Universities Collaborate on Digital Media

Hamburg/Lüneburg. Leuphana University of Lüneburg and the Hamburg Media School (HMS) will offer a joint bachelor degree program in “Digital Media,” starting this winter semester. The cooperation agreement for this new venture was signed by both institutions on May 15th. This joint initiative strives to educate highly qualified specialists who will strengthen the German media market, the metropolitan region and especially Hamburg as a center of the media industry. Both universities have established, therefore, an internationally oriented curriculum that is closely integrated with cutting edge research yet has a clear practical focus.

Over the course of the last few years, Leuphana has emerged as center for digital medial research unlike any other European institution. In the future well over 100 researchers, working on a variety of different projects at Leuphana, will be exploring the consequences and opportunities presented by the digital revolution. The HMS has made a name for itself through its excellent media education, which combines theory and practice as well as science and business.

“With the HMS we have a strong partner on our side to provide our bachelor students a qualified education in an ideal environment. The HMS’s many years of experience and its excellent contacts in the business world will guarantee students the best opportunities for entry into this forward-looking industry,” said Leuphana President Sascha Spoun with confidence. “This cooperation now offers us the opportunity to expand our programs of study at the level of the bachelor’s degree as well. We are pleased that we can benefit from Leuphana’s strong research orientation and its great international network,” said Professor Dr. Insa Sjurts, Hamburg Media School’s managing director.

Over the course of six semesters, the new program of study, “Digital Media,” will provide students with an academic foundation as well as professional qualifications. Classes in the major will be held on the art and media campus in Hamburg. The students will complete all other components of the program at Leuphana in Lüneburg. The first 35 students will begin this October at Leuphana. Their tuition cost will be at the rate set for students in Lower Saxony through 2014 – 500 Euros per semester.

The degree program will empower graduates to shape the digital future. Whether it is in net culture or in the media economy: students will study the theoretical foundations of digital media, they will analyze digital media critically and will test its applications in real life. The program is international and interdisciplinary in its orientation: classes in the major will be held in English. During an additional two-semester study abroad program, students can acquire international experience or earn a second degree. The School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong offers for instance one such opportunity. Through practical and analytical projects the students will be connected to the latest digital culture research conducted by Leuphana’s 100+ internationally recognized researchers.

“Research into digital media has become a principal area of investigation for Leuphana. With the establishment of this new degree program students will now also be able to benefit from this focus.” said Leuphana Vice President Holm Keller, pointing to the rapid development of the past years.


Leuphana’s Institute of Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media, founded in 2010, was the first of its kind in Germany. Analyzing the impact and the business opportunities of the digital revolution is one of the foci of the heavily EU sponsored Innovation Incubator Lüneburg. Last year, in October, the university received supplemental funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) for its newly instituted research collegium, “Media Cultures of Computer Simulation.” Earlier this year, Leuphana Digital School became operational and started offering the school’s first global online course, “ThinkTank Cities,” under the direction of Daniel Libeskind. Most recently, the Volkswagen Foundation provided funding for the extensive expansion of the Center for Digital Culture, an interdisciplinary unit that will systematize, deepen and bundle the research and development work within this field of study. All together Leuphana now has obtained funding worth more than 24 million Euros for research into digital media alone.

Founded over ten years ago, the HMS educates media managers, journalists, and filmmakers in their Master’s degree programs at the highest professional levels. In order to do justice to the media industry’s complex aspirations, the school’s educational profile is as multifaceted as the background of its students: these include business administrators, humanities and social science scholars, natural scientists, lawyers or designers. The Hamburg Media School is organized as a public-private partnership: fifty well-known media companies committed themselves in financial terms as well as with collaborations, internships or stipends.  Close contact to industry decision makers provide students with the best possible opportunities for developing a network early on in their careers.  The HMS enjoys an outstanding reputation in the media industry and academia.