Course content – Critical Studies – Arts, Theory, History

On this page you can inform yourself about the curriculum of the Masters programme Critical Studies - Arts, Theory, History. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the contact points listed under "Contact and Counselling" and make use of the counselling services offered by the Graduate School.

Course structure


Since the Masters programme presented on this page is a German-language programme (with the exception of some seminars taught in English), the module overview is also presented in German.

Overview of Modules of the Masters programme Critical Studies - Arts, Theory, History ©Leuphana
Overview of Modules Master Critical Studies - Arts, Theory, History

Elective modules

2nd Semester (2 x 5 CP)

    • Auditory Culture
    • Democracy and the Public
    • Gender, Queerness, Bodies
    • Crises and Ruptures in a Global Context
    • Organization: Structure, Power, Economies
    • The Arts in Practice
    • Technology and Culture

    3rd Semester (2 x 5 CP)

    • Digital Sound Cultures
    • Violence and Social Protest
    • Capitalist Dynamics and Social Change
    • Migration and Circulation
    • Organization: Space, Aesthetics, Materiality
    • Urban Culture and Space
    • Knowledge and Research in Digital Cultures

    Subject-specific area

    Core Modules

    There are 4 mandatory modules (worth 10 CP each), and these define the framework for the programme as a whole: "Capitalism – Colonialism – Globalisation", "Enlightenment – Critique – Imagination", "Difference – Subjectivity – Representation", and "Ecologies – Environment – Collectivity". The core modules set out the basic fields that every cultural studies diagnosis today must address. Modules usually consist of two two-hour seminars and require students to submit a written paper. Each module is developed by two professors from different fields. Together, they ensure that the topics and fields covered in a given semester are tailored to a particular problem or area of conflict.


    Electives add new topics and methodologies and allow students to specialise and explore certain questions in more depth: "Democracy and the public", "Gender, queerness, bodies", "Violence and social protest", "Capitalist dynamics and social change", "Crises and upheaval in a global context", "Migration and circulation" and "Technology and culture". The "Arts in Practice" module involves the artistic and curatorial projects at Leuphana's renowned international Kunstraum art space in contemporary cultural studies research. Other electives offer students the option of a thematic focus on social and cultural sciences organizational research and on media and digital cultures: "Structure, power, economies", "Space, aesthetics, materiality", "Auditory cultures", "Digital sound culture", "Urban culture and space" and "Knowledge and research in digital cultures". The same electives are open to students on all cultural studies Masters at the Faculty. Students can choose 4 modules (worth 5 CP each) from a pool of a total of 14 modules.

    Cultural studies integration modules

    The degree programme is rooted in general cultural studies. The field is explored through the history of its defining questions and the specific way in which they are problematised, and through the introduction of paradigmatic scenes and projects of particular relevance for the work of cultural studies today. Students from all cultural studies Masters programmes (Critical Studies, Media and Digital Cultures, and Culture and Organization) at Leuphana together learn the basics of theoretical concepts, the history of theory and methodological approaches and, in three compulsory modules (worth 5 CP each), explore the history of and current debates in the field of cultural studies in more depth.

    Master Thesis/Masters Forum

    The final component of the programme is a Masters dissertation exploring a question relating to the critique of the present. The c. 70-page dissertation should relate to at least one of the three perspectives of arts, theory and history. The question is developed by the student in consultation with his or her main supervisor. The advice of the second reviewer can also be sought. In the Masters forum, students are additionally supported and accompanied in writing their Master thesis.

    Complementary studies

    The Complementary Studies are an essential part of the special teaching model of Leuphana. It supplements and expands students' subject-specific learning with the following three modules (5 CP each) with critical academic and practical perspectives from all faculties:

    1. Engaging with Knowledge and Sciences (in the 1st Semester)
    2. Reflecting on Research Methods (in the 2nd Semester)
    3. Connecting Science, Responsibility and Society (in the 3rd Semester)

    Masters thesis

    Generally, the master's thesis is written at the end of the degree programme. All the information about the master's thesis and how to organise your master's thesis in five steps has been compiled for you on the website Master's thesis.

    In addition, helpful courses for writing the master's thesis are regularly offered as part of the GradSkills.

    Study regulations/subject-specific schedule

    The following link provides access to documents which set out the general conditions for examinations, an overview of the curriculum, as well as detailed and legally binding regulations.

    General Assessment Regulations and the Subject-Specific Schedules

    Course catalogue

    In the course catalogue you can get an overview of the courses currently offered and their specific contents.

    Contact and Counselling

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