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Fountain in the sunshine in front of the Old Town Hall and the theatre in Bielefeld
©Sina Ettmer –

Studying in Bielefeld

Bielefeld offers you 17 degree programmes in English at 7 higher education institutions.

“Bielefeld does not exist.” You will hear this saying over and over when you study in Bielefeld. But this is complete nonsense: The city has existed since the 9th century, is considered the centre of East Westphalia-Lippe and is the headquarters of global players. Its independent cultural scene, medieval city centre, numerous parks, green surroundings and modest living costs make Bielefeld a city worth living in.

If you don't want to miss out on the advantages of a big city and at the same time appreciate rural life and the proximity to nature, then Bielefeld is the right place for you. With around 338,000 inhabitants and 38,000 students, Bielefeld is one of the largest cities in Germany.

Siegfriedplatz, also known as "Siggi", is one of the most popular places in the city for students to meet. Many cosy cafés and bars, a weekly farmers’ market with fresh food and charming bookshops invite you to browse and linger. Here you can enjoy the warm summer evenings and quickly meet new people.

A practical advantage of studying in Bielefeld is the low rents for flats and shared flats. You can also find affordable rooms near the city centre and not far from most higher education institutions. Many students are drawn to the district of Schildesche, the oldest quarter of the city. From here, you can quickly reach the city centre and all other districts by public transport, which you can use cheaply with the semester ticket. Most students, however, get on their bikes to get to their courses.

Life in Bielefeld

338,000 residents

  • High-speed train connections

    In close vicinity

  • International airport

    Dortmund airport in 86 km distance

  • Coast

    North Sea in 150 km distance

  • Mountain range

    Teutoburg Forest in close vicinity

  • Other countries

    The Netherlands in 105 km distance

  • Attractions within 100 km

    • Hameln in 58 km distance

    • Lake Hücker Moor in 17 km distance

    • Externsteine (rock formation) in 32 km distance

7 higher education institutions in Bielefeld

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Subject groups of degree programmes in Bielefeld

There is a wide range of degree programmes in Bielefeld. Here you can see the main subject groups. Currently, degree programmes in Bielefeld are mainly offered in the subject group Teaching Degrees, followed by Humanities and Social Sciences and Economic Sciences, Law. Find out more information here about the subject groups and degree programmes offered in Germany.
  • 0

    Agricultural and Forest Sciences

  • 60

    Humanities and Social Sciences

  • 46

    Mathematics, Natural Sciences

  • 13

    Art, Music, Design

  • 37

    Language and Cultural Studies

  • 27

    Medicine, Health Sciences

  • 59

    Economic Sciences, Law

  • 26

    Engineering Sciences

  • 73

    Teaching Degrees

Busy Christmas market between historic buildings with atmospheric illumination

Don’t miss out on the romantic Christmas market at the Alter Markt.

Bielefeld does not exist? Born out of a joke, a conspiracy theory claims that the existence of the city is only faked.

If you like to stroll through colourful markets and look for small treasures, you are in good hands in Bielefeld. Flea markets and weekly markets with many stalls await you in several parts of the city. Those interested in culture will also get their money's worth in Bielefeld: there are many museums, independent theatres and art exhibitions.

Bielefeld is not known for its unique location in nature for nothing; the south side of the city is covered by several nature reserves and the Teutoburg Forest is right on its doorstep. Here you can go hiking, climbing and mountain biking. One of the most famous hiking trails is the 160 km long Hermannsweg, which is one of the most beautiful high-altitude trails in Germany. But you don't have to leave the city at all to find a natural idyll. Some of the most beautiful places in Bielefeld are the picturesque Botanical Garden and the Olderdissen Animal Park, and in the north of the city lies the popular Obersee Lake. Which is simply the perfect place to end the evening by the water with friends after a busy day.

The Sparrenburg Fortress, Bielefeld's landmark, offers a great panoramic view of the city. A medieval festival happens here every year that you shouldn't miss. In summer, the "Carnival of Cultures" takes place, a colourful carnival parade in the city centre with great music, and in December, the Christmas market at the Alter Markt is a popular meeting place. Here you can enjoy the beautiful ambience with friends and drink a warm mulled wine or punch. Bielefeld also has an independent pub scene and a variety of clubs and bars where you can dance with friends until the early hours of the morning. Admission is always cheap!

In addition to your studies, you have many opportunities in Bielefeld to find a part-time job and gain some work experience. The food industry, trade and service companies and mechanical engineering are particularly well represented in Bielefeld. Some well-known global companies have their origins here.

A young woman walks through the city
A young woman walks through the cityJan von Allwörden / DAAD

You can find more information at

For more information on living and studying in Bielefeld, visit the city portraits at