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Language and Cultural Studies

Study Library Science, Documentation in Germany

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In the field of study library science and documentation, you work intensively with data, including allocating, recording, and archiving data. The increasing adoption of databases, the internet, and electronic media has significantly changed the work of librarians and documentalists. This degree programme prepares you for this changed working environment and enables you to pursue a practice-oriented, modern profession in the information industry.


29 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master

German, English

3-8 Semesters

What content can I expect?

A degree in library science and documentation provides you with practical knowledge that primarily has to do with the transfer of information, as well as its acquisition, research, and management.

Library science and documentation comprises the following fields of study:

  • Archive studies: You learn to archive material that is no longer needed on an ongoing basis.
  • Library science: This area covers the acquisition, presentation, indexing, and dissemination of information.
  • Book studies deal with the cultural, economic, and technical characteristics of books as a medium.
  • Documentation science is about the acquisition, systematisation, processing, dissemination, and preservation of information.
  • Information science deals with information systems and processes.
  • Museum studies: In this area, you will acquire museological skills such as object and collection documentation, and you will also learn about exhibition management.

Bachelor’s degree programmes usually last six to seven semesters and Master’s degree programmes most often take three to four semesters. Some higher education institutions also offer part-time Master’s programmes, which can then last five to six semesters.

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Are you interested in an in Language and Cultural Studies? Run a non-binding eligibility check now.

What are the prerequisites for degree programmes in library science, documentation?

To be eligible to enrol in a course of study in library science and documentation, you need a general higher education entrance qualification, a university of applied sciences entrance qualification, previous professional training recognised as equivalent or an equivalent certificate. There are a few degree programmes with an NC, i.e. they require a minimum grade, but most degree programmes are open-admission programmes.

Especially if you choose a degree programme that focuses on information science, you should have an interest in software design and systems development. Basic knowledge of computer science and programming is not mandatory, but it will help you to technically understand information systems and to grasp them conceptually.

Bachelor’s degree programmes usually do not require practical experience when applying. Most integrate an internship of several weeks into the curriculum, others an entire practical semester. It is generally recommended that you do not wait until shortly before graduation to start your career orientation. Think about it already in the first semesters so that you can collect your first references, which you can use later to convince potential employers of your merits.

For Master’s programmes, you usually have to have a Bachelor’s degree that is relevant to the subject. If you want to study a part-time Master’s programme, very often, you must also have at least twelve months of relevant work experience. In some cases, you also have to provide proof of your work during your studies, i.e. usually an employment contract.

How much does it cost to study library science, documentation?

Public higher education institutions do not charge tuition fees for most degree programmes. There may be exceptions to this rule, especially for (part-time) Master’s programmes. Therefore, be sure to check this before you decide to study at a particular higher education institution. If you are unsure, it is best to contact the institution directly here via My GUIDE. In contrast, fees are always charged for degree programmes at private higher education institutions.

Even at public higher education institutions, however, you won’t study for free. Here, you pay the so-called semester contribution, which is usually between 100 and 400 euros per semester. Sometimes your semester contribution covers a ticket for local public transport or you can purchase a discounted ticket. Depending on where you study, this may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available.

What can get really expensive is your rent. Average rents in Germany vary greatly depending on where you live: especially in big cities and in a city that is popular with students, you may be faced with high costs and it can sometimes be difficult to find affordable accommodation. It’s best to find out in advance about the current situation in the city of your choice. The local student union is also a good first point of contact, as the hall of residence places are usually cheaper. However, for this type of accommodation you should start looking as soon as you have decided on where you want to study, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities.

Your other living costs depend mostly on your personal lifestyle. To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What career options do I have with a degree in library science, documentation?

The degree programme usually prepares you for a professional occupation. After completing your studies, you can pursue a career, for example, in inventory management, bookselling, media development, marketing, public relations, or in cultural institutions such as museums or libraries.

The sectors and positions where you can find work are diverse. Let’s take book studies: graduates can work in the book trade and publishing industry with programme and product range planning, in basic legal and business positions, do editorial and content-related publishing, as well as marketing and press relations.

It has already become clear here that a degree in information science not only opens doors for libraries and cultural and educational institutions but also makes companies such as information centres, search engine operators or media houses possible employers.

For museum studies graduates, however, starting a career can sometimes be more difficult. Often, they initially work in temporary positions and therefore have to be mobile and flexible. But here, too, you can find exciting activities such as planning advertising campaigns or marketing strategies.

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.