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Year 2 // Living and studying in Hamburg

Media, Culture & Charm

Media, culture & charm 

Students choosing the specialisation 'Journalism and Media across Cultures' will be studying for the second year at The University of Hamburg in Germany. With a focus on the changing world of media, modules in Hamburg deal with phenomena shaped by respectively contributing to globalisation and their consequences for public mediated communication on current affairs.

The University of Hamburg was established in 1919. With approximately 39,900 students, the University of Hamburg is one of the largest educational and research institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and offers a high quality of life and international flair. Corresponding to Hamburg’s view of itself as the “gateway to the world” the University with its diversity and traditions of subjects and educational offerings, sees itself as the “gateway to the world of knowledge”.

Hamburg lies open to many streams of influence. With city-state traditions reaching back for centuries, it has always played a special political and cultural role. Today, as a key commercial hub, an international harbour and a media and cultural center, the metropolis on the Elbe River is once again pursuing ancient traditions with typically hanseatic aplomb. 

The student life in Hamburg offers a great mixture of traditions and a modern, intercultural everyday.

Studying in Hamburg

University of Hamburg

The University of Hamburg (UHH) was established by the federal city state Hamburg in 1919. With approximately 39,900 students, the University of Hamburg is one of the largest educational and research institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany. It offers degrees on all levels.

With its broad variety of study programmes and its renowned research facilities the University of Hamburg provides excellent conditions for cross-disciplinary approaches at an internationally recognised level. Corresponding to Hamburg’s view of itself as the “gateway to the world” the University with its diversity and traditions of subjects and educational offerings, sees itself as the “gateway to the world of knowledge”.

The School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences is the degree awarding institution of the German part of Mundus Journalism. The Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies and the Hans-Bredow Institute for Media Research contribute to the teaching. Thus, candidates in the Hamburg specialism profit from a close orientation towards up-to-date research and a constant exchange with different actors in the media sphere, not only in Hamburg.

Institute for Journalism and Mass Communication Studies

The Institute for Journalism and Mass Communication Studies is the host of the Mundus Journalism Media Across Cultures degree specialisation. The focus of the institute is to provide a stimulating environment for research, scholarship and teaching. The institute has a strong focus on research especially in regards to European journalism, media systems and journalism in a national and international comparative perspective.

Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research

The Hans Bredow Institute was founded as an independent non-profit organisation by the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk broadcasting corporation (NWDR) in co-operation with the University of Hamburg in 1950. As an Institute at the University of Hamburg it is legally independent, however, there are various content-oriented as well as organisational cooperation undertakings with the University.

The research conducted by the Institute focuses on mediated public communication. The Institute emphasises its role as an independent observer and combines sociological, legal, economic and pedagogical approaches, because it strongly believes that contemporary problems of media development call for an interdisciplinary and a cross-national comparative perspective.

Cooperation and constant exchange with the different actors in the media sphere are basic values for the Institute's research. Particularly important is the transfer of results via publications and conferences in direction of business practice, politics and the public sphere. This particular focus is widely acknowledged: The German Science Council has stressed the Institute's high level of research and declared it one of Germany's most distinguished research institutions.

Both the Institute for Journalism Studies and the Hans Bredow Institute are involved in the Graduate School Media & Communication (GMaC) which offers a Ph.D program.

Please visit:

Information for Mundus-Journalism students in Hamburg

Blog for Mundus Journalism students in Hamburg

The Hamburg modules

Module 1 // Journalism Cultures and Media Systems in an international comparative perspective // 10 ECTS: Based on the realisation that journalism and media are to a great extent bound to a cultural, linguistic, usually national entity, this module takes the comparative perspective on journalistic practices and media systems.

Module 2 // Processes of transcultural communication // 10 ECTS: Has a focus on transcultural communication, taking into account contradictory processes like glocalisation which occur simultaneously with the increasing importance and influence of global media players.

Module 3 // Research Module in Journalism Studies // 10 ECTS: Related to a current research project / interest of instructor(s).

Module 4 // Master Thesis // 30 ECTS: Students develop and carry out their own original research under the experienced guidance of a supervisor. A sample of recent MA thesis titles can be found here.

Living in Hamburg

Hamburg, officially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg) is one of sixteen German states and is a city of roughly 1.8 million inhabitants (4.3 million including the metropolitan area). It is the second largest city in Germany after Berlin and the eighth largest city in the European Union. The city is a notable tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors and is ranked 16th in the world for livability in 2015.

Hamburg is located on the Elbe river and is home to the second largest port in Europe, with enough canal and river area to rival that of Amsterdam and Venice. The city also has a total of 2,300 bridges - more than both Amsterdam and Venice combined. Many houses are situated on either the Alster lake or the Elbe, and in the summer, the waterways are filled with Hamburg residents and visitors on rowing boats, canoes, pedalos and paddle boards. All year round there are organised boat trips from Jungfernstieg, around the Alster lake, and from Landungsbrücken, around the harbour and port and down to many of the small beaches along the Elbe.

Hamburg is bursting with character and life. There are lots of parks and open green spaces which boast impressive sports facilities and beautiful plants and there are lots of different parts of the city that offer different cuisines and nightlife hotspots. As well as waterways that provide recreational enjoyment - summer also sees the city's parks come to life with students and citygoers sunbathing, barbequeing and picnicking until the sunsets late in the evening.

There really is something for everyone. You can get nice, cheap Spanish or Portuguese tapas in Neustadt by the Sankt Michaelis Kirche, or you can brave the crowds on the Große Freiheit or Reeperbahn on weekends. A truly special Hamburg attraction is the Fischmarkt at St. Pauli on Sunday mornings from 5am, which attracts both drunken revelers and savvy market goers alike. You have to see it to understand the attraction! As a University of Hamburg (UHH) student, the city is your playground, there's a huge amount to see and experience, but it’s also important to know the ins and outs of the city and the University before jumping in blindfolded.

For information on what to do and see, how to live, and what to expect, please check Welcome to Hamburg.

The Hamburg Vibe

Hamburg has a very relaxed, welcoming and invigorating lifestyle for students. The campus provides the perfect setting for long lunches at the Messehallen discussing thesis ideas with friends, while the journalism department itself shares space with a bohemian cafe that spills onto the pavement in summer and borders an arthouse cinema as well as several cheap, hip and ethnic eateries.

Students living and studying in Hamburg can expect to have an experience characterised by independence and freedom. Following an intense and rewarding first semester, made sweeter by a bustling weinachtsmarkt (Germany Christmas marktet) right outside the journalism department and a trip to Berlin, students are given the responsibility of acting independently working on their thesis. 

The thesis is research based and driven by the students own interests in media, culture and globalisation. Students are expected to make decisions and manage their time along the way, guided by supervisors, but with the student completely in the drivers seat. While this is a lot of responsibility, it also comes with a great amount of freedom, both academically and personally - many students make time to travel abroad for fieldwork. 

There is a rich culture of peer support among Mundus students in Hamburg. Many enjoy the city so much they continue to live there after finishing the Mundus Journalism degree and so alumni regularly meet up with students for social events, as well as to provide advice on progressing through the thesis. There are many Mundus Journalism alumni working as researchers at the university or studying towards their PhDs, and staff in Hamburg are very supportive and encouraging of the growing Mundus family there. 

Juliana Guarany | Brazil | Alumna + German Chancellor Fellow at UHH
Dr Monika Pater // Germany // Associate Professor of Journalism Studies + Hamburg programme coordinator
Ellie Sellwood | Britain | Alumna + comms professional in HH + coordinator of Hamburg Mundusians group
Sabine Hoffkamp // Germany // Hamburg Mundus student advisor and programme administrator
Hannah Spyksma // New Zealand // Alumna + PhD student at QUT + digital communications coordinator for Mundus Journalism

The Hamburg Network