Hochschule Düsseldorf
University of Applied Sciences
Fachbereich Sozial- & Kulturwissenschaften
Faculty of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies

MA Empower­ment Studies

HSD - Social Sciences and Cultural Studies > English > Study Programmes > MA Empowerment Studies (Full-Time/Part-Time)


The term ‘empowerment’ means the (re-)establishment of self-determined control over the circumstances of one’s own life and living environment. Individual empowerment competences and political resources of joint enforcement intertwine and are interdependent.
The profile of the social-scientific master's programme Empowerment Studies is based on human rights and an understanding of political empowerment. The study programme combines a theoretical perspective and the analysis of social power structures with methods of political intervention.


Political empowerment leads to different analyses and political reactions depending on the social contexts. To respond to this broad field, the study programme provides the option to specialise in development policy or social policy. For the specialisation in social policy, courses focus on the context in Germany and comparable societies. The specialisation in development policy concentrates more on the situation in the global south or the context of north-south relations. In development policy, we use the blended learning approach. The higher level of flexibility also makes it attractive for professionals planning to study next to their job. Your physical attendance is required only for several block courses. Most of the programme takes place online (e-learning). Regardless of the specialisation, you also have the option to study part-time.


Career Options

T​he master’s programme Empowerment Studies is based on a human rights approach and critical reflection. It qualifies you for positions in Germany or abroad, which focus on
  • analysing problems of human coexistence, 
  • developing solutions based on the empowerment concept and
  • influencing social change aiming for emancipation.
In addition, the degree qualifies you for doctoral studies and, thus, for an academic career.

Possible professional fields or employers include, for example:
  • community-oriented social work
  • sociopolitical organisations, such as trade unions or charities
  • international NGOs
  • organisations involved in development cooperation

Key facts

Language of 
​Mainly German
Degree​Master of Arts (MA)
Normal programme length3 semesters (full-time)
6 semesters (part-time)
Study programme begins​Winter semester
Application​Find out how and when to apply:
Degree seeking students
Exchange students
Allocation of places​Restricted admission
General admission requirements
Special admission requirements1. Successful completion of a bachelor’s or Diplom programme in the field of social sciences or of a comparable, subject-related bachelor’s or Diplom programme at a higher education institution with an overall grade of 2.5 (‘good’ according to the German grading system) or better.
2.​ Proof of specific aptitude for the profile of the master’s programme​
​Period abroad
​​Postgraduate study programmes at HSD e.g. doctoral studies
​Summary of key informationFlyer (PDF)

Information for international applicants ​Link