In publica commoda

Education and Inequality (M.A.)


Where do our knowledge and thinking about differences come from? How do differences translate into inequalities? From whence do classifications and distinctions draw their legitimacy? What role does education play in all of this? And the education system? (How) Could this be changed? Are you interested in questions like these? Then we are interested in you!
Our Master's degree programme in Education and Inequality offers you many opportunities to examine the structures, dynamics, mechanisms and consequences of the emergence and consolidation of relations of difference, power and inequality in the context of education. Our graduates qualify for (leadership) positions in the education system as well as in culture, science and (educational) policy, which require sensitivity and expertise in the emergence and interplay of mechanisms of discrimination and privilege.

Education and Inequality (M.A.)
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Full-time studies or Part-time studies
Language of the programme:
Standard period of study:
4 semesters, up to seven semesters in part-time studies
Start of studies:
winter- and summer semester

Get to know us


We invite you to do research with us - right from the start. The examination of empirical data from the multifaceted practice of anti-discrimination work plays an important role in our teaching concept. We teach what we know, but also what is worth asking and researching further. In our research internships, you will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing projects, think along with us, indulge your own curiosity and explore the ways research is practised. For us, research and practice-orientation are not opposites, but two sides of the same coin: we involve ourselves in the phenomena of (in)equalities, question(ing) and enjoy discovering, critically questioning, and thinking further. We allow ourselves to be surprised and irritated. We believe this is fruitful for the practice of diversity-sensitive and anti-discriminatory pedagogical work.

With us, you can get involved in practical projects - locally and elsewhere. We support you in close cooperation with our partners. This allows you to acquire practical know-how and learn how projects for diversity and anti-discrimination programmes are implemented in everyday (educational) life, what challenges are involved – for others and for yourself. In addition, you will come across practical projects at many points in our courses, for example when we invite experts to our seminars, analyse documentation of projects or examine specific methods, approaches, training modules, and more.

We offer you a degree programme at the highest professional level, with innovative teaching approaches and intensive contacts both to us academics at the Institute and Faculty and to a network of colleagues from practice and research that extends beyond Germany. Flexible structures and a wide range of possibilities on the levels of organisation and content allow us to support you in the pursuit of your interests and goals in manifold ways. In the various teaching and learning formats of the degree programme, you will acquire an attractive profile of qualifications that combines academic expertise with practical know-how. We thus offer you a well-founded programme for professionalisation that takes high-demand professional skills seriously and integrates them in a substantial way.

The aim of the degree programme is to understand the dynamics and complexity of inequality - and pedagogical responses to it. A critical view of inequality relations is trained as well as a critical view of the criticism of these relations. We investigate mechanisms of discrimination and privilege in educational practice and explore potential for change, analyse educational practices, structures and institutions and ask uncomfortable questions. We create spaces for a critical and constructive examination of the circumstances, which can always involve questioning our own entanglements.

Our degree programme enables you to gain a broad range of practical and methodological research qualifications and to try things out. Using subjects that interest you, you will learn to analyse problems, conflicts, discourses and entanglements surrounding the topic of inequality in a scientifically sound and methodologically competent manner. From the system level to concrete projects in practice, we systematically include all layers and their interplay. In cooperation with our Institute for Methods and Methodological Foundations of the Social Sciences, we offer you a wide range of opportunities to familiarise yourself with and try out different methodological approaches. These range from deconstructive, reconstructive or content-analytical to evaluative and statistical perspectives, which you can use to both analytically understand and critically assess concepts, programmes and specific qualities of practice.

Reflecting on upbringing, education and inequality means, not least, recognising the implications and effects of (one's own) creative and/or pedagogical actions and including them in further deliberations. We qualify you to hold a mirror up to educational processes, educational institutions, and the educational system without losing sight of your own entanglements. Accordingly, for us, "reflexive" refers not only to reflecting on what can be observed externally, but also to developing a reflexivity that relates to yourself, which helps you to see structures and their effects as well as your own thoughts and actions with different eyes and to recognise your own contribution to the (re-)production of social differences.

You will acquire powerful skills with us. The degree programme not only provides you with scientifically sound specialist knowledge and application-related and practical skills, but also with sought-after research and analytical skills. As part of your internships, you will also demonstrate that you can plan, implement and (self-)critically reflect on your own projects.

Our graduates have a strong impact. Do you want to play an active role in society and help change it? Are you looking for a meaningful occupation that is aimed at promoting the development of inclusive cultures and creating greater awareness of the dynamics of discrimination, privilege, inclusion, and exclusion? Then you've come to the right place: our degree programme qualifies you to plan, initiate, design and support development and transformation processes at all system levels in a competent and situation-sensitive manner.

Our Master's degree programme "Education and Inequality" offers great career prospects. Our graduates find attractive and meaningful employment in the sectors of education and training, politics, and science - at both the national and international level. The degree programme qualifies you formally for conceptually responsible and managerial activities at relevant institutions in the public sector - with pay grade TVL-E 13 as an entry-level salary. Among other things, we qualify you for:

  • Positions with management responsibilities in educational institutions (all school levels and types of school, social work institutions, all-day schools, youth welfare offices, regional advice and support centres, adult education centres, colleges, universities) that are entrusted with dealing with discrimination issues and the possibilities of (pedagogically) responding to them
  • Positions in (international) politics and public administration management that require sensitivity and competence for the interplay of discrimination mechanisms and corresponding research competences (e.g. for needs analyses)
  • Positions in the context of educational research in university and non-university research institutions
  • The Right Place
    As a green, lively, political city that explicitly strives for diversity and sustainability with a wide range of cultural activities for students, Göttingen not only offers you a high quality of life, but also a variety of opportunities to socialise and be active. From major cultural events, such as the Händel Festival, the Literature Festival "Literaturherbst", the Jazz and Pub Festival or the Nights of Knowledge and Culture, to the wide range of sports on offer at the University Sports Centre, to the lively club, music, theatre and literature scene, Göttingen offers a broad and inviting range of activities that make it easy for you to settle in and be right in the middle of things.

    Göttingen offers you short distances and excellent accessibility in the literal sense: You can always get where you want to go quickly on foot, by bike or by public transport - even in the countryside or by the lake. Accessibility also goes for the figurative sense: you are not a student number here. At the centrally located campus and with us in the Waldweg location, you can expect an excellent ratio of supervision and easy-to-access networking opportunities with students and lecturers from the Institute of Educational Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences.

    Not in the mood for province? Then Göttingen is the right place for you. With a student population of around 20%, the city offers you a large and diverse community for encounters and exchanges. Göttingen not only left a lasting impression on the French singer Barbara. As a cosmopolitan and international city, Göttingen has always been a destination for many scientists and artists from all over the world. It is not only a pleasure to come here, but also easy to explore Germany from here. In the heart of southern Lower Saxony (and thus almost exactly in the centre of Germany), Göttingen offers excellent transport connections. Hamburg, Frankfurt and Berlin are only one ICE train journey away. The Germany Ticket, which is heavily discounted for students at Göttingen University, not only makes you mobile within Göttingen, but also enables excursions to the scenic surroundings of Göttingen, the nearby Harz Mountains or to the North Sea coast.

    Related and consecutive/graduate programmes

    Related programmes

    Consecutive/graduate programmes


    In the Master's degree programme "Education and Inequality" you must complete a total of 120 ECTS:

  • at least 80 ECTS in subject-specific studies,
  • at least 12 ECTS in the key competences,
  • and 28 ECTS in the Master's degree module.

  • The subject-specific programme of at least 80 ECTS is divided into three areas:
  • Compulsory section of 54 ECTS in which, in addition to the fundamentals (M.EBU.10) and key dimensions (M.EBU.20, M.EBU.21 and M.EBU.22) of educational inequality research, the research practice of educational inequality research is practised as part of a research internship (M.EBU.41) and the practice of anti-discrimination work in educational institutions (M.EBU.40) is explored;
  • Compulsory elective section I of at least 12 ECTS in which you choose two out of three specialising perspectives (M.EBU.30, M.EBU.31 or M.EBU.32).
  • Compulsory elective area II of at least 18 ECTS in which you choose from various modules offered by the Institute of Methods and Methodological Principles in the Social Sciences (IMMS).

  • In the document "Exemplary Progression Plans" [PDF] you can see different options for the organisation of your course of studies for starting in both the summer and winter semesters.

    Detailed overview

    Regulations and module directory


    Previous studies

    • B.A. degree in educational science, sociology and cultural anthropology or in a closely related subject area (e.g. gender studies, diversity research).
    • At least 150 ECTS at the time of application
    • Eligibility:

      a) Achievements in educational science amounting to at least 50 credits, including basic knowledge of empirical (quantitative and/or qualitative) research methods amounting to at least 8 and a maximum of 14 credits,

      Or ...

      b) Achievements according to letter a), whereby up to 22 credits can also be proven from related subject areas in the sense of the study focus of the Master's degree program "Education, Education and Inequality" (in particular from sociology, gender studies and diversity research), or

      c) Achievements totaling at least 45 credit points,

      • Including achievements amounting to at least 37 credits in educational sciences or in a degree program with educational science components, the successful completion of which also entitles students to enroll in a Master's degree program related to teaching; including the basics of empirical educational science research, advanced skills in research and analysis in a field of pedagogical practice and in the field of education and socialization totaling at least 17 credits, as well as
      • Achievements in empirical (quantitative and/or qualitative) research methods amounting to at least 8 credits.

    Language requirements

    • If your native language is not German, you must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the German language at the DSH-2 level .
    • Good to very good knowledge of English is strongly recommended.

    Application deadlines

    • Until May 15h for the winter semester
    • Until November 15th for the summer semester

    Lottery procedure

    • From October 1st - 5th for the winter semester
    • From April 1st – 5th for the summer semester


    Subject-Specific Counselling – Institute for Educational Science

    Thomas Göymen-Steck, M.A.
    (Director of Studies)
    Waldweg 26
    37081 Göttingen

    Tel. +49 551 39 29463


    General Study Guidance - Faculty of Social Science

    Annegret Schallmann
    Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3
    37073 Göttingen

    Tel. +49 551 39 27159
    Fax. +49 551 39 26542