FAQ: How to apply

I see that the application deadline is set by April 15th. By when do you notify successful applicants?

Applications will be reviewed until end of April. We will be informing accepted applicants in May.

How many applications do you have in general? And how many places?

During the last years the program had approximately 250 applications on only 30 places. 

Can I pay the tuition fees also per semester?

The full course fee is 16,080€. You can choose to pay in semester installments (4,020 Euro per semester) or in annual instalments or you can choose to pay full up-front. 

Additional costs are to be considered: travel and accommodation costs to take part in the in-house classes, health insurance, travel expenses within Germany etc.

But the in-house-period is not mandatory. You can also save that money. 

What is the total tuition fee for the whole program?

Tuition fees are 4020 Euro for one semester (six months) and in total for the four semester 16.080 Euro. There are no other hidden costs, but students must calculate insurance, flights to Berlin and accommodation in case they plan to come to the two in-house-workshops (in general about 5 days or maximum two weeks long). 

Are there additional (hidden) university fees?

No, there are no additional or hidden university fees.

Is the semester ticket for public transportation in Berlin included in the tution fees?

No, it is not included. But you can buy the semester ticket on your own, if you need it, for the reduced student prize!

Do I need to add a portfolio to my application?

You do not need to add a portfolio. The motivation latter is most important to us, But if you want to, you can add links to own film or photography works, a pdf with a presentation of one special work or an article your published etc. in your portfolio. The portfolio is optional, not mandatory!

Do you want me to submit a proof of my scholarship, proof of financial sufficiency or a bank statement?

We definitely need a proof of a scholarship in case you cannot afford the studies on your own. A proof of your financial sufficiency such as proofed with a bank statement can also strengthen your application.

Do I have to obtain a student visa for the MA Visual and Media Anthropology program?

The requirements and necessity of obtaining a student visa for the MA Visual and Media Anthropology program varies depending on the nationality of the prospective student and whether he/she intends to live and study in Berlin or travel to Germany only for the in-house classes.

The general prerequisites for obtaining a residency for the purpose of studying in Berlin include:

  • Registered residence in Berlin - the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office can only issue residence permits to foreign nationals who are registered residents of   Berlin. Click here for more information on registering your residence in Berlin.
  •  University place - you must be enrolled or have conditional approval for studying in order to be issued a residence permit.

Required documents include:

  • A valid passport
  • 1 current biometric photo
  • Completed "Application for Issuance of a Residence Permit" form (only required for first-time applicants)
  • Proof of secure livelihood e.g. a German bank account with more than 7,608 Euros / submission of a declaration of commitment by a third party on an official form / bank guarantee at a German bank / declaration from parents scurrying the livelihood for the duration of the studies / scholarship / bank statement
  • German Health insurance certificate
  • Certificate of enrolment or conditional approval for studying

    Please note, the above information is intended as a general guide only and may vary depending on your country of origin. Please visit the Ausländerbehörde webpage for more information.

Website for the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde), which issues residence permits and student visas.

I have completed my Bachelor / Diploma/ Master Degree Program in Mass Communication (Journalism) from the Institute of Communication studies. I work in the related field. Now I intend to continue my studies at your prestigious university. Am I qualified enough to study in your program? What are my chances as an applicant with no official degree in Anthropology?

Yes, we accept students with a BA in Mass Communication studies or a related field. But please note that you must prove that you have worked a minimum of one year in a field related to your previous studies and that this work must have taken place following graduation, not prior to it. We also accept students coming from other programs if they can prove that they have some knowledge in camera, editing techniques and/or can explain their motivation. A BA or MA in Social or Cultural Anthropology strengthens your application but is not necessary to be admitted to the program.

Is my Bachelor / Diploma/ Master Degree Program recognised by HMKW Berlin?

Please consult the Anabin Datenbank (only available in German) to obtain information about the recognition of foreign educational qualifications in the Federal Republic of Germany.

What is the teaching language? Do I need to have knowledge of the German language?

The entire program is in English. You do not need to have any German language knowledge. But a little understanding of German will help you during your in-house stay in Berlin.

Can I receive credit for any kind of earlier studies in the same field?

No, there will be no recognition of subjects you might already have taken. All content in our program is obligatory.

Is the Master graduation certificate from the distance learning program any different than other Master certificates that do not have web-based courses?

No, there is no difference in the certificate. You will receive a normal and official Master certificate (Master of Arts in Visual and Media Anthropology).

Do you have a similar program in English that is not a distance learning program?

At the FU Berlin, we only offer a Master Program in Social and Cultural Anthropology (in German) with one profile Module in Visual Anthropology. You need to have completed and passed the German language test (DSH-2) to study this program.

When will be the next chance to participate in the program?

The program starts every year beginning of October. Check our website for application periods.

It is written that applicants are required to have at least basic technical skills in camera, photography and editing. Could you please be more specific about that? Do you need a confirmation letter for these skills?

We do not require that our students be professional filmmakers/photographers, and you do not need to submit a letter that guarantees that you have technical knowledge. Some basic operational knowledge is good, and the will to learn is even better! We provide students with basic filming and editing workshops and the less experienced students just have to be willing to put more time into learning how to operate the cameras and editing software. We have editing computers for students at the university and provide students in their final project work with editing assistance if they need it. Students can also choose to work only with photography (digital and/or analogue), and we offer courses that provide photography projects.

Are technical aspects of film and photography a part of the program?

Yes, we offer some basic technical courses in camera, editing and sound and also vr-immersive story telling. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to produce an own film and vr-project. The emphasis of the program is placed on applied visual anthropological knowledge. You will also have the chance to learn the vocabulary you need to communicate with professional camera-people and editors as a director of documentary films. You can also use the editing studio at our institute.

Is it possible to pursue the Master program while working (full-time)?

The study program is full-time, but its emphasis is e-learning. We try to offer most life-stream-classes in the evening (European time zone from between 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM). Due to many different time zones of our students, we cannot guarantee that the courses take place for all students worldwide in the evening hours, but all classes are recorded. In case you miss out one class you can listen to the recording whenever you find the time. Furthermore, we use a world-clock-meeting planner to find the best course schedule for each generation of students.  

There are also two in-house classes: at the beginning of the program and again in April the following year and it is highly recommended to participate but not mandatory. You can participate in our program while working. You will have two courses per module (one module each semester), and for each course roughly 5.5-7.5 hours of work per week + 1 hour discussion (around 12-18 hours a week).

Internship: When do we have to do an internship and for how long? Do we have to look for a placement on our own or will you provide us with possible contacts?

The internship should last 9 weeks and should be admitted in the 3rd (winter)-semester (October to February). You will have to find an internship yourself at a film production company, broadcaster, online media portal, software company, a start-up in the digital media sector, a TV-station, museum or other related field of the Master program. We will provide students with contacts for finding an internship place in case they need help.

Do I have to translate all of my application paperwork and other proofs?

We need a certified translation of the certificate of your first degree as well as all work experience-related documents, only if they are not written in German or English.

Chinese certificates, however, have to be notarized by the German Embassy in Beijing.

How do I prove my previous work experience?

You must have a minimum of one-year work experience (internship, job, project, self-employment), related to your first degree. The minimum of one year's work experience must take place after the completion of your first degree. This work experience should be presented as a detailed schedule or table, including: 1. employer/internship supervisor; 2. job description; 3. duration of the employment/placement; 4. proof description (copy of contract, certificate of employment/internship completion, or a signed letter from the employer/supervisor).  All documents related to your work experience must either be in German or English.

Could you please give some examples of eligible work experience?

Eligible work experience varies depending on the subject area of your undergraduate or first degree. Please see below for examples of work experience that have been included in previous applications (N.B. eligible work experience is related to an applicant’s undergraduate or first degree and/or to other media domains):

Lead Researcher for Scanlines, online video database and archive website of video art in Australia since the 1960s, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Educator, Art Installer and Curatorial Intern at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

Artist in Residence at Sarai, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, India

Production Assistant, Tusta & Tma Video Production, Novi Sad, Serbia

Communication and Management Officer, FP7 project of the European Commission HEROMAT – Protection of cultural heritage objects with multifunctional advances materials

Film Score Producer, Cineforum, Labirinto, Italy

Project Coordinator, EN/CONTRASTE – Photographic lab for rural and urban youth, Quito, Ecuador

Production Manager, NRK Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Oslo, Norway

Festival Producer, Films from the South Foundation (NGO), Oslo, Norway

Internship teaching Youth Empowerment with Rural Development Fund (NGO), Andhra Pradesh, India

When will I be informed about my admission status?

We will be informing applicants of their admission status in mid-June per email, and the accepted students will receive the official confirmation from the Freie Universität Berlin per post around the month of August.

FAQ: Online Studies

How do I get my study materials?

Course materials are provided via our Learning management platform. Some lecturers will provide additional material also via email, especially for the in-house workshops. As is the case with most courses, materials are available via the modules accessible via the homepage, you will find all you need for your courses: the individual units and their materials - including tasks, the compulsory reading, films to watch online, the discussion boards to exchange opinions with your fellow students and so on.

Can I get a certificate for individual modules? Or can I start during the second semester?

We expect all participants to complete the entire program.

Could you give me some more precise information about the learning management System? Are we going to be able to watch the movies online?

Yes, you will be able to watch the movies online (videostream).

How are the online-discussion appointments (virtual classroom...) organized? What kind of equipment shall we have (DSL, Webcam, PC or Apple, Software…)?

There will be organized online discussions with life stream and recording almost every week, both with Zoom Video Conference Software or Adobe Connect and in the virtual world classrooms of the university (such as Open Sim and Second Life). You are required to have access to high-speed internet. You can use either PC or Apple-technology. A Webcam is necessary and you will need a microphone or headset for the video life meetings with your lecturers and classmates. If you want to attend the vr-classes in second life, you need an Avatar in Second Life and a computer with sufficient system requirements for vr-performances. In case your hardware is not sufficient, you can attend the life-stream of the virtual reality classes in our video conference rooms (zoom).

How will the assignments be introduced?

The types of assignments depend on the course. Some will be in the form of questions requiring short or long answers, while some will be more of a practical nature (a photography project, a written essay for example or a presentation in class). Regarding equipment, post-production facilities etc.

How many hours should I be working per week?

You should calculate for one week and one module:

  • Watching a film (online via videostream): 1 to 2 hours
  • Mandatory reading: 2 hours
  • Reading up on the filmmakers: 30 minutes
  • Reading the unit content (text): 30 min.
  • Assignement questions: 1-2 hours
  • + 1 hour chat or skype discussion

You should be working roughly between 5.5 to 7.5 hours (+ 1 hour discussion) for each unit (6.5 hours mandatory, and 2.5 more are recommended). You have to complete two units per week, which means:

You should be working roughly 12-18 hours per week.

For a detailed workload, read the official regulations 

Examination:

The students will have to write a final paper for each module or alternatively finish a short film project.

FAQ: In-House Classes

Do I have to participate in the in-house classes?

In-house-classes are not mandatory, but we recommend to participate at both in-house-classes, but at least at the first in-house-class (in Oktober) to get to know your classmates and some of the lecturers in person. But you can study the entire program also online without any participation at the in-house-classes. There are no examinations with a mandatory personal attendance. The online classes will provide you with all of the knowledge to finish your MA thesis and film project online successfully and you can meet your supervisor via our audio and video confernce software. A personal attendance at the final film screening or exhibition in Berlin at the end of the second year is also not mandatory. We will stream parts of it via our social media channels. But of course it is a lot of fun to celebrate with your classmates!

When will the in-house classes take place?

The first in-house workshop will be in October in Berlin. The second one will be in April the following year.

Do I get supervision for my final MA project?

Yes, you will get an own supervisor for your final MA project. Supervision of the final MA thesis and media takes place in online Colloquia via life-meetings with webcam and voice with your supervisor and classmates. Students who take place in the final exhibition will set-up the final exhibition in Berlin in a gallery.

FAQ: Finances

What are the Tuition Fees?

The Tuition fees are 16,080 Euro for the whole two years program. 4020 Euro per semester.

Are there any scholarship opportunities?

Tuition fees often represent a hurdle for students, and we hope you will find a way over it. Unfortunately, we cannot offer any scholarships or fee reductions. However, we would advise you to have a look at our search engine, if you haven't done so already:

https://www.hmkw.de/en/study/funding-and-financial-aid/scholarships/

You could also try contacting some of your home country institutions as well as your embassy in Germany to ask if they offer any potential funding/scholarships.  And of course, the DAAD scholarships (which are fully compatible with our university and our program):

Scholarship opportunities can be researched independently, e.g. at the following scholarship data base (unfortunately only in German, but it is available to foreign students). You should also check the following websites for scholarship opportunities:

How many funds do I need for accommodation, living etc?

You should calculate for a room in flat-sharing community approximately 350-700 € per month. For a single flat with one room, this will cost around 600-900 € per month. Typical student areas for living are Berlin Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Neukölln and Wedding. Some helpful websites are www.wg-gesucht.dewww.immobilienscout.dewgcompany.de and www.zweitehand.de.

Since you are only required to stay in Berlin during the in-house-classes (but of course are welcome to stay longer), you could book a hostel for only these two week-period. For example, see http://www.diefabrik.com/.

FAQ: Language

Do I need a TOEFL-Test or other prove of my proficiency in English?

You do not need to give us any certificate (TOEFL or other) to prove your proficiency in English. We trust that our applicants are able to judge their own capacity in completing an M.A. level course in English.

FAQ: Technology

What kind of film/video-technology is used during the in-house classes?

We always use the latest camera-technology for the camera courses. It is an advantage if you own a digital video or photography camera, but it is not a precondition. You can borrow the digital camera equipment from HMKW and you are allowed to use the editing computers at the university equipped with the (Adobe Cloud). However, editing suites and technical equipment are limited and issued on a first come first serve basis.

FAQ: Erasmus / Semester Abroad

When can we have a semester abroad, what do you recommend? Does the FU have any partnerships with universities where we can study Visual Anthropology?

It is possible to study one semester abroad at our Erasmus-partner universities in Europe.

In order to be considered eligible for the ERASMUS program, students must either have an EU citizenship (or be residents of: Norway, Liechtenstein, Turkey, the western Balkan States and Switzerland) or an unlimited residence permit status and /or a permanent home in Germany. With a temporary visa for study purposes, citizens of any other states than those mentioned above are not allowed to apply for the ERASMUS program.

You can also stay without studying at a university in a foreign country, e.g. for producing your film or media project.  For most of you, this will be in the winter semester (project semester) or during the German summer holidays after the second semester. The DAAD has a special Program for short time-scholarships for students  (only in German at the moment). Many of our students got this scholarship before. Please don't hesitate to ask the coordinator if you need a reference letter.

Do I need to get Health Insurance?

In Germany it is necessary by law that you have a health insurance. You have the choice between a private insurance (either from your home country or from Germany) or you can get health insurance from the German social health insurance fund.

90% of the students in Germany opt for the social health insurance fund. This insurance costs around 80 € per month. It also covers your family at no extra costs. You will be issued an insurance card and can go to any doctor, dentist or hospital without paying for the treatment or equipment.

With a private health insurance, you need to pay for the treatment in advance and get reimbursed by your insurance company once you hand in the receipts.

You do not need to get health insurance in advance. Once you get to Germany you can get insured during the first days of your stay.

If you need get private health insurance from your home country, you need to get additional nursing care insurance coverage for as long as you are in Germany. If you get the social health insurance, the nursing care insurance is already included.

Social health insurance for students and their accompanying family is sold through insurance companies. This insurance costs the same at every insurance company. It does not matter which company you choose. We recommend that you get health insurance once you arrive in Berlin.

FAQ: PhD Options

Will this program allow me to continue my studies in a doctoral degree?

Yes, you can continue to most PhD programs at any university in Germany or abroad after finishing the M.A. in Visual and Media Anthropology.

In order to continue with a PhD in Germany after the M.A. program, you must first find a professor at a German university who will accept you as his or her PhD candidate (depending on your field of interest / your research idea and proposal and the capacities of the professor at the moment you are applying). Most German universities await an excellent final M.A. grade from a university of Applied Sciences before accepting you as a PhD student. Most professors accept only a few PhD students per year and few professors are specialized in Visual and Media Anthropology.

You can also search for PhD programs that offer with weekly classes. Usually you will be paid a monthly salary to cover all of your costs for up to three years.

FAQ: Move of the program from FU Berlin to HMKW Berlin

Will the MA degree no longer be a degree of Freie Universität Berlin and also hosted by HMKW?

The MA degree will be, from the start of the new winter semester in October 2019, a Master program with a Master degree offered from HMKW University of Applied Science for Media, Communication and Management.
The program will be hosted not anymore by FU Berlin, but by HMKW. All students who are immatriculated at the moment will finish their studies at FU Berlin and will receive the FU certificate.

What is the reason for the move from FU Berlin to HMKW Berlin?

The reason for the move is a political decision of FU Berlin. FU Berlin decided to shut down all advanced graduate degree programs, even if they are very successful, like our MA in Visual and Media Anthropology, and will offer in the future only tuition-free consecutive MA programs.

What kind of status does HMKW university have?

HMKW is a private, state-approved university with institutional accreditation by the German Council of Science and Humanities. All of its degree programs are additionally accredited by FIBAA (international agency for quality assurance in higher education). Therefore, we can guarantee the same high standard in the quality of the program.

What changes have been made to the program and curriculum?

There are no changes of the program structure or curriculum. Of course, we updated the regulations a little bit, but with no major changes. 

Will the lecturers and staff remain the same or will they be changing too?

The lecturers and main teaching and coordinating staff will more or less remain the same. We will work with the new administrative staff off HMKW. 

Is HMKW offering the same technical film standard?

The HMKW owns an own studio for broadcasting and a large film editing pool and creative and well-equipped work spaces for exhibition preparation. Therefore, the technical standard will be better than at FU Berlin.