This programme offers you the professional requirements to teach history in secondary education at a German Gymnasium.
In History at the University of Konstanz you will study the spectrum from antiquity to the Middle Ages and through to modern and contemporary history, but you will be able to set your own areas of emphasis in the early stages. The study programme links epochs with region-specific (e.g. Ancient Near East, Eastern Europe) and thematic (e.g. economic and social history) areas of emphasis. Here, accents may include, for instance, world history, economic history, Eastern European history, the history of science or media history. Historians draw attention to the similarities and differences between present-day and past ways of living and horizons in thought. They work mainly with research literature and historical source materials which form the foundations of their subject. In addition to subject-related content you will have classes in didactics and education.
|Degree||Bachelor of Education (Secondary education)|
|Programme start||Winter semester|
|Period of study||6 semesters|
|Application period||27.05. - 15.9.|
Why study History at Konstanz?
The study of history at the University of Konstanz has a firm emphasis on research and theory as well as a very strong international orientation. In Konstanz, the subjects of sociology and history are combined to form a joint department. This means that our students have a large range of options when choosing their preferred courses and shaping their individual study programme. You will be learning in small groups and be introduced to practical research at an early stage in your studies. At the beginning of your studies, the seminars will be accompanied by tutorials to help you master the art of scientific working techniques and where students from advanced semesters provide the support and advice you may need. Students can spend a semester abroad which will open up new perspectives – personally as well as professionally. The University of Konstanz Writing Centre offers research and writing seminars to strengthen your academic writing during the whole extent of your studies. There are also numerous opportunities for you to learn a new language or to improve your existing skills, above all at the university’s Language Institute (SLI).
Prospects and opportunities
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 sechs 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.
Starting in the winter semester 2017/18, the master’s programme history will be offered for future school teachers.
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 programme generally lasts for six semesters and is concluded with a bachelor thesis. You will need to make a new application for the master’s programme, which generally lasts for four semesters. A combination of three subjects is not available in the bachelor 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: three-week orientation internship during the bachelor's programme and a practical teaching semester (12 weeks) during the master's programme.
You can find an exemplary structure of the study programme in this table.
Additional information about the programme structure is available at the Exam regulations (in German).
Mandatory main subject
You can choose your mandatory second main subject from the following list:
- BiologyBiology is the science of living systems. As a student you will investigate the development, functioning and behaviour, and the relationships between the individual organism and its environment.
- ChemistryThis programme qualifies you to teach chemistry in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. Chemistry is the science of the structures and properties of materials and their reactions. In the chemical sense, materials are elements and their compounds.
- Computer ScienceThis study programme qualifies you to teach computer science in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. Computer science is based on mathematics and engineering. Logical thinking is at the heart of this discipline.
- EconomicsOur Economics – Bachelor of Education (secondary education ) study programme provides future teachers the professional qualifications to teach economics in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. The study of economics will provide you with the essential knowledge, methods and theoretical background in the areas of economics and business administration.
- EnglishIn this programme you will acquire the professional skills required to teach English in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. The courses consist of literary, linguistic and language skills modules. The literary modules will teach you how to analyse and reflect critically on literatures of the English-speaking world and to speak and write about them with authority. The linguistic modules deal systematically with the structure and history of the English language.
- FrenchThis study programme equips you with the professional skills required to teach French in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. The courses consist of literary, linguistic and language skills modules. The literary modules will teach you how to analyse and reflect critically on French literature and culture and to speak and write about them with authority. The linguistic modules deal systematically with the structure and history of the French language.
- GermanIn this study programme you will acquire the professional skills to teach German in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. The courses consist of literary and linguistic modules. The literary module will teach you to analyse and reflect critically on literature and to speak and write about it with authority. The linguistic module deals systematically with the structure and history of the German language.
- ItalianThis study programme qualifies you to teach Italian in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. The courses consist of literary, linguistic and language skills modules. The literary modules will teach you how to analyse and reflect critically on Italian literature and culture and to speak and write about them with authority. The linguistic modules deal systematically with the structure and history of the Italian language.
- LatinThis study programme qualifies you to teach Latin in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. It consists of literary, culture and language skills modules. The literary modules will teach you how to read and understand ancient texts in their historical, cultural and social contexts. In the linguistic modules you will become proficient in classical Latin and acquire knowledge of the metrics, structure and history of Latin.
- MathematicsThis study programme qualifies you to teach mathematics in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. Mathematics encompasses the study of abstract structures and their inherent relationships on the one hand, and seeks to find solutions for problems posed by applied sciences such as engineering, medicine, economics as well as the natural and social sciences on the other.
- Philosophy/ EthicsThis study programme qualifies you to teach philosophy/ethics in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. Over the course of 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 relationship between language and reality.
- PhysicsThis study programme qualifies you to teach physics in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. Physics encompasses a wide field of study. The fundamental aim is to understand how matter in its various forms and sizes interacts with the fundamental forces of nature.
- Political ScienceThis study programme qualifies you to teach political science in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. When studying political science, you will be mainly concerned with political perspectives on social needs, interests and objectives. You will acquire knowledge of political institutions and their inner structures and become acquainted with theories that explain how political power is legitimised. In doing so, you will learn to analyse political decision-making processes and critically appraise mechanisms within our society.
- RussianThis study programme will qualify you to teach Russian in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. The courses consist of literary, linguistic and language skills modules. Over the course of the literary modules you will learn how to analyse and reflect critically on Russian literature and culture and to speak and write about them with authority. The linguistic modules deal systematically with the structure and history of the Russian language.
- SpanishThis study programme qualifies you to teach Spanish in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. It is comprised of literary, linguistic and language skills modules. Over the course of the literary modules you will learn how to analyse and reflect critically on Spanish literature and culture and to speak and write about them with authority.
- SportIn this study programme you will acquire the professional skills to teach sports in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. You will attend both theoretical as well practical modules. The theoretical disciplines comprise modules on science, medicine and social science.
Internship and study abroad
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.
We highly recommend a study abroad stay. You can spend semesters abroad at numerous European and non-European universities. The university promotes study abroad via Erasmus+ and numerous other exchange programmes.
What interests and skills should I have?
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.
When studying history it is useful to have a good deal of curiosity for cultures that are distant in time, and often geographically, and to enjoy critically inquiring into historical sources. Since these sources form the foundations of the study programme, you will be doing a lot of reading (historical sources and the relevant research literature). Diverse language skills, and especially the ability to read sources and research literature in different languages, are important for successful studies. At the same time, in view of the numerous options, you should be able to work independently and in a well-organised way.
- Enthusiasm for the subject and for teaching children and adolescents
- Communication skills
- Very good verbal skills
- Solid foreign language skills (Latin, English and another foreign language)
- A willingness to read extensively
- A structured and independent approach to work
- An interest in history, culture and historical contexts
Foreign language skills
Skills in English, another foreign language and qualification in Latin (Latinum). You can document these by e. g. your higher education entrance qualification certificate (‘Abiturzeugnis’ or equivalent). Alternatively you can catch up on missing language skills at our Language Institute (SLI) during the first semester.
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.
General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) or equivalent.
Obligatory online orientation test
Before starting a teacher education programme, you need to take an online orientation test. The test will help you to decide whether teaching and working daily with children and adolescents is suitable for you. Please send in your certificate of participation together with your application papers.
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 some international students
Beginning in the winter semester 2017/18, the state of Baden-Württemberg will require some international students to pay university tuition fees for their first degree studies. The following will generally not be 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' (international students with German Abitur). You can find more detailed information here.
Tuition fees for second degree studies for all students
All students will be required to pay tuition fees for their second degree studies starting in the winter semester 2017/18, too. You can find more detailed information here.
Once a year, the University of Konstanz grants exemptions to a limited number of particularly gifted international degree-seeking students in accordance with the Begabtenbefreiuungssatzung (statutes governing the exemption of gifted students). You can find more detailed information here.
Application and application documents
This study programme has no admission restrictions.
An application is possible during the following period: 27.05. - 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.
You will find an overview of the required application documents in your application for admission, which you will receive at the end of your online application.