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Teaching Degrees

Study School Subjects in Germany

Explore 4450 programmes.

Would you like to go back to school? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge and working with children and adolescents? Do you remain composed in stressful situations? If so, studying to become a teacher of school subjects may suit you. Usually, you choose two subjects and the type of school you would like to teach at, i.e., primary, lower, or upper secondary. However, the requirements differ depending on the federal state, so you should decide where you would like to work before you start your studies.


119 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Final Examination, State Examination

German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish

2-10 Semesters

What can I expect?

If you would like to teach at a primary school, for example, you will always have to choose mathematics and German. For higher age ranges, you can also choose subjects such as history, social sciences, biology, computer science, or geography. The possible subjects and their combinations depend on the type of school you want to teach at. Depending on the federal state, the school types are called “Grundschule”, “Hauptschule”, “Mittelschule”, “Realschule” or “Gymnasium”. No matter which subjects and which combinations you choose, you will always acquire general knowledge of teaching. This also includes, for example, didactics and educational sciences.

In addition to your subject combination, you can often expand the content of your degree programme and obtain additional qualifications. For example, you can dive deeper in a psychological/educational area, in a foreign language area or in other school subjects. Today, due to the increasing internationality of schools, the subject „German as a Foreign Language“ (DaF) is often offered as an additional qualification.

Internships will also be included in your studies. They will give you a better understanding of the tasks, requirements, and challenges of the teaching profession and help you find out whether you are suited for your intended profession.

By the way: You can also study to become a teacher of school subjects in Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes! Depending on which degree programme you choose, you will complete your studies with a Master’s degree or a state examination. In general, it takes four to five years to complete your teacher training course and then another one and a half to two years to complete the traineeship (“Referendariat”). After your traineeship, you will take a second state examination (also called Staatsprüfung).

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What are the requirements for a teacher training course in school subjects?

To be eligible for a teacher training course, you need the general higher education entrance qualification or an equivalent certificate. If you want to teach foreign languages, art, music or sports, later on, you may have to take additional aptitude tests.

Some higher education institutions have set a numerus clausus, i.e. a minimum grade, for their teacher training programmes and restrict the number of students who are granted admission to individual subjects or certain types of schools. Since the numerus clausus depends on the higher education institution, the combination of subjects and the type of school, it can vary greatly.

What costs should I plan for?

The cost of your studies depends on various factors: How expensive is the city where you are studying? What fees does the higher education institution charge? What kind of lifestyle do you pursue?

The biggest cost for you will probably be rent. Cities and towns in Germany vary in price, which naturally has an impact on your rent payment. As a general rule, popular and/or large (student) cities tend to be more expensive to live in. However, no matter which city and higher education institution you choose, you can use the following as a guideline: With student halls of residence or shared flats, you can save money almost everywhere and also get to know new people!

Another cost factor is tuition fees. You can breathe a sigh of relief here: state higher education institutions mostly do not charge tuition fees in Germany. However, please note that there may be exceptions in the case of long-term students or those studying for a second degree (Master’s degrees mostly do not count here as a second degree). However, you should be aware of the semester contributions. These are usually between 100 and 400 euros. However, the semester contribution often covers your semester ticket for public transport.

Of course, you will also have to pay other costs, but these depend very much on you individually and on your situation. For example, after a certain age, you have to pay into the health insurance fund yourself, you have to buy books or you may want to eat out. For everyday life, however, the cafeteria and libraries, for example, offer good opportunities to save money!

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  and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What profession can I pursue with a degree in teaching school subjects?

After graduating and successfully completing your traineeship, you can finally teach! Which federal state and which type of school you are allowed to work in depends on your combination of subjects, among other things. Your pay depends on the type of school and the federal state in which you work. You will be sorted into a salary bracket and can predict your expected salary relatively well.

Good to know: The state Ministries of Education and Cultural Affairs regularly publish model calculations on the future demand for teachers in their federal state. Among other things, they estimate how many teachers and for which subjects are likely to be particularly needed in the coming years. If you already know in which federal state you would like to work, you can find out which combination of subjects will significantly increase your chances.

If you realise during your studies or your traineeship that teaching is not for you, you do not necessarily have to discontinue your studies. With a teaching degree, you have other career options open to you: For example, you can work in science and research, including at higher education institutions. You can also find employment in the cultural and creative sector (e.g. libraries, museums, and media). Working with children or young people outside of school also remains a possibility. Other job opportunities are also possible in the private sector, for example in human resources, depending on your specialisation.

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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.