Frequently asked questions

We have collected questions asked frequently by interested students and applicants and answered them here. We would appreciate if you consult the FAQs before contacting the student advisory.


What kinds of courses are included in the programme?

The M.A. Human Rights addresses the growing importance of human rights in all areas of society and academia. The course programme covers fundamental challenges as well as current issues. It pursues an interdisciplinary approach by taking the political, philosophical and legal dimensions of human rights into account. In the first semester, all students will enroll in three compulsory modules covering political, philosophical and legal foundations of human rights respectively. In the second semester, students will participate in a compulsory, interdisciplinary module on non-discrimination and elect four out of a variety of specialised modules that may include: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Business and Human Rights; Freedom of Religion and Belief; Gender and Human Rights; International Criminal Law; Transitional Justice; Human Rights of Refugees; and Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and others. The third semester is devoted to the master thesis. The module descriptions are available here.

What academic and professional experiences are required of applicants?

Admission to the Master’s programme in Human Rights requires a university degree based on at least 3.5 years of full-time studies (equivalent to 210 ECTS credits) and at least one year of professional experience in the area of human rights, or one year of professional experience in another field in combination with practical experience in human rights work on a volunteer basis. If your university degree is based on less than 3.5 years of studies, you may be accepted on the basis of a special procedure determining additional qualifications.

What is the language of instruction and what levels are needed to apply?

The language of instruction is English. A proof of English language skills in line with level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required for admission. This generally requires the submission of a recognised language test like IELTS, TOEFL, UniCERT, Cambridge etc. Exceptions can be granted by the Admissions Committee to applicants who have completed a university degree with English as the sole language of instruction in an English-speaking country.

My examination appointment for the IELTS is after the application deadline. Can I still apply?

Yes. You can still apply, however you have to send us the results immediately after you receive them.

What is the admissions timeline?

The programme only starts in the winter term. Applications are accepted between mid-January and 30 June each year. Decisions will be taken in March, May and July. To have your application reviewed in March or May, it has to reach us by the last working day of the previous month. Please note that in some cases, processing visa applications may take several months. We therefore strongly advise applicants who require a student visa to apply early.

What is the tuition fee of the programme?

The tuition fees are 4.900 € for all three semesters. In addition, students are required by law to pay a fee for the student union and the semester ticket.

Does the programme offer scholarships?

There are two scholarships available to cover half of the tuition fee. New students can only apply if they have been admitted. Interested students will be asked to write an application essay (appr. 1–3 pages) on a given topic.

Also, there are opportunities for funding for students with excellent marks through the FAU Germany Scholarship (Deutschlandstipendium). One to two of these scholarships are often reserved for students in the MA Human Rights programme. The deadline for applications is usually in mid-July. New students can only apply if they have been admitted before that, which is only possible if an application is submitted in full before the end of April.

Scholarships can also be found at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). There, you will find an exhaustive database with different offers for funding – please mind that you will have to find your way through the offers on your own and will have to apply with every organization/foundation separately.

Examples of some of these scholarships can be found on our Scholarships page.

At this university homepage you will find general information on scholarships.

Additional information on scholarships can be found at these homepages: (German) (German)

Regarding student loans, please check these two websites for additional information:

What are the requirements for a German student visa?

An overview of relevant steps and requirements to obtaining a visa can, for example, be found at the website of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Please note that it is your responsibility as a student to obtain the required visa. If you are admitted, we will send you an admission letter with which you can apply at the nearest German embassy/consulate. If necessary, we can also write letters of support and be available for questions directly by the embassy but we cannot influence visa proceedings. Visa proceedings can take several months, so we strongly advise you to apply early to the degree programme (see here for application deadlines) and to apply for your visa immediately after getting admitted.

As of September 2017, the proceedings at the embassies in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Tehran, Iran, seem to take up to one year. Applicants from these countries, in particular, are advised to inquire at the embassy about current time frames in advance and, if necessary, consider applying already one year before planning to commence the programme.

Where is the programme located?

The programme’s offices and the majority of classes are located at Wetterkreuz 15, 91058 Erlangen. The M.A. Human Rights is on the ground floor of the building. Bus connections from the Erlangen Hauptbahnhof can be found here and bus connections from Nuremberg – Am Wegfeld can be found here.

Is there housing available to students?

University staff will try to assist you in your search. However, they are not responsible for finding accommodation and can only make recommendations. If you are admitted to the programme, you will receive instructions on how to apply for support by the accommodation service.

What is the cost of living of a student in Erlangen?

As a student in Erlangen or Nuremberg, your average cost of living will be around 850 EUR per month. Here is a breakdown of costs:

Rent: 250-500 EUR/month
Health insurance: 80-150 EUR/month
Transport: minimum 65 EUR/semester (c.11 EUR/month)
Food: approx. 200 EUR/month
Study materials: approx. 50-100 EUR/month

For more information, visit the webpages of the university or of the Studentenwerk (student union, only in German).

How long does it take to complete the degree requirements? Are all three semesters full-time?

The M.A. Human Rights programme consists of three six-month semesters. The first two semesters (October to mid-July) are dedicated to the modules and require residence in the Erlangen area. The last semester is devoted entirely to the master thesis. 

Due to the current pandemic, students of the 2020-2021 batch were not required to be physically in Erlangen, since all courses were taught online.


If you have any further questions concerning the application process or administrative matters, please send an email to our programme coordinator Ines Kalam (