider themselves well-suited for the MA programme in Social and Cultural Anthropology.
  • Qualification: A Bachelor's degree with at least an examination grade "good" in the Bachelor's degree programmes "Social & Cultural Anthropology", "Culture and Society (subject Social and Cultural Anthropology)" or "Culture and Society in Africa (focus Social and Cultural Anthropology)"
  • Equivalency: Equivalency of the completed Bachelor's degree is the responsibility of the board of examiners and is not determined conclusively until the application process is under way; for this reason, no information can be provided in advance.
  • Language proficiency: ENGLISH: level B2, GERMAN: level A1
  • Applying without a degree certificate: Applications may already be submitted before completion of the Bachelor's degree; however a total of at least 150 credit points with a final German grade of 2.5 or better must be earned by the time of application.
Language requirements

A language proficiency of ENGLISH at level B2 and GERMAN at level A1 is required. Applicants who are unable to provide the German language proficiency may be enrolled under the condition that they submit proof of the required language skill by the end of the second semester.

Application deadline

Application for EU citizens
1 March to mid-October

Application for non-EU citizens
1 March to 15 July

Submit application to

Online application via CAMPUSonline. You can find further details here.

Possibility of finding part-time employment

There are many ways for international students to earn money while they study, but there are some restrictions. For more detailed information, please visit the DAAD website.

The University of Bayreuth’s Career Services team provides a central interface between student and professional life. The team offers guidance and support to students of all subjects with regard to starting their careers.

For information regarding the Corona virus, please visit our website and also see


Accommodation for students
Bayreuth and Kulmbach have a number of student dormitories (both private dormitories and dormitories offered by the Association for Student Affairs) and a vast array of private rooms available. Under no circumstances should you assume that you will be assigned a room in the student dormitories! You will need to actively search for a room on your own – either in a private dormitory or on the private market.

More information regarding accommodation for students is available here: Please also read the DAAD’s information.

Accommodation for international guests
All other international guests are requested to register via the Welcome Services Database (WelSe).

Accommodation for short visits
For short visits, we recommend searching for accommodation on Airbnb. In addition, a limited number of apartments are available in the Alexander von Humboldt Guest House.

Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Welcome event
  • Cultural and linguistic preparation
  • Visa matters

University of Bayreuth

International, innovative, and interdisciplinary in research and teaching

Top-notch research, state-of-the-art teaching methods, international influences, diversity, and a springboard to a successful career – these are all things the University of Bayreuth stands for.

The University of Bayreuth is a dynamic campus university with currently about 13,000 students. Beyond the interdisciplinary research focus and excellence in teaching, the university has a clear vision of social responsibility and entrepreneurship. In the middle of Kulmbach, our new satellite campus unites the perspectives of natural science, economics, law, social sciences, and behavioural science in one place in a way that has not yet been seen in Germany.

We have a close network of strategically selected, international research partners, and we have strategic partnerships with universities around the globe. A wide range of innovative BA, MA and PhD programmes as well as our international summer schools are conducted in English. There are presently around 1,770 international students from more than 100 countries on the Bayreuth and Kulmbach campuses. Focus areas in research include Nonlinear Dynamics, Polymer and Colloid Science, Molecular Biosciences, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, New Materials, African Studies, High Pressure and High Temperature Research, Cultural Encounters and Transcultural Processes, Innovation and Consumer Protection, Food and Health Sciences, Energy Research and Energy Technology, Governance and Responsibility.

Our university has an outstanding staff-to-student ratio. Our high performance levels, multidisciplinary collaborations and scientific excellence result in high-ranking positions. In the 2021 THE ranking of “475 under 50”, the University of Bayreuth once again achieved a top position among the best universities in Germany. We have proven expertise in campus and curriculum internationalisation, which is confirmed by the results of the extended internationalisation audit conducted by the German Rectors’ Conference, a close and successful project cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and a number of Alexander von Humboldt Awards for our international management and service.

Welcome to our one-of-a-kind campus in Bavaria!
It is both the heart of our university and a source of inspiration. It is where friendships are made, collaboration is initiated, and ideas are conceived, ensuring that our university remains a beacon of innovation. Scientific exchange profits tremendously from the wide variety of disciplines our communicative campus brings together.

Be sure that there is a comprehensive and high-quality range of courses in all degree programmes that will enable students to successfully begin and continue their studies – on campus or online.

University location

Welcome to Bavaria!
Seventy-six thousand people from 145 nations chose the city of Bayreuth as their new home, and those numbers are steadily rising. Because of its 13,000 students, Bayreuth is the third-youngest city in Germany. Living here means not getting stuck in traffic jams every morning. The short distances in Bayreuth allow you to leave your car at home and to walk or ride your bike to work and to campus.

Career & Networking
The Welcome Service at the University of Bayreuth is here to assist you with any questions regarding living and working in the region of Bayreuth. The team of our International Office provides guidance and support for all international students, scholars, and their families before, during and after their stay at the University of Bayreuth. The aim is to ensure a quick, trouble-free and thus successful start as well as an unforgettable stay on our friendly campus in Bayreuth and Kulmbach.

A good climate for your entrepreneurial spirit
The University of Bayreuth takes its role as a regional motor of innovation very seriously. The Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation was set up to help students gain the necessary qualifications in the area of entrepreneurial and innovative thinking and acting. In doing so, we nurture our students’ willingness and ability to start their own companies. Our Adviser for Start-Ups provides start-ups and prospective start-ups with confidential guidance and support. Strong innovation and research institutions combined with high-performance medium-sized companies make for a steady rise in workforce and a guarantee for job security.

Your new home away from home
Bayreuth and Kulmbach offer a fast variety of childcare services as well as affordable living space. Step outside your front door and enjoy the recreational activities. Scenic northern Bavaria is great for sports activities: cycling, hiking, mountain-climbing, canoeing, rafting, and skiing are all excellent ways to enrich your leisure time. However, if you do happen to crave the feel of a bigger city now and then, Nuremberg is only a one-hour train ride away and Munich is only two-and-a-half hours away. You can reach Berlin in four hours by car or bus and Leipzig in half that time.

Have a great start. We look forward to meeting you!

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