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The “Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations” distance learning Master's degree (in German)

Scientific expertise for successful cultural managers

Cultural managers, media managers and managers of non-profit organizations have a difficult task, as they must work with tight budgets, yet also meet the in-house company targets that are generally accompanied by public mandates. This requires special processes and methods, which combine economical considerations with the specific requirements of this sphere of activity. The "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning degree, which the DISC has offered since 2008, is the ideal way of gaining these valuable skills.

Target group

The two-year, accredited distance learning Master's degree is aimed at university graduates with at least one year of professional experience. Admission is also possible for applicants without a university degree who can demonstrate at least three years of professional experience in the field of non-profit organizations and who successfully pass an aptitude test.

The course is ideally suited for staff in management positions at cultural, non-profit and media organizations, as well as for anyone pursuing a career of this kind and looking to secure the necessary qualifications.

The course is held entirely in German.


Employing an approach that involves familiarization with and scientific reflection on key principles, theories, concepts and their implementation in practice, the distance learning Master's degree conveys the necessary knowledge and skills required to successfully manage organizations of this kind. The course concludes with the academic grade "Master of Arts" (MA).

Admission requirements

a) Applicants holding a university degree (university, university of applied sciences) require at least one year of relevant professional experience after graduation

b) Applicants without a university degree require sufficient professional experience and must pass an aptitude test 


For a): This requires a minimum of one year of relevant professional experience following successful completion of the applicant's first degree. Any applicant whose first degree has fewer than 210 ECTS points must demonstrate additional relevant employment experience no later than the completion date of the course in order to successfully graduate from the distance learning degree. Here, a maximum of 30 ECTS points can be added to the respective applicant's score for one year of relevant employment experience. Evidence must also be provided that this employment took place after completion of the applicant's first degree. Further details on this can be found in the examination regulations.

For b) at least three years of relevant professional experience must have been gained in a position at one or more cultural or non-profit organization(s).

Aptitude test

For b): The aptitude test determines whether the professional qualification and level of specialist competence of the applicants is comparable with that of a completed first degree.

The aptitude test is performed in three stages:
1. submission of the application forms,
2. written examination
3. oral examination (at the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern).

More information on the application process.


Schedule and organization

The standard course duration for part-time, vocational study, including examination time, is four terms. It is also possible to take a break during the course and then return to complete it. The course contents for the "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning degree are provided in the form of written study material developed specifically for distance learning. A weekly commitment of around 20 hours is required to process the material. This commitment includes reading through all the material provided and completing the send-in assignments. In addition to this, students also have the option to attend a six-week online seminar with selected modules. This seminar is offered via an online learning platform (participation in this replaces the send-in assignments).


On campus events

All participants in the "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning degree are required to take part in two on campus events per term throughout the first three terms. These six on campus events always take place between Friday afternoon and Sunday midday in Kaiserslautern. Their goal is to reinforce the course contents within the scope of 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.

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 "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning Master's degree involves six compulsory core modules and four elective modules. Among other things, these include the following topics: cultural management, media industry, fundraising, marketing, new public management, corporate communication, basic legal principles, artistic communication, self-management, project management, media management and intercultural communication. 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.

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Authors & modules

The degree course includes the following modules:

Modul Lehrbriefe, Titel Autoren/Autorinnen
1. Semester
MKN 0100 Einführung in das Kulturmanagement
- Einführung in die Kulturwissenschaften
- Einführung in das Kulturmanagement – Themen, Kooperationen, gesellschaftliche Bezüge
- Grundlagen des Managements
Prof. Dr. W. Neuser
Prof. Dr. B. Hoppe
Dr. O. F. Bode
MKN 0200 Medien und Kommunikation
- Einführung in die Mediengeschichte
- Theoretische Konzepte der Kommunikation
- Medienwirtschaft
Dr. J. Garncarz
Dr. O. F. Bode
Prof. Dr. J. Heinrich
2. Semester
MKN 0300 Kunstkommunikation [Wahlpflichtmodul]
- Kunstkommunikation: Aufriss und Grundlegung
- Kunstkommunikation im Praxisbezug: Arbeitsfelder und Methoden
Dr. S. Lüddemann
Prof. Dr. T. Heinze
Prof. Dr. K.-O. Kahrmann
M. Osterburg
U. Ludat
MKN 0400 Konzepte und Werkzeuge
- Marketing für Non-Profit-Organisationen
- Fundraising
- New Public Management
Prof. Dr. M. Bruhn
Dr. C. Müllerleile 
Prof. Dr. C. Koch
MKN 0500 Medienethik und Medienkompetenz [Wahlpflichtmodul]
- Medienethik und Wirtschaftsethik im Handlungsfeld des Kultur- und Non-Profit-Organisationsmanagements
- Medienkompetenz und Social Media
Prof. Dr. K. Wiegerling
Prof. Dr. W. Neuser
Prof. Dr. G. Rager
Felix Mannheim
MKN 0600 Rechtliche Grundlagen,  Kostenrechnung und Öffentliche Finanzwirtschaft
- Vertrags- und Arbeitsvertragsrecht
- Urheberrecht und Rechtsformen
- Kosten- und Leistungsrechnung; Öffentliche Finanzwirtschaft und Zuwendungsrecht
Dr. C. Heinze
V. Lewinski-Reuter
Dr. O. F. Bode
U. Juschka
T. Bahne
G. Nießen
3. Semester
MKN 0700 Gesellschaftliche Funktion der Kultur; Wissensmanagement  [Wahlpflichtmodul]
- Funktionen der Kultur in der Gesellschaft: Bildung – Soziales – Demokratie
- Medien, Wissen, Kommunikation
Prof. Dr. B. Hoppe
Prof. Dr. T. Hug
MKN 0800 Personalmanagement und Unternehmenskommunikation
- Personalmanagement in Kultur- und Non-Profit-Organisationen
- Innovative Kommunikationsstrategien in Kultur- und Non-Profit Organisationen
- Konfliktmanagement
Dr. Otto F. Bode
Prof. Dr. G. Rager
T. Bahne
J. Kreyenberg
MKN 0900 Interkulturelle Kommunikation [Wahlpflichtmodul]
- Grundlagen und Perspektiven der interkulturellen Kommunikation
- NPO-Management in interkulturellen Handlungsfeldern
Dr. E. Broszinsky-Schwabe
Dr. U. Leifeld
1. bis. 3. Semester
MKN 1000 Berufspraxis in Kultur- und Non-Profit-Organisationen
- Projektmanagement 
- Selbstmanagement und Unternehmensgründung 
- Kunstmarkt
- Berufsbilder und Handlungsfelder im Non-Profit-Sektor
Prof. Dr. A. Klein
Dr. S. Reither
C. Herstatt

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Sample texts

Sample texts from selected modules in PDF format:

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All participants in the "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning degree must gain 90 credit points (ECTS) in order to graduate. Records of achievement are required during the course to reach the necessary number of points. These take the form of five written examinations, six send-in assignments (alternative option: successful participation in an online seminar), one ePortfolio work, one home assignment (scientific paper) and the submission of a Master's dissertation. 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 receive the following documents upon graduation:

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

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The study fees for the "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning Master's degree are 850 Euro per term. Added to this is a social contribution of 102 Euro per term. The one-off fee for the Master's examination is 500 Euro. Starting from the third semester over the regular study time, a reduced fee of 30 % of the semester fee is levied. The fee for the master’s thesis is not affected. These study fees cover all costs for digital teaching material, participation in the 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.

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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.

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The "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning degree is accredited for the academic title of "Master of Arts". The agency responsible for managing the accreditation process is FIBAA (www.fibaa.de).

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You can apply for the "Management of Cultural and Non-Profit Organizations" distance learning degree from mid-May to June 30th (for applicants without a university degree; aptitude test required) and 31st August (for applicants with a university degree) of the respective year. Courses begin at the start of October. The documentation is also available for download and submission in a written application. You can access the online application section directly via the links in the "Online Application" info box in the right-hand column.