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Science and Technology Studies (STS)

Master of Arts (M.A.)

This M.A. program puts the relations and interactions between science, technology, society and politics front and center. From bio-technology to energy transitions, from automated mobility to data security - the big challenges society is facing today are inseparably scientific, technical and social.

TUM School of Governance

Key Data

Type of Study
  • Full Time
Required Language Proficiency Language of Instruction
  • English
Main Locations
Admission Category Start of Degree Program
  • Winter Semester (October)
Standard Duration of Studies
(Number of Semesters)
  • 4 semesters fulltime
Credits Costs

Information on Degree Program

What does this program cover?

The STS Master’s program primarily deals with the conditions and consequences of scientific and technological knowledge production and dissemination in radically technologized societies. 

Thanks to the interdisciplinary orientation of the program, STS students benefit from theories and research methods from various fields (e.g. social sciences, philosophy, and the humanities) and can apply these to actual techno-scientific problems in a critical and problem-oriented manner. The program conveys the necessary reflexive, collaborative, and communicative skills and tackles questions such as:

  • How can we understand scientific and technological change?
  • How do science, technology and society influence and shape each other?
  • Which inter- or transdisciplinary forms of knowledge production are necessary?
  • How do science and technology differ across regulatory, cultural and policy contexts?

It offers a research-oriented graduate education in the flourishing field of Science and Technology Studies for students interested in a comprehensive social science perspective in today’s highly technologized societies. 

For a comprehensive description of the program, please refer to the degree program documentation:

How is the program structured?

The mandatory courses in the first semester are intended to convey a common knowledge base in the field of STS. This allows all students to develop a fundamental understanding and common vocabulary. The modules are structured in such a way as to allow all students to bring background knowledge from their bachelor’s studies into the discussions, and simultaneously benefit from the previous knowledge of their classmates. 

In the second semester, students elect courses from a list of core topics and can begin focusing on a particular field of STS research. Furthermore, methodological training is intensified. The module “STS-MINT” helps students to develop original reflexive perspectives on STEM fields. In this module, students visit courses from STEM fields and reflect on the social, ethical and political aspects of their acquired knowledge. Further explanation and specialization is provided in accompanying tutorials given by research assistants. Students with a background in the humanities or social sciences may visit introductory courses in STEM fields, whereas students who already have a STEM background can elect advanced courses.

In the third semester, students elect courses from a list of advanced topics and can continue focusing on a particular field of research. The module “Practicing Research” helps students learn how to develop research projects and prepares them for their Master’s thesis.

The fourth semester is devoted to the preparation of a Master’s thesis accompanied by a colloquium.

What is the language of instruction?

Required language skills for admission:

You need sufficient English language skills if you wish to apply for this program. Evidence of your language proficiency has to be submitted before the end of the application deadline. Learn more about recognized certificates and other ways to prove your English language skills.

This evidence of your language proficiency confirms that you comply with the minimum language requirements for admission to the program. Depending on the program and your individual background, it may be necessary for you to keep working on your language skills during your studies. Be sure to take a look at the services of our Language Center.  

Language of instruction:

The language of instruction for this program is English.

Which further expertise and skills will I acquire?

Students gain in-depth exposure to interdisciplinary approaches to urgent questions about the ever-changing interplay between science, technology and society. STS offers empirical research methods and analytical skills to study the conditions and consequences of contemporary developments in science and technology. 

In addition, the program offers optional specializations in the Philosophy of Science and Technology or the History of Science and Technology. 

Due to its interdisciplinary orientation, graduates can benefit from theories, methods and a variety of research aspects, e.g. from social sciences, philosophy or the humanities, and are able to apply these to actual techno-scientific problems in a critical and diagnostic way with a focus on problem-solving. The study program mediates the necessary reflexive, collaborative and communicative competencies.

Which professional opportunities can I take up with this qualification?

STS graduates will be able to work in a range of fields including academic research (such as a PhD program) as well as careers in science and technology policy, communication, journalism and management.

Binding Regulations for Progression of Studies, Examinations and Application

Application and Admission

How does the application process work?

Minimum requirements to apply for a Master's program at TUM are a recognized undergraduate degree (e.g. a bachelor’s) and the successful completion of the aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment allows the TUM school or department to which you are applying the opportunity to evaluate your individual talents and motivation for study.
You must apply online using the TUMonline application portal. After completing the online application process, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hard copy by the application deadline.

In detail:

What application periods and deadlines do I need to meet?

Application period for winter semester: 01.01. - 31.05.

Our online application portal TUMonline will create an application form and a checklist with the documents you have to hand in. The checklist shows which documents you need for admission and which for enrollment

You must submit the signed application form and all documents required for admission before the application deadline.

Please also submit the documents we need for your enrollment as soon as possible. If individual documents for enrollment are not available to you yet, you can hand them in up to five weeks after the start of the lecture period. However, we recommend that you submit all required documents well before the semester begins, as you will not be enrolled until all documents have been received. 

Please check your TUMonline account regularly, to see if we have any queries to your documents or if you have to amend one or more documents.

On what basis does TUM select applicants for admission?

Selection takes place through an aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment is a two-part procedure after the submission of an official application to a program. In this procedure, the TUM school or department determines whether you meet the specific requirements for its master’s degree program.

In the initial stages, the grades you obtained during your bachelor's program, as well as your written documents, will be evaluated using a point system. Depending on the amount of points accumulated, applicants are either immediately admitted, rejected or invited to an admissions interview.

In detail:

Where can I find the online application portal?

Do I have to complete an internship?

This degree program does not encompass a compulsory internship nor is an internship a requirement for admission. However, it is recommendable, as a rule, to gain practical experience as soon as possible.

What are my options after earning this degree?

You have earned your master’s degree and are ready to start your career?

TUM Alumni & Career can assist you with questions regarding professional orientation, job search and job application. If you are interested in continuing your studies,  you will find information of doctoral studies at TUM, here.