Master's degree

The Master's programme is basically an advanced and specialised academic degree.

It conveys the current state of research in education and educational sciences with a focus on educational science problems in view of social conditions and social heterogeneity.

In addition to factual knowledge, the aim is to acquire analytical-theoretical, methodological and critical-reflexive knowledge. As a graduate, you will be able to recognise, explain and analyse different dimensions of social inequality and can provide knowledge reflected in educational science for solving relevant problems in professional fields of application.

OLAT Course Ma Educational Science

Before studies/start of studies

The Master's programme at the University of Innsbruck is a 4-semester programme in which basic principles are studied in depth and focal points are studied in elective modules. The first semester serves to refresh, deepen and expand the contents of the BA programme:

  • Systematics and history of general educational thinking are introduced and deepened (Module 1),
  • subject-theoretical and social-theoretical theories are taken up and expanded (Module 2),
  • professional knowledge and competence in action (Module 3) and
  • methods are refreshed and consolidated (Module 4).

In the 2nd and 3rd semesters, students can deepen their knowledge in elective modules on social inequality, body issues, migration, generational relations, trauma-conflict-violence or psychoanalytic pedagogy.

The specialisations consist of introductory lectures with exercises and then small thematic seminars that promote in-depth study and the application of methods in one's own research questions. The writing of the Master's thesis is intensively accompanied by the supervisors and a Master's thesis seminar.

The Master's programme in Education and Educational Science prepares students for the following activities:

  • Subject-relevant professional activities in facilities and institutions,
  • leading, planning, analysing and consulting activities in professional fields relevant to education and training,
  • responsible activities in governmental and non-governmental organisations, locally and internationally and/or
  • to take up further doctoral studies or a research-related activity.

In order to pursue an academic career, a PhD programme can be added on top of this.

The Master's programme in Educational Science comprises 120 ECTS credits. This corresponds to a planned study duration of four semesters. One ECTS credit corresponds to 25 hours of work.

  • Admission to the Master's programme requires the completion of a relevant Bachelor's programme or a relevant Bachelor's programme at a university of applied sciences or another equivalent programme at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution.
  • In any case, the Bachelor's degree programme in Educational Science completed at the University of Innsbruck shall be considered a relevant degree programme. In the case of another completed study programme of a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution, the Rectorate decides on the admission to the Master's programme in accordance with the provisions of the UG.
  • If the equivalence is basically given and only individual supplements to the full equivalence are missing, the rectorate is entitled to combine the determination of equivalence with the requirement of examinations to be taken during the respective master's degree programme. The equivalence of examinations and studies shall be checked in the course of the application procedure for the Master's degree programme. Preliminary checks on equivalence are not carried out.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Dean of Studies in Educational Sciences. (see contact)

The application for the Master's programme is made via the Department of Studies within the set deadlines:

  • Enrolment for the winter semester: by 31.10.
  • Enrolment for the summer semester: by 31.03.

Useful links:

In study

The Master's programme in Educational Science imparts highly specialised and in-depth knowledge of the subject area of educational science. It is characterised in particular by great freedom of choice and a wide range of elective options. The following areas can be deepened theoretically, methodically and practically:

  1. Inequality and inclusion in education, childhood and family.
  2. Body relations in upbringing, education and culture
  3. Unconsciousness in education and culture
  4. Migration and education
  5. Generation and education in the life course
  6. Conflict, trauma and violence in education and upbringing

In addition, there is also the possibility of completing an individual focus of 20 ECTS-AP. More information is available at OLAT Master Course.

At the end of the study

The Master's degree programme is completed with a Master's thesis and the corresponding defensio. The topic of the Master's thesis is agreed with the supervisor and the supervisor also guides the content of the thesis.

You can find out more about finding a topic, the topics of possible supervisors and the writing process at OLAT course.

The beginning ...

A frequently asked question in the second half of the Master's programme is how the Master's thesis "works". There are many different ways to write a Master's thesis, which can be roughly divided into three directions: (1) I have an idea for a topic, (2) I know who I want to be supervised by, (3) I don't really know. What's always the same: you have to be able to put up with the topic and the supervisor for the next six months.

  1. With a rough or concrete idea, you can start looking for a person who can/wants to supervise the topic. We recommend that you formulate your idea in a few lines, because most topics can be narrowed down and worked on in very different ways. And the people who are asked to be the supervisors can then have more ideas. In order to provide an initial orientation for the fit with the focus areas of the potential supervisors, you can find an overview list under "Who will supervise my Master's thesis?" in which some staff members have provided an overview of their focus topics and/or methods.
  2. If you know who you would like to be supervised by, take a look at the work and research topics of this person to get an idea of possible topics. You can find a list with the topics of the possible supervisors under "Which work and research topics do the teachers pursue? A list can also be found in the OLAT course. Be sure to discuss with the teachers who seem to be suitable as potential supervisors whether your thematic idea and its implementation in the context of your Master's thesis fall within their area of focus and whether they have the necessary expertise or time capacities for the supervision.
  3. If you don't really know, it's best to take another look at the documents on your previous studies: What was (particularly) interesting, what wasn't? Which topic or method would I like to take a closer look at again? Or is there a topic from practice that concerns you and can be dealt with in educational science? Or take a look at the list of supervisors and topics of the faculty's supervisors - is there something there that interests you?

Here you will find a list of potential supervisors who can be contacted. The supervisor for the Master's thesis must be sought out independently (unlike in the Bachelor's programme) and is not linked to any other module.

To clarify: The person who supervises your Master's thesis can be someone other than the person with whom you have studied in the Master's programme so far, or another person than the person with whom you are taking the seminar on the Master's thesis (PM 5).

The supervision will then look very different for the different people. It is best to talk about what is expected of each other at the beginning of the thesis/supervision! Questions include: Is work with certain methods or theories (or texts) expected? How free is the thematic design thought/expected? Are there to be regular meetings/discussions? Are parts to be read and commented on? Do the supervisors expect regular reports? Of course, this can always change in the course of the work process. But the more precise the agreements are at the beginning, the better everything can be planned!

After you have found a suitable supervisor for your Master's thesis, you must register your Master's thesis (preferably together with your supervisor).

To do this, fill out the Master's thesis registration form (preferably together with your supervisor). You can find the document in the OLAT course under "useful documents" or on the homepage of the Master's programme.

In order to optimally support the writing process of your Master's thesis, two further modules have to be completed in connection with the Master's thesis.

On the one hand, the compulsory module 7: Preparation of the Master's Thesis must be taken in the 3rd semester. There are no registration requirements and the focus is on agreeing on the topic in more detail and, if necessary, writing an exposé. The timetable is also often determined here. Module 7 is completed with the course certificate (successfully completed) and signed by the supervisor.

To provide concrete support for your writing and research process, the compulsory Module 5: Seminar on the Master's Thesis must be completed in the 4th semester (according to the study plan). It is important to note that the course leader of this seminar does not have to be the same as your supervisor, but a content-related or methodological fit is recommended here as well. The subject area of the seminar can be found in the course description in the course catalogue.


You can find more detailed information on the Master's thesis and all the necessary documents in the Olat course "Educational Sciences Master's".

Once the Master's thesis has been written, it is submitted to the examinations office, then assessed and finally defended (defensio).

Step 1: Submission of the following documents to the Examinations Office

  • Master's thesis
  • The fully completed examination protocol
  • Confirmation of academic success
  • If applicable, recognition certificates

Deadline for submission: at the latest two months (8 weeks) before the desired examination date.

Step 2: Planning your defensio

In the Examinations Office you will receive the registration form "Anmeldung zur Defensio der Masterarbeit" (Registration for the Defensio of the Master's Thesis) when you hand in your Master's thesis - it is not available elsewhere and must be completed as follows:

  • The examination board consists of three persons: First examiner, second examiner and chairperson.
  • The first examiner and the chairperson are selected or visited by the students themselves in order to arrange the examination date (date and time) with them. You can find the possible dates at the bottom of the page.
    • The first examiner is usually the supervisor.
    • The chairperson must be a person with a habilitation (link list of persons with a habilitation).
    • The second examiners are appointed by the Dean of Studies on the scheduled examination days (if nothing is specified).

Deadline: The form, signed by all participants, must be handed in to the Administration Office at least five weeks before the examination (please note this when selecting the date!) This is the only way to ensure that the specified deadlines are met.

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