Master of Arts in Development Studies


Program Description

It aims at professionalizing those already working in develop­ment or others for whom an e-learning program seems more fitting. It offers a solid academic base in the field of development studies.

Students learn about relevant theories that are nec­essary to critically reflect on current practices in the field of development aid. Practical competencies are furthered through courses such as project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. Academic competencies in research methods and writing skills enable a continuation in a scientific career.

Stemming from the diversity of the student body, the specific worth of the program lies in the oppor­tunity to literally assess international issues through virtual co-learning with students from across the globe.



  • Bachelor degree in social sciences, humanities, or other related fields
  • English proficiency test (e.g. TOEFL) or a Bachelor degree taught in English
  • Experience in development cooperation

Time frame

  • 6 semesters (120 credit points)
  • Intake in the summer semester only
  • E-learning modules only
  • Application from October 2020 till February 2021
  • Courses will start in March 2021
  • Language: English

Tuition fees

  • 1999,– EUR per semester
  • Students that register for 2021 will only pay 999 for the first two semesters


The formal application starts in October 2020. Please write to Dr. Jill Philine Blau if you are interested.


  • Theories of Development
  • Development Industry and Legacy
  • Development of Economics
  • Poverty Analysis and Social Protection
  • Public Health in Developing Countries
  • Religion and Development
  • Peace and Conflict Research
  • Methods of Empirical Social Research (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Academic Writing and Presentation Skills
  • Career Development
  • Planning, Management, and Evaluation of Development Projects
  • Disaster Management and Response
  • Sustainability, De-growth and Resource Politics
  • Globalization and Global Governance
  • Migration and Development
  • Gender Intersectionality and Development
  • Land Use, Land Rights and Development
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Research-Oriented Master Thesis

Specialization in an area of concentration is possible.


Dr. Kwaku Arhin-Sam - Director | Friedensau Institute for Evaluation

Kwaku Arhin-Sam is a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in intervention evaluation, international migration and migration governance, integration, and belonging politics. He is currently heading the Friedensau Institute for Evaluation and sees himself as a bridge between academics and practice.  He has taught, researched, and worked in Ghana, Germany, Nigeria, Haiti, Ukraine, Albania, and Thailand.

He has worked as a policy/expert consultant for the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the Mercator Dialogue on Migration and Asylum (MEDAM), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Since 2012, Kwaku has worked as an external project/program evaluator for several organizations, including the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. He is an alumnus of Friedensau Adventist University and has been a guest lecturer in Friedensau since 2013. Kwaku is an Afropolitan and a member of the African Studies Association of Africa, and the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS).

Dr. Jill Philine Blau - Lecturer/Researcher | School of Social Sciences

Jill Philine Blau is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Development Studies and coordinates this Master’s program. She has taught and researched in Germany, Ghana, and Ethiopia. Her research mainly looks at the interface of feminism, pastoralism, and natural commons. In this program, she furthermore teaches on the legacies of the aid industry as well as skills-based courses such as academic writing, rhetorics, and participatory project planning. Before returning to research, she was Head of the Department for International Politics at the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation as well as in the Board of Trustees for OWEN e.V. and the German Women’s Security Council. She started her career in development working for the GIZ and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Bendix - Professor of Global Development | School of Social Sciences

Daniel Bendix is a Professor for Global Development. He previously taught and researched in Berlin, Manchester, Jena, and Kassel. His research focuses on colonial power in development policy, the politics of reproductive health and population, post-development in the North, and transnational activism against deportation and land grabbing. In this Master’s program, he teaches development theory and public health amongst others. He is a member of the network Afrique-Europe-Interact and of Glokal, a Berlin-based association for postcolonial education.

Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Ulrike Schultz - Professor of Development Sociology and Economics | School of Social Sciences Program Director M.A. International Social Sciences (Development Studies) Vice Dean | School of Social Sciences

Ulrike Schultz is a Professor for Development Sociology and the Head of the full-time development studies program in Friedensau. Before coming to Friedensau, she taught in Berlin, Bochum, and Khartoum.  Her main research fields are migration, refugee and mobility studies and gender, and intersectionality. In her current research project, she looks at belonging and citizenship in the context of migration in the two Sudan. Her regional focus lies in North East Africa and East Africa. Special interest in her academic life lies in the cooperation with universities in the so-called Global South. She conducted workshops and summer schools in Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria, and Myanmar. In this Master’s program, she is responsible for the gender and the migration courses, the social protection module, and teaches qualitative methods, which is another passion in her academic career.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Spiegler - Professor of Sociology and Empirical Social Research | School of Social Sciences Dean | School of Social Sciences

Thomas Spiegler is a Professor of Sociology and Methods of Social Research (and Dean of the School of Social Sciences) at Friedensau Adventist University. His main research field is the sociology of education with a focus on educational inequalities. In this Master’s program, he teaches methods of social research and statistics. One of his passions is to explain statistics as easily understandable as possible.  He has just published a new textbook about it in German and hopes to work on a more global version in English soon.

Annette Witherspoon, M.A. - Lecturer International Social Sciences

Saijue Annette Witherspoon is a doctoral researcher in the field of Development Sociology.  She has taught, conducted research, and worked in Germany, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Madagascar. Her current research analyzes power relations in agricultural value chains is a part of a larger transdisciplinary sustainable land use project hosted at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Throughout her career, Ms. Witherspoon has remained at the intersection of research and practice.

She has had the opportunity to freelance with Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Mercy Corps in the areas of programming, project monitoring, evaluation and compliance, emergency response coordination, and rapid research operations during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Ms. Witherspoon is an alumina of the Friedensau Adventist University and has since 2014 served as a guest lecturer in the Master's program. She offers seminars and workshops in the courses of participatory project planning and public health.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

Friedensau has been a place of education since 1899. On 19 November 1899 the institute that preceded the university, the “Industry and Mission School”, commenced operations with just seven pupils in v ... Read More

Friedensau has been a place of education since 1899. On 19 November 1899 the institute that preceded the university, the “Industry and Mission School”, commenced operations with just seven pupils in very basic conditions. The school was housed in an old mill on the Ihle river, mentioned for the first time in 1306. Read less