Master’s degree

The master’s programme is an advanced and specialised academic degree. It teaches the current state of the art in pedagogy and educational sciences, with a focus on issues in educational science related to social conditions and the heterogeneity of society. The goal is to acquire analytical, theoretical, methodical and critical thinking in addition to factual knowledge. As a graduate, you will be able to recognise, explain and analyse various dimensions of social inequity, and provide knowledge founded in educational science to resolve relevant problems in professional contexts. 


Starting out

What can I expect from the master’s degree programme in Educational Sciences?  

The master’s programme at the University of Innsbruck is a 4-semester programme in which foundations are deepened and focus points are developed in elective modules. The first semester refreshes, deepens and expands on contents covered in the bachelor’s programme. The structure and history behind Educational Sciences in general is introduced and discussed in depth (Module 1), the views of subject theory and social theory are taken up and expanded on (Module 2), professional knowledge and practical skills are described (Module 3) and methods are refreshed and expanded (Module 4). In the 2nd and 3rd semester, students can delve deeper into social inequality, body issues, migration, inter-generational relations, trauma–conflict–violence or psychoanalytic pedagogy in the elective modules. The in-depth courses consist of introductory courses with exercises and later of small thematic seminars that promote deepening and application of methods in the students’ own research questions. The development of the master’s thesis is intensively supported by the advisors and in a master’s thesis seminar.

What career options will the master’s degree provide? 

The master’s degree programme Educational Sciences will prepare you for the following career options:

  • relevant jobs in facilities and institutions,
  • leading, planning, analysis and consulting activities in pedagogy and education-related fields,
  • responsible positions in state and non-governmental organisations, both national and international, and/or
  • continued studies for a PhD or research activities.

For an academic career, this can be completed by PhD studies.

How is the master's programme formally structured?  

The master’s degree programme in Educational Science consists of 120 ECTS credits. This corresponds to a regular duration of four semesters of study. One ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 25 work hours.

Are there any admission requirements? 


  • Acceptance into the master’s programme requires graduation from a bachelor’s degree programme in a relevant field or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field from a university of applied sciences or another equivalent degree from a recognised national or foreign institution of higher learning.
  • A bachelor’s degree in Educational Sciences from the University of Innsbruck fulfills this requirement. If you have another degree in a relevant field from a recognised national or foreign institution of higher learning, the President’s Office makes a decision on acceptance according to the provisions of the University’s bylaws.
  • If equivalence is generally established and only a few items are missing for full equivalence, the President’s Office is entitled to make the determination of equivalence conditional on the passing of certain examinations to be taken during the respective master’s degree programme. The equivalence of examinations and studies will be verified during the application process for the master’s degree programme. Prior verifications of equivalence are not carried out.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs for Educational Sciences (see Contacts).

How and when can I register?  


The application for the master’s degree programme should be done through the Admissions Office within the defined deadlines: 

  • Matriculation for the winter semester: by 31/10.
  • Matriculation for the summer semester: by 31/03.

Useful links:


During studies

What are the elective and focus subjects? 

The master’s degree programme in Educational Sciences transmits highly specialised and in-depth knowledge in the subject of Pedagogical and Educational Science. It stands out in particular due to its great freedom of choice and a broad offering of electives. The following subject areas can be explored in greater depth theoretically, methodologically and practically:

  1. Inequality and inclusion in education, childhood and family
  2. Body relations in pedagogy, education and culture 
  3. The subconscious in pedagogy, education and culture 
  4. Migration and education 
  5. Generation and education in biographies 
  6. Conflict, trauma and violence in pedagogy and education 

There is also the option of completing an individual focus in a scope of 20 ECTS credits. More information is available in the OLAT master’s course.


At the end of your studies

The master’s degree programme is completed by a master’s thesis and its defence. The subject of the master’s thesis is discussed with the advisor, who also helps the student to define its contents.

You can find out more about choosing a subject, the subjects of the possible advisors and the process of writing in the OLAT course.

How does the master thesis work?

At the beginning:

A frequently asked question in the second half of the master's program 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 always is the same: with the topic and the supervisor you have to be able to stand it for the next half year.

  1. with a rough or concrete idea you can start looking for a person who can/wants to supervise the topic. The recommendation is to already formulate the idea in a few lines, because most topics can be narrowed down and worked on in very different ways. And also the persons, who are inquired as supervisor can imagine then more. In order to provide a first orientation for the fit with the focus areas of the potential supervisors, you will find an overview list under "Who will supervise my master thesis?" in which some staff members have given an overview of their focus topics and/or methods.

  2. If you know who you want to be supervised by, have a look at the work and research topics of this person to get an idea of possible topics. You can find a list of possible supervisors' topics in the section "What are the work and research topics of the lecturers?” It is essential that you discuss with those teachers who seem to be suitable as potential supervisors whether your thematic idea and its implementation in the context of your master 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 from your previous studies: What was (particularly) interesting, what wasn't? Which topic or which method would I like to have a closer look at again? Or is there a topic from practice that concerns you and that can be dealt with in educational science? Or have a look at the list of supervisors and topics of the supervising persons of the faculty - is there something there that interests you?

Who will supervise my master thesis?

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

To clarify: The person who supervises your master thesis can be someone other than the lectures you have studied with so far in the master's program, or a different person than the one you are taking the seminar for the master's thesis (PM 5) with.

It is best to talk about what is expected from each other already 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 to be? Will there be regular meetings/discussions? Will parts of the thesis be read and commented? Do the supervisors expect regular reports? Of course, this can always change in the course of the work process. But the more precise the arrangements are at the beginning, the better everything can be planned!

What do I have to consider when preparing my master thesis?

After you have found a suitable supervisor for your master thesis, you have to register your master thesis (preferably together with your supervisor).

To do so, fill out the form “registration master thesis” (preferably together with your supervisor). You will find the document in the OLAT course under "useful documents" or on the homepage of the master program.

In order to optimally support the writing process of your master's thesis, you will have to complete two more modules in connection with the master thesis.

On the one hand, the compulsory module 7: Preparation of the master thesis should be taken in the 3rd semester. There are no registration requirements and the focus is on the closer coordination of the topic and, if necessary, the writing of an exposé. The time schedule is also often determined here. Module 7 is completed with the course certificate (successfully completed) and signed by the supervisor.

In order to support your writing and research process (according to the study plan), the mandatory module 5: Seminar on the master thesis must be completed in the 4th semester. It is important to note that the lecture 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.

Which work and research topics are pursued by the lecturers?


 You can find more detailed information about the master thesis and all necessary documents in the olat course "educational sciences-Master".

Once you have written your master’s thesis, it is submitted to the Examinations Committee, assessed and defended (Defensio).


How does the defence work?

1st step: Submission of the following documents to the Examinations Committee:

  • Master’s thesis
  • The fully filled-out examination protocol
  • The confirmation of successful completion of the programme
  • Confirmatory certificates, if required

Submission deadline: at the latest two months (8 weeks) before the desired examination date.

2nd step: Planning the defence:

You will obtain a registration form from the Examinations Office when you submit your master’s thesis:

  • “Registration for the defence of the master’s thesis” - you cannot obtain it elsewhere, and you should fill it out as follows:
    • The Examinations Committee consists of three persons: First Examiner, Second Examiner and Chair
    • The First Examiner and the Chair are selected or requested by the student, who must schedule the examination date with them (date and time). You can find possible dates at the end of the page
      • The First Examiner is usually the advisor
      • The Chair must be habilitated (link to list of persons with habilitation)
      • The Second Examiner is determined by the Office of Student Affairs on the foreseen days (if nothing is specified)

Submission deadline: The form, signed by all participants, must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs at the latest five weeks before the examination (please make sure to observe this when selecting the date). This is the only way to ensure that the deadlines are respected.

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