Science and Technology Studies: Economies, Governance, Life (Master of Arts)

Bild option 1 ma sts  c  simon burkhardt

© Photo: Simon Burkhardt


Conditions of admission


Course content and focus areas 


Are you interested in the role of science and technology in everyday life? Do you like to explore how expertise and knowledge are contested? Are you looking for a master’s programme that puts your research interest at its centre?
Then our research-oriented programme MA in “Science and Technology Studies” (STS), conducted in English language, may be the optimal choice for you. STS is an interdisciplinary endeavour addressing the mutual shaping of science, technology and society, with respect to the relations between scientific expertise, technology development, economies, governance and contemporary cultures. Our STS programme operates in the field of the ethnographic social studies of science, technology and society and is powered by collaboration across cultural anthropology, sociology and human geography. The defining feature of our approach to STS is an ethnographic orientation at the centre of both students’ and lecturers’ research. This programme is brought to you by Goethe University’s Institute for Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology.

As a student you learn to conceptualise science and technology as social and material practices. You conduct a two year long ethnographic project, based on your own research idea. Our first- year courses provide you with an environment which equips you with the necessary resources to turn your research idea into an STS project.
Beyond our structured Research Curriculum in which you conduct your ethnographic research, you can opt for elective courses across global economies, the development of digital technologies, infrastructures, governance, human-environment relations and biomedicine and many other fields.


Qualifications offered

The MA programme is research-oriented. It equips you with state-of-the-art ethnographic research methods and conceptual tools that enable you to facilitate your own original fieldwork project.
You learn to understand not only the scope of empirical research but also the political, theoretical, epistemological and ethical implications of fieldwork. You are introduced to a range of research options and will learn to make informed choices about research strategies and fieldwork settings. 
We train students for employment in organisations, government institutions, tertiary education, corporate settings and academic research, working in fields such as Research & Development, consultancy, policy-making, technology assessment, usability research, knowledge management, media, public relations and transnational governance. Graduates from the MA program may also embark on a Ph.D. project to conduct focused research or develop an academic career (for those interested in PhDs, see

Programme Structure

In the first year, the foundational module “Theoretical Intersections” introduces students from all academic backgrounds to the concept of STS and its contemporary debates. The Research Curriculum is a series of four modules that span the duration of the MA Program, offering a unique program of course work, independent research, and supervision that enables students to develop their research problem into an in-depth ethnographic study. It is taught alongside the Theoretical Intersections and the thematic modules and guides students in the research-oriented learning process towards the Master’s thesis. Expect to spend more than half of your weekly workload on your research project. Learn more about the Research Curriculum at

To ensure you develop a broad understanding of STS, you choose two out of three optional modules on the topics of Technologies of Governance, Markets, and Cultures or Economies of Life. For examples of courses offered in these modules, please visit

Detailed information

Information from the department
Subject-specific regulations

Degree Master of Arts in Science and Technology Studies: Economies, Governance, Life
Duration The standard length of study for the Master of Arts is 4 semesters.
Languages of instruction English
Start of the programme The programme starts at the beginning of the winter semester.
Student advisory service

Timotheus Kartmann 
Institut für Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt am Main

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Conditions of admission

Admission requirements

We welcome international students as well as graduates from German universities.

  • Entrance qualification
    The entrance qualification is a six-semester Bachelor’s Degree in either Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology, Human Geography or Sociology (180 ECTS Credit Points) or a similar degree in the same or related disciplines.
    Applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree from other disciplines such as in the Humanities, Media Studies, Computer Science, Nursing, Public health, Environmental Management, Ecology, Physics, Law and others can only be admitted when their degree is considered equivalent to the above-mentioned degrees by the Admissions Committee (See below for the assessment of equivalence of degrees)

  • Assessment of equivalence of degrees
    The assessment of equivalence takes into account the qualifications attained with the BA and/or course contents and modules studied. In order for a BA degree to qualify for admission to our MA program, basic training in methods (such as ethnography, or qualitative social research methods), theories (social theories, cultural theories, spatial theories) and/or familiarity with topic areas of Cultural Anthropology, Sociology and/or Human Geography are required. Please mention relevant courses, additional training or other/alternative formats of learning about these required contents in the motivation letter to make sure we take them into account.

  • Language requirements
    A good knowledge of English is required (minimum of a B2 certification)
    You demonstrate that by submitting e.g.:
    - Certificate of a secondary school from an English-speaking country, OR
    - Bachelor’s Degree from a study program taught completely/mostly in English, OR
    - Five years of English lessons at school (the grade for English on the final certificate must be “satisfactory” or higher), OR
    - TOEFL test result of at least 87 (internet-based) or equivalent results from other officially recognized tests of English language capability, such as IELTS or the Cambridge Proficiency examination, OR
    - An equivalent certificate, pending decision by the Admissions committee

    Good working knowledge of German (B1) is recommended for daily communication at the university (no certification needed). However, for learning German in parallel to the MA STS programme you need to budget additional time. The MA STS programme does neither teach English or German, but the university routinely offers courses (with/without fees).

  • Aptitude Test i.e. “Eignungsfeststellungsverfahren”
    Admission for the program will be determined on the basis of the grade average of the BA (60%) and on the assessment of the motivation letter (40%). The application must include a motivation letter in English, comprising 400 to 600 words. The resulting overall rating must be at least 7.0 points.

  • Motivation letter
    Before you apply, make sure you learn more about our programme via our website,
    The motivation letter shall describe your motivation for applying specifically to our programme. In particular, give details of a research project that you want you embark on (across the four semesters). What are the real-world problems that you want to focus on in your research? Do you have suggestions how your research idea might be put to work in the field?  Make sure you address: Why do you chose our programme rather than other STS programmes? Which relevant experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities would you bring to the programme? Of course, you may also include additional information about non-university activities (like work experience, activist and NGO engagement, internships) that might boost your application. The motivation letter will be scored (see above).

  • For further information please check the department’s website
Provisional admission

Provisional admission is possible on the basis of a current certificate or transcript of records. At least 80% of the credit points in the B.A. (usually 144 CP) must have been obtained and must be calculated into a provisional average grade, upon which admission will be based. An office authorised to award grades or issue certificates must issue this provisional certificate. Provisional admission is valid until the end of the first semester of the master’s program. The bachelor’s degree must thus be handed in by March 31 (winter intake) or September 30 (summer intake) the latest. If the Bachelor’s degree certificate is not submitted by the end of the first semester, provisional admission will be withdrawn.

Mode of admission

Admission is not restricted, but subject to the aptitude test. Applicants will be directly admitted if the admission requirements are met in full.

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Documents to be submitted
  • If you are not already enrolled at Goethe University:
    Copy of your Secondary school certificate (e.g. ‘Abiturzeugnis’)
  • Copy of the Bachelor’s degree certificate (incl. Diploma Supplement)
  • If the Bachelor's degree has not yet been completed:
    A transcript of records or equivalent document listing the content of the study program and average grade
  • Curriculum vitae (in tabular form)
  • Proof of English language skills (level B2)
  • Letter of motivation in English (400-600 words)
  • APS certificate for applicants from India, Vietnam and PR of China (original)
Application period 01.04. - 15.05.
Address for applications

Online application portal for Master's study programmes

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