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MA Digital Narratives

Degree awarded
M.A. (Master of Arts)

ifs internationale filmschule köln, Schanzenstrasse 28, 51063 Cologne, Germany

+49 (0) 221 920188-0

+49 (0) 221 920188-99

E-mail address

Type of course
The two-year MA Digital Narratives is a full-time Master’s program (120 ECTS).

It is divided into attendance time and self-study time.

The attendance time during the first and second semester is twelve weeks (usually every day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm).

During the third semester, there are eight weeks of attendance time.

The fourth semester is dedicated to writing the Master’s thesis, so the attendance time is only three weeks.

Language of tuition

Length of course
2 years / 4 semesters

Application deadline
30 June, 2020

Date of commencement
28 September, 2020 (tbc)

Class size
max. 12 students

Major recruiters of graduates of our programmes
Graduates will be able to initiate and realize progressive artistic research and viable entrepreneurial digital projects in creative, artistic, and scientific positions.

They may work in leading creative positions independently or team up for pioneering projects within digital culture and for a variety of narrative formats and platforms including VR/AR, interactive web series, games, and other non-linear narrative formats.

They will be able to conduct research in digital culture and art and well prepared to enter lecturing positions in these fields.

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

  • Creative director/creative producer
  • Storyworld developer/story editor/content designer/narrative designer
  • UX designer
  • Media artist
  • Media researcher/doctoral student
  • Curator/media critic

  • Exchange partner schools
    The school is a member of CILECT, the International Association of Film and Television Schools, and cultivates partnerships with a global network of film schools and universities.

    Student profile
    1. Ratio of National / International students: 0 national students / 8 international students 2. Ratio of Men / Women: 5 male / 3 female 3. Age range: 25 – 35 years

    Programme Director
    Dr. Tamás Joó

    Contact details for application
    Dr. Tamás Joó
    Head of Digital Narratives
    Tel: +49 (0) 221.920188-262 Email: digitalnarratives(at)

    ifs internationale filmschule köln

    MA Digital Narratives

    Does the power of great stories and digital storyworlds fascinate you? Are you interested in contributing your own ideas and projects to the digital culture? Are you ready to think critically about the impact of digitization on our societies?

    The ifs international MA Digital Narratives program offers dedicated media and cultural professionals an opportunity to develop and produce stories with and for the future of digital media.

    The program combines creative processes exploring dramaturgy and design with theoretical investigations in the fields of media and cultural studies. Students will study and practice creative digital development and production methods that will enable them to create innovative and immersive narrative forms of communication for digital platforms and genres such as VR/AR, web series, apps, graphic novels, and games – to name a few.

    The MA Digital Narratives supports young creatives to develop their artistic, practical and theoretical skills in the evolving business scene of digital culture.

    The central elements of the MA Digital Narratives curriculum are:
    • The Study of Digital Culture
    • Media-theoretical knowledge and research on digital transformation and disruption processes in society, economics, and the arts. Investigation of the social responsibility in arts and media for a participatory society in the digital age.
    • The Study of Narratives
    • Research and development of immersive narratives based on contemporary technologies and audience engagement strategies in digital media.
    • The Study and Practice of Creative Methods
    • Analysis and implementation of aesthetic strategies and creative development methods in artistic projects and creative businesses. Analysis and training of creative and agile methods for ideation, development, prototyping, and production in a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative working environment.
    • Projects
    Collaborative and individual work on artistic, entrepreneurial, and research projects together with external partners and supervised by professors and tutors.

    In the second year of study, the program also offers students classes to facilitate their professionalization, which include the study of business modelling, project financing, project marketing, deal making, and the practical aspects of intellectual property law. In addition, they can receive coaching and mentoring for their projects and for their professional life after their studies.

    The program language is English. Studying in a small group of no more than twelve students ensures an intensive and collaborative work. During the first three semesters, the courses are aimed at self-study phases to support individual and shared research as well as project development.

    For this, the students can use a co-working space at the ifs. It is also possible for students to visit cross-institutional events and create partnerships for research and project work in order to expand their networks.

    Professors and Lecturers

    The leading professors responsible for the program are Prof. Dr. Nanna Heidenreich (media & cultural studies scholar) for the subject area »Theory«, and Prof. Lena Thiele (writer & creative director) for the subject area »Art & Design«.

    Additional lecturers are renowned personalities in the fields of art, science and media economics such as: Joel Dittrich (artist & teacher), Jörg Ihle (writer & director), Paul Tyler (project mapping consultant), Prof. Dr. Gundolf S. Freyermuth (co-director Cologne Game Lab), Clemens von Wedemeyer (experimental film and installation artist), Prof. Dr. Joachim Friedmann (writer and creative producer), Christoph Brosius (digital media producer), Alistair Alexander (producer and publisher), Tank Thunderbird (VR/AR expert), Jörg Bange (intellectual property lawyer), Michael Comyn (business coach), Arne Oltmann (business modelling and financing consultant), Karin Lingnau (media installation and exhibition expert).

    Admission requirements

    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:

    Entry Requirements

    The requirements for the Master’s degree are a Bachelor’s degree or a similar academic degree with proof of at least 180 ECTS or a higher degree, at least one year of specialized professional practice or similar professional project experience after the Bachelor’s degree, as well as a very good knowledge of English (B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, e.g. by a TOEFL score of 87 points (internet-based) or equivalent test results). Native English speakers are exempted from this.

    Tuition fee

    Paid in full before the start of studies (for two years):
    15,000 € International Students
    11,000 € EU Students

    Or paid per semester:
    4,250 € International Students
    3,250 € EU Students

    One-time registration fee: 400 €

    Semester fee at TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences): approx. 275 € (includes the ticket for local public transportation)

    Student grants / Financial assistance

    Student loans:

    For financial assistance to cover tuition fees and/or living expenses, students may apply for an interest-free loan from »The Friends of the ifs international filmschule köln Society«. Loan approval depends on the applicant’s financial situation as well as the funds available. Repayment of the loan begins six months after graduation/termination of studies and is capped at 200 euros/month. Master’s students may apply from their first semester for the loan program.

    Project Support:

    To complete their Master’s projects, students have access to the technical equipment of the ifs and will receive financial project support (max. 5.000 euros/student) for the Master’s projects.


    »The Friends of the ifs internationale filmschule köln Society« offers one scholarship to one student of the »Digital Narratives« program for outstanding academic achievement. The scholarship runs from the second semester until the end of the Master’s program. It includes covering the tuition fees as well as a monthly contribution towards the cost of living until the end of the Master’s program.

    Beyond the ifs, several German and international foundations offer scholarships to support tuition fees and costs of living during studies.

    About ifs internationale filmschule köln

    The ifs internationale filmschule köln is a full study and further education institution with an artistic-academic focus serving aspiring media professionals. Based on its outstanding student support, excellent teaching and project work, and active festival participation, including a Student Academy Award, the ifs is consistently ranked one of the best film schools in Germany.

    The ifs portfolio covers Bachelor’s programs in Screenwriting, Directing, Creative Producing, Director of Photography, Editing Picture & Sound, VFX & Animation, and Production Design, as well as international Master’s programs in Serial Storytelling, Digital Narratives, and 3D Animation for Film & Games. The study programs are carried out in cooperation with the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences). The ifs is currently developing new Master’s programs. In addition, the ifs offers several further education programs for media professionals held by internationally renowned artists and business leaders.

    The school is a member of CILECT, the International Association of Film and Television Schools, and cultivates partnerships with a global network of film schools and universities.

    Students of the English-language MA programs come from all over the world to study in one of Europe’s leading media environments. Students gain access to a network of European media professionals and experts of digital production and culture and will be part of the ifs Alumni Network.