Empirical Educational Research M.A.


Key Info

Basic Information

Master of Arts
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester, Summer Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
4 semesters
ECTS Credits:
120Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.


Admission Requirements

  • First university degree, required qualifications according to the examination regulations Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    A first recognized university degree, through which the necessary education background for the Master course of study can be proven. The necessary knowledge needed in order for studies to be successful is determined in the respective exam regulations (PO).


  • Proficiency in German --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.

Admission to First Semester


Admission to Higher Semesters


Dates and Deadlines


Ever since the PISA, TIMMS, and IGLU studies were published, there has been a rethinking in many areas of educational science, education policy, and futher and continuing education practices. While empirical research had carved out a niche in the educational sciences until this point, empirical educational research has currently become one of the most important pillars of international educational sciences. This has led to a growing need of research-methodologically trained education scientists. The Master's course of study Empirial Educational Research at RWTH Aachen meets this need.

Its graduates are experts particularly in planning, shaping, and evaluating within the framework of applied educational research, as it is applied, for example, at state institutes for pedagogy, continuing education departments in companies, and European research centers. They differ from traditionally trained education Master's students through their methods skills. They also differ from graduates in psychology and sociology through their ability to combine empirical research methodology and educational science in practice.

Characteristics of the RWTH Course of Study

The course of study aims at research-oriented teaching. This means, students get an intensive and application-oriented experience within research methodology. It is possible to participate in current research processes during the Master's period. The course of study greatly differs from other comparable Master's courses of study through its comprehensive research practice components.

Aside from the explicit research orientation, the curriculum offers the possibility to specialize in one of the Institute of Educational Science's research focuses:

  • Empirical Vocational Research
  • Empirical Media Education Research
  • Empirical School and University Research

Current information, dates, and lively exchanges about this course of study can be found on the blog Empirische Bildungsforschung @ its best .


Degree Content

The curriculum includes seven modules aside from the Master's thesis and research internship. "Individual Coaching" at the beginning of studies ensures that students' background knowledge is homogenous and up to par. Individual "study contracts" lay down learning content, that is oriented towards one's personal background knowledge. Content areas include: education, socialization, and learning theories; didactics, basic terms, history of educational science, and education systems and education policy.

The module "Introduction to Empirical Educational Research" is made up of an overview lecture with a tutorial on empirical educational research, a seminar on scientific work and presenting, and a seminar about data protection. In the module "Quantitative Processes of Empirical Educational Research", quantitative methods about data collection are discussed and investigated in a seminar. In an exercise about data collected in the seminar, the data is evaluated with software packages. An accompany research workshop serves to advance this knowledge. Concrete research and data problems are at the focus. The module "Qualitative Processes" is set up comparably; however it focuses on qualitative access in empirical educational research.

Elective Module

The elective module "Empirical Educational Research" has three focuses, from which students choose two:

  • Vocational Training,
  • Media Pedagogy
  • School and University

Students attend a tutorial and a seminar for each of these focuses.

Interdisciplinary Elective Module

The interdisciplinary elective module enables students to look outside the box of empirical educational research. They can choose courses from the fields of philosophy and ethics, English linguistics, law, linguistics and communication studies, and labor studies.

Project Module and Research Internship

The project module consists of a seminar, in which focus is placed on the development of research ideas and the composition of project proposals, and involvement in research projects. This practical activity is rounded out by a 12-week research internship and the Master's thesis.

Overall, the curriculum is stuctured to enable a great deal of flexibility throughout the program.

Overview of the Curriculum

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4
Individual Coaching
Introduction to Empirical Educational Research
Introduction to Empirical Educational Research
Quantitative Processes in Empirical Educational Research
Quantitative Processes in Empirical Educational Research
Elective Module
Interdisciplinary Elective Module
Research Project

Research Internship (ideally after the second semester, particulary effective to combine with Master's thesis)

Master's Thesis

You can find a detailed overview of the program in German in the course of study description from the Institute of Educational Science under the link "Information about the Course of Study" (under Degree Content).

Programs Abroad

Stays abroad are not obligatory. However they are recommended as part of the research internship. The course schedule offers the flexibility necessary to plan longer periods abroad. The page Study Abroad offers an overview of RWTH Aachen's offers.



An initial university degree, confirming the necessary background knowledge required in the exam regulation, is required to begin studies. The examination board determines whether or not the admissions requirement has been met.


Career Prospects

The Master's in Empirical Educational Research imparts the following professional qualifications:

  • Ability to research, evalute, and assess educational science phenomena, particularly in the field of human effects of technical change processes in modern societies
  • Ability to implement new media and software in research contexts
  • Ability to question complex theoretical relationships both independently and in a team and make them accessible for empirical studies
  • Ability to assess educational needs as well as to design, implement, and evaluate evaluations and research projects, and present and publish the results.

With these skills, the program prepares students for employment in the following career fields:

  • Educational Research
  • Evaluation
  • Human Resources, Continuing Education, and Education Controlling
  • Science Publications and Publishing

Examination Regulations

Regulations that apply for all Bachelor and Master courses of study as well as detailed information about the necessary documentation of required language skills can be found in RWTH’s Comprehensive Examination Regulation. Examination regulations are only published in German as they are legally binding.

Subject Specific Exam Regulations regulate academic goals, the course of study layout, and exam procedures. The appendix to the regulations contains the description of the modules, from which the course of study is composed.



The Empirical Educational Research Master course of study is offered by the Institute of Educational Science in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.