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The "Adult Education" distance learning Master's degree (held in German)

A topic of major social significance

There is a clear need for continuous learning and qualification, both on a professional and personal level, in virtually all industries, sectors and walks of life. Adult education is therefore playing an increasingly important part in modern society. Catering to these training needs requires qualified trainers that understand how to combine factual and contextual expertise with the professionalism necessary to be successful in adult education.

Target group

The two-year, accredited "Adult Education" distance learning Master's degree offered by the DISC since 1994 is aimed at university graduates of any faculty with at least one year of professional experience who are looking to gain further science-based qualifications in the specialist field of adult learning. This course is particularly suitable for full-time and part-time staff working in adult education and further training, training advisers, company trainers, course instructors and program planners.

In exceptional cases, applicants for the master distance learning course "Adult Education" may also be accepted for the winter term 2013/14, who have relevant work experience but have not graduated for a university. These applicants must prove relevant professional work experience and have to pass an aptitude test. More information about this test (conducted in German) can be found here.

The course is held entirely in German.


The distance learning degree conveys knowledge relevant to adult education and combines the experience and methods of various social science disciplines. The course concludes with the academic grade "Master of Arts" (MA).

Schedule and organization

The standard course duration for part-time, vocational study, including examination time, is four terms. A 5th term can be added at the end for completion of the Master's dissertation. It is also possible to take a break during the course and then return to complete it. The lectures, exercises and seminars of the "Adult Education" distance learning degree are provided in the form of written study material specially developed for distance learning. Students get the study material only online. A weekly commitment of around 20 hours is required to process the material. In addition to this, online seminars are offered via a learning platform as voluntary study components.


On campus events

A compulsory on campus event takes place at the end of each term for all participants working towards the "Adult Education" distance learning degree. The goal of these events is to reinforce the course contents through group work and workshops, discuss questions on the study material and debate the practical implementation of the program content. Written examinations form part of the on campus events held at the end of the 1st and 4th term.

In certain circumstances and based on a written application, students who are unable to attend the on campus events due to overseas work commitments have the option of taking the written examinations at a Goethe Institute or a German embassy.


Program content

The "Adult Education" distance learning Master's degree encompasses 15 study modules. These include central aspects of adult education, the didactics and methodology of adult education, training management, training marketing, use of media, evaluation of training processes, program planning, as well as professional and vocational further training. The authors of the study modules, each of which is made up of multiple study materials, include renowned authorities and professors of adult education and further training. You can find further information, for example on the curriculum and examination regulations, in the download area. This can be accessed at any time via the link in the download box at the top right of the navigation bar.


Authors & modules

The degree course includes the following modules:

Modul Lehrbriefe, Titel Autoren/innen
EB 0100 Zugänge zur Erwachsenenbildung
EB 0110: Porträts und Konzeptionen zur Erwachsenenbildung
EB 0120: Bausteine des didaktischen Handelns
EB 0130: Entwicklung der Erwachsenenbildungswissenschaft
Prof. Dr. Rolf Arnold
Prof. Dr. Wiltrud Gieseke
EB 0200 Professionalität in der Weiterbildungsgesellschaft
EB 0210: Entgrenzung der Weiterbildung
EB 0220: Grundlagen, Tendenzen und Optionen der Weiterbildungspolitik: Vom Recht auf Weiterbildung zum lebenslangen Lernen
EB 0230: Professionalität und Qualität
Prof. Dr. Rolf Arnold
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Müller-Commichau
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wittwer
André Mersch
EB 0300 Erwachsenenlernen
EB 0310: Menschenbild und Bildungsanspruch
EB 0320: Lernen im Lebenslauf
EB 0330: Lernstile und Lernschwierigkeiten
Prof. Dr. Horst Siebert
Erika Seidel
EB 0400 Didaktik und Methodik
EB 0410: Didaktisches Handeln und Kommunikation in Lerngruppen
EB 0420: Didaktisches Design
EB 0430: Methoden und Medien in der Erwachsenenbildung
Prof. Dr. Heide von Felden
Prof. Dr. Horst Siebert
Dr. Markus Höffer-Mehlmer
EB 0500 Spezielle didaktische Ansätze
EB 0510: Handlungs- und erfahrungsorientiertes Lernen in der Erwachsenenbildung
EB 0520: Emotionale Kompetenz, emotionales Lernen und emotionale (Selbst-)Führung in der Erwachsenenbildung
EB 0530: Persönlichkeits- und Kreativitätsförderung
Prof. Dr. Rolf Arnold
Dr. Markus Höffer-Mehlmer
EB 0600 Vernetzte Lernkulturen
EB 0610: Transnationalisierung und Globalisierung in der Erwachsenenbildung
EB 0620: Lernen in vernetzten Lernkulturen
EB 0630: Online-Lehren und -Lernen
Prof. Dr. Steffi Robak
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jütte
Prof. Dr. Norbert Seel
Dr. Dirk Ifenthaler
EB 0700 Qualität und Evaluation
EB 0710: Gelungenes Lernen – Qualität und Qualitätsmanagement in der Weiterbildung
EB 0720: Evaluation in der Weiterbildung
Prof. Dr. Rainer Zech
Dr. Katja Tödt
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Beywl
Dr. Lars Balzer
EB 0800 Kompetenzentwicklung
EB 0810: Kompetenzen erkennen und finden
EB 0820: Kompetenzentwicklung ermöglichen
Prof. Dr. John Erpenbeck
Prof. Dr. Werner Sauter
EB 0900 Weiterbildungsinformation und -beratung
EB 0910: Weiterbildungsinformation und -beratung
EB 0920: Bildungsberatung in der Erwachsenenbildung
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Tippelt
Dr. Peter Kossack
EB 1000 Programmplanung und Weiterbildungsmarketing
EB 1010: Weiterbildung und soziale Milieus: Grundlagen für Programmplanung und Bildungsmarketing
EB 1020: Weiterbildungsmarketing
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Tippelt
Dr. Jutta Reich-Claassen
Prof. Dr. Erhard Schlutz
EB 1100 Recht und Finanzierung
EB 1110: Rechtlicher Rahmen der Weiterbildung
EB 1120: Finanzierung und Budgetierung
Prof. Dr. Rolf Dobischat
Marcel Fischell
Anna Rosendahl
Prof. Dr. Dieter Timmermann
EB 1200 Bildungsmanagement
EB 1210: Bildungsmanagement in betrieblichen Weiterbildungsabteilungen
EB 1220 Leiten von Weiterbildungseinrichtungen
EB 1230 Wissensmanagement
Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Falk
Prof. Dr. Reinhold Weiß
Verena Dziobaka-Spitzhorn
Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Nuissl von Rein
Dr. Anne Strauch
Prof. em. Dr. Heinz Mandl
Prof. Dr. Katrin Winkler
EB 1300 Berufliche Weiterbildung
EB 1310: Historische Grundlagen und Perspektiven von beruflicher Weiterbildung
EB 1320: Neue elektronische Medien in der beruflich-betrieblichen Weiterbildung
EB1330: Berufliche Weiterbildung im Prozess der europäischen Integration
Prof. Dr. Jendrik Petersen
EB 1400 Betriebliche Weiterbildung und Organisationsentwicklung
EB 1410: Strategien und Methoden betrieblicher Weiterbildung
EB 1420: Betriebliche Weiterbildung als Strategie der Organisationsentwicklung in Unternehmen
Forschungsteam: Forschungsinstitut Betriebliche Bildung (f-bb)
Prof. Dr. Manfred Becker
Änderungen vorbehalten


Sample texts

Sample texts from selected modules in PDF format:



Assessment takes the form of multiple written examinations that are spread out over the entire course of study. The Master's dissertation should be written in the fourth term during the course. Once all assignments and examinations have been successfully completed and a Master's dissertation submitted, the distance learning degree is concluded with the academic title "Master of Arts" (MA). Successful participants will then receive the following documents:

  • Report from the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
  • Certificate on awarding of the academic title Master of Arts
  • Diploma supplement (DS) in English



The study fees for the "Adult Education" distance learning Master's degree are 690 Euro per term. Added to this is a social contribution of 102 Euro per term. Starting from the third semester over the regular study time of six semesters, a reduced fee of 30 % of the semester fee is levied. The one-time fee for the Master's examination is 500 Euro. These study fees cover all costs for the teaching material, participation on campus events, term exams and all administration expenses. However, they do not include any travel, accommodation or meal costs for the on campus events. The study fees are not subject to German VAT and are tax deductible.


Financial Aid

The state can support you in financing your studies with individual tax incentives. Based on your personal rate of taxation and your professional situation, you can for example offset the costs as professional or special expenses. Please get in touch with your local inland revenue office or tax advisor for more information on this. In certain circumstances, the German state can also support you in your professional further training with so-called training and qualification cheques (Bildungs- und Qualifizierungschecks). You can find information on this on the internet, for example at www.bildungspraemie.info.

Employers are often also willing to contribute to the costs of training for their workforce. And low-interest bank loans geared specifically to funding training courses and offered by the state and banks, such as the KfW Development Bank, represent another good option. However, financial support as per the rules of Germany's Social Security Code (SBG III) or Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) is unfortunately not possible.

We would be happy to speak with you about funding options, either on the telephone or in person.



The "Adult Education" distance learning degree is accredited with the academic title of "Master of Arts". The agency responsible for managing the accreditation process is AQAS (www.aqas.de).





The application period for "Adult Education," is from mid-May to August 31 of every year. The courses begin in early October. The form for a written application is also available for download online. You may also apply online by using the link in the info box at the right of the screen.