Master's Program (MATS)Degree

After the completion of the first six modules of study (first to third semester), the fourth semester is dedicated to graduating and obtaining the degree. To this end, students partake in the MATS Colloquium, pass an oral examination, and write and submit their master thesis.


For passing the oral examination and evaluating the master thesis students require two supervisors, at least one of which is a permanent or affiliated professor at the HCTS. The second supervisor can be a full professor of any other institute at Heidelberg University. Your Study Focus Advisor will assist you in identifying suitable supervisors. Ideally, students will have attended at least one course with them so they already know each other. Please make sure to contact supervisors well in advance, i.e. in the planning stages of your master thesis!

View eligible supervisors

Oral Examination

In accordance with the rules and regulations of examination (Prüfungsordnung), students pass the oral examination before submitting the master thesis. The need to coordinate the date of the oral examination with the oral examiner (= supervisor of the master thesis, see below) and inform the MATS office about the time and date of the oral exam by email.

The oral examination lasts approximately 30 minutes and is held conducted two examiners. The first examiner is the supervisor of the master thesis. Student and supervisor agree on three topics for the examination from the field of Transcultural Studies and the student's study focus. In passing the oral examination, students demonstrate their general knowledge of the state of art in the chosen topics beyond the master thesis, and their ability to contextualize specific research questions in the larger disciplinary context of Transcultural Studies.

Master Thesis

In the master thesis students apply relevant methodologies and theories of Transcultural Studies, as well as linguistic competencies, regional knowledge, and project management skills to a research project of their own design and in line with the chosen study focus. In consultation with their supervisor, students develop a specific research question and select relevant methods and research material. They contextualize their project within the state of the art of scientific debates and present their findings in written academic English. Students have a maximum of five months to complete the master thesis.

Thesis registration:

Students register their master thesis with the GPA (Gemeinsames Prüfungsamt der Philosophischen und Neuphilologischen Fakultät / Joint Examination Office of the Philosophical Faculty and the Faculty of Modern Languages).
To register your master thesis, students must have completed the course work of the first three terms (according to the description of modules). Please note that according to § 18.6 of the Terms and Regulations of Examination, students must register for the master thesis within two weeks of having received the last course credits and grade counting towards the first six modules of study. As the MATS is a two-year program, this should fall into April of the second study year. For registration, students have to be enrolled as a full-time student in the MATS, and must not have forfeited the right to be examined in the discipline. A maximum of five months period are set for writing and submitting the master thesis, starting on the day the first supervisor signs the registration form.