In Germany, you can study part-time. This allows you to obtain an academic degree while working or caring for family members. Our guide to studying part-time.
Studying part-time in Germany
Studying part-time in Germany offers a unique opportunity to balance academic pursuits with work, family, or other responsibilities. Known for its high-quality education system, Germany has numerous universities that offer a variety of part-time study programs. These programs are designed to provide flexibility, allowing students to earn degrees at a slower pace compared to full-time students. This can be particularly beneficial for working professionals, parents, or others who may need to balance their studies with other obligations.
Part-time study in Germany typically involves a reduced course load compared to full-time programs. Students may attend classes in the evenings, on weekends, or through online platforms. These flexible schedules allow students to continue working or managing other commitments while pursuing their education. It’s important to note that while part-time study can offer greater flexibility, it also requires good time management and organizational skills. Balancing work, life, and study can be challenging, but with the right approach, part-time study can be a rewarding and enriching experience.
There are currently around 4,000 options for part-time study in Germany. There are many different types of studies and degree programs on offer. Among other things, you can earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or a diploma part-time. You can also complete a doctorate (PhD) at some universities on a part-time basis.
In terms of subjects, you can study almost all trendy subjects and basic subjects part-time, for example:
- Architecture and Arts
- Automotive Engineering
- Business Administration
- Business Law
- Civil engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- English Studies
- Environmental sciences
- Film and television production
- Financial mathematics
- Game design
- German studies
- Soccer management
- Sports business
You can find all the relevant degree programs on a page of the German Rectors’ Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz). If your degree program is not yet offered on a part-time basis, you can still ask universities: perhaps they are preparing to offer the program on a part-time basis in the future.
Overview of Different Types of Part-time Study Programs
Part-time study programs in Germany offer a diverse range of options, allowing students to find a format that suits their lifestyle and commitments. These programs offer a blend of flexibility and rigour, enabling students to pursue their academic goals while balancing other aspects of their lives. For example, some programs offer evening classes, making it possible for students who work during the day to continue their education. Other programs may provide weekend courses, allowing students to dedicate their weekdays to work or other responsibilities.
Distance learning is another prevalent format of part-time study programs in Germany. This format allows students to learn remotely, often at their own pace, making it an excellent option for those who cannot regularly attend a physical campus due to geographical distance or time constraints. The advent of digital technology has made distance learning increasingly interactive and engaging, with many programs offering online lectures, discussions, and even group projects.
In addition to evening classes and distance learning, some part-time study programs may offer compressed on-site periods. In these formats, students may have intensive periods of on-site learning, such as a week or two every few months, combined with distance learning. This kind of program allows students to immerse themselves fully in their studies during the on-site periods and then apply what they’ve learned in their work or daily life during the remote learning periods.
While the formats of part-time study programs can vary, their common goal is to provide flexible learning opportunities. This flexibility allows individuals to advance their education and skills while maintaining their work or personal commitments. However, it’s important to note that these programs require dedication and self-discipline, as balancing multiple responsibilities can be challenging. Therefore, part-time students need to have good time management skills and a strong commitment to their studies to succeed.
Questions and answers
Can I study part-time in Germany?
Yes, many universities in Germany offer part-time study programs. These programs are designed to accommodate students who may be working or have other commitments.
What are the benefits of part-time study in Germany?
Part-time study allows you to balance your studies with work or personal commitments. It also gives you the flexibility to gain practical work experience while pursuing your degree.
Are there any restrictions for international students who want to study part-time in Germany?
International students can pursue part-time studies in Germany, but its important to check the specific regulations regarding their student visa status. Some visas might require a minimum number of study hours per week.
Are part-time study programs in Germany taught in English?
Yes, there are part-time study programs in Germany that are taught in English. However, the availability of English-taught programs can vary depending on the university and the field of study.
Can I work while studying part-time in Germany?
Yes, you can work while studying part-time in Germany. However, there are certain restrictions on the number of hours you can work per week, especially for international students.
Is it easier to get admission to a part-time study program in Germany?
Admission requirements vary by program and university. While some part-time programs may have more flexible admission requirements, others may be just as competitive as full-time programs.
Can I switch from full-time to part-time study in Germany?
Yes, it is usually possible to switch from full-time to part-time study, but it depends on the specific policies of your university. Its best to consult with your academic advisor or the universitys admissions office.
Are there part-time study programs in Germany that offer online classes?
Yes, many part-time study programs in Germany offer online or blended learning options. This can provide additional flexibility for students, especially those who are working or have other commitments.
How long does it take to complete a part-time degree in Germany?
The duration of a part-time degree in Germany depends on the specific program, but it usually takes longer than a full-time degree. For example, a part-time bachelors degree might take 6 years compared to 3 years for a full-time program.
Do part-time students in Germany have access to the same resources as full-time students?
Yes, part-time students generally have access to the same resources as full-time students, including libraries, student services, and extracurricular activities. However, availability might depend on the specific university policies.
Studying part-time: Advantages
The advantages of part-time studies are:
- you get an extended standard period of study: so you have more time to finish your studies.
- you can study more slowly than in full-time studies. This can be helpful if you are under pressure to perform or have other responsibilities in life.
- with a part-time study you can combine studies and, for example, work. Part-time studies can also be interesting for you if you have children and need to raise them or care for other people in your environment.
Part-time studies allow you, for example, to stay in the office 1-2 hours longer in the evening and study online parallel to your job. Often this is also supported by the employer.
Disadvantages of part-time studies
Part-time study can have the following disadvantages:
Since the study time is longer, you may be more likely to lose interest or something else may come up in life. With full-time studies, these risks are usually lower.
You have to spare some time every day for studying – this can be extremely exhausting besides your job and requires high organizational skills.
Can I study part-time in Germany as an international?
Yes, as a non-German you can study part-time in Germany. This can be suitable for you if:
- your previous studies abroad were not accredited in Germany
- you have to work mainly to earn money
- you want to study slowly, because you have to learn the German language better first.
By the way, you can also study various courses in Germany on a part-time basis, which are taught in English or French, for example. Take a look at the Higher Education Compass page.
Is it also possible to do a dual study program part-time?
The concept of dual study programs is growing in popularity worldwide, and Germany is no exception. Traditionally, dual study programs combine academic study at a university or vocational school with practical training or work experience in a company, offering a comprehensive learning experience. However, for those who may already be working or have other responsibilities that preclude full-time study, the question often arises: Can a dual study program be pursued part-time?
Indeed, there are part-time dual study options available in certain circumstances, designed to provide the benefits of a dual study program while offering the flexibility that some students may need. These programs are structured in a way to accommodate students who may be working full time, have family responsibilities, or other commitments that require a more flexible schedule. They often involve a combination of evening and weekend classes, distance learning, or compressed on-site periods, in addition to the practical work component.
However, it’s important to note that while part-time dual study programs provide flexibility, they also require a high level of commitment and good time management skills. Balancing work, study, and personal responsibilities can be challenging, and students must be prepared to devote a substantial amount of time to both their studies and their work. Furthermore, not all fields of study or companies offer part-time dual study options, so it’s important to do thorough research and reach out to potential schools or employers to explore the possibilities.
Steps to decide on full-time or part-time studies
Follow these steps to decide whether full-time or part-time studies suit your situation best.
Understand the Difference
Start by understanding the fundamental difference between full-time and part-time studies. Full-time studies require a more significant time commitment, often demanding five to seven days a week, whereas part-time studies allow more flexibility, with classes often scheduled in the evenings or weekends.
Evaluate your time availability
Evaluate your daily routine and commitments. Do you work full-time or part-time? Do you have family or personal commitments that require a significant amount of time? Your current obligations can help determine whether full-time or part-time studies are more suitable.
Consider your Financial Situation
Consider your financial situation. Full-time studies may limit your ability to earn a steady income, while part-time studies can be balanced with a job. Consider the cost of tuition, living expenses, and potential lost income when making your decision.
Assess your Learning Style
Assess your learning style and educational goals. If you prefer an immersive learning environment and aim to complete your studies as quickly as possible, full-time studies may be best. If you prefer to learn at a slower pace, part-time studies may be more suitable.
Make your Decision
After considering all these factors, make your decision. This is a personal decision and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Remember, you can always change your mind and switch from full-time to part-time studies, or vice versa, if your situation changes.
Support and resources for part-time students in Germany
Support and resources for part-time students in Germany are extensive, providing assistance in various aspects of student life and study. One of the most significant resources is academic support, which can help students navigate the challenges of part-time study. This might include tutoring services, study groups, online forums for discussions, and access to academic advising. These resources can help students understand course material, complete assignments, and plan their course of study effectively.
Counseling services are another critical resource for part-time students. Balancing work, study, and personal life can be stressful, and counseling services can provide support and strategies to manage this stress. Counseling can address not only academic-related stress but also personal issues that may impact a student’s well-being and academic performance. Additionally, these services often include career counseling, which can help students make informed decisions about their career paths and job opportunities after graduation.
For international students, specific resources can help them adjust to life and study in Germany. These might include language support services to improve their German language skills, cultural orientation programs to help them understand and adjust to German culture, and networking events to meet other students and build their social network.
Lastly, part-time students may need resources related to housing and transportation. While some students may live near their university, others might need to commute or find suitable accommodation near the campus, particularly for programs with compressed on-site periods. Universities often provide housing services, which can help students find suitable accommodation, and transportation services, which can help students figure out the best ways to commute to campus. All these resources collectively contribute to making part-time study a feasible and rewarding option for students in Germany.