Structure of the degree programmes

Structure of the Masters programmes

Inter-, intra- and trans-disciplinary Contexts

The courses covering specialized content in all majors are framed by two pillars that are oriented towards overarching topics or are taught in an intra-, inter- or trans-disciplinary context. These courses encourage critical reflection as well as a change of perspective, and with 30 CP they make up a fourth of the total Masters course.

Perspectives on Research and Integrated Studies form the first pillar. These modules serve to bring the students from the wider Masters programmes or the major together so that they can examine more closely the fundamental theories, discourse and methods in their fields as well as issues that cross disciplinary boundaries. Depending on the individual Masters programme, the design of the section on perspectives on research and integrated studies will vary and can, for example, take on a more research-focused approach or cover more applied topics from practice. As a part of the Masters programme in Management & Entrepreneurship, the Management Studies module will develop students' competencies in management. 

In line with the research orientation of all majors, the students have the chance to gain their own research experience in collaboration with the faculty and their fellow students. The course contents will be developed and based on the faculty's own research projects. The project-oriented format of the courses, which are variously designated as a Project Sequence, Guided Research Project or Trans-Disciplinary Research Project, mean that these courses last for a period of one, two or three semesters and are part of the student's major or represent part of the section on Perspectives on Research and Integrated Studies. In these modules, various methods of teaching and learning will be integrated into the research process, i.e. examining issues related to the field of study and interdisciplinary subjects, investigating empirical or theoretical topics or focusing on practically-oriented questions with an emphasis on participation in individual phases or the entire course of the research process.

Complementary Studies forms the second pillar. To complement the knowledge gained in the major, these modules offer students the chance to obtain a fundamental critical viewpoint on their field through interdisciplinary exchange. The Complementary Studies courses bring together students from all majors, allowing them to place knowledge and research in context, encouraging inter- and trans-disciplinary collaboration and providing students with the opportunity to confront fundamental research and social questions relating to ethics and complex contemporary issues.

As a forum for interdisciplinary academic dialogue for all Masters students, Complementary Studies are an essential part of the unique teaching philosophy at Leuphana, and this is reflected at all levels of the university in the Bachelors, Masters and doctoral programmes as well as the part-time degree programmes in the Professional School. Complementary Studies therefore form an integral part of every Masters programme. In addition to advanced studies in their fields, the students of the Graduate School engage in critical reflection on a wide range of interdisciplinary issues.

Structure of the Complementary Studies program

By adopting an inter- and trans-disciplinary approach to organizing our Complementary Studies, the Masters programme at Leuphana seeks to foster dialogue and critical thinking while teaching the skills that students need to step back and see things from a holistic and critical viewpoint. To do this, it is important to engage with unfamiliar academic traditions and forms of knowledge, intellectual history, diverse understandings of research results and fundamental humanistic questions in philosophy and ethics. This kind of outside perspective provides a wider context for students' knowledge about their own fields and helps them understand findings from a wide range of other disciplines and establish connections between disparate fields and forms of knowledge that allow them to go beyond the familiar and see their fields in a new light. In this way, our Complementary Studies takes disparate, contingent experiences combined with a relationship-oriented, socially responsible way of thinking and acting and turns them into an integral part of an interdisciplinary process of knowledge acquisition that qualifies our student for an academic career in a range of fields in the business world.

Why Complementary Studies?
After completing their studies, academics can look forward to exciting and challenging responsibilities in demanding positions. Students who have completed their Masters degree will not typically be dealing with routine situations. Instead, they will be faced with uncertainty, competing interpretations, conflicting standards as well as different professional wisdom and forms of knowledge. Those who work in positions of responsibility and in changing teams undergoing complex processes of transformation, or those who must evaluate new or unfamiliar information outside of their field need a holistic, academically based ability to judge and reflect critically. This is more valuable than technical knowledge that quickly becomes obsolete. Closely related to this is the ability to collaborate and analyze complex interactions that occur between parties in dialogue with the help of a methodological approach that evaluates according to ethical criteria while at the same time combining disparate and conflicting perspectives that allow one to be able to reach an authoritative decision and act confidently.

The central content and goals of our Complementary Studies are reflected in the three modules Engaging with Knowledge and Sciences, Reflecting Research Methods and Connecting Science, Responsibility and Society. In line with Leuphana's international profile, the principal language of instruction is English.


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