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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

Due to the current situation, the application deadlines for Master's programs for the winter semester 2020/21 will be extended once until June 30, 2020.

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. 

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 do I apply?

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.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will additionally have to submit individual documents as notarized hardcopies by post to be enrolled.

Generally, applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies (e.g. a bachelor’s) obtained outside of the EU / EEA must have their documents reviewed in advance through uni-assist.

In detail:

Which documents do I need to submit for enrollment?

We may require additional documents depending on the type of educational background you earned and your country of origin. After accepting an offer of admission in TUMonline, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hardcopy for enrollment.

What application deadlines do I need to meet?

Application period for the winter semester: 01.01. - 31.05.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents. Please be aware that we can only process your application if you upload all required documents within the application period.

We will review your application as soon as it is complete. 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.

After receiving admission, you will see in TUMonline which documents you have to submit for enrollment, and in which form. Please note that you always have to send the signed application for enrollment and all notarizedhardcopies by post.

We recommend that you submit the documents for enrollment as soon as possible after receiving admission. If individual documents are not available by then, you can submit them up to 5 weeks after the start of the lecture period. You will, however, only be enrolled once we have received all documents.

You can check the status of your application at any time in your TUMonline account.

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?

The online application process takes place through our application portal TUMonline.

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.