Master of Arts in International Studies / Peace and Conflict Research

In the M.A. programme in International Studies / Peace and Conflict Research, students are introduced to theoretically guided and normatively grounded perspectives on national, transnational and global socialization processes. They acquire the ability for differentiated analysis of conflicts within and between states, as well as for the reflective development of strategies for conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

The programme is interdisciplinary. It centres on Political Science and in particular International Relations (IR). Apart from Political Science and its various branches, the Masters programme also includes aspects of sociology, philosophy and – through compulsory elective modules – law and economics as well as engineering and natural sciences. These subjects are not minor subjects in the usual sense, but instead integrated in the Masters programme through specific questions and topics. In this way, an intensive confrontation is fostered not only with but also between different theoretical, methodological and practical approaches.

To this purpose, students participate, amongst others, in a practical research project, in which they themselves conduct research work. In this way, they can practise applying their theoretical and methodological skills to the analysis of concrete cases.

Unique joint programme

The consecutive and research-based Masters programme in International Studies / Peace and Conflict Research is run jointly by Goethe University Frankfurt and TU Darmstadt in cooperation with the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), part of the Leibniz Association.

At the Institute of Political Science at TU Darmstadt, seven research groups are working on questions in the areas of comparative politics, political theory, administration and (transnational) governance, and methods of political science. Alongside courses on political science in the stricter sense, courses on the scientific and technical aspects of global development are regularly held at TU Darmstadt.

Since its foundation in 1970, the work of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) of the Leibniz Association has focussed on identifying the causes of violent international and domestic conflicts, conducting research into the conditions necessary for peace as well as spreading the notion of peace. It has been engaged with four Principal Investigators in the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” since 2007 and a member of the Leibniz Association since 2009. PRIF researchers offer courses in the Masters programme on a regular basis.

With 22 professors, the Institute of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Goethe University Frankfurt is one of the largest of its kind in Germany. It offers a varied and differentiated syllabus with a strong research focus in all asubfields of the discipline. Current research priorities are Comparative Capitalism, Justice and Legitimacy in a Transnational Perspective, Comparative Democracy Research and Competing International Governance.

Students attend at least six courses at Goethe University Frankfurt and at least four at TU Darmstadt.

In keeping with the international focus of the programme, courses regularly take place in English. There is additionally the possibility to spend a semester abroad at a partner university. Students of the Masters programme can apply through the ERASMUS+ programme of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Institute of Political Science at TU Darmstadt.


At a glance

Programme duration: 4 semesters (2 academic years)
Programme start:  Winter semester only
Restricted admission:    Yes
Amount: 120 credit points (CPs)
Number of modules: 7 compulsory modules, 1 compulsory elective module
Type of module examinations: Coursework
Written test
Oral examination (only in modules 2, 3, 6 and 8)
Language(s) of instruction:  German, English