PPE - Philosophy, Politics and Economics (M.A.)

Witten/Herdecke University
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Master's programs

PPE - Philosophy, Politics and Economics (M.A.) “The planet’s biggest problems have to do with sustainability, environmental decline, global poverty, disease, conflict and so forth. Really, they’re all interconnected – it is one big problem, which is that the way we’re doing things can’t go on.” – Alex Steffen, American futurist

Our students give you a tour through Witten/Herdecke University.

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PPE @ Witten/Herdecke – We do things in a different way!

The social, political and economic challenges of our increasingly interconnected world are at the centre of this international English-language Master's programme in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Witten/Herdecke University. These challenges include:

  • Massive intercontinental migration
  • Economic inequalities and global poverty
  • Political radicalisation

Tailored PPE degree programme for future leaders in politics, society and business

The challenges mentioned above transcend academic disciplines. Conventional academic approaches have often failed to effectively understand and tackle them. The most creative and effective impulses for the global society of tomorrow will come from people with an interdisciplinary training, novel ideas, and inspiring visions. Future leaders in politics and business will be successful if they have learned to reflect their strategic decisions ethically and to base them on scientific knowledge. The PPE Master in Witten is tailor-made for this kind of future executives. It qualifies for a large number of jobs and careers in leading positions at the interface of politics, economics and society.

Join the Witten PPE community!

The educational approach of Witten/Herdecke is unique. We have created an active community of students and professors around each of our degree programmes. Hence, as a student of PPE in Witten, you will interact with exceptionally talented, involved, committed and sociable people.

Classes are kept small and teaching is interactive to the core, fostering discussion and avoiding a ‘chalk and talk’ frontal teaching style. In particular, each semester our students are involved in designing the curriculum of the upcoming semester. The Studium fundamentale allows students to integrate courses in music, literature, art, history,  archaeology and many more into their degrees. The possibility to choose between three majors and to conduct independent studies allows for a high degree of individuality in the students’ course portfolio.

The Witten Network – a stepping stone to your future career

The excellent international reputation of our university helps us to attract internationally renowned scholars for talks and seminars at Witten/Herdecke University. In fact, the University partners with students in selecting and inviting international lecturers. Our network of partner organisations helps PPE students to pave their way to a successful career in Germany and abroad.

  • you want to focus in your studies on the above-mentioned challenges,
  • you are open to exploring interdisciplinary perspectives,
  • you aim at a professional future in leadership positions at the interface of politics, business and society,
  • you highly value freedom and personal fulfilment within your studies,
  • you are ready to engage in new forms of teaching and learning.

If this is you, then Witten/Herdecke University offers perfect professional and personal development opportunities. We would be happy to support you on your way to achieving your goals.

Start of studies Form of study Average size of class Application fee Requirements

120 CP (four semesters)

Particular interest in interdisciplinary studies

English language skills (e.g. TOEFL 83)


UW/H is a laboratory or model university where innovative teaching approaches are developed and implemented in various degree programmes. At the same time, it is always in search of personalities who develop their potential on their own responsibility. One of the distinguishing features of the University is that it views its students, scientists and employees in a holistic way. It thereby provides the physical, organisational, mental and intellectual space to experience and develop oneself in a comprehensive way.

Enter and design your own space for development and freedom. It all depends on you!

Faculty of Management and EconomicsOur professors mainly teach in interactive seminars.

The Faculty of Management and Economics offers its students excellent scientific education, focusing on conveying specialist knowledge such as training the students’ judgement and sense of responsibility. In addition to the option of studying management, which focuses on sustainability and responsibility, prospective students may also study a degree at the interface of politics, philosophy and economics.

After having acquired your Master’s degree, you may pursue your academic career, benefit from our right to award doctorates and acquire a doctorate. Postdoctoral early stage researchers have the opportunity to obtain their lecturing qualification (habilitation).

Thursday is Stufu-day for all students of Witten/Herdecke University. Students of all faculties meet for general studies in liberal arts and humanities and work together on topics concerning society and culture, philosophy and history, literature and arts, as well as economy and health. They can choose courses they are interested in from a broad range of courses and usefully complement their studies this way. Within the context of these general studies, the students discuss current issues and challenges and enhance their own communication skills. Art courses such as theatre acting, singing, dancing or sculpting complement the educational concept of the Studium fundamentale, which has been honoured as being ‘groundbreaking’ by the Stiftung Mercator foundation.

Tuition fees & financing

The StudierendenGesellschaft (SG) handles the entire financing of your studies at UW/H – independent of the way of payment you choose. This association is independent from the university and UW/H has no insight into the financing situation of their students.

By means of the Reverse Generational Contract (RGC) the StudierendenGesellschaft enables students to finance their studies regardless of their financial background. For this, the RGC decouples the time of paying tuition fees from the time of studying: Students do not have to finance their studies until they start earning money.

The SG offers three ways to pay for your studies at UW/H:

  • Income-related repayment


In order to support each individual student’s career, various mentoring programmes at UW/H promote and strengthen the students’ personal development and self-organisation. Within these programmes, students get the opportunity to exchange views with experienced mentors, alumni or peers. The goal is to build further competences and to support the career path of each individual.

Independent Projects

Independent Projects enable our students to shape and design their studies on an individual level. In coordination with a supervisor, the student can choose a topic that is not necessarily part of the MA-PPE curriculum. The student then works independently on the agreed-upon research questions. Independent studies can be combined with practical work, internships or organised projects.

Witten didactics - small groups

Small groups do not only have the advantage of being small: Instead of a 'chalk and talk' atmosphere, small groups foster an intensive exchange on topics, as well as a culture of debate and speech. Both students and instructors benefit from these small-group dynamics. At the Faculty of Management and Economics, the course size is therefore limited to a maximum of 25 registered students. In the MA-PPE, courses are kept to a size of about 10 participants on average.

A dedicated community

Whether family business successors or high school graduates from non-academic families: Our students come from various backgrounds, but have common ground in their dedicated attitude. Many students are active in NGOs and extracurricular initiatives. Moreover, UW/H enhances the community concept by an open culture of debate that takes place on a par with the professors, as well as by an active participation of students in various university bodies and committees.

Stefania Andriolo, Student PPE - Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (M.A.)As a foreign policy advisor of the German government, it is my job to make sense of political and economic developments that are deeply intertwined. In Witten, I found the necessary analytical tools and the inspiration to follow my interests across the traditional boundaries of social science.Janis Kluge, Alumnus PPE - Research Division Eastern Europe and Eurasia at Stiftung Wissenschaft & Politik Berlin, GermanyAs an international student in Witten, I discovered an excellent academic environment and an open-minded university which offers a pluralistic education.Diego Tuzman, Alumnus PPE – Ministry of Social Affairs and Development, UruguayOur PPE programme attracts the change-makers of tomorrow. Whether you go into academia, politics or business: As a graduate from Witten/Herdecke you will not only make it, you will make a difference.Prof. Dr. Joachim Zweynert, Programme CoordinatorPPE combines three extraordinarily interesting disciplines, teaches a set of crucially important analytical skills, and opens up attractive job opportunities in several fields. The perfect combination, in my view.Prof. Dr. Jens Harbecke, Programme CoordinatorLife is not about economics and politics alone. Its challenges and contradictions can’t be solely understood by philosophy either. Grasping world processes rather requires a combination of all. Witten expresses exactly this formula and offers me access from diverse perspectives.Julian Römer, Student PPE - Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (M.A.)It is this potpourri of ideas and people that makes Witten/Herdecke a great place and actually the university of the future.Waidi Adebayo, Student PPE - Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (M.A.)To deepen my understanding of the interrelations between Politics, Economics and also Philosophy the PPE Master at Witten/Herdecke University offered a programme with topics that caught my interest immediately.Katharina Sperling, Alumna PPE – Job Integration Coach in Münster, GermanyThe fact that Witten/Herdecke offers seminars instead of lectures is important when studying PPE because this leaves more room for discussions about the complex topics and thereby trains argumentative skills.Lea Diederichsen, Alumna PPE – Ph.D. student in philosophy of the social sciences and assistant at the president’s office at Witten/Herdecke UniversityToday's challenges - e.g. terrorism, migration, climate change - cannot be faced from the perspective of only one academic discipline. Witten/Herdecke University teaches you that there is always more than one possible explanation.Raphael Landua, Alumnus PPE - Research associate, office of a Member of the German Bundestag, BerlinI have experienced Witten/Herdecke University as a vibrant, diverse and free-thinking place, for which I have the highest appreciation.Christian Walker, Student PPE - Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (M.A.)


UW/H Career Service

Our Career Service fosters the professional career of our students right from the start by organising career workshops on job applications, design thinking workshops, the "Marriage Market" recruitment fair or company field trips. Various events throughout the year aim to bring students and companies together, provide start-up support for successfully launching their career and help gaining initial work experience. In addition to these services, the Career Center site – an online job market for UW/H students – provides access to job offers and events for UW/H students.

Marriage Market recruiting evening

The UW/H Marriage Market is a recruiting evening at which UW/H students can meet future employers. Twice a year, various companies present their job offers and career opportunities on campus, aiming to meet potential employees on a personal level. From the prospect of getting a student trainee job to successfully starting their career: Students have the opportunity to connect through face-to-face conversations, as well as to establish and expand their professional network from the first semester.

Lifelong relationships: UW/H alumni

Our alumni remain closely connected to their alma mater long after graduation. By participating in various committees and initiatives around the university, they keep track of our development and get actively involved. Our annual UW/H Alumni Meeting is therefore not only a reunion event for former fellow students and for recollecting past memories: Graduates also meet current students in workshops, impart their experience and establish new contacts. Via the Almanac – the alumni online portal – they are also able to access the experience and expertise of the alumni network, now over 7,000 members strong.

UW/H Network of Businesses and Organisations

Our network of businesses and organisations does not only comprise contacts to partner companies and organisations in the region, Germany and abroad, but also the continuous involvement of external experts in seminars of our degree programmes, our alumni network, the Marriage Market recruitment fair, and our Career Service, which advises students on their career development.

Application deadlines: Apply any time and secure your place to study at UW/H!

The degree programme starts each year in the winter semester (1 October). We offer a rolling application process: This means that you can apply all year round and thus secure your study place at an early date. After having positively assessed your submitted and complete application during pre-selection, we invite you to an admission seminar. This takes place either at our university or – for applicants from abroad – in the form of online interviews. A few days after the seminar, you will receive either an offer for a study place or, in the unfortunate case, a rejection.

If the cohort of the coming winter semester is already full, you will receive a place on the waiting list as well as a secure study place in the following year. On request, we are always happy to inform you whether there are still places available for the coming winter semester.

Please note:

If you are an EU national and plan to start studying at UW/H in a particular year, the deadline for submitting your application is 31 July of that year. Prospective students from non-EU countries should submit their application and additional documents well before the deadline as they may have to obtain a visa, which requires further paperwork. The time needed to complete this process with the German authorities can vary considerably from one country to another and may take six months or longer. It is therefore advisable to check early enough with the German embassy or consulate in your country in order to find out about visa processing times and to submit your application early enough.

Please do not hesitate to contact our applications office for any queries and questions you may have. If due to reasons beyond your control you manage to apply on short notice only, we will always do our very best to find an individual solution for you.

Admission requirements

The PPE Master is a two-year (120 ECTS) programme for graduates of a bachelor’s or equivalent degree programme in any discipline (that is, an application does not require that the first degree has been in one of the three fields of philosophy, politics or economics). Intensive introductory courses in philosophy, politics and economics help all students to ascend to roughly the same academic level in the three disciplines within two semesters.

Graduates of related 240 ECTS bachelor’s degree programmes may complete the programme in less than two years. For more information, please get in touch with us any time.

English proficiency requirements:


Successful completion of a degree programme in an English-speaking country or proof of completion of an English-language programme of at least one year is considered equivalent.

Application documents & personal selection process

You apply via our campus management system UWE. After setting up your personal applicant account, please enter all required information and upload the following documents:

  • Proof of an academic qualification (Diploma, Master, Bachelor, State Examination), which includes at least 180 ECTS credits or a regular study period of at least six semesters,
  • A tabular CV
  • Why do I want to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (M.A.)? Why would I like to study at Witten/Herdecke University? What do I expect from Witten/Herdecke University and what can Witten/Herdecke University expect from me?
  • Proof of English proficiency (see admission requirements)
  • Deposit / transfer receipt for the application fee (copy) of EUR 100.00
  • If you would like to send us further documents, such as internship certificates or evidence of your social, sporting or political commitment, you can do so by email to bewerber-wiwi@uni-wh.de .


The process after you have submitted the documents:

After having positively assessed your submitted and complete application during pre-selection, we invite you to an admission seminar. This takes place either at our university or - for foreign applicants - in the form of online interviews. It is important to us that these interviews do not take the form of a test. Rather, they are about getting to know you as a person while giving you the opportunity to get to know us.

Together with you, we want to find out if the programme suits you with its content, requirements and vision. In many cases we will talk about

  • your interest in philosophy, politics and economics,
  • your motivation for further interdisciplinary studies,
  • your interest in current issues of world affairs and the economy,
  • your creativity and your personal commitment.

Your interview partners will be professors, scientific staff and students of our faculty, as well as alumni of the programme and external experts from business, culture and politics.

Information on application fees

As a contribution to the complex selection process, applicants are charged a processing fee. This application fee will not be reimbursed if the applicant is not accepted. Please do not send any cash or cheques.

The application fee is EUR 100.00. Please transfer this amount to:

Private Universitaet Witten/Herdecke gGmbH IBAN: DE06 4525 0035 0000 4530 35 BIC: WELEDED1WTN

Alternatively, you can transfer the fee to our PayPal account fibu@uni-wh.de.

Your contact for the application process

Christiane Weber

Your contact for content-related questions

Univ.-Prof. Dr.


Your contact for content-related questions

Prof. Dr.

Phone: +49(0)2302 / 926-598

Are there tuition fees?

Yes. Witten/Herdecke is a private University and therefore asks the students for a financial contribution. However, studying in Witten is not a question of money! Witten implemented the reverse generational contract (RGC), which means everyone, regardless of financial recourses, is able to study at Witten/Herdecke University. 

There are currently no scholarships offered by Witten/Herdecke University. However, there are scholarships offered by other organisations.

Are there any German classes that I can enrol into so that I can work on my German language skills?

Witten/Herdecke University offers an intensive German language course for beginners for international students free of charge one week before classes start. Furthermore, Witten/Herdecke University offers weekly German language courses on three levels (Beginners / Intermediate / Advanced) which are free of charge for international students. Detailed information is provided at the beginning of each semester.

Please register for either one or both courses offers via sprachen@uni-wh.de.

Are there clubs / student associations at the University offering extra-curricular activities or sports that I can join?

In Witten, many students are active in various student initiatives besides their curriculum.

An overview of many other initiatives that might be interesting for you is found on the German University website.

The Hochschulwerk e.V. offers a large variety of sport courses free of charge. Among them are football, tennis, body workout, dance classes and many more. Students can also join the sport programme at the Ruhr University Bochum.

What is the academic calendar? When are semester breaks?

The summer term begins on April 1st and officially ends on the September 30th. However, seminars are over by the end of July and exams usually take place within the first two weeks after the courses have ended.

The winter term begins on October 1st and ends on March 31st. The seminars will be over by the end of January, exams usually take place within the first two weeks after the courses have ended.

Please bear in mind that you will also need to calculate time in to write your term papers and the exam dates and deadlines can vary from class to class, depending on the teaching staff.

How do I find accommodation in Witten / Are there student dormitories available?

As Witten/Herdecke University does not have a student dormitory, all exchange students are responsible for securing their own living accommodations in Witten themselves. Current offers (rooms, apartments) are best found online using websites like www.wg-gesucht.de.

Please note: The earlier you start with your apartment search, the easier it is to find a place that suits your needs!

Contact & help: If you need any assistance in finding housing, please contact the Erasmus Student Network Witten or international-incoming@uni-wh.de.

How do I open a bank account in Germany?

Online-based banks are worth looking into as they do not need as much paper work. For a German bank account, you need your certificate of enrolment, visa and proof of registration with the local municipality. For questions and support contact esn@uni-wh.de

Can I use public transport for free as a student?

Every student who enrols at Witten/Herdecke University has to pay the so-called “semester ticket”. This semester ticket allows you to use all local public transportation in North-Rhine-Westphalia. The local public transport includes city and regional buses, subways, trams, and regional trains of the Deutsche Bahn, except the fast IC/ICE trains.

The StudierendenGesellschaft (SG) enables students to finance their studies regardless of financial backgrounds.

The SG offers three ways to pay for your studies at UW/H:

  • Income-related repayment

Do I need health insurance when studying in Germany? If so, what should I look for?

All international students who enrol at Witten/Herdecke University must have proof of health insurance that covers their study time in Germany.

There are several options for international students. If you would like a recommendation, you’re welcome to contact the ESN Witten/Herdecke Network: esn@uni-wh.de.

Students from EUROPE with a COMPULSORY health insurance in their home country:

Students from EWR/EU-countries and students from countries with which Germany has a social insurance treaty (former Yugoslavian states, Switzerland, Turkey, Tunesia) need to show one of the two following documents:

  • the Form AT/11; E111; E128 (International Foreign Medical Insurance Record Card) issued by your local medical insurance in your country


  • a copy of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by your local medical insurance in your country;

Students from EUROPE with a PRIVATE health insurance in their home country & students from NON-EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

These students must either obtain a health insurance through a German compulsory health insurer or buy a private health insurance for their time of studies in Germany:

  • German compulsory health insurance through a state health insurer of their choice: Student rates range at 100 EUR/month. The advantage is that the insurance covers you for all medical and dental treatments and hospitalization and you pay nothing on top. If you are interested in information on a German compulsory health insurance, please contact: international-office@uni-wh.de
  • Private health insurance policy that covers you while studying in Witten. Please note that a travel insurance is not sufficient. The private insurance must cover you for a residential stay in Germany.

Attention: Students with a foreign or private health insurance for Germany need to be released from the German compulsory health insurance requirement. For the enrolment procedure it is extremely important that you send us a scan of your proof of health insurance and the respective form for an exemption from the German compulsory health insurance by September 1 for an enrolment to Winter Semester or March 1 for an enrolment for Summer Semester respectively. If this information reaches us later than the date mentioned, the issuing of the university’s SmartCard including the Semesterticket (public transport pass) might be delayed!

Please note that this release from the insurance requirement cannot be withdrawn and is valid for the entire time of study in Germany. Students released from the national insurance requirements must arrange in advance for reimbursement of potentially high medical costs from their private health insurer. Please check carefully in advance, which insurance coverage your private health insurer is offering.

Are there language classes offered apart from German language courses?

Yes, Witten/Herdecke University is co-operating with the language centre at Ruhr University Bochum. The language courses are free of charge. All students at Witten/Herdecke University will receive an e-mail regarding the language courses at the beginning of each semester.

How does a typical study week look like?

Each programme is slightly different but for a Masters degree you will have around 12 hours contact time in the form of seminars, per week. The rest of the time is used for independent study, preparation, reading and study groups. As a student in Witten you are given the freedom to create your own personalised timetable.

The curriculum structure for each programme can be found on the programme specific page on the website.

What can I do, if I have personal issues and need support?

For academic related support, you can speak to your professors. All professors offer an open-door policy. You can also contact the international office or a member of the ESN team if you have any questions.

For personal issues you can contact:

Diversity Committee

Frauenhaus Bochum (Women’s support center)

Phone: +49 234 / 501034

White Ring Ennepe-Ruhr-Circle

Local student initiative: The international relations office:

Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs: Prof. Dr. André Schmidt International Co-ordinator: Prof. Dr. Jens Harbecke

Faculty of Humanities and Arts:

Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs: Prof. Dr. Claus Volkenandt International Co-ordinator: Prof. Dr. Matthias Kettner

Faculty of Health:

School of Medicine:

School of Dentistry:

Prof. Dr. Martin Tomasik

How do I register when I arrive at Witten?

Once in Germany, all international students must register with the City of Witten within two weeks (Please ask your landlord for an official document, in which he/she confirms your address).

For non-EU citizens:

Step 1: Please go first to the "Ausländerbehörde” (Ordnungsamt) in the Witten town hall.

Step 2: After having obtained the "Aufenthaltsbewilligung", all international students must register downstairs with the Resident Registration Office (“Bürgerberatung”).

The following items are required:

  • valid passport or identification card
  • certificate of registration at Witten/Herdecke University / confirmation of student status at the University of Witten /Herdecke
  • proof of sufficient financial resources for Germany
  • proof of health insurance coverage in Germany
  • 2 passport-sized photos


Tuesday 08.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. & 02.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m. Wednesday closed Friday 08.00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.


Office hours:

Tuesday 08.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. Wednesday 08.00 a.m. – 01.00 p.m. Thursday 08.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. Friday 08.00 a.m. – 01.00 p.m.

For students residing in a city other than Witten: Please contact the local authorities accordingly. If you would like to receive support with any of these matters, please contact esn@uni-wh.de and they will arrange for someone to accompany you.


Step 1: Please go first to the "Ausländerbehörde” (Ordnungsamt) in the Witten town hall.

Step 2: After having obtained the "Aufenthaltsbewilligung", all international students must register downstairs with the Resident Registration Office (“Bürgerberatung”).

Both offices, Amt für Ausländerangelegenheiten and Bürgerberatung are located in the Witten town hall (address see below).

The following items are required:

  • valid passport or identification card
  • certificate of registration at Witten/Herdecke University / confirmation of student status at the University of Witten /Herdecke
  • proof of sufficient financial resources for Germany
  • proof of health insurance coverage in Germany

Ordnungsamt – Ausländerbehörde

Tuesday 08.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. & 02.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m. Wednesday closed Friday 08.00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.


Office hours: Tuesday 08.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. Wednesday 08.00 a.m. – 01.00 p.m. Thursday 08.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. Friday 08.00 a.m. – 01.00 p.m.

For students residing in a city other than Witten: Please contact the local authorities accordingly. If you would like to receive support with any of these matters, please contact esn@uni-wh.de and they will arrange for someone to accompany you.

What are the requirements to stay in Witten after graduation?

If you would like to pursue a career in Germany, our career service is happy to help. They offer traineeship postings, entry-level job ads and other recruiting services. After your graduation you can apply (with your graduation certificate) for a one year bridge visa, which allows you to search for a job. This visa can be extended for six months. Please find further information on the Website of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office regarding visa requirements.

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Posted on:

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Master's programs


Witten , Germany