Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that the application process can sometimes be confusing. If you are looking for quick answers to questions about the application process, our FAQ page is here to help. Below you can find answers to some of our most common questions.

Admission Requirements

Q: What are the requirements for the World Heritage Studies programme?

A: More information on requirements, including information on admissible academic background, admissions procedure, language proficiency and more can be found  under the "Admission" tab of this website.

Q: Do I need prior work experience to apply?

A: No, you do not need prior work experience to apply.

However, applicants who have worked in the field of heritage, or a related field, are encouraged to provide information on their professional experience(s) in their application.

Q: My Bachelor’s degree is unrelated to World Heritage Studies, but I have practical experience in the heritage field. May I apply?

A:  Yes, if you have relevant experience in the heritage field, you are welcome to apply (e.g. work, internship or traineeship). The selection committee reviews the entire application (including your letter of motivation, letters of reference, Curriculum Vitae, etc.).

Q: What is the GPA or numerus clausus ("NC") required for admission to this programme?

A:  There is no fixed GPA or NC required for admission to this study programme. All applications are assessed individually to ensure that applicants meet the academic requirements necessary to succeed in the study programme. This assessment looks not only at the degree and the grades, but at the entire application (incl. letter of motivation, CV, letters of reference, etc.).

Q: Can I be exempted from the proof of English language proficiency? (e.g. because my previous education was in English or I have a different certificate)

A: Only the exemptions listed in the Information Sheet "Language Certificate English" are possible. No other exemptions will be granted. No other proofs of English language proficiency are admissible.

Please understand that, since our university receives hundreds of applications from around the world, we are forced to limit the admissible proofs of English language proficiency in order to ensure the fair and efficient evaluation of all applications. The current rules are the result of many years of experience in the admission of international students at our university.

In the information sheet, you can also find a section "I will receive my test results only after the application deadline".

Q: I already have one Master degree. Can I apply for a second Master degree?

A: Yes, you are welcome to apply for a Master's degree at our university, even if you have already completed one. There are no restrictions on applying for a second Master's degree.

Q: Do I need to know German for the World Heritage Studies programme?

A: No. You do not need German language skills to study in the World Heritage Studies programme. However, we encourage all students to attend the voluntary German language courses offered through BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg. Additionally, an intensive course is offered before the start of every winter semester. For more information, please consult BTU's Zentrale Einrichtung Sprachen website.

Application Process

Q: How long does it take to process applications?

A: Applications are evaluated as they are received. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive information regarding your admission status.

Please note that the review process can easily take two months after the submission of your complete application. This is because uni assist requires about six weeks for their pre-check. Additionally, our university needs two weeks for our review and to issue the letter of admission or rejection. During the busiest time of the application period (about mid-July to mid-August), this may increase. Generally, we advise all applicants to apply as soon as possible and not wait until right before the deadline.

Q: What are the expectations regarding the motivation letter?

A: There are no formal requirements for the motivation letter. The letter should be in English. It is recommended that the letter be 1 - 2 pages long.

(Applicants who are also applying for the dual degree with Deakin University are encouraged to also address their motivation for the dual degree in their motivation letter.)

Q: What are the expectations regarding the letters of recommendation?

A: There are no formal requirements for the letters of recommendation. It is recommended that the letter contain information on the following points:

  • What is the position of the person writing the letter ("author")?
  • How does the author of the letter know you, the applicant?
  • How does the author evaluate your overall qualifications (academic/professional/personal)?
  • In the opinion of the author, what qualifies you for studies in the heritage field?

The letter should be in English. If the author is not proficient in English, you can submit the letter in another language and add an informal translation. This translation does not have to be by a sworn translator and can be provided by yourself.

Q: What is my “higher education entrance qualification”?

A: The “higher education entrance qualification” is the qualification that allowed you to enter a university, e.g. the German Abitur, A-Levels or a high school entrance examination. What documents exactly have to be submitted for the higher education entrance qualification varies from country to country, sometimes even from one region to another. Uni assist provides more specific information for almost all countries on their website.

Q: Do I have to send my documents by post?

A: No, you do not have to send documents by post - neither to our university, nor to uni assist. You only need to upload your documents in the online application process.

Applicants to our university are no longer required to submit certified copies. The upload of scans in the online application process is sufficient. (Our university reserves the right to request certified copies from individual applicants in exceptional cases.)

Q: Should I submit additional documents with my application (e.g. certificates)?

A: Only the documents listed under “Application Documents" and the documents required by uni assist/myBTU are necessary for your application to our study programme. The board of examiners that evaluates your application does not need or expect any additional documents.

Nonetheless, if you have additional documents that you feel will strengthen your application (e.g. certificates from workshops, employment records), you are welcome to add them voluntarily. You can upload them as an additional document in the online application. Please select only the documents most pertinent to your application and try to keep your application concise.

Q: Should I submit a portfolio with my application?

A: You do not have to submit a portfolio with your application. Portfolios are not a mandatory application document and are not expected by the board of examiners that evaluates your application.

However, if you have a portfolio and you feel that it will strengthen your application, you are welcome to add it to your application voluntarily. You can upload it as an additional document in the online application.

Q: Can I apply for the summer semester?

A: No, it is not possible to apply for the summer semester. Due to the structure of the programme, admission is only possible for the winter semester.

Q: I cannot get a visa appointment because the waiting times at my local embassy are so long. Can you help me get an earlier visa appointment?

A: No. Our university has no way of influencing the way your local German embassy operates. Our university can do no more than issue the letter of admission. Therefore, we strongly advise applicants from countries with long visa waiting times to apply as early as possible.

(If you receive a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), their local office may be able to assist you.)

Study Options

Q: Can my application be considered for both World Heritage Studies and Heritage Conservation and Site Management?

A: It is possible to apply for both programmes at the same time. Please submit a separate letter of motivation for each programme with your application.

You can find detailed information on the M.A. Heritage Conservation and Site Management on the website.

Q: What are the differences between the M.A. in World Heritage Studies (WHS) and the M.A. in Heritage Conservation and Site Management (HCSM)?

A: The WHS curriculum focuses on the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, including not only modules on architectural conservation and heritage management, but also on natural heritage and the social sciences. We started a dual degree programme with Deakin University in 2014. Each year, five WHS students are given the opportunity to study in Melbourne, Australia. Starting 2021, in addition to its original On-Campus format, WHS can also be studied entirely online with WHS Online.

The HCSM programme is a joint degree offered with Helwan University in Egypt, so all HCSM students spend their third semester at Helwan University. The programme is conducted on-campus. Our partners at Helwan University are from the Tourism and Hospitality Management Faculty, therefore HCSM is more strongly oriented towards tourism and heritage site management.

Q: Can my application be considered for both WHS Online and for the Dual Degree with Deakin University, Australia?

A: No. WHS Online students cannot take part in the dual degree with Deakin University. Only WHS On-Campus students are eligible for the dual degree.

Q: How can I apply for the Dual Master’s Degree Programme with Deakin University, Australia?

A: If you are interested in the dual degree, please indicate this in your application for the World Heritage Studies programme. Only applicants eligible for WHS On-Campus will be considered. For more information, please consult the dual degree section of this website.

Q: Is it possible to apply for a student visa/resident permit if I am a student of WHS Online?

A: No. Admission to the study option WHS Online does not qualify applicants to receive a visa for the purpose of studying in Germany. Enrolment in WHS Online will not qualify students for a residence permit for the purpose of studying in Germany. German law stipulates that visas/residence permits for the purpose of studying are only issued to students enrolled in full-time, on-campus study programmes. WHS Online - being taught entirely online and not requiring students' presence in Cottbus/Germany - will not make students eligible for a visa or a residence permit for the purpose of studying in Germany.

If you wish to apply for a visa/residence permit for the purpose of studying in Germany, please consider the study option WHS On-Campus.

Q: Is a change from WHS On-Campus to WHS Online (and vice versa) possible?

A: A change from one study option to the other is only possible once per year, before the start of the winter semester. This means that the earliest you could switch between WHS On-Campus and WHS Online would be for your third semester. Further information on the formal application process, recognition of modules etc. is provided to enrolled students.

Q: Do I need to complete an internship to graduate from World Heritage Studies?

A: No. Internships are not a mandatory part of the WHS curriculum. Nonetheless, many of our students do voluntary internships during their studies. Additional information can be found on this website, in the section "Internships".

Additional Information

Q: Will I be charged tuition fees for studying in the World Heritage Studies programme?

A: Our university does not currently charge tuition fees for studying in the M.A. World Heritage Studies - neither for the study option WHS On-Campus, nor for the WHS Dual Degree, nor for WHS Online. However, students of all three study options are required to pay a semester fee.

For students of WHS On-Campus and the WHS Dual Degree, the semester fee is approximately 330 Euros per semester. This includes student services, such as the semester ticket. With the semester ticket students can use all regional public transportation (trains, busses, subway etc.) in Brandenburg and Berlin at no extra charge.

For students of WHS Online, the semester fee is further reduced to approximately 65 Euros per semester.

The International Relations Office website provides further information on Finances.

Q: Are there scholarships available?

A: There are currently no scholarships available specifically for WHS On-Campus or WHS Online. Students selected for the Dual Degree receive full funding for their mandatory semester abroad at Deakin University.

For further information, please see the scholarship information provided by the International Relations Office.

Q: Where can I find more information on living and studying in Germany?

A: There are various resources available online that will give you background information on living and studying in Germany (please "Useful Links" below). Regarding the immigration process and visa requirements, you can find information provided by the International Relations Office.

You didn’t find the answer to your question? Write us an email. We’d love to hear from you!