Double degree programme with Stellenbosch University

The Faculty of Business and Economics offers a double degree programme with the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Within four semesters, well-qualified students can complete both a Master of Science in Development Economics at the University of Göttingen, as well as a Master of Commerce in Economics at the University of Stellenbosch.

“The fact that it is development economics focused means that you have a chance to experience a developing country and you have a chance to experience a developed country which is really good for your understanding of development issues.”

Lewis Mboko, Summer 2023

The double degree programme is an excellent opportunity to study abroad, and offers graduates excellent career opportunities in multinational companies, national and international organizations, and last but not least, the ability of applying for international PhD programmes.

Profile of the double degree programme

  • Start: Winter semester

  • Duration: 4 semesters

  • Language: English

  • Application: To the faculty

  • Credits: 120 credits

  • Capacity: 5 students per year

  • What is a double degree programme?

    A double degree programme is an integrated international course of study that takes place partly at a German institute of higher education and partly at an international partner university. In a double degree programme, national degrees from both partner universities are awarded, as opposed to a single joint-degree from both partner universities.

    In this programme, you will study two semesters at Göttingen University and two semesters at Stellenbosch University and it is up to you to decide where to write your thesis.

    Because academic years at the partner universities follow different structures, your stay in Stellenbosch can last from 10 to 14 months, depending on where you write your thesis.

    Once you finished your coursework and thesis you will be awarded two individual degree certificates which both state that you acquired them within the framework of a double degree.

  • Application requirements for the double degree programme

    A prerequisite for participation in the double degree programme is acceptance to the Master's programme in Development Economics.

    To apply for the double degree programme with Stellenbosch University starting in the winter semester you need to follow the application procedure for the MSc in Development Economics. Same requirements apply (with undergraduate degree and undergraduate thesis being graded no lower than 2.5).

    During the application procedure you will be asked to submit additional documents for the double degree programme:

    • A specific letter of motivation, written in English, stating the reasons for your application and the goals and expectations related to the double degree programme.

    • A curriculum vitae (CV) written in English with a meaningful description of your educational background, showing which practical professional knowledge and further professional qualifications or stays abroad you can present.

    But please note: You still need to write a separate motivation letter for the development economics programme.

  • Application for the double degree programme

    As a student of the University of Göttingen, application for the double degree programme is always possible for the winter semester. The application period is

    • October 1 to November 15 of the previous calender year for citizens from non-EU/non-EEA countries and no bachelor’s degree from EU/EAA country and

    • April 1 through May 15 of the same calendar year for citizens from the EU/EEA or for applicants with a bachelor’s degree from an EU/EAA country.

    After your successful application you will then start studying in Göttingen in October (winter semester).

    Please fill in the according application form and hand in all necessary application documents. The documents have to be uploaded via the upload portal by May 15th. Subsequent submission of documents after the deadline is not possible:

    Please see also the examination and study regulations (Prüfungs- und Studienordnung) of the MSc in Development Economics for further information regarding application and admission to the double degree programme.

  • Programme structure of the double degree programme

    Achievements totaling at least 120 credits must be successfully completed in accordance with the examination and study regulations for the MSc in Development Economics [in German].

    The programme starts every winter semester. During their first semester, students of the University of Göttingen take mandatory modules of the MSc in Development Economics and leave for Stellenbosch in January. In case there are still exams to be taken around that time a simultaneous examination session can be arranged in Stellenbosch.

    You remain in Stellenbosch (at least) until November, covering two semesters of studies and taking courses from the MComm in Economics curriculum. These courses get accredited towards your degree in Development Economics upon your return to Göttingen.

    The time between the third and fourth semester (November-March) is best used to complete your Master's thesis - it's up to you whether to stay in Stellenbosch or return to Göttingen during that time.

    Your last and fourth semester you spend again in Göttingen, completing the remaining specialization modules of the MSc Development Economics.

    Programme Structure

    • First semester: Göttingen (30 credits)

    • Second and third semester: Stellenbosch (30 credits)

    • Between third and fourth semester: Master's thesis - Göttingen or Stellenbosch (30 credits)

    • Fourth semester: Göttingen (30 credits)

    Overview of modules (summer semester 2024):

  • University of Stellenbosch

    The University of Stellenbosch is a public research university with roundabout 25,000 students. It lies in the picturesque Jonkershoek Valley in the heart of the Western Cape Winelands in South Africa's oldest city. It's an institution with great tradition - the origin of the university can be traced back to 1866. Today Stellenbosch University is placed among Africa's leading universities accordingly to various rankings.

    The Master of Commerce in Economics offered by Stellenbosch University is a one-year-programme (minimum duration, depending on the options chosen up to 18 months) building up on the bachelor and honours degree. Students can opt for General Economics as field of study, or specialise in Economics of Education or in Development Economics. All options involve advanced study in macro- and microeconomic theory, applied economics and policy analysis. In addition, special attention is given to research methodology and research skills, including econometric analysis. Hence the MComm in Economics is an excellent addition to a budding development economist's education.

    Students participating in the Stellenbosch exchange or double degree programme are expected to take part in the Stellenbosch University ISOS community engagement programme. ISOS is the international students organization at the Stellenbosch campus which runs an after-school project in the Kayamandi township where incoming international students volunteer their time (usually once a week) working with school-age children of the township. For those who would like to do more, there are certainly more options to get involved, such as the HOPE project with its various initiatives.

  • Experience reports

    Göttingen students write about their time in Stellenbosch (PDF):




Square with white buildings against a mountain backdrop

The programme is also funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)


Sandra Sattlecker

Programme Coordinator

Faculty of Business and Economics

Department of Economics

Heiner Keilholz

Administrative Advisor

Faculty of Business and Economics

Office of the Dean of Studies

  • A bird's eye view of the town of Stellenbosch in South Africa against a mountain backdrop

    Copyright: University of Stellenbosch: Welcome to Stellenbosch

  • Students walking on the campus of the University of Stellenbosch.

    Copyright: University of Stellenbosch: University Campus

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    Copyright: Anja Schöfer, University of Göttingen

  • Picture of a stately building

    Copyright: Anja Schöfer, University of Göttingen

  • interior shot of a building on the campus of Stellenbosch University that looks like a shopping mall.

    Copyright: University of Stellenbosch: The Neelsie Student Centre

  • Photo of an outdoor sports facility

    Copyright: University of Stellenbosch: Sports fields

  • Square with white buildings against a mountain backdrop.

    Copyright: University of Stellenbosch: University Campus