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Studying online at German Universities: Everything you need to know

Studying online at German Universities

Studying online at German universities is becoming an increasingly popular option for students both inside and outside of Germany. With a range of programs available, from fully online degrees to blended learning options that combine online and on-campus classes, it’s easy to see why so many students are choosing this route.

How does distance learning work in Germany?

An online course at a German university is typically structured in a similar way to an on-campus course, with students completing coursework, participating in online discussions, and completing assessments such as exams and assignments. However, the coursework is completed entirely online, rather than in a physical classroom.

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Online courses at German universities are typically delivered through learning management systems (LMS) or MOOCs (massive open online courses). These platforms allow students to access course materials, lectures, and other resources, as well as submit assignments and communicate with professors and classmates.

Here are some examples of online learning methods:

  • Collaborative activities with students that are interactive,
  • Duties that are self-contained and tailored
  • Projects and activities involving multimedia,
  • Webinars and videoconferences are available.
  • Online discussions,
  • Platforms for video (e.g. Zoom, Skype, etc.),
  • Tutoring assistance.

Online course structures in Germany

Online courses at German universities are typically structured in a way that allows students to complete coursework and assessments at their own pace, while still providing a structured learning experience. Here are a few examples of common course structures for online courses in Germany:

  1. Self-paced courses: Self-paced courses allow students to complete coursework and assessments at their own pace, within a certain timeframe. These courses may be completely asynchronous, meaning that students do not need to log in at specific times, or may have scheduled activities such as video lectures or online discussions.
  2. Hybrid courses: Hybrid courses combine online and on-campus components. These courses may include a combination of online lectures, discussions, and assessments, as well as in-person workshops or lab sessions.
  3. Synchronous courses: Synchronous courses require students to log in at specific times for live lectures, discussions, or other interactive activities. These courses may be delivered through video conferencing platforms or other online tools.

Pros & cons of Online courses in Germany

  • Flexibility: Online courses allow students to complete coursework and assessments at their own pace, allowing them to fit their studies around their work and personal commitments.
  • Wide range of programs: German universities offer a wide range of online degree programs and other learning opportunities, covering a variety of subject areas.
  • High-quality education: German universities are known for their high-quality education, and this reputation extends to their online programs as well.
  • Access to student resources: Online students at German universities have access to the same resources and support as on-campus students, including academic advising, tutoring services, and career services.
  • Lack of in-person interaction: One potential drawback of online courses is the lack of in-person interaction with professors and classmates. However, many online programs make an effort to replicate the classroom experience as closely as possible.
  • Potential cost: Online courses at German universities can be expensive, particularly for international students. It’s important to carefully consider the costs associated with a particular program and to consider financial aid options if needed.
  • Technical issues: Online courses may be disrupted by technical issues, such as internet outages or issues with the course platform. It’s important to be prepared for these issues and to have a plan in place for how to address them.
  • Self-motivation: Online courses require students to be self-motivated and disciplined, as there is no on-campus structure to keep them on track. It’s important for students to be proactive in managing their studies and seeking support if needed.

Which degree programs are offered online?

A wide range of degree programs is offered online in Germany, covering a variety of subject areas. Some examples of degree programs that are commonly offered online in Germany include:

  • Business and management: Online business and management programs are popular at German universities, with offerings in subjects such as finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
  • Engineering: Many German universities offer online engineering programs in subjects such as computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.
  • Arts and humanities: Online programs in the arts and humanities are also available at German universities, including subjects such as history, literature, and philosophy.
  • Education: Online education programs, including teacher training and educational leadership, are also offered at German universities.
  • Science: Online programs in science-related subjects, such as biology, chemistry, and physics, are also available at German universities.

Free online courses in Germany

There are a number of free online courses available in Germany, both from German universities and international institutions. These courses are often called MOOCs (massive open online courses) and are typically open to anyone with an internet connection.

Some of the universities in Germany that offer free online courses include:

These universities offer a range of free online courses in subjects such as business, computer science, education, and the humanities. Many of these courses are self-paced, meaning that students can complete them at their own pace, and are typically delivered through platforms such as Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn.

You may check all online study programs here. It is necessary to notice that enrolling in an online degree program does not imply losing educational quality. Many of Germany’s major institutions offer online degree programs.

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Cost of studying online at German Universities

The cost of online education in Germany can vary depending on the institution and program you are interested in. Some programs may be free to take, while others may charge tuition fees.

Many online programs at German universities are fee-based, meaning that students are required to pay tuition to participate in the program. The cost of tuition for online programs can vary widely depending on the institution, the subject area, and the duration of the program. For example, a one-year online master’s degree program in business might cost anywhere from €10,000 to €20,000.

Online programs at German universities tend to be more affordable than on-campus programs. This is because online programs often have lower overhead costs, such as facilities and staff, and can therefore pass on these savings to students in the form of lower tuition fees.

It’s important to note that the cost of online education in Germany is not limited to tuition fees. There may also be other costs associated with online studies, such as textbooks, software, and course materials. It’s always a good idea to carefully review the costs associated with a particular program before enrolling to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what you will need to pay.


Scholarships for studying online at German Universities

There are a number of scholarships available for students who are interested in pursuing online education in Germany. These scholarships can help to cover the costs of tuition, course materials, and other expenses associated with online study.

Here are a few examples of scholarships that may be available for online education in Germany:

  1. Erasmus+: This is a European Union program that provides funding for education and training programs, including online programs at German universities. Erasmus+ scholarships are available to students from both within and outside of the EU.
  2. DAAD: The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a range of scholarships for international students who are interested in studying in Germany, including online programs.
  3. German Research Foundation (DFG): The DFG offers scholarships for students who are interested in pursuing research-based online programs in Germany.
  4. University-specific scholarships: Many universities in Germany offer their own scholarships for online students. It’s a good idea to check with the specific institution you are interested in to see if any scholarship opportunities are available.

It’s important to note that scholarship availability and eligibility requirements can vary widely. It’s always a good idea to carefully research the specific scholarship options that are available and to carefully review the eligibility requirements to ensure that you meet all of the necessary criteria.


How to apply for online education at German universities?

The process for applying for online education at German universities varies depending on the specific program and institution you are interested in. In general, however, you can expect the following steps:

  1. Research programs: Start by researching the programs that are available at the universities you are interested in. Look for programs that align with your interests and career goals. Make sure to also consider factors such as course structure, duration, and cost.
  2. Check eligibility: Most online programs at German universities have specific eligibility requirements, such as minimum GPA or language proficiency. Make sure to carefully review the requirements for the programs you are interested in to ensure that you meet all of the necessary criteria.
  3. Gather required documents: You will likely need to submit a number of documents as part of your application, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Make sure to gather all of the necessary documents before beginning the application process.
  4. Submit the application: Once you have all of the necessary documents, you can submit your application through the university’s online application system. You will typically need to provide personal and academic information, as well as pay any required application fees.
  5. Wait for a response: After you have submitted your application, you will need to wait for a response from the university. This can take several weeks or even months, depending on the institution. If you are accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter and instructions on how to enroll in the program.

It’s important to note that the application process for online programs at German universities may vary depending on the institution and program you are applying to. It’s always a good idea to carefully review the application requirements and deadlines for the specific program you are interested in.



Overall, studying online at a German universities offers a range of benefits, including flexibility, a wide range of programs, high-quality education, and access to student resources. While there are some potential drawbacks, such as the lack of in-person interaction and the potential cost, these can be mitigated with careful planning and a commitment to making the most of the online learning experience.


Also, Read

How to Study in Germany for Free?

Top 5 Scholarships for Students in Germany

How to find accommodation in Germany?

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