Sinologie in Würzburg

FAQ 'Chinese Politics and Society'

Master Program in Chinese Politics and Society FAQ

Q: What are the requirements for this master program?
A: First, you need to have a BA (180 ECTS) in Political Science, Sociology, Political and Social Studies (or an equivalent degree) with a grade of 2.2 or above. If you are still studying for your BA degree by the time of application, you have to submit a transcript of records with at least 150 ECTS. This is to ensure that you finish your BA degree before starting with the MA program.

Q: What if my BA grade does not meet the minimum requirement of 2.2?
A: If you do fulfil all other formal requirements (see above) but have a BA grade below 2.2, you will be invited for an interview. During the interview a small team will test whether your qualifications are sufficient for the program regardless the grade you achieved in the BA.

Q: Which documents do I need for the application?
A: You need your BA certificate (or transcript of records documenting your study progress until the time of application), a CV (German or English) and a Letter of Motivation (English). You do also need to proof your English profiency (at least B2 level). This can be done by providing a TOEFL certificate (at least 72 points), an IELTS certificate (grade 6.0 or better), a Cambridge First Certificate in English, a German university entrance qualification (Abiturzeignis, English classes finished with grade "Befriedigend" or better), a foreign university entrance qualification that is equivalent to the German Abitur, or other proof that you already have finished training (e.g. an undergraduate degree) which required English skills equal to or better than the requirements listed above.

Q: Do you need original documents or copies/scans?
A: Please do not send us your original documents. Rather copies (via regular mail) or scans (via email) are preferred. Scans in pdf-format are preferred.

Q: Can I send my application via email?
A: Yes, you can. Please direct your email to

Q: What does the application process look like?
A: First, send your application by March 15th at the latest. We will check the applications. If you fulfil all the formal requirements for admission and your BA degree grade is 2.2 or better, you will receive a letter of admission in May. If you fulfil all the formal requirements, but your BA degree is worse than 2.5 you will be invited for an interview in April. In case you are not in Germany, we can conduct the interview via Skype. After the interview we need about one week to notify you whether you have been accepted.

Q: When do I get the admission letter?
A: After being accepted, we will send out the letters of admission in May. If you are an EU citizen, you can directly use this to enroll at our university. Non-EU citizens have to first send verified copies of all their necessary documents to the International Office of the university by July 15. They will receive another formal admission letter from the International Office with which they can then enroll.

Q: Do I need specific knowledge in political science or sociology before I start the program?
A: Definitely yes! The program assumes that you have a good basis in either political science, sociology or another social science discipline from your bachelor studies. As part of the master program you are obliged to attend at least one, but up to two modules in Political and Social Sciences. You are free to select appropriate classes from those offered by the Institute of Political Science and Sociology according to your previous studies and preferences. In the classes on contemporary China you will need your social science knowledge.

Q: Do I have to know Chinese, before I start the program?
A: No! The program does not expect that you have learned any Chinese before. Your language classes will start with an intensive learning course in September, which will be followed by classes throughout the first two terms in Würzburg. You will then advance your Chinese language proficiency during your term in Beijing.

Q: What if I already know some Chinese?
A: If you have learnt some Chinese before, we evaluate your level of Chinese language proficiency and decide whether you have to attend the initial intensive language course or not.

Q: Do I have to take Chinese language classes even though I learned Chinese during my BA studies?
A: Yes, depending on your level of Chinese language proficiency we assign you to a suitable language course that will help you to further develop your language skills and gain specific language competences regarding economic topics. If your BA was in Chinese studies or an equivalent program and you want to study contemporary Chinese politics and society, please refer to the master’s program “Chinese Studies”.

Q: Do students of this program have to spend some time in China?
A: Yes. The students for the MA Chinese Politics and Society spend their third term at the prestigious Peking University where they are supported by our European Chinese Language and Culture Programme (ECLC).

Q: How does the semester at Peking University work?
A: The term in Beijing is fully integrated into our program. That means it is compulsory. But it also means that you will have a chance to study at one of the most prestigious universities in Asia with minimum hassle. We run our own program office at Peking University, so your stay will be well organized. For instance, we have a number of apartments around campus that our students will share while studying in Beijing.

Q: How expensive is the term in China?
A: Student fees for the term in China at Peking University are about Euro 1850 (2024 currency exchange rates). In addition, you have to calculate the costs of the flight (2024: about Euro 850) and the visa (2024: Euro 110). Residential and living costs are not assumed to differ from those that arise in Germany.

Q: Is it possible to get a scholarship or any other financial support for the study program?
A: Support lines differ depending on nationality and with regard to the semesters studied in Germany and China. Foreign students can apply for a DAAD scholarship (German academic exchange service) for studying the master program Chinese Politics and Society. Please note that the application has to be submitted to the DAAD about a year before you come to Germany. For details please refer to the respective website of the DAAD.

So far only students of German nationality are entitled to apply for a special DAAD scholarship for the semester spent in China. For more information please see this website. In addition, German students may be entitled to receive student loans (“Inlandsbafög”), for studying in Germany and/or for studying in China (“Auslandsbafög”).

Q: What are the topics covered in the courses on Chinese Politics and Society?
A: The part of the curriculum dedicated to contemporary China covers foreign relations and domestic politics (grassroots politics, elite politics, political culture etc.), social change, modernization and globalization of the Chinese society as well as different aspects of China's social development (social inequality and stratification, population and family, urbanization, ethnicity and ethnic relations, comparisons between Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang etc.). Students themselves have a great say in the selection of individual classes. In addition, several courses are dedicated to research methodology and case studies.

Q: Do I have to take classes in Political and Social Sciences?
A: You are required to select at least one MA-level module from the classes offered by the Institute of Political Science and Sociology as electives. You may choose up to three, if you want to develop this as your focus area. You will then have to do fewer classes in Contemporary Chinese Studies. A list with the seminars and lectures eligible as electives is included in the specific study program regulation.

Q: What is the language of instruction?
A: All classes offered in the field of Contemporary Chinese Studies use English as medium of instruction. Only the BA-module on China that you have to do may be using German. The reason is that English is the predominant language in this field – including for publications. So, you can expect to do most reading in English. Also, the MA thesis will have to be written in English. However, this program is integrating electives from Political and Social Sciences in this program and most of these classes are taught in German.

Q: In which field do I have to write the MA thesis?
A: The MA thesis is due to be written in the field of Contemporary Chinese Studies. The language of the thesis is English.

Q: What are potential fields of employment after graduation?
A: Due to China’s increasing importance in the world, there is a rising need for China-related expertise in many fields, including politics at all levels, civil society, the economy, the media etc. Depending on your own interests and previous major you can use the MA Chinese Politics and Society to develop your own profile and skills necessary for a successful international career in these areas.

Q: What if I still have questions?
A: Write us an email ( but please make sure to have read the FAQs carefully before doing so.