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.
|Degree||Bachelor of Education (Secondary education)|
|Programme start||Winter semester|
|Period of study||6 semesters|
|Application period||27.05. - 15.9.|
|⌀ Number of students:||60|
Why study Philosophy/ Ethics at 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.
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 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.
Die Universität Konstanz bietet in dem Fach den weiterführenden Master of Education Philosophie/Ethik an.
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.
Additional information about the programme structure is available at the Exam regulations (in German).
Mandatory main subject
- 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.
- HistoryIn this programme you will acquire the professional skills required to teach history in secondary education at a German Gymnasium. Studying history at the University of Konstanz means learning about everything from antiquity to the Middle Ages and through to modern and contemporary history while pursuing your own special interests. The programme links the study of entire epochs with regional histories (e.g. Ancient Near East, Eastern Europe) and thematic (e.g. economic and social history) areas of emphasis.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.