Master of Arts

Digital Narratives

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4 Semester

Das Master-Studium

Shaping Stories for the Digital Society

Our society is intertwined with the digital - especially in the storytelling, production techniques, and formats we use to tell stories. In the Master’s Programme Digital Narratives, media and culture creators gain the necessary theoretical and practical tools to critically engage and experiment with digital media, with a special focus on immersive technologies. A research-creation approach supports them in developing a professional career in a field characterised by ongoing transformations due to rapid technological developments.

The programme’s goal is the training of creative storytellers who master the narrative formats and production techniques of new digital media and experiment with them to develop innovative media formats. The programme combines academic and practical work and teaches students to question the affordances and limitations of digital technologies while engaging with current social issues and developing their own artistic and academic practices.

Key areas:

  • Conceptualisation, dramaturgy, design, and production of digital narrative projects (e.g. XR, web series, AI-powered experiences, apps, locative media, interactive graphic novels, immersive installations - to name a few)
  • Immersive technologies
  • Creative development and agile production structures and methods
  • Experimenting and iterating as a way of learning
  • Research-creation
  • Theoretical debates and critical discourses in media studies and cultural studies
  • Critical analysis around the ethical, economic, social equity, gender and diversity, and ecological ramifications of digitisation
  • Social debates and responsibilities of creators

During the programme and as part of their MA thesis, students develop a master’s project with an allocated budget.

The Master’s Programme also prepares students for a practice- or art-oriented doctoral studies programme.

Berufsbild und Karrierechancen

Graduates expand their careers in the creative industry, academia, or a combination of both.

If they choose to pursue a doctoral degree after the programme, they are well suited to do so in areas such as media and art studies, cultural studies, game studies, narratology, and digital culture, and are qualified to do so from a research-creation or artistic research approach.

Additionally, graduates pursue the development of their own digital narrative projects in a variety of narrative formats and platforms including XR, VR, AR, interactive web series, games, innovative journalism, interactive and digital documentaries, immersive and non-linear narrative formats and story worlds.

Our graduates are creators who understand the evolving language of digital media, actively shape the industry and participate in discussions around digitality. They are involved in projects with strong social and ethical ethos behind them. They may work in leading creative and artistic positions.

Possible professional fields for graduates of the MA Digital Narratives programme are:

  • Creative director/creative producer
  • Storyworld designer/story editor/content designer/narrative designer
  • UX designer
  • Media artist
  • Media researcher/doctoral student
  • Curator/media critic
  • Documentary-maker and/or journalist with a focus on digital narrative formats

Studienplan und Studienschwerpunkte

The 4-semester full-time Master's Programme is modularised and is composed of:

As part of developing their Master's project, students go through four project phases during the programme, each with a different focus in terms of content and methodologies, and which build on each other in terms of complexity. In these, students ideate on their core concepts for the project, develop with agile methodologies, and produce a Core Experience Prototype for their Master's project.

The modules "Digitality and Change" engage students with the (media) theoretical and aesthetic foundations of digital narratives and critically engage with the social and political implications of digital society.

The modules "Narratives" deal with dramaturgy, storytelling, and worldbuilding as the narrative foundations of immersive and interactive digital narratives.

In these modules, students gain know-how on creative and technological skills and tools to be able to experiment and practice with different mediums, particularly XR technologies. They will be able to communicate and/or lead technical teams in the execution and placement of projects in the marketplace.

Aufnahme und Zugangsvoraussetzungen

The Master's Programme MA Digital Narratives admits new students every two years in the winter semester. Admission follows a two-stage process. 

The two-stage application process consists of:
- Submission of application documents
- A selection interview

Applicants must submit past work samples, a CV, and assignments to demonstrate their eligibility to participate in the MA Digital Narratives programme. Applications will be reviewed by a committee, and shortlisted applicants will be invited for an online interview. The selection committee will then invite the selected applicants to participate in the programme.

General Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree with proof of at least 180 ECTS (or a similar academic or higher degree). To ensure that the education certificates and diplomas acquired abroad comply with the admission requirements of the ifs (higher education qualifications), applicants can consult the following database:

At least one year of specialised professional practice or similar professional project experience after the Bachelor’s degree.

Proof of programme related aptitude for the MA Digital Narratives.

Language Skills

Very good knowledge of English

B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, e.g. by a TOEFL score of a minimum of 72 points (internet-based) or equivalent test results. Native English speakers are exempted from this.

    Information for international applicants

    To ensure that the education certificates and diplomas acquired abroad comply with the admission requirements of the ifs (higher education qualifications), applicants can consult the following database: If your degree does not fulfil the ifs's admission requirements, but you have a recognisable talent and previous adequate experience, you may be invited to participate in a separate admission’s procedure to demonstrate your individual artistic aptitude.

    Please also check at the German embassy of your home country whether you need to provide an APS certificate by the Academic Evaluation Center for your visa application.

    To obtain a residence permit, international students have to demonstrate sufficient funds to secure their livelihood. The required blocked amount for a student visa application is based on the current BAföG rate - the national standard that defines the absolute minimum of a student’s necessary expenses for an adequate standard of living. As of the winter semester 2022, international students must prove that they have sufficient funds to cover an amount of €934 per month or €11,208.00 per year. Note that this amount may change from year to year due to the ongoing increase in costs for housing, electricity, food, etc.


    One time registration fee: 400 Euro

    International students: 3.750 Euro per semester

    EU students: 2.750 Euro per semester

    Semester fee TH Köln: 330,20 Euro

    Blended-Learning Studiengang

    The Master's Programme Digital Narratives is a four-semester full-time Master's Programme with 120 ECTS.

    1st semester: 12 weeks
    2nd semester: 12 weeks
    3rd semester: 12 weeks
    4th semester: 4 weeks

    Lecture periods are divided into attendance time and self-study time.


    Hier können Sie kostenloses Informations­material zu diesem Studiengang direkt vom Bildungsanbieter Internationale Filmschule Köln (ifs) anfordern. Die angegebenen Daten werden ausschließlich an diesen Bildungsanbieter übermittelt und selbstverständlich nicht an Dritte weiter gegeben.

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    The ifs Internationale Filmschule Köln is one of the leading full study and professional training institutions  for media professionals in Germany.

    Our range of study programmes includes internationally recognised and accredited Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes, which we offer in cooperation with the TH Köln. The intensive cooperation with experienced lecturers from media practice and media science guarantees students a first-class and industry-related education with individual and intensive support.

    In addition, we offer practice-oriented professional training opportunities for media professionals - from the European Showrunner Programme to the Masterclass Comedy and the Masterclass Non-Fiction.

    The ifs was founded in 2000 as a non-profit company on the initiative of the NRW state government and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. The sole principal partner is the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

    Our responsibility
    As a training institution for the creatives of tomorrow, we are aware of our special social and societal responsibility - whether it is to reflect the diversity of our society in front of and behind the camera or to anchor sustainability in all areas of the ifs. We are continuously working on this.


    Internationale Filmschule Köln (ifs)

    Schanzenstraße 28
    51063 Köln

    Tel.: +49 (0) 221 920188-0