Important information due to COVID-19: Please note that the university and its staff have been taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our students. Currently, all courses — seminars and lectures — take place online so that students can pursue their studies as planned. As of June 19, 2020, also courses in the upcoming winter term will take place online in order to account for the fact that not all international students may be able to come to Germany by the start of the winter term (due to delays in the visa process and/or travel regulations). Note that this year, the winter term will start on November 2, 2020 and will last until February 12, 2020. Please note that examinations will take place in person. We therefore ask all our students to come to Erlangen as soon as possible. We will make an effort to create alternative forms of exchange among students as long as courses remain online, and we very much hope to move back to in-class teaching as soon as the situation allows.

Description of Course Content

The DEIS programme of study has four required core module pairs. These are designed to provide students with rigorous academic training. Each of these module pairs is taught over the course of two consecutive semesters, and they are compulsory for all students:

Research Methods I + II:
These modules introduce students to quantitative methods that are used in economics to empirically test theories and to evaluate the impact of policies. Students also learn to work with the statistical software Stata.

Development Economics I + II:
These modules give an introduction to the economics of developing countries. A significant part of the modules is devoted to discussing empirical work, such as impact evaluations of programs run by state and non-state actors in developing countries.

International Economics I + II:
These modules offer an introduction to the theory and policy of international trade, and introduce students to empirical work in this field.

International Business Ethics I + II:
These modules introduce students to the theory and concepts of business ethics as well as to a series of ethical challenges currently facing the corporate world by taking an international and inter-cultural perspective of analysis and problem solving.

Additionally, students in the DEIS programme take at least two regional modules, such as:

  • Political Economy of the Middle East
  • Social Health Protection in South and East Asia
  • Business and Society in Latin America

There is a choice of various elective modules offered by the Institute of Economics, such as Behavioral Development Economics and Development Economics and Policy, which may vary over time. Students may also enroll in graduate-level courses on diverse topics of International Studies at other institutes of the Faculty, such as courses on human rights, as well as in graduate-level courses offered by the School of Business, Economics, and Society in Nuremberg.

Finally, students can take several complementary elective modules that are ungraded. Besides regional and elective modules, students can choose among numerous language courses (e.g. Chinese, Spanish, Swahili) at various levels. Students may also earn up to 10 ECTS for completing an internship related to the program. (To complete an internship, students can request leave from their studies.)

Course Organisation

The DEIS programme requires the completion of:

  • 4 core module pairs (40 ECTS)
  • 2 regional modules (10 ECTS)
  • Elective modules (20 ECTS)
  • Complementary elective modules (20 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

By completing both parts of a core module pair, students receive 10 ECTS credits. Elective courses may have different ECTS credits depending on the workload (usually 5 ECTS).

Students are expected to acquire on average 30 ECTS in each semester. In their first semester, students are expected to attend the Statistics Refresher course (5 ECTS) and the core modules Development Economics I, International Economics I, and Research Methods I (20 ECTS in total).

During their second semester, students are expected to attend the core modules Development Economics II, International Economics II, Research Methods II, and International Business Ethics I (20 ECTS in total).

During their third semester, students are expected to attend International Business Ethics II (5 ECTS), leaving plenty of room for regional, elective and elective complementary modules. There are also numerous options for students to spend their third semester abroad at one of our partner universities. We currently have exchange programs running with universities in China, India, Mexico, South Africa, and South Korea, among others.

The fourth semester is reserved for the Master’s thesis.


A summary of the course content as well as an example curriculum can be found here.