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Culture, Ecology, Change

Master of Arts (M.A.)

In view of current social and ecological crises, the Master's program analyzes the historical practices and thought patterns responsible for them and invites creative thinking and designs to support socio-ecological transformation.

Content and objectives

We are living in a world of multiple ecological and humanitarian crises, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and demographic pressures due to this. Those crises of the  “Anthropocene,” are interconnected and aggravate one another. The Master program  “Culture, Ecology, Change” enables students to grasp, and act upon, the world views and historical causes of these problems. The socio-ecological transformation of society can succeed only if the respective cultural and epistemic foundations are understood. Hence, this Master program critically analyzes current cultural narratives and values and contrasts them with alternative framings – real and imaginary ones. Especially in culture and art, we find many counter-narratives that can serve as a blueprint for cultural change. CEC therefore takes a decidedly ecocritical approach, which is complemented by select interdisciplinary research on sustainability offered by various departments outside of British and American Studies (e.g., law, landscape ecology, marine ecology, agrarian economics, philosophy, history). Students will be equipped with the appropriate scientific tools for analyzing, interpreting and shaping socio-ecological processes and transformations towards a sustainable future. Reflection and reception of current theoretical propositions will be embedded in a global and historical context in order to grasp the complex connections between climate change, migration, coloniality and populism/racism/fundamentalism.

The goal of “Culture, Ecology, Change” is to establish environmental humanities and ecocritical studies in the various fields of education, as well as to understand literature, culture, and language as actors in their own right in the multiple processes of shaping an ecologically sustainable and socially just world.

Why studying Culture, Ecology, Change?

The master “Culture, Ecology, Change” is aimed at students with a first degree (B.A. or equivalent), who are interested in the sustainable transformation of society, in nature protection, climate justice, sustainable lifestyles and sufficiency. Anyone interested in critically analyzing our current modes of production and consumption and eager to learn about alternatives that might enable socio-ecological change are eligible for this master program.   

Subject matter and goal

“Culture, Ecology, Change” is divided into four semesters. The first semester consists of the module “Approaches” and “Readings,” a theory module. In the second semester students will examine historical roots and the diachronic perspective of cultural-ecological change (including notions of the future). Parallel to this, they will be able to specialize according to their interests in the interdisciplinary perspectives in semester one and two. In semester two, students will be able to have a practical experience as well as specialize in science communication. The third semester will look at current entanglements of cultural and ecological change. A second core module is “Transformation: Future Design” where students will work in groups on a practical project of their choice. Here, they are encouraged to think creatively about the world they live in and to think up sustainable solutions to current dilemmas. In a research module they will practice the art of sustained documentation and theoretical reflection on a self-chosen topic. The study course culminates in the master thesis.

Particularities in Rostock

The profile of “Culture,Ecology, Change” is internationally unique. The professors at the Institute for British and American Studies have specialized in ecocritical studies, postcolonial studies and gender studies. An additional focus is on environmental and climate ethics.

Besides, Rostock University is one of the leading research facilities regarding ocean protection, marine ecology and coastal protection and adaptation – providing additional scientific knowledge that will be beneficial for this cultural studies program. CEC is currently enlarging its list of partner institutions regarding both teaching and research.

Career prospects

Students of “Culture,Ecology, Change” will be equipped with both academic and practical tools in order to facilitate socio-ecological change. They will be able to act as “change agents” in various professional fields at regional and national, public and private levels, as well as in the various fields of education. Especially the emphasis on science communication allows for job opportunities in public relations in the fields of environmental protection and environmental science. Further job opportunities include research and teaching, work in non-governmental organizations and political consulting.

    Application and admission

    The general admission requirement for a Master's degree program at the University of Rostock is a first professionally qualifying degree (usually a Bachelor's degree).

    ► Admission requirements for Master's degree programs at the University of Rostock

    The following subject-specific admission requirements must also be met for the Culture, Ecology, Change degree program:

    • First professionally qualifying degree in a humanities, social science or cultural studies subject with at least 180 credit points or another equivalent degree with cultural studies components amounting to twelve credit points
    • English language skills at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

    If the above criteria are not all met, the applicant may provide further evidence of their subject and course-specific qualifications. The examination board will then decide on a case-by-case basis whether the applicant will nevertheless be admitted to the degree program.

    The binding admission requirements can be found in the program-specific examination and study regulations (SPSO).

    There are no admission restrictions for the Culture, Ecology, Change degree program. All prospective students who meet the admission requirements can enrol directly. Prior application is not required. The course can only be started in the first semester of the winter semester. Entry into a higher semester (e.g. for university transfer students) is possible in the winter and summer semesters
    To online enrolment for the 1st semester

    Application for international students: 

    International prospective students apply via Uni-Assist between May 1 and July 15: www.uni-assist.de

    Culture, Ecology, Change - Bewerbung & Zulassung für Internationale Studieninteressierte

    Brochures / Regulations


    Framework Examination Regulations (RPO)

    The general rules of study in Bachelor's and Master's degree programs at the University of Rostock are determined by the
    ► Framework Examination Regulations (Bachelor/Master) in the currently valid version.

    Specific Examination and study Regulations

    The detailed rules for the study of a specific study program, are then regulated in the respective program-specific examination and study regulations (SPSO). When entering a higher subject semester, older versions of the SPSO may apply (see history).

    M.A. Culture-Ecology-Change

        aktuell gültig für Neuimmatrikulationen zum 1. Fachsemester:
    Neufassung (2023)

    Consulting opportunities

    University of Rostock

    Philosophische Fakultät (PHF)

    Departmental student advisory service of the faculty



    August-Bebel-Straße 28, 18055 Rostock

    Sprechzeiten nach Vereinbarung

    Study Office and Examination Office

    Britt Abromeit

    Tel.: +49 381-498 2598 

    Adresse/Sitz: 9. Etage
    August-Bebel-Str. 28
    18055 Rostock 

    Webseite Studienbüro

    Student advisory service of the university

    For general questions about studying at the University of Rostock:

    Tel.: +49 381-498 1230

    Webseite Student Service Center


    4 Semester
    Ein-Fach-Studiengang, kann nicht kombiniert werden
    Keine Zulassungsbeschränkung, ohne NC
    Sprach-/ Geisteswissenschaften
    Philosophische Fakultät
    Hauptunterrichtssprache ist Englisch. Englischkenntnisse auf dem Niveau C1 des Gemeinsamen Europäischen Referenzrahmens müssen bei der Immatrikulation nachgewiesen werden.
    Internationale Studienbewerber müssen keine Deutschkenntnisse nachweisen.
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