What is the advantage of a part-time Master's degree?
The main advantage of a part-time postgraduate study programme, is being able to continue to work in your profession, either full-time, at 90%, 80%, or even less. Classroom lectures only make up a small part of the master's degree programme, giving you more flexibility to study and learn from the comfort of your own home. Another important difference to traditional full-time master studies, is campus life, which is only available in a very reduced form because of the reduced time spent on campus (only on weekends). On the other hand, however, you have a "career" where you can apply your newly acquired knowledge directly in practice.
How does a part-time Master's degree work?
Persuing a part-time Master's degree at CBS, gives you more flexibility and time. Instead of a standard study period of four semesters, the programme is stretched to five semesters. The graduate study programme therefore lasts 25% longer. In addition, the schedule is completely different: Since you regularly work during the week, there are no lectures during the week. Not even in the evenings. Instead, the lectures take place at weekends. Lectures usually take place on Friday evenings and all day on Saturdays. There are no traditional semester breaks either, except for the lecture-free month of August. Another advantage is that you don't have to do a semester abroad and you can also graduate without having to complete an internship. This model offers you more flexibility. The examination periods are in February for the winter semester and at the end of July for the summer semester.
In the fifth semester, you dedicate yourself to your Master's thesis. You are welcome to write it in your company if the opportunity arises.
You should plan your year well so that you can manage the learning workload and prepare well for the exams. If possible, a reduction in your weekly working hours is advised. You should plan for 10 to 20 hours of study time per week.
What are the requirements for a part-time graduate degree?
The first step to study at CBS is to go ahead and apply. Enrolment not a formality to us. We ensure admitting students who have a good chance of successfully completing their graduate studies. In addition, the CBS is a business school. The graduate degree programmes are therefore business programmes. In order to pursue a Master's degree programme, you therefore need:
- A first academic degree (Bachelor`s, Diploma, Master`s) from a recognised German or international university, university of applied sciences or vocational university with a final grade of at least "good".
If you did not achieve the average grade point in your first degree, you have the option of completing a separate admission procedure. Your first degree should have been in a field of economics and include a total of at least 180 ECTS credits.
- Bachelor's degree in business administration. Earned at any regular university, in Germany or abroad. If you have any questions about the recognition of your degree, please feel free to ask us.
A Pre-Master's degree. If you don't have a business degree, instead, for example, you have Bachelor's degree in engineering, a Master's degree in humanitarian studies, or a state examination, you lack basic business knowledge, and persuing a Master's degree in business administration without this knowledge has little chance of success, especially on a part-time basis. However, you can acquire this basic knowledge at CBS. We offer a Pre-Master`s programme for this purpose. In the process, we check which ECTS can be credited from your previous degree. Without previous business knowledge, one to two full-time pre-master semesters from one of our business studies programmes are usually required. With basic business knowledge, you can choose a summer intensive course that will bring you up to the required level in just a few months.
- Alternatively, you can pursue an MBA. An MBA is also a Master's degree and is particularly interesting for students who have little business knowledge. You cannot complete the MBA at CBS while working, but you save yourself the Pre-Master's, which would also be full-time. That is always a decision to be weighed up. We would be happy to advise you.
Should I do a Master's or an MBA?
With a Master's degree, you invest in the depth and breadth of your academic knowledge. Especially if you already have a Bachelor's degree in business administration, this is remarkably interesting. Above all, you can also do the Master's at CBS while working. MBA, the Master of Business Administration, on the other hand, is full-time - condensed into one year - and also and especially intended for people who do not have a business administration background. If, for example, you have a degree in engineering or law, but you also see your future in corporate management and are looking towards a position on the board of directors, an MBA would be the right choice for you. Ambition, discipline, and the ability to work under pressure are absolutely essential. An MBA brings you to an exceptionally good level of knowledge in economics, but there are no specialisations as in a normal business administration Master's degree. So, if your undergraduate degree in business was completed some time ago or you only touched on business topics in passing during your studies, an MBA can be the better choice - for example, if you have earned a year's break from your job via a sabbatical or you have been released on full pay for the remaining term of your contract.
Is a part-time Master's worth it?
The degree acquired with a part-time Master's degree is equivalent to that acquired in a full-time study programme, and is the highest academic degree below the doctorate. Therefore you acquire valuable qualifications. Depending on the industry and company, certain management levels can only be reached with a graduate degree. The best example is the public sector, such as municipal administrations, federal authorities, or ministries, where positions in the "higher service" for civil servants and employees are only regularly accessible with a Master's degree. In private companies, where salaries are regulated by a remuneration framework agreement, a graduate degree almost automatically brings a higher salary and enables easier access to internal junior management programmes. In many medium-sized companies and even more so in start-ups, however, formal education plays a lesser role. What is more important there is what you can really do. And here, a Master's degree from CBS can bring you enormous advantages - on an academic, practical, and soft skill level. The Master's degree is therefore already a formal investment in career opportunities that can pay off immediately or sometimes only in many years - but then surely & properly.
Career prospects with a part-time Master's degree from Germany
If you study part-time, you have automatically less energy to invest in your current job. But: If you are smart about it, your career will already develop during your part-time master studies. The reason is simple: You will learn a lot of practical knowledge. You will expand your competencies on a weekly basis. While your colleagues stay at the same level of knowledge, you will be in the fast lane. Where others might take longer to find ideas and solutions, you can find academically sound shortcuts in a truly short time with fresh knowledge from a top business school. This way, during your part-time graduate studies, you can put yourself in a good position internally for the time after graduation. This only works if the contents of your chosen Master's programme are in demand at your workplace. However, if you need your new qualifications to change jobs or industries, you will certainly find a healthy way to reconcile your current job and your studies.
Some HR departments are particularly interested in applicants who have completed a part-time Master's degree. Compared to the combination of a Bachelor's and Master's degree in one go, you simply have two and a half years more career experience, and you have proven that you are resilient and disciplined.
Can my employer support me through my part-time Master's programme?
Depending on your situation at work, it might be worth talking to the HR department or the management. It is possible that you could reduce your weekly working hours, for example to 30 or 35 hours. An extra quota of unpaid leave has similar financial effects. The extra time off is especially helpful for preparing for exams. Some employers are even willing to pay part or all of the tuition fees. In this case, it is common for you to make a contractual commitment to stay with the company for several years after graduation. This is an interesting model, especially for companies with a massive shortage of young talent.
Does a part-time graduate degree count as a normal full-time standard Master's degree?
All Master’s degrees at CBS are fully-fledged and fully recognised Master's degrees. They also enable the path to further academic qualifications, like a doctorate and habilitation.
Can I pursue a doctorate after a graduate degree?
Yes, with a part-time Master's degree from CBS you are entitled to do a doctorate. And because you have already completed your Master's while working, you will also want to do a doctorate while working. The PhD, in particular, is much more widespread internationally than the German "Dr.".