Shaping stories for the digital society
The MA Digital Narratives program offers dedicated media and cultural professionals an opportunity to critically engage and creatively experiment with storytelling and production techniques for digital media, with a special focus on immersive technologies.
The program combines academic and practical work in order to provide participants with the necessary tools to pursue careers in a field characterized by ongoing transformations as a result of rapid technological developments.
Students explore creative processes within dramaturgy and design, and deal with current theoretical debates and critical discourses in the fields of media and cultural studies. During the program students develop their own master’s project with an allocated budget, which is part of their MA Thesis.
Students will study and practice creative development and agile production methods for digital productions that will enable them to conceptualize, design and lead innovative and immersive narrative projects for digital platforms and genres such as XR, web series, apps, interactive graphic novels, immersive installations – to name a few.
The program invites media and cultural professionals to question the affordances and limits of digital technologies while engaging with current social issues and developing their own artistic practice. The MA program also prepares students for practice- and arts-based doctoral studies.
Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Duration: 2 years (4 semesters)
Admission: every two years
Next start of studies: September 2022 (Winter semester)
Next application deadline: May 31, 2022
Type: blended learning
Lecture periods per semester:
1st semester: 12 weeks (6 weeks in person / 6 weeks online);
2nd semester: 12 weeks (6 weeks in person / 6 weeks online);
3rd Semester: 8 weeks (4 weeks in person / 4 weeks online);
4th semester: 3 weeks (2 weeks in person / 1 week online)
Lecture and self-study periods for the WS 22/23:
Lecture period: 19.09.22 – 03.02.23
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MA Digital Narratives is being restructured as a blended learning program in order to accomodate for the special needs we have identified in the past two years.
You can download the application documents here.
Our study programs are academically accredited by the accreditation agency AQAS – Agentur für Qualitätssicherung durch Akkreditierung von Studiengängen e. V.
Further information: https://www.aqas.de
The MA Digital Narratives supports young creatives to develop their own artistic, practical, and theoretical skills as well as their own artistic position within digital culture in a collaborative and international environment. It is a space to learn to experiment, think and produce digital narratives as part of an industry that is constantly in development.
The central elements of the MA Digital Narratives curriculum are:
Critical analysis and research of media ecosystems ─ as spaces where debates around gender, diversity, social justice, ecology, and colonial histories are at play ─ and the new possibilities digital technologies afford to rethink these structures. Investigation of the social responsibility in the arts and media in digital societies.
Research and development of immersive narratives based on emerging technologies and audience engagement strategies in digital media.
Study and Practice of Creative Methods
Analysis and training on creative and agile methods for ideation, development, prototyping, and production of artistic projects and creative businesses in an interdisciplinary and collaborative working environment.
Project Conceptualization and Development
Throughout the program, students conceptualize, design, and develop a digital narrative project. During the first three semesters, they focus on the concept, explorations and prototyping of their ideas.
Combined Master’s Project and Master’s Thesis
In the 4th semester their project becomes part of their Master’s thesis, with the students distributing the project and written thesis in an 80%-20% ratio or vice versa. Their work is supervised and guided by professors, tutors, and the Digital Narratives and Production department.
To complete their Master’s projects, students have access to the technical equipment of the ifs, support from the Production department, and receive financial support (max. 4.000 euros/student) dedicated to their project.
Admission to the MA Digital Narratives takes place every two years in the winter semester.
Duration: 2 years (4 Semesters)
The two-year MA Digital Narratives is a fulltime Master’s program (120 ECTS).
As of the winter semester 22/23, the MA Digital Narratives is being restructured as a blended learning program in order to accommodate special needs identified in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lecture periods are divided into attendance time (with in-person and online classes periods), and self-study time.
In-person lecture periods
The in-person classes are focused on practical lectures and project work, where students will be intensely working on producing smaller digital narratives projects and/or their own MA projects in a collaborative group setting. The in-person classes will usually take place every day from 10 am to 4 pm CET.
During the in-person lecture period students are required to be at the ifs in Cologne, Germany.
Online lecture periods
The online classes are focused on theoretical lectures, one-on-one meetings, and project supervision sessions. The online classes will usually take place every day from CET 10 am to 1 pm.
The self-study periods serve as spaces for students to work on assignments, their own theoretical research, project work and collaborative projects in a self-paced manner.
During the online lecture periods and the self-study periods, students are not required to be in Cologne, Germany, but available for regular online meetings.
Throughout all lecture periods (in-person, online, self-study) students have access to:
– a co-working space dedicated to the MA program for studying, meeting, and working on their projects;
– technical equipment to experiment and do project work;
– physical spaces of the school according to availability such as recording studio, editing suites, computer rooms, media library, cinema hall, among other;
– school-wide events and open lectures from other programs.
Final project presentation: At the end of the program, students present their MA Projects in an event before the school and guests from the industry. As of Class C, the final presentation will be a combined offline and online event.
Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.), 120 ECTS
Number of students: Max. 12
Semesters’ structure, content and other activities
The program’s language is English. Studying in a small group of no more than twelve students ensures an intensive and collaborative work environment. During the first three semesters, the courses include 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.
Semester 1 + 2
- Critical analysis of current media theory discussions
- Theories, practices and research of digital, interactive and transmedia narratives and storyworld building
- Prototyping, creative ideation methods and agile production methods for working in interdisciplinary teams
- Research and ideation for their Master’s projects, as well as first prototypes and design documents
- Critical engagement with current socially and politically relevant themes in digital culture
- Practice and research on immersive narratives and XR development.
- Expand academic writing skills and knowledge on digital narrative theories, with a special focus on immersion, impact and the ethics in storytelling
- Finalization of Master’s project concepts, development of further prototypes and preparation for production
- Production of Master’s project
- Writing of Master’s thesis
- Preparation for professional life (see details below)
- Oral exam in the context of the Colloquium
- Final Project Presentation
Production Exercises (Semester 1 +2 + 3)
Throughout Semester 1-3 students participate in guided production exercises for defined and closed themes, including work for partner institutions as “clients”; and create smaller interactive and immersive digital narrative projects during seminars such as “Human Machine Interface” and “Creative Technologies and Tools”.
Preparation for professional life (Semester 3 + 4)
In the second year of study, the program also offers classes to facilitate the student’s incursion into the professional world, addressing topics such as:
- Business modelling
- Project financing
- Project marketing
- Deal making
- Practical aspects of intellectual property law
- Coaching and mentoring for student’s projects and for their professional life after their studies
Excursions and Partnerships
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.
Class C, for example, co-designed and led a collaborative creation workshop at the Zip-Scene Conference 2021 in Budapest.
For more information you can download the course directory (List of seminars and classes for the Winter semester of 2021/2022), module handbook (Description of every module of the program) and examination regulations (Only available in German language).
professional orientation after the program
Graduates have the possibility to expand their careers in the creative industry, academia, or a combination of both.
If they choose to further develop their academic career by pursuing a doctoral degree after the program, they are well suited to do so in the areas such as media and art studies, cultural studies, game studies, narratology, digital culture, and are qualified to do so from a research-creation or artistic research approach.
Additionally, graduates pursue the development of their own digital narrative projects in a variety of narrative formats and platforms including XR, VR, AR, interactive web series, games, innovative journalism, interactive and digital documentaries, immersive and non-linear narrative formats and story worlds.
Our graduates are creators who understand the evolving language of digital media, are people who actively will shape the industry and participate in discussions around digitality, and are involved in projects with strong social and ethical ethos behind them.
They may work in leading creative and artistic positions. Possible professional fields for graduates of the Digital Narratives MA program are:
- Creative director / creative producer
- Storyworld designer / story editor / content designer / narrative designer
- UX designer
- Media artist
- Media researcher/doctoral student
- Curator / media critic
- Documentary-maker and/or journalist with a focus on digital narrative formats
Prof. Lena Thiele
MA Digital Narratives – Art & Design
»My work in the last 25 years has been shaped by the transformation of digitalization. It is an exciting time to be in, as we have the rare opportunity to reshape and co-create the way stories are being told and how we can connect people through story by using the innovation of digital technology to create a real human emotional experience. «
Artistic Director and writer Prof. Lena Thiele designs and produces international media formats in the fields of digital and immersive storytelling and XR. In 2012 she joined the creative studio Miiqo Studios, where she focuses on creating meaningful experiences through innovation in storytelling, technology at the intersection of art and science. Her productions received numerous international awards like the SXSW Innovation Award, Grimme Online Award, Prix Italia and Deutsch-Französischer Journalistenpreis (nomination). Her latest project, the VR-Experience “Myriad. Where we connect.” was in the official selection of the “Venice VR Expanded” section of the 78th Venice International Film Festival.
Since 2012, as Head of Studies and Trainer, she has developed the Audience Design Training Program at TorinoFilmLab. In addition, she worked as a trainer for international programs and universities such as the Dok Leipzig NetLab, Berlinale Residency, the HFF Munich, Filmakademie Ludwigsburg, or the ZHdK and as a consultant for the international media industry.
In recent years she has been a member of the jury of the International Digital Emmy® Award in the non-fiction sector on several occasions. In 2018 she was a member of the jury of the Grimme Online Award and was appointed as a member of the advisory board of the Grimme Institute.
Lena Thiele completed her studies at the Berlin University of the Arts with a Magister Artium degree
Official Selection Venice VR Expanded der 78. Internationalen Filmfestspiele Venedig 2021 for »MYRIAD«, Japan Prize Runner Up Digital Media Division 2021 »MYRIAD«, Official Selection Best Immersive Documentary Experience Raindance Immersive Festival 2021 »MYRIAD”, Prix Italia, Best Transmedia Experience for »Netwars – Out of CTRL« (2015), Grimme Online, Knowledge and Education for »Netwars – Out of SXSW/South by Southwest Interaction Innovation Award for Best Visual Media Experience for »Netwars – Out of CTRL« (2015), Preis für crossmediale Programminnivationen for »Netwars – Out of CTRL« (2015), Deutscher Digital Award, Bronze, Category Website, Mobile and Stationary for »Netwars – Out of CTRL« (2015), Japan Award for Best Work Creative Frontier for »Netwars – Out of CTRL« (2014), The FWA – Site of the Day (2014), REMI Winner Worldfest Houston for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2013), Focal International Award 2012 for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2012), Best Webdocumentary France24/RFI 2012 for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2012), Nominated for Deutsch-Französischer Journalistenpreis 2012 for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2012), In Competition: FIPA 2012 mit »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2012), Nominated for WEBTV Festival 2012 for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2012), Nominated for France 24-RFI Web Documentary Award for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2012), Nominated for Prix Europa for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2012), Nominated for DocLab Award for »Farewell Comrades! Interactive« (2011), Deutscher Entwicklerpreis / Best Mobile Actiongame: Project: »Werner: Haat am Ball« (2006), Deutscher Entwicklerpreis / Best Mobile Strategy Game for »Armored Forces« (2006).
Prof. Dr. Frédéric Dubois
MA Digital Narratives – Theory
»Great grand narratives and everyday micro-stories are part of our most basic human fabric and experience. The challenge is to effectively use, combine, tweak, assemble, re-assemble and wrap art, technology and story around an intent. Let’s try. «
Frédéric Dubois is a Canadian-German author, producer, journalist, and scholar of digital media. He has co-authored and produced award-winning interactive storytelling features such as »Atterwasch« (2014) and »Field Trip« (2019) and co-edited two books: the collection of essays »Autonomous Media« (2005) and graphic novel »Extraction! Comix Reportage« (2007). Frédéric has worked with the National Film Board of Canada and ARTE on digital projects such as GDP (web coordinator, 2009), The Hole Story Interactive (author, 2011) and Fort McMoney (game master and partnerships, 2013).
He has travelled to a number of countries as a freelance reporter, telling stories of communities affected by resource-intensive industries (e.g., fisheries, mining). He has further specialized his journalistic practice on internet- and data-related topics, working with nonprofits such as the Association for Progressive Communications and the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). Since 2012, he is the co-founder and managing editor of Internet Policy Review—an open access journal on internet regulation—published by HIIG.
Aside from coaching and training digital and transmedia narrative projects (e.g., ARD.ZDF medienakademie, DOK Leipzig, Institute of documentary film Prague), Frédéric has co-organized storytelling hackathons, the Netzdoku interactive documentary meetups, as well as the VR Conference for Journalism and Documentary, Berlin.
As a media scholar, he has completed a research-creation PhD in film production at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in 2021, with a thesis entitled ‘Interactive documentary production and societal impact: the case of Field Trip’. That same year, he was a fellow at the Visual Narratives Laboratory (vnLab) of the Łódź Film School. Previously, he did action research on alternative and community media’s use of the internet, including with a Master’s thesis in communications at Université du Québec à Montréal (2005).
TEACHING AND RESEARCH PRIORITIES:
- Media studies (i.e., media impact studies, media innovations, production studies)
- Cultural studies (i.e., open culture, cultural values)
- Internet studies
- Scholarly communication (i.e., open access, novel formats)
- Full scholarly profile: ORCID
Lecturers for the current class:
“Digitality and Change” modules* — led by Prof. Dr. Frédéric Dubois
Prof. Dr. Frédéric Dubois – Media Theory 3 and Analysis and Aesthetics of Digital Media 3
Prof. Dr. Gundolf S. Freyermuth – Digital Culture 1 and 2
Jasmin Degeling and Sarah Horn – Analysis and Aesthetics of Digital Media 1 and 2
Jimena Aguilar and Marsha Courneya – Collective Creation, the Commons and Rights Management 1 and 2
José Herranz – Digital Commons
*In the upcoming classes, most seminars for these modules will be held by Prof. Dr. Frédéric Dubois, who started his position in the winter semester 2021/22.
“Narratives” modules — led by Prof. Lena Thiele
Prof. Lena Thiele and Lucas Brunelli Donnard — Theoretical Perspectives on Digital Narratives 1 and 2
Prof. Lena Thiele and Martin Ganteföhr — Storytelling and Dramaturgy 1 and 2
Prof. Dr. Gundolf S. Freyermuth – Artists and Audiences in Modern Times
Prof. Cécile Le Prado — Sound Design
Tiner Florian Greth and Thomas Kühn — Human Machine Interface 1
Tina Tonagel — Human Machine Interface 2
“Methods” modules — led by Prof. Lena Thiele
Prof. Lena Thiele and Christoph Brosius — Production Exercise 1 and 2
Markus Santner — UX and Audience Centered Design 1 and 2
Leif Rumbke — Creative Technologies and Tools 1 (Fundamentals of software development and programming)
Alexander Daus — Creative Writing
Maren Demant and Lea Schorling — Creative Technologies and Tools 2 (Augmented Reality)
Viviane Wilde — Social Media Communication
Paul Tyler — Creative Methods 2
“Narratives and Methods” modules — led by Prof. Lena Thiele
Prof. Lena Thiele — Storytelling & Dramaturgy 3 and Theoretical Perspectives on Digital Narratives 3
Tina Tonagel — Human Machine Interface 3
Maren Demant and Lea Schorling — Creative Technologies and Tools 3 (Virtual Reality)
TBA — Adience and Formats 3
“Project” modules — led by Prof. Lena Thiele and Prof. Dr. Frédéric Dubois
Prof. Lena Thiele, Prof. Dr. Frédéric Dubois and Christoph Brosius — Project advisors
Jörg Bange — Media and IT Law
Marsha Courneya — Copyright and Licensing
TBD — Business Model Canvas
TBD — Professionalization 4
Guest tutors for extracurricular activities
Juan Orjuela – Experimenting with audio
Onat Hekimoglu – Unity Workshop
Jimena Aguilar – Collaborative student-led workshop at Zip-Scene Conference in Budapest
Alexander Alistair – Digitality 2
Michael Comyn – Fearless Negotiator, Fearless Influencer
Joel Dittrich – Immersive Art & Technology
Christian Faubel – Human Machine Interface
Nicoló Gallio – Audience Design
Maya Indira Ganesh – Data Ethics
Marijn Goossens – Paradise / Writing for VR
Jörg Ihle – Storyworlds
Karin Lingnau – Production / Presentation
Kirsten Loose – Audience & Formats / Introduction to Web Series
Arne Ludwig – VR Workshop
Arne Paul Oltmann – Entrepreneurship
Thomas Schlesinger – Creative Writing
Tank Thunderbird – Creative Technologies & Tools
Clemens von Wedemeyer – Immersive Space
You can find their profiles here.
insights & projects
Current student projects:
Prototypes for »1:1 CONCERTS«
In the second semester, the students developed prototypes for a digital extension of the music experience »1:1 CONCERTS
Free audio project »Lost in Sound«
ifs students Alexandra Tamayo und Cathal Kerins won fourth place in the music hackathon »Your Ocean Sound« of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and Mediasphere for Nature with their audio project »Lost in Sound«. The composition takes listeners on a journey off the coast of Ecuador: from the harbor of a small fishing village, a motorboat takes them out to sea and under the surface of the water.
What do alumni & lecturers say about the study program?
Loreto Quijada, Filmmaker, Chile – MA Digital Narratives Class B
»The MA Digital Narratives at ifs is a unique holistic study experience. I was happy to encounter an international environment where both academic and practical approaches are tuned in to bring out the best of each attendee. Every student is encouraged to develop a project or prototype on any digital medium, without defined creative boundaries, while being fully supported by all ifs staff, technical crew and professors.«
Felipe R. Martinez, Filmmaker & Writer – MA Digital Narratives Class B
»M.A. Digital Narratives is a creative and research program that provides its students with high design tools and production methods, coupled with a solid analytical approach towards the digital medium. For me, coming from both cultural studies and independent cinema, the master managed to profoundly intertwine my artistic and intellectual interests. At a creative level, it has greatly improved my production skills, as well as training me with a whole set of transmedia forms in which to render my new ideas. On a more theoretical aspect, it has also granted me a plethora of research tools for a quality academic approach to cultural cybernetics. For all these reasons, I feel incredibly indebted to the program, and I hope it will continue enlighten new cohorts into the prospects of the digital medium.«
Christoph Brosius, Gameproducer & CEO E-Mental-Health Developer Circumradius – MA Digital Narratives Lecturer
»When a film school values digital storytelling tools and elevates them onto a throne to be bigger in the future and set up today’s storytellers properly for the next decades, the result is the Master’s Program Digital Narratives. And I’m incredibly happy to be able to contribute a little bit to that.«
Eliane Eid, Performing artists – MA Digital Narratives Class C (2020-2022)
»In a world where art is experienced on a daily basis, the MA digital narratives program at the ifs brings clarity to the concept of creative development. When I started, I thought I knew what art was and how to create it digitally, but once we went in depth into our program I realized that it’s so much more than what we think. It’s a process of ideating, creating, prototyping, expanding, reflecting and producing. It’s a circle of thoughts that brings you closer to your creative goal. I am grateful that I got to have hands-on experiences with a lot of different projects at the ifs, as I learned how to trust my ideas, go further with them and make them come to life. One of the main aspects of the program is the interlink between theory and practice. This allowed my classmates and myself to focus on both creative and analytical approaches to our thesis projects.«
Lea Schorling, Developer & Maren Demant, Designer, Co-Found of Invisible Room GmbH & Co. KG – MA Digital Narratives Lecturer
»Within the MA Digital Narratives program, we had the pleasure to work together with the students on ‘Creative Technologies and Tools’ with the focus on Virtual Reality conceptualization and development with Unity. The international group of students with extraordinary and different backgrounds astonished us immensely with their quick technical grasp, as well as the highly creative and promising Virtual Reality prototypes. We enjoyed working with the students and ifs a lot!«
The Master’s program Digital Narratives starts every two years in the winter semester.
The application procedure consists of submitting the application documents. Candidates’ applications are reviewed by a committee and shortlisted candidates are invited for an interview. The selection committee then invites selected applicants to participate in the program.
Application documents: Please download the application details here.
New application deadline!
We have extended the deadline to allow applicants who had difficulties in their applications due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to submit their applications.
Application deadline: May 31st, 2022
Interviews in Cologne or via Zoom: June 13th, 2022
Start of program: September 2022
Application documents: Please download the application details here.
The MA Digital Narratives is looking for applicants who seek to become professionals that are active both in practical and theoretical thinking around media and emerging digital technologies and narratives.
Each cycle, we bring together a group of diverse early and mid-career professionals who are interested in
- experimenting and iterating as a way of learning;
- the critical analysis of the societal changes brought on by digital technologies;
- diving into discussions around the ethical, economic, social equity, gender and diversity, ecological ramifications of digitazation;
- developing narratives for different emerging media formats;
- producing engaging digital narrative media projects;
- Working with agile development and production structures and methods;
- being part of a growing network of creators and artists who are critically engaging with the narratives and technology that is defining today’s digital society.
We welcome applications from people with various backgrounds, including, but not limited to
- Software/video game/web development
- Communication studies
- Theatre and performing arts
- Media and Cultural Studies
- Social Sciences and Humanities
People from other subject areas are also welcomed to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
A Bachelor’s degree with proof of at least 180 ECTS (or a similar academic or higher degree). 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.
In justified exceptional cases, applicants with exceptional artistic skills whose CVs lack one or more of these formal requirements may request to enroll in the program as advanced training participants.
At least one year of specialized professional practice or similar professional project experience after the Bachelor’s degree.
Proof of program related aptitude for the MA Digital Narratives
Applicants must submit previous work samples, a CV, and assignments, to prove their aptitude to participate in the MA Digital Narratives program. If short-listed, candidates will be invited to an online interview, after which selected aplicants will be announced.
You can find the details at the beginning of this section.
Very good knowledge of English
B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, e.g. by a TOEFL score of a minimum of 72 points (internet-based) or equivalent test results. Native English speakers are exempted from this.
The ifs is a cooperation partner of the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences). Enrollment at the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) is mandatory for all students.
This can prove useful if you wish to take advantage of services offered by the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences), such as the »Semester-Ticket« for public transport, access to the TH Köln’s (University of Applied Sciences) International Office or to its sports facilities. Students from certain countries need a visa and/or a residence permit. To obtain a residency permit, foreign students must demonstrate sufficient funds to secure their living expenses. The amount required is equivalent to the Bafög maximum rate of 861 euros per month, calculated for one year.
study fees & financing
ifs international film school’s study fees
One-time registration fee: 400 euros
International Students: 3.750 euros per semester
(3.500 euros for study fees + 250 euros in contribution to the study funds for scholarships and loans)
EU Students: 2.750 euros per semester
(2.500 euros in study fees + 250 euros in contribution to the study funds for scholarships and loans)
TH Köln’s study fees
Semester fee at TH Köln: 285.40 euros (as of winter semester 2021/22)
Enrollment at the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) is mandatory for all ifs students.
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.
Another way to finance your studies is to apply for a repayable loan from an outside institution. 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 Society awards scholarships to Master’s students with outstanding academic achievements. Beginning in the summer semester of 2023, for the MA Digital Narratives one tuition fee scholarship may be awarded for a period of three semesters.
In addition to the ifs, numerous German and international study foundations offer scholarships to support tuition fees and living costs during the course of studies.
The requirements for the award of a scholarship vary depending on the scholarship provider.
An overview of the scholarship programs of external foundations can be found at:
Financing and Funding Opportunities
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.
Financial Assistance for professional training 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
Information for international applicants
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).
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 € 861 per month (10.332 euros per year).
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. Citizens of the UK fall under this category.
For specific questions concerning the MA Digital Narratives of the ifs please contact:
Head of Digital Narratives
T +49 (0) 221 920188-225
T +49 (0) 221.920188-266
Office of Student Affairs
T +49 (0) 221.920188-226
T +49 (0) 221.920188-227
Request info material
Here you can compile the requested information material on ifs programs.