More than teaching.

Teaching at German schools

Teacher education in North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into two parts: a three-year bachelor’s degree program and a two-year master’s degree program, followed by one and a half years of practical training at a school (Referendariat).

All students pursuing a teaching degree must study two subjects, which they will later teach in the classroom. Aside from disciplinary contents, which make up the major share of the bachelor’s degree program, students complete various practical components, including coursework in educational sciences and subject didactics. Furthermore, bachelor’s degree programs are designed in a polyvalent format. Polyvalent means that students have the option to follow up their bachelor’s degree—depending on their choice of modules—with either a Master of Education or a master’s degree in a different academic discipline.

In Bonn, students can pursue a teaching degree for secondary schools (Gymnasium and Gesamtschule) or a teaching degree for vocational schools.

Subjects for secondary schools

Students pursue a combination of two subjects, with an equal amount of coursework devoted to each. The subject Educational Sciences is mandatory for all students as an additional subject.

Subjects in Group 1 may be combined with each other and with subjects in Group 2 (exception: combining Catholic with Protestant Religious Education). Subjects in Group 2 must be combined with subjects in Group 1. 

Group 1

Group 2

Go to teaching degrees

© Daniel Epple
Standard period of study: 6 semesters. Professional Discipline 66 credit points. School Subject 66 credit points. Polyvalent area 24 credit points. Practical elements and inclusion 12 credit points. Bachelor's thesis 12 credit points.
© Universität Bonn | Daniel Epple

Subjects for vocational schools

The teaching degree for vocational schools combines a professional discipline with a school subject and educational sciences.

Professional Disciplines

Agricultural Science
Nutrition Science and Home Economics

School Subjects

    Go to teaching degrees

    Practical elements of teaching degree programs


    Aptitude and Orientation Internship (EOP)

    Students usually complete the first practical element towards the end of the first year or during the second year of the bachelor’s degree program. It consists of a school-based internship, complemented by coursework in educational sciences and subject didactics. The goal is to enable students to critically and analytically reflect on actual teaching practice in schools, to consider their aptitude for a teaching career, and to develop a profession-oriented perspective for their further studies.

    Duration: 25 days of internship


    Vocational Internship (BP)

    The second practical element in the bachelor’s degree program usually takes place in a non-school setting. It introduces students to more concrete professional options other than teaching at schools and provides insights into alternative career fields.

    Duration: min. 4 weeks (block internship) or 120 hours (during the semester)


    Practical semester during the master’s degree program

    The school-based practical semester includes classroom observation, assisted teaching, participation in school life and involvement in study and teaching projects designed to combine theory and practice. During the practical semester, students attend seminars at the University and at the Center for Teacher Education (ZfsL NRW).

    Duration: 5 months

    Teacher education at a glance

    © Daniel Epple

    Foreign language requirements

    To be eligible for admission to the Master of Education degree, you must demonstrate skills in two foreign languages (modern or classical) for teaching at secondary schools or in one foreign language for teaching at vocational schools.  Anyone who earned the German Abitur diploma usually has the required foreign language skills.

    The study of some individual subjects also requires skills in classical languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew). Language skills required for the bachelor’s degree program may be acquired over the course of your studies. For admission to the master’s degree program or practical teacher training, however, proficiency in the classical languages must be documented prior to entering the program.

    Subjects requiring foreign language skills:

    • Knowledge of Latin (basic Latin)
    • Latin proficiency certificate
    • Greek proficiency certificate
    • Greek proficiency certificate
    • Knowledge of Latin (basic Latin) or Hebrew proficiency certificate
    • Knowledge of Latin (basic Latin)
    • Knowledge of Greek and Hebrew

    Third subject for teaching degree

    For degree programs without admission restrictions for any semester, a third subject may be taken, or a supplemental subject if the teaching degree curriculum has been completed. For details see the regulations for the study of teaching-related supplemental subjects and parallel-study third subjects.


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