International Programmes 2018/2019

Master of Arts (MA) in Interdisciplinary Latin America Studies Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Latin America Studies

Freie Universität Berlin • Berlin

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies
Course location
Teaching language
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Other teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in Spanish, Portuguese, German and English. Participants can choose to write their term papers and their Master's theses in any of these languages.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

Applications for the Master's programme must be addressed to the Application and Admissions Office during the period 15 April to 31 May for enrolment in the following winter semester.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The aim of the programme is the acquirement or consolidation of academic and interdisciplinary knowledge and competences with professional relevance, which enable a future occupation in a wide field both inside and outside of academia. The Master's programme is modularised, with each module comprising two courses. It consists of a central area of studies, a specialisation area and an elective area.

The central area of study serves the development and treatment of new interdisciplinary questions and the consolidation of knowledge about the region “Latin America” as well as the conveyance of specific theoretical and methodological knowledge and capabilities that are necessary for the academic investigation of the topics of the MA. Within the framework of the interdisciplinary modules that are thematically related to the research conception of the LAI, the students acquire access to various problem statements concerning the Latin American continent.

The students have the choice between the following specialisation areas:

Specialisation Area A: Representation and Entanglement
Questions of representation and entanglement are of central importance for the processes of societal transformation and cultural dynamics in Latin America. These are based on societal heterogeneousness and structures of power. In Specialisation Area A, actor, image and discourse-led actions in the past and present are examined. At the same time, the culturally diverse Latin American academic traditions and epistemic productions are dealt with alongside the specialist traditions of historiography, and literary and cultural studies. Representations and entanglement in their transregional and constantly changing dimensions will be analysed on the basis of theoretical and methodological approaches that build on the close link between the approaches of cultural studies and social sciences in the humanities, social and cultural anthropology as well as Latin American literature and cultural studies. Research in this profile analyses the local appropriation and production of ideas, discourses, institutions, media practices and strategies of representation in their entanglement in view of global-historical interdependencies.

Specialisation Area B: Transformation and Development
In this specialisation area, students exam the complex processes of societal change and cultural dynamics that characterise the development of Latin American societies and their complex inclusion in transregional and national processes as well as in global structures in the past and present. Here, the perception of Latin America as a “crisis continent” and at the same time a “laboratory of modernity” represents a special focus.

Besides an understanding of the varying methods of the social sciences and a critical examination of various developmental and transformation theories, Latin American academic traditions and knowledge production receive special attention. The treatment of the problems of transformation research and the examination of the meaning of global economic and social developments for international and respective national policies is carried out on the basis of social, economic and cultural expertise as well as transdisciplinary cooperation. At the same time, the programme emphasises the reception and application of theories and methods of gender studies.

Specialisation Area C: Brazil in World Context: Literature, Culture and Societies
The students that choose this area will have  a regional focus on Brazil. Brazil plays a special role in Latin America because of its greater size and cultural area, unique language and specific historical formation. This specialisation area aims at a better understanding of Brazil and the Caribbean through studies of social and economic processes, cultural dynamics, and development in a regional and global context.

Specialisation Area D: Gender Relationships, Lifestyle, Transformations
The specialisation area "Gender relations, Ways of life, Transformations" offers the foundation for the historical and contemporary understanding of gender relations in Latin America while taking into consideration the theoretical and methodological approaches of interdisciplinary gender studies. Against the backdrop of gender-specific problems that account for the socio-economic and cultural heterogeneousness of Latin America, the area focuses on questions of democratisation and violence (inter alia developmental policy, law and public spheres, social movements, ways of life and praxes) interculturality (ethnicity, hybridity and transnationalism) and representation (body and discourse).

Course organisation

The principal study area consist in two modules: the principal study area and the specialisation area, which take place during the first two semesters of the Master's programme. The modules are designed to allow students to acquire basic knowledge of the Latin American region with an interdisciplinary approach, and also to promote the development of the methodological and theoretical knowledge and skills that are essential for scientific work.

Each module is complete with a lecture (main course) and a seminar. The programme also includes an elective area to address particular interests of the students. It consist of two courses in either indigenous languages, Brazilian Portuguese or a module that can be freely chosen by the students.

The third semester is focused on research labs and an online learning course for the preparation of the Master's thesis. Students also have the opportunity to do an internship, an exchange semester or take more elective courses.

In the fourth semester, the students write their Master's theses.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Integrated study abroad unit(s)
  • Specialist literature in other languages
  • Language training provided
  • Training in intercultural skills
  • Study trips
  • Courses are led with foreign partners
  • Projects with partners in Germany and abroad
  • International comparisons and thematic reference to the international context
  • Content-related regional focus
Integrated study abroad unit(s)

As the largest institute for Latin American Studies in German-speaking countries, the Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) offers students an outstanding international study environment.

In recent years, structured internationalisation in research, teaching and also in training of young academics has been expanded. This is evidenced by the large number of visiting scholars, international doctoral candidates and students who conduct their research at the Institute for Latin American Studies for several weeks, months or years.

Furthermore, the Institute for Latin American Studies cooperates with more than 50 European, Latin American and North American universities in teaching and research. In order to promote international mobility of students beyond the opportunity to study abroad, the institute also organises and supports regular student trips to Latin America.

Going abroad has a major and ever-growing significance during the course of academic studies, facilitating the improvement of language competence and giving students insight into other universities, their discussions, and other specific subject matter. These exchanges allow students to engage in a transcultural dialogue and to get to know and discuss diverse means of knowledge production.

Direct exchange

LAI students are offered the opportunity to spend a semester abroad via a direct exchange programme ("Direktaustausch") as well as via internal "LAI Convenios" (Cooperation Agreements) in the third semester. These include the exchange of students from our partner universities abroad and our university based on reciprocity. Our partners waive the tuition fees for LAI students and some even offer a scholarship for living expenses. The recognition of courses is guaranteed.

Erasmus+ Europe

Within the framework of the ERASMUS+, the LAI holds agreements with universities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid), Portugal (Coimbra), France (Paris III, Paris IV), Poland (Warsaw), and the Netherlands (Leiden). LAI students can apply for a stay abroad for a period of one or two semesters.
Essential advantages of studying abroad with the Erasmus+ programme and studying at a partner university include the exemption from university fees and academic recognition, the accreditation of courses, and more.

Integrated internships

The area research practice offers students the opportunity to implement their individual interests in the shaping of their studies via the selection of a research practice module and a respective corresponding project module. The aim of this area is for students to gather professional or research experience or to be able to directly develop the specialist knowledge and methodological competences pertaining to the subject of their Master’s theses and in accordance with the selection of individual focal points.

Academic Practice Module I is taken by students who complete an internship or a research project domestically or abroad. The aim of the module is to obtain knowledge and specific competences for the Master’s thesis in a practical activity or in an on-site research project. The internship or the on-site research project must encompass a minimum of 360 hours.

The internship or on-site research project is accompanied by an obligatory e-learning course. Its aim is to develop ideas for the Master's thesis, and it culminates in a final exposé for the thesis. This means that students will be in contact and constant exchange with their professors and the other students during their internships or field researches.

Special promotion / funding of the programme
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
The course of study can be taken entirely online
Digital learning and teaching modules
  • MOOCs
  • Webinar
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
Description of e-learning elements

The Institute has set the integration of new media in the learning and teaching environment as a goal. The development and implementation of e-learning began in 2002, when first attempts were made to introduce a learning platform for teaching.

Since the first e-learning project, the Latin American Institute has been committed to a special didactic focus in the insertion of e-learning. This focus has proved to be necessary in the implementation of projects. The design of e-learning environments has been shown to be an innovative contribution to the context of internationalisation.

The usage of e-learning in the Master's programme gives the students of the programme who are absolving an exchange semester or an internship the opportunity to design their Master's theses in communication with their teachers and peers.

Participation in the e-learning course elements is compulsory
Can ECTS points be acquired by taking the online programmes?
Can the e-learning elements be taken without signing up for the course of study?
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution
In total, the semester contribution amounts to 311.59 EUR. It includes a 198.80 EUR transportation ticket contribution, which allows you to use public transportation in Berlin for free. Other costs covered by the semester contribution are a 50 EUR enrolment fee, a 54.09 EUR semester contribution to the student support service "studierendenWERK Berlin", a 7.50 EUR contribution to the student union and a 1.20 EUR contribution to the Semester Ticket Office.
Costs of living
Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are basically in line with the EU average. You will need around 850 EUR a month to cover your living expenses. The largest expense is your monthly rent.
Funding opportunities within the university
Academic Admission Requirements

An above-average Bachelor's degree or other equivalent qualifying university degree in accordance with the study regulation handbook of the interdisciplinary Master's programme in Latin American Studies, or certification of an equivalent foreign degree

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their German and Spanish or Portuguese skills corresponding to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference.

Application deadline

Applications for the Master's programme must be addressed to the Application and Admissions Office during the period 15 April to 31 May for enrolment in the following winter semester.

Submit application to


Possibility of finding part-time employment

There are many ways of earning money while you study. For example, you can work as a waiter, academic assistant or private tutor. Knowledge of German will improve your chances of finding a part-time job. But please be aware of the legal regulations.

Student services at the universities and the local representative of the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) can provide information about jobs for students. When searching, look at online job boards, ads in local newspapers and notice boards on campus.


You have the option to stay in a public/private student dormitory or in a private (shared) apartment. Student dormitories are not administrated by the university itself. Freie Universität Berlin does not have any on-campus housing, but it works together with other providers. If you do not wish to stay in a student dormitory, you can try to find a room or an apartment on the private housing market. Many students in Berlin live in shared apartments (WGs). You can find these offers online (e.g., or, in various Berlin magazines or on notice boards. Rooms/apartments around the university are rare. Therefore, students mostly commute from other parts of the city that are from 30 minutes to one hour from campus on public transport.

Freie Universität Berlin

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© David Ausserhofer

Freie Universität Berlin is one of Germany's eleven "Universities of Excellence", and as such, it is among the best universities in the country. Nationally and internationally, it is a leading research institution. Students directly profit from the strong focus on research. You can choose from more than 180 subject areas. No matter which area you are interested in, from archaeology and Jewish studies to law or psychology, you will find your subject at Freie Universität Berlin.

Apart from that, Freie Universität Berlin is extremely international. It has cooperations with universities in many different countries and maintains offices in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, New Delhi, New York, Moscow, and São Paulo. A total of 20 percent of the students come from abroad, as do 33 percent of the doctoral students. This ensures that you will meet people from all over the world when you study at Freie Universität Berlin.

Freie Universität Berlin takes care of its students. Especially students who are new to a German university and to Berlin will profit from its services. Examples of this include the introduction week, the mentoring programme, and the Student Service Center. Students also enjoy the programmes offered by UniSport, which offer many possibilities for athletic activities, from Aikido to Zumba. Your health is also taken into account by the many cafeterias and canteens on campus that offer fair trade, organic and vegetarian options. Environmental protection and sustainability are important topics at Freie Universität Berlin, and there are many opportunities to get involved in activities that are organised by students and the university.

33 Percentage of international students

University Location

Freie Universität Berlin is one of the major universities in the capital of Germany, Berlin. It is located in the lush residential district of Dahlem, which is in the south-western part of the city. There is no other university in Berlin that is as green as Freie Universtität Berlin. You only have to step out of the university buildings to enjoy outdoor activities: lunch on one of the many terraces and rooftops, swimming in the nearby lakes, or reading between cherry and apple trees. Dahlem is also home to one of the biggest botanical gardens in Europe. But of course, you can also access everything that the wonderful and inspiring city of Berlin has on offer, which draws young people from all of the world to the heart of Europe.