Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Journalism in Germany
Pursuing a journalism degree in Germany will place you in the middle of an innovative, advanced, and economically well-off country. German universities are designed to provide the essential knowledge students need to create a career in journalism. The great thing about studying journalism in Germany is that German universities pay a lot of attention to the practical aspects of learning. Often you will find integrated internships with the industry as part of the study program.
Here’s everything you need to know about studying journalism in Germany:
Reasons to Study Journalism in Germany
Germany Offers Good Salaries
Journalism will never cease to be an important part of our everyday lives. One of the reasons to study journalism in Germany is because Germany pays decent salaries. The German economy is one of the strongest in Europe and the world, which means it has a strong labor market, higher living standards, and an outstanding devotion in areas like education and healthcare. Journalists in Germany get paid an average of €4,000 per month. While there are journalists who earn less than the average, there are also journalism jobs that pay as high as €6,000 per month. Depending on the company, job position, and experience, journalism graduates earn respectable salaries in Germany.
Outstanding Education at an Affordable Cost
A higher education degree in journalism teaches a lot, from researching, investigating, writing, reporting, interviewing, etc. Journalism students also obtain their fair share of technical skills, like editing, video editing, audio, web design, which happen to be an excellent asset for today’s labor market’s requirements. A journalism degree in Germany teaches all of these and more at an affordable cost. Undergraduate students at most public universities in Germany do not pay tuition fees (only an administrative fee of up to €250 per semester). You will graduate, ready to enter the industry, with an already rich CV and practical experience at an affordable cost.
Plenty of Opportunities to Grow
German universities are home to almost 400,000 international students (without counting the countless expats already living and working in Germany). It is a diverse and multicultural nation, where an individual will find plenty of opportunities to learn, grow, and be exposed to numerous different cultures and perspectives. Journalism students are generally well-informed and up-to-date. Although being open-minded should be a common virtue, journalists, specifically, should have an open mind and the ability to see the world from other people’s points of view. Studying journalism in a multicultural environment found at German universities allows future journalists to obtain a fresh perspective academically, professionally, and culturally.
To study journalism in Germany, students usually have to submit documents like their university entrance qualification (such as Abitur or equivalent). This is one of the main prerequisites for study at the undergraduate level in Germany. International students (non-EU/EEA) whose university entrance qualification is not recognized in Germany will have to go through one year of preparatory studies (Studienkolleg) and enter an exam (Feststellungsprüfung) at the end of their preparatory phase. After passing the exam, these students will be eligible for entrance into the German higher education sector, respectively, to an undergraduate journalism program.
Depending on the medium of instruction, students also have to prove their English/German language proficiency. Universities usually accept tests like DSH, TestDaF, or their equivalents to prove German proficiency. On the other hand, universities that require students to prove their English proficiency usually accept language tests like TOEFL or IELTS. The specific level of proficiency varies from one university to another. Non-EU/EEA students will also have to apply for a student visa upon university admission and provide proof of health insurance and financial resources (by means of a German blocked bank account, scholarship verification, etc.)
German universities typically receive applications through their online application portals. Prospective journalism students have to complete and sign an application form, upload the required documents (such as university entrance qualification, academic transcripts, copies of passport/ID, photographs, CV, motivation letter, etc.), pay a fee, and send out an application.
Applicants from non-EU/EEA countries usually have to submit their application via Uni-Assist first, receive a document verification, and then apply directly to the university of their choice. Uni-Assist reviews the documents to confirm that the applicant meets the formal and subject-specific requirements set by the respective university. Uni-Assist does not carry out selection procedures.
Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Journalism in Germany?
Undergraduate journalism programs in Germany are usually six semesters long (three years of full-time study). Students learn everything from reporting, writing, interviewing to researching and investigating during this period of study. Some programs also offer classes on video editing, photography, etc. A master’s program in Journalism in Germany takes around four semesters to complete, meaning two years of full-time study.
Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Journalism in Germany?
For students wishing to study journalism at a public university in Germany, tuition fees were abolished in 2014 across Germany. The only exception is public universities in Baden-Württemberg, which charge up to €3,000 per year in tuition fees. On the other hand, most public universities in Germany only charge an administrative fee (up to €250/$305 per semester). Private German or international universities can charge up to €20,000 per year for Journalism undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Germany.
Apart from tuition fees, prospective students in Germany should also consider the cost of living. According to recent estimates, an international student will need approximately €900 (~$1,100) per month to live comfortably in Germany during studies.
Journalism Jobs in Germany
The unemployment rate in Germany is one of the lowest in Europe, which means finding a job after graduation will not be an issue. Although journalism is not part of the in-demand professions in Germany, there are still plenty of companies hiring journalists here. Chances of finding employment are usually higher in cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, etc.
Journalism graduates can choose a wide range of career paths, some of which include:
- Broadcast journalist
- Magazine journalist
- Newspaper journalist
- Web content manager
- Editorial assistant
- Content writer
- News editor
- Digital strategist
- Public relations specialist, etc.
Salaries range depending on the job title, company, and experience. Typically, journalists in Germany earn an average of €4,000 per month.