Master’s program Digital Narratives
The ifs international MA Digital Narratives program offers dedicated media and cultural professionals an opportunity to develop and produce stories with and for the future of digital media.
The program 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.
Next start of studies: 28 September, 2020
Language of instruction: English
Duration: 2 years (4 semesters)
Residency: semesters 1-2: 12 weeks, semester 3: 8 weeks, semester 4: 3 weeks
Projects & Films
Journalist, activist (health, human rights, global justice, data security), participation in the NGO »Tactical Technology Collectice«.
Specialist lawyer for copyright, media and IT law.
Student at the Cologne Game Lab and consultant for game engine »Unity«.
Freelance producer, project manager, consultant and lecturer for Agile Game Development.
Web-Designer and developer.
Jim Charne is a California, New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin lawyer with a long private and corporate practice history providing comprehensive representation in all aspects of intellectual property, entertainment, technology, music, and Internet commerce. His experience in computer software, video games, and other technology-based entertainment extends back to the formative days of the category.
Theatre writer and actress.
Author of (selection):
2018 Tapage et autres bruits sourds
2017 L’enfance de l’art
2015 Musique pour un monte-charge francais
2014-2015 L’Effet Papillon: Édition Casselman
2014 Comment frencher un fonctionnaire sans le fatiguer
2013 Dyslexie émotive et dysfonctions érectiles
2013 Love is in the birds: une soirée francophone sans boule disco
Actress of (selection):
2017 Ceci n’est pas une lettre d’adieu…
2015 Musique pour un monte-charge francais
2015 Comment frencher un fonctionnaire sans le fatiguer
2014 Ce qui meurt en dernier
2013 Dyslexie émotive et dysfoctions érectiles
2011 Les Z’aventures de Zozotte
2011 The Pretentious Young Ladies
2010 Perdre la Farce
Author, director and script consultant. M.A. in psychology and undergraduate degree in film. Script teacher and script consultant at the American Film Institute in L.A., the Director’s and Writer’s Guild of America, Bavaria Film Studios and RAI Television Rome.
Audio- and Visual-Artist; examination of the connection between image and sound in different spatial and media environments.
Game Designer and Creative Director. Since 2015 Creative Director at Sandbox Interactive GmbH in Berlin. Previously Design Director at YAGER GmbH in Berlin and Game Design and Development Lecturer at the Games Academy.
Film scientist, consultant and lecturer for media culture management.
Maya Indira Ganesh
Author, activist and lecturer at the Leuphana University Lüneburg and the Hamburg Media School.
Interactive Writer, Designer, Director, honorary lecturer, freelance writer.
Audio direction for (selection):
2009 15 Days
2005 Verliebt in Berlin
Doctoral student of media sciences at the Ruhr University Bochum and is working on Bitcoin / Blockchain and Futures / Derivatives Trading.
Director, screenwriter and author of games.
2014/15 Das Unkrautland
2010 Farewell Comrades!
2008 The Tribe
Games projects (selection):
2009 Siedler 7
2009 Red Steel 2
2008 Anno 1404
Producer and Post supervisor.
2017 Luke! Die Woche und ich
2015 Orte der Kindheit
2014 The Way Back Home
2013 Good Bye Deutschland
Since 2003 lecturer for screenwriting, project development and production. Since 2015 Head of Production, 360°, VR and Immersive Media at eitelsonnenschein Filmproduktion. Previously producer and managing partner of Discofilm GmbH.
Producer of (selection):
2012/13 Hannas Reise
2008 Dr. Aleman
2005 Die blaue Grenze
2004 Status Y0!
Consultant, concept developer and author for digital media. Founder and Head of Story & Strategy of the production company »Monokel«. Certified ScrumMaster (Scrum Alliance).
Curtis Lee Maugham
2015 Identity Formation through Cinematic Explorations of the Past: Harald Friedl’s Austrian Trilogy
2014 Like No Other? Thomas Mann and Kleist’s Novellas
Arne Paul Oltmann
Founder and managing director »seedfeed GmbH«, development of business models, coaching and mentoring, support of start-ups and start-up projects.
Digital Storyteller and Interactive Media Manager.
Author and director, concept and seminar management of numerous dramaturgical seminars for screenwriting, editing and sound script consultant, among others for: Zoetrope Studios, Miramax, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures, Constantin, X-Filme, MTM.
Screenwriter of (selection):
2001 Nirgendwo in Afrika
2001 Victor Vogel
Director of (selection):
1997 The lady or the Tiger
Professor for Cultural Management at the University of Applied Sciences Bremen. Founding Coach and Fellow of the Federal Competence Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries.
Clemens von Wedemeyer
Individual exhibitions (selection):
2016 Hamburger Kunsthalle
2016 P.O.V. – Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
2015 Muster – Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
2014 Every Word You Say – Kunstverein Braunschweig
2013 MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rom
2011 Metropolis -Bericht über China (mit Maya Schweizer), Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main
2010 The Fourth Wall, KOW, Berlin
2009 Barbican Centre, London
2008 CGAC, Santiago de Compostela
2006 Kölnischer Kunstverein
Communications manager and independent consultant, lecturer at Cologne Business School.
The MA Digital Narratives supports young creatives to develop their artistic, practical and theoretical skills in the evolving business scene of digital culture.
The central elements of the MA Digital Narratives curriculum are:
• 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.
Admission to the MA Digital Narratives takes place every two years in the winter semester.
2 years (4 Semesters)
The two-year MA Digital Narratives is a fulltime Master’s program (120 ECTS). It is divided into attendance time and self-study time. The attendance time during the first and second semester is twelve weeks (usually every day from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm). During the third semester, there are eight weeks of attendance time. The fourth semester is dedicated to writing the Master’s thesis, so the attendance time is only three weeks.
Master of Arts (M.A.), 120 ECTS
Number of students:
In the second year of study, the program also offers students classes to facilitate their professionalization, 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 program 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 indivi-dual 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.
Information for International Applicants
- To ensure that the education certificates and diplomas acquired abroad comply with the admission requirements of the ifs (higher education qualifications), applicants can consult the following database: http://anabin.kmk.org.
- Enrollment at the TH Köln, the cooperation partner of the ifs, is mandatory for Non-EU students due to legal regulations concerning German residence permits. (Tuition fee for summer semester 2019: € 270.50)
- To obtain a residence permit, international students have to demonstrate sufficient funds to secure their livelihood. The amount required is equivalent to the BaföG (Federal Education and Trainings Assistance Act for university students) maximum rate of € 735 per month.
The program 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 the Master’s degree 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 specialized professional practice or similar professional project experience after the Bachelor’s degree, as well as a very good knowledge of English (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.
Paid in full before the start of studies (for two years):
15.000 euros International Students
11.000 euros EU Students
Or paid per semester:
4.250 euros International Students
3.250 euros EU Students
One-time registration fee: 400 euros
Semester fee at TH Köln: approx. 275 euros (includes the ticket for local public transportation)
Financing & Scholarships
For financial assistance to cover tuition fees and/or living expenses, students may apply from their first semester for an interest-free loan from the Student Education Fund, 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.
Students are generally eligible for BAföG, the Federal Student Financial Aid Program, if this is their first study program. The responsible Federal Student Financial Aid Office decides upon applications for student state loans or grants. A prerequisite for the application is the enrollment at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, the ifs cooperation partner (tuition fee for the Summer Semester 2020: 276,70 euros). This grant includes all the services of the University of Applied Sciences Cologne as well as the semester ticket. Both German and foreign students are eligible applicants. International students must observe: BAföG § 8
Another way to finance your studies is to apply for a repayable loan. The collection of links in the following is not exhaustive and is only sorted in alphabetical order.
Education and/or Student Loans:
- Career Concept AG
- DAKA – Darlehenskasse der Studentenwerke im Land NRW
- Deutsche Bildung
- Deutsche Kreditbank
- Erasmus+ Master degree loans
- KfW Bank
»The Friends of the ifs internationale filmschule köln Society« offers one scholarship to one student of the »Digital Narratives« program for outstanding academic achievement. The scholarship runs from the second semester until the end of the Master’s program. It includes covering the tuition fees as well as a monthly contribution towards the cost of living until the end of the Master’s program.
Beyond the ifs, several German and international foundations offer scholarships to support tuition fees and costs of living during studies. The requirements for the award of a scholarship vary between individual foundations. In any case, the enrollment at the TH Köln, cooperation partner of the ifs, is mandatory.
Overview of scholarship funds for M.A. study programs
- Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes
- Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft
- Evangelisches Studienwerk e.V. Villigst
Overview of German Scholarship Funds:
- Kölner Studentenwerk
- Master and More
- Stipendienlotse des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung
- Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (SPD related)
- Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung (FDP related)
- Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung e.V. (CSU related)
- Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen related)
- Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (CDU related)
- Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Linkspartei related)
- Avicenna-Studienwerk e.V. (for Muslim students)
- Cusanuswerk (for Catholic students)
- Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk (for Jewish students)
- Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e. V. (DAAD)
- Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (DGB)
- Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft – Studienförderwerk Klaus Murmann
- Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes e.V.
To complete their Master’s projects, students have access to the technical equipment of the ifs and will receive financial project support (max. 5.000 euros/student) for the Master’s projects.
Working besides studies
Students must decide for themselves whether it is possible for them to pursue a job while studying. Our study programs are full-time degree programs. In the following you will find information on the specific scope of the study program:
MA Digital Narratives
The program is a full-time master’s degree with 120 credit points over two years. In the first three semesters, we expect attendance at the school for a period of 8 weeks each semester, with courses running five days a week from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm. During the fourth semester while the master’s thesis is being written there is no obligatory attendance, but at the end of the fourth semester students will be expected to attend a colloquium and presentations. During semester break, the project work will also partially continue.
Information for international students
Citizens of member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) – that is Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – as well as Switzerland have equal legal status on the labor market as German citizens. This means that they have the same access to the labor market as German students and are permitted to work as much as they would like to without having to obtain prior approval of German authorities. Students are advised, however, not to work longer than 20 hours a week, as you would have to pay social insurance contributions should you exceed this number of hours.
International students from countries which are NOT member states of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland are normally permitted to work 120 full or 240 half days per year if they are in possession of a valid residence permit for Germany. The immigration office will record these provisions in your residence permit. Should you wish to work more days per year, you will need to obtain approval from your immigration office and the German Federal Employment Agency.
Financial Assistance for further educational programs
Bildungsprämie (The Grant Voucher of the Continuing Education Grant)
»The Grant Voucher of the Continuing Education Grant« is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the European Social Fund of the European Union. Please note that the voucher must be presented when the invoice is issued. Details can be found at: www.bildungspraemie.info
Bildungsscheck (Training Voucher NRW)
Under certain conditions, the »Training Voucher NRW« can be used as a funding opportunity. Details can be found at: www.bildungsscheck.nrw.de
Graduates will be able to initiate and realize progressive artistic research and viable entrepreneurial digital projects in creative, artistic, and scientific positions. They may work in leading creative positions independently or team up for pioneering projects within digital culture and for a variety of narrative formats and platforms including VR/AR, interactive web series, games, and other non-linear narrative formats. They will be able to conduct research in digital culture and art and well prepared to enter lecturing positions in these fields.
Possible professional fields for graduates of the Digital Narratives MA program are:
• Creative director/creative producer
• Storyworld developer/story editor/content designer/narrative designer
• UX designer
• Media artist
• Media researcher/doctoral student
• Curator/media critic
Foreign Education Certificates
International applicants can obtain information about whether their degree, certificate or diploma fulfills the ifs admissions requirements at the following site:
http://anabin.kmk.org (German only).
If your degree does not fulfill the ifs admissions requirements but you have a recognizable talent and previous adequate experience, you may be invited to a separate admissions procedure to demonstrate your individual artistic aptitude.
MA Digital Narratives
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.
For specific questions concerning the MA Digital Narratives of the ifs please contact:
Dr. Tamás Joó
Head of Creative Producing / Digital Narratives
T +49 (0) 221.920188-262
T +49 (0) 221.920188-266
Office of Student Affairs
T +49 (0) 221.920188-222
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