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Teaching Degrees

Study Special Pedagogy, inclusive Pedagogy in Germany

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A teaching degree programme in the field of special pedagogy and inclusive pedagogy prepares you to work with children who have special educational needs, including, e.g., intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, behavioural disorders, or sensory impairments. You will learn how to teach these children individually according to their abilities. After completing your studies, you can teach at special education schools as well as at general education schools with an integrative approach.


41 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, State Examination

German, English, Danish

2-11 Semesters

What can I expect?

School types and requirements for prospective teachers vary across the federal states, so you should carefully choose your degree programme based on where you may want to work in the future. The study programmes are wide-ranging. For example, they could be:

  • Teacher training at primary schools with integrated special needs education
  • Speech and language therapy pedagogy
  • Pedagogy for behavioural disorders

The degree programme is very varied and often also covers medical basics, sociology, and psychology.

Your studies will usually take nine to ten semesters to complete. A Bachelor’s degree alone is not sufficient to be able to teach. You must also complete a Master’s degree programme and an at least one and a half year long traineeship. You will also complete some internships during your studies; in some federal states, a so-called orientation internship (“Orientierungspraktikum”) is recommended before admission, to ensure that you are completely confident in your choice of study. In addition to pedagogical competence, as a teacher in special needs education, you must have a great deal of empathy and be psychologically resilient.

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What are the requirements to study special pedagogy, inclusive pedagogy?

In order to be eligible to enrol at a German higher education institution, it is usually sufficient to have a general higher education entrance qualification or an equivalent school-leaving qualification. In the field of special education, including pedagogy, you can enrol at many higher education institutions without having to meet any other specific admission criteria. At some institutions, however, applicants are selected according to a certain NC, i.e. an average final grade, as well as other internal criteria.

As mentioned above, some higher education institutions require that a pre-study internship related to education or inclusion be completed before the start of the programme. The duration of the internship can vary between four and eight weeks, depending on the higher education institution and the programme.

For certain subjects or school subjects such as music, art and sport, there are usually additional requirements. As these subjects require a certain level of prior knowledge and skills, you might have to pass aptitude tests for these fields.

Is there a standard curriculum for a course of study in special pedagogy, inclusive pedagogy?

If you apply for or enrol at a higher education institution for a Bachelor’s programme, the first decision you need to take is whether you want to study (inclusive) education for primary schools or grammar schools/secondary schools.

For teaching the primary school sector, you will need to take two to three subjects. If, on the other hand, you want to teach special needs education at a secondary school, you usually have to study one or two school subjects. In addition to the subject-specific knowledge, you will be trained in the areas of inclusion, pedagogy and psychology in the Bachelor’s programme, which usually lasts six semesters. The credit points to be achieved are distributed according to your choice of specialisation. Be careful which programme you choose, as many German higher education institutions only allow certain subject combinations.

For the Master’s programme with a standard period of study of usually four semesters, a previously completed Bachelor’s programme in special needs education or comparable proven prior knowledge is obligatory.

Many higher education institutions require four to eight weeks of practical training in special needs education in the course of both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. In some Master’s degree programmes, these practical experiences are carried out as block internships or practical semesters.

How much does it cost to study special pedagogy, inclusive pedagogy in Germany?

In Germany, studying at public higher education institutions is usually free of charge. Nevertheless, at many public higher education institutions you have to pay a so-called semester contribution of 100–400 euros, which covers the costs for administration and the student union. The good thing is that this fee often includes your ticket for local public transport. 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.

Living costs and your rent payment usually make up the largest part of your expenses during your studies. Since there are considerable differences within Germany, the amount of your expenses also depends on the city in which you want to study. As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, 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.

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 are career prospects with a degree in special pedagogy, inclusive pedagogy?

A successful Master’s degree first offers you the opportunity to enter the usually two-year preparatory service or a traineeship, which you can complete at a special needs school or inclusive school. After the preparatory service, you can take up a permanent position. Graduates of this programme can work in schools and colleges, in further education or in non-school settings.

With regard to the salary to be expected, a distinction must be made here between the preparatory service and the type of future employment. During the preparatory service, you earn the standard candidate remuneration for prospective teachers according to the respective federal state‘s salary act. After the preparatory service, German and EU citizens have the opportunity to become civil servants. With the status of a civil servant you will start your career as a „Studienrat“ (lecturer) in the respective pay grade. But even without this status you can still expect a fairly similar salary, as the compensation for salaried teachers usually correspond to the pay grades of civil servants.

What is a Staatsexamen?

In some federal states, teacher training courses must be completed with a state examination, the Staatsexamen. The programme, which lasts between nine and ten semesters, is not completed with a Master’s thesis, but usually with two separate state examinations (pedagogical and subject-related). The procedure and study content are very similar to the comparable Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes.

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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.