Philosophy/ Ethics – Bachelor of Education (Secondary education)

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This programme offers you the professional requirements to teach philosophy/ethics in secondary education at a German Gymnasium.

During your studies you will gain an understanding of the theories and positions of classical and contemporary philosophers. You will discuss philosophical questions, such as free will, the rationale of moral norms, the potentials of knowledge and the relationships between language and reality. You will gain insights into the history of philosophy and a variety of its sub-disciplines, and you will be encouraged to develop a range of valuable skills. These include especially the ability to think carefully and analyse critically, to develop structured approaches to reading and writing texts, to critically assess arguments, and the ability to develop your own arguments creatively and independently. The study of philosophy will enable you especially to pose foundational questions and to repeatedly scrutinise and challenge the foundations of existing theories and positions. In addition to subject-related content you will have classes in didactics and education.

Overview

Degree Bachelor of Education (Secondary education)
Programme start Winter semester
Period of study 6 semesters
Application period 17.5. - 15.9.
Admission restrictions no
⌀ Number of students 60

Why study Philosophy/ Ethics in the University of Konstanz?

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Konstanz features systematic areas of focus. This means that, rather than approaching the history of philosophy mainly as the history of ideas, you will be addressing historical positions and the extent to which their contents and arguments are convincing. In addition to this, the department likes to pursue interdisciplinary approaches in both teaching and research. As a student you will benefit especially from regular interdisciplinary lectures and courses.
Our philosophy students enjoy very good study conditions. There are no overcrowded lectures and seminars, and the staff-student ratio allows excellent personal contact and supervision. In addition to this, the core courses and the compulsory courses in logic are accompanied by student tutorials. Students can satisfy stronger interests at a large range of conferences, colloquia and workshops based on the department’s numerous research initiatives.

Content

Prospects and opportunities

Career prospects

Studying teacher education at the University of Konstanz will qualify you first and foremost for a teaching post in the state of Baden-Württemberg. When choosing the subjects you wish to study, you should note that your employment chances will partly depend on your combination of subjects. Normally, you will complete your bachelor’s degree after six semesters and continue with your master's programme (four semesters). You will then complete 18 months as a trainee teacher (Referendariat) at a school in Baden-Württemberg. After successfully completing your 'Referendariat', you will be fully qualified to teach at a German Gymnasium (secondary school). Your professional post will preferably be at a school in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In principle, there is also the possibility of applying for a position in other federal states (among other things, this depends on the subject combination required by each specific state).

You can find out more about career entry in the interview series #dreamjob - Starting a career. Alumni of the University of Konstanz report on their very personal career entry.

Graduate studies

Die Universität Konstanz bietet in dem Fach den weiterführenden Master of Education Philosophie/Ethik an.

Programme structure

Programme start

Winter semester

Academic structure

Students always have to study two major subjects. You may freely combine your choice of subjects from those offered at the University of Konstanz. But you should note that some subject combinations demand a higher level of organisation and work. This is why we recommend you to seek more information and personal advice before entering your application. The bachelor's programme generally lasts for six semesters and is concluded with a bachelor thesis. To continue with the master's programme, you will need to make a new application. The master's programme generally lasts for four semesters. A combination of three subjects is not available in the bachelor's programme. It might, however, be possible to study a third subject for future teaching purposes during the master’s programme.

The study programme for future teachers consists of the following elements:

  • Academic studies: Studies in both of the future teaching subjects
  • Teaching methodology: Acquisition of subject-specific theories and methods for teaching the subject matter
  • Educational science: Acquisition of educational and other qualifications relevant to a teaching position
  • Practical experience: During your bachelor's programme you will complete a three-week orientation internship and during your master's programme a 12-week practical teaching semester.

You can find an exemplary structure of the study programme in this table.


Please check the Exam regulations (partly in German) for more information about the programme structure.

Mandatory main subject


Internship and study abroad

Internships

During your bachelor's programme you will complete a three-week orientation internship and during your master's programme a 12-week practical teaching semester.

Study abroad

A period of study abroad is always highly recommendable. You can benefit from the great variety of international contacts maintained by the university staff and take part in exchange programmes with leading European and American universities. The university supports study abroad via Erasmus+ and numerous other funding sources.

Impressions from students and lecturers

Hear from students and lecturers
In our interview series, students talk about their subject, teachers explain the department's research and tell you what topics they cover in seminars and lectures.

Get an impression
Discover online lectures and websites with more information about your prospective subject.

Requirements

What interests and skills should I have?

Philosophy students also need a good command of English, because a large amount of the relevant literature is written in this language. But most of all you need to have a deep-seated interest in philosophical questions, because this will provide you with the motivation and endurance needed to complete the highly demanding course of study. If you are uncertain whether the study of philosophy really suits your interests and abilities, you should take a look at the department’s websites. There you will find examples of original texts and class material. Of course, you are not expected to immediately understand these texts before beginning your studies. But you should certainly feel the desire and be prepared to make the effort to deal intensely with these texts.

As a teacher you need a variety of skills and competences. You should of course be fascinated by the contents of your subject, and at the same time enjoy sharing your knowledge with your young students. You will need to be able to develop teaching concepts, sometimes with your teacher colleagues, and you will need to demonstrate a high level of educational skills in your daily work with children and adolescents. In addition to this, you will need a variety of social competencies. These include communication skills, conflict ability, resilience and the ability to inspire and motivate. These skills will also help you when interacting with parents. You enjoy working with scientific and very complex texts and have a structured approach to reading and writing texts. Abstract thinking should come easily to you, and you should have a lively interest in logical and consistent reasoning.

Language skills

Foreign language skills
Knowledge of Latin (Latinum) and ancient Greek (Graecum). If you do not have the required language skills when starting your studies, you can request in the departmental office to have the deadline and the standard period of study extended by two semesters. You have to submit proof of your language skills no later than at the end of the fourth semester. If you have acquired your Latinum and/or Graecum at school, you can submit your school certificate (e.g. Abitur-Zeugnis).

German language skills
International applicants need documentation of their German language skills, level DSH-2 or TestDaF 4. Alternatively, other language tests or school certificates recognized as equivalent can be used as proof of the required German language skills. The University of Konstanz does not offer preparatory German language courses or approved German language exams. For this reason, you must submit accredited proof of your German language skills along with your application.

Language(s) of instruction

The language of instruction and examinations is German.

Admission requirements

General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) or equivalent.

Mandatory online test
Before applying for our Bachelor of Education programme you need to take an online self-test. This test will help you to decide whether teaching and working daily with children and adolescents is suitable for you. Please send in your test certificate together with your application papers.

Fees

Semester fee

All students enrolled at the University of Konstanz are charged a semester fee each semester, similar to all other German universities. Here you can find the current semester fee and its individual components.

Tuition fees for first degree studies for certain international students
Since winter semester 2017/18, the state of Baden-Württemberg has required some international students to pay tuition fees for their first degree studies. The following students are not required to pay tuition fees: citizens of a country within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), doctoral students and certain “Bildungsinländer” (e.g. non-EU citizens with a German “Abitur”). More detailed information can be found here.

Each year, the University of Konstanz grants exemptions to a limited number of particularly gifted international degree-seeking students in accordance with the university’s “Begabtenbefreiungssatzung” (statutes governing the exemption of gifted students). More detailed information can be found here.

Tuition fees for second degree studies for all students
All students are required to pay tuition fees for their second degree studies. More detailed information can be found here.

Application and application documents

This study programme has no admission restrictions.

An application is possible during the following period: 17.5. - 15.9. (winter semester). There may be other deadlines if you are applying for admission to a higher semester (for instance, if you are changing subjects or universities). For more information please consult the university website.

Application documents

During the online application process, you will need to enter various kinds of information (school grades, attendance periods, etc.) and upload various PDF documents.

Please make sure that you have the relevant documentation ready. This may include:

  • your Abitur certificate (German general higher education entrance qualification)
  • documentation of any volunteering you may have done (FSJ, FÖJ, etc.)
  • any documentation about vocational training you may have completed
  • any other required documents (medical certificate, etc.)

An electronic assistant will guide you through the application process. Required fields are marked by an asterisk (*).

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