Institute of Political Science

The Masters Programme "Democracy and Governance in Europe" (MADRE) - Your Door to Europe

Would you like to get to know the European Union in depth while keeping up with current developments in the member states? Then Tübingen is right for you! The Institute for Political Science at the University of Tübingen (IfP) has been offering a two-year Master's programme "Democracy and Governance in Europe" (MADRE) since the winter semester of 2012/2013.

Please note concerning applications for the winter term 2023

The application process for the winter term 2023 will open in early April 2023. Please visit the university's application portal. We strongly recommend to apply by 15 June 2023. Here you find detailed information on the application process and the deadlines.

Quicklinks to Important Study Ressources

Advisor for MADRE programme

Dr. Martin Große Hüttmann

 University of Tübingen
     Institute of Political Science
     Room 006
     Melanchthonstraße 36
     72074 Tübingen

 +49 70 71 - 29 - 72 91 9


Consultations hours: see notice on the office door. Curretnly, consultations via phone or Zoom are arranged by e-mail!


New Documents

If you start the study programme in the winter term 2018/2019 or later, the new documents are relevant for you.

Modulhandbuch ab dem Wintersemester 2018/2019 (PDF in German only)

Studien- und Prüfungsordnung ab dem Wintersemester 2018/2019 (PDF in German only)

Old Documents

If you started the study programme in between the winter term 2012/2013 and 2017/2018, the old documents are relevant for you.

Modulhandbuch ab Wintersemester 2012/2013 (PDF in German only)

Prüfungsordnung ab Wintersemester 2012/2013 (PDF in German only)

Modulübersicht ab Wintersemester 2012/2013 (PDF in German only)

Celebration "under the lime" - the institute's landmark

"The unusual title and the very focussed programme sparked my interest right away. My expectations are fully satisfied. The atmosphere at the institute is very familiar and casual. The professors and lecturers are very committed to sharing their knowledge, and they ask questions that raise my interest for the various topics. One can be assured to get an equally broad and deep understanding of the complex system of the European Union and its role in international relations."

Elsa Steinwand
B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Oldenburg

The Masters Programme "Democracy and Governance in Europe" at a glance

Topics of the Programme

The programme examines both the organisation and development of the institutions of the European Union and compares the political systems and cultures of the EU member states (Comparative Political Science). The programme further focuses on the interrelations of the European national states in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg (European Integration Research).

Practical Insights

The practical connection to current developments in European Politics is not neglected in the face of these topics. In previous semesters, seminars on the topic of Brexit, security policy in the EU, right-wing populism or current Bundestag and European elections have been given. Additionally, professionals from the field of European politics are integrated into class instruction.

Brussels Excursions


Report on the Brussels Excursion in June 2023

From June 26-30, 2023, an excursion to Brussels took place as part of the seminar "The European Commission put to the test" under the direction of Prof. Dr. Gabriele Abels. This offered the MADRE students the opportunity to talk and discuss with representatives from the "Brussels Bubble". This included employees from the EU institutions (Council, European Parliament, Commission and Committee of the Regions) as well as from a think tank or consulting firm and an NGO. A journalist was also among the interviewees. Many of the twelve discussions focused on the evaluation of the Commission under President von der Leyen. Not least on her policy of a "Union of Equality" and on whether she will run for office again in 2024.
In a relaxed atmosphere over dinner and Belgian beer, the students were able to exchange ideas with former students who now work in the EU institutions or are involved in EU politics in other capacities. All in all, the excursion offered the opportunity to gain insights into the workings of the "Brussels Bubble".

The field trip was a great way to get a real insight into EU politics on the ground. The different perspectives on and assessments of the work of the EU Commission under von der Leyen were very enlightening, partly contradicting the initial academic analyses.
In addition, it was very exciting to gain an insight into everyday work through the exchange with Tübingen alumni. It was very helpful to learn what skills are needed and how professional careers can develop in Brussels. Maybe one day I will also want to work in Brussels and for the idea of European unification.

Report on the Brussels Excursion "Future Conference" in June 2022

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, an excursion to Brussels took place again from 20 to 24 June 2022. It was connected to the seminar "The Conference on the Future of the EU". During the excursion, the MADRE students, led by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Abels, had the opportunity to talk to representatives or staff of the European Policy Centre, the European Commission, the European Youth Forum, the Baden-Württemberg State Representation, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the European Committee of the Regions. The excursion ended with a visit to the European Parliament. Here the students were able to talk to two MEPs as well as to Prof. Dr. Udo Zolleis, who is Honorary Professor at the Institute of Political Science and also Head of "Strategic Planning" of the EPP Group in the EP, about the course and progress of the conference on the future of Europe. Over dinner, the group was able to informally exchange work and internship experiences with IfP students who were doing an internship in one of the EU institutions and an employee of a consulting firm.
Overall, the excursion offered the students the opportunity to gain insights into the workings of the EU institutions on site and to gain new knowledge, which they were able to put into a broader context with the help of the content learned in the seminar on the Future Conference of the EU.

Testimonial 1
"I enjoyed the excursion to Brussels, I am glad that it could take place in person. I found it very enriching to get different perspectives on the conference on the future of Europe. It was also important for me to gain an insight into the everyday working lives of other graduates or interns. I can only recommend taking part in an excursion to Brussels if it is offered."

Testimonial 2
"In my eyes, the excursion is a useful addition to the profile of the Master's programme. Through the discussions with a wide variety of practitioners on site, different perspectives on the project of European integration became clear. These insights are hardly possible through pure study from a distance. I found the linking of the excursion with a specific seminar particularly helpful. This allowed us to discuss specialised issues on site. Furthermore, with regard to career orientation, the excursion helped me to gain insights into and an impression of possible occupational fields."


Career Perspectives

The focus on current developments in the member states and the EU itself provides numerous career opportunities

• in European institutions,
• in national ministries,
• in political consultation and communication as well as
• in the economy.

Gaining a foothold in these fields is facilitated by the frequent encounters with professionals in the context of excursions to Brussels and the many talks given at the institute. Job specific specialisations and the opportunities to study abroad or do an internship enable you to become oriented and focussed early on.

The focus on established as well as innovative theories of political science offers you the opportunity to pursue an academic career by means of a doctorate at a university or European research institute. You will find the institute's excellent reputation and the scholars working here very helpful in this endeavour.

In 2019/20 we conducted a survey among the graduates of the first five academic years. The objective was to find out how they assess the MADRE programme in relation to their professional life and how well the programme has prepared them for a transition into the labour market. You find a synopsis of the survey results here. The full version of the survey is available in German only.


You can start your studies every winter semester. The application deadline is 30 September (15 July for non-EU citizens) every year. You can find detailed information for admissions requirements here.

The university town of Tübingen

Tübingen doesn't have a university, but instead Tübingen is a university. This motto and the fact that 30,000 out of 90,000 inhabitants are students emphasise the importance of the university for life in our city.

"'Democracy and Governance in Europe' sounded exactly like the specialisation I needed for my Master's. My impression after the first semester: exciting seminars, dedicated teachers, great fellow students and reliable guidance and counselling. Additionally, I think Tübingen is a great place to study. The city is just the right size and beautiful and also offers plenty of possibilities: there are lots of interesting evening lectures, language courses, student clubs and breathing space to study and relax."

Anna Leßmann
B.A. Politics and Society, University of Bonn

Tübingen has a rich cultural life, a large variety of pubs and many city fairs. There are also many film festivals spread out over the year. Numerous citizen initiatives are active in many fields and look forward to your participation.

The surrounding region is also great for your free time: be it hiking in the Alps or in the Black Forest, a visit to the zoo in Stuttgart, sailing on Lake Constance or a trip to Alsace - these destinations are all close by.

Tübingen's citizens singing Bach's chorals in the market place during the "Kulturnacht"