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ZAK | Centre for Cultural and General Studies

Rüppurrer Straße 1a, Haus B

D-76137 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-44384
Fax: +49 721 608-44811
zakDjl6∂zak kit edu

Ines Bott
Ines Bott, M.A.
Coordination of Lectures

Phone: 0721 608‐46919

ines bottMth7∂kit edu



Studying / General Studies

Course offerings 

Today, interdisciplinary education is more important than ever. Key qualifications that equip students, academic elites and future decision-makers with hands-on know-how and critical discernment are a necessity that is increasingly being acknowledged -- and universities are increasingly involved in developing teaching concepts to adequately disseminate those skills.

At the ZAK | Zentrum für Angewandte Kulturwissenschaft und Studium Generale we offer, due to our qualified lecturers from within and outside university, a variety of opportunities to facilitate a better understanding of the complex modern society we live in. We see the task of interdisciplinary education not only as the dissemination of informative knowledge and the acquirement of critical understanding, but also as an instigation to be socially responsible and actively involved in shaping our society.

Our library is located at the ZAK. It offers a good selection of relevant books in the area of Cultural Studies. The library is open to all students.


Course offerings at the ZAK: 


Courses taught in English summer term 2018




How to sign up for ZAK courses

Please choose the course(s) you want to register for from the list “ZAK-Lehrangebote”: ZAK course registration. You can use the search function to search for names of lecturers or course titles.

At the end of each course description you will find a link that leads you to the registration form.

The registration period for the upcoming summer semester 2018 starts on Wednesday,  April 4th, 2018 (12pm).

If you need help filling in the form please contact Christine Karl: christine.karl∂kit.edu

Courses taught in English (for all Courses (in German and English) please see Website: ZAK-Anmeldekalender)


How to earn credit points (Leistungspunkte/ECTS)

Generally, you can gain between 2 and 6 credit points by successfully completing a course offered by ZAK.
Please note that there are courses where ONLY 1 or 2 points can be gained, depending on the course content and amount of hours. For further details on how many credits you can gain in each course, please refer to the course description either in the course catalogue or in the online registration calendar. Please also always consult the lecturer in the beginning of the course to make sure to agree upon the tasks you will do during the course and the number of credits you will gain for them.

Usually, you would have to accomplish the following tasks in order to obtain a certain number of credits:

  • 2 credit points: active participation in the course + short presentation etc.
  • 3 credit points: active participation in the course + short presentation, write a log, write a short paper, etc.
  • 4 credit points: active participation in the course + presentation + written paper (8-10 pages)
  • 5 credit points: active participation in the course + presentation + written paper (10-12 pages)
  • 6 credit points: active participation in the course + presentation + written paper (15-20 pages)

Please follow the standard style and citation rules for scientific papers. Whenever referring to someone else’s thoughts or quoting directly or indirectly from another publication, references must be included in your text and the attached List of References.

For style and citation rules please refer to the MLA Formatting and Style Guide.


Anti-plagiarism declaration

If you want to write a paper for any of the ZAK courses, please be aware that you should meet the well-established academic standards. Any material used from the work of others (in books, articles, essays, on the internet, etc.) must be acknowledged, and quotations and paraphrases should clearly be indicated. Together with your paper you need to hand in the signed plagiarism declaration which you can download here.



Applied Studies of Culture and Society (Angewandte Kulturwissenschaft) as Additional Subject (Begleitstudium)


In 1991, the Applied Studies of Culture and Society were established at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), now the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), as an additional (or minor) subject. The Applied Studies of Culture and Society address to students of all departments. With a well-balanced mix of imparting theoretic and scientific knowledge and mediating a general idea of the work of cultural institutions and of fields of application, the Applied Studies complement the respective regular course of studies.
Offering ‘Applied Studies of Culture and Society’ as an additional qualification is an unique concept in Germany. Internationally, the Begleitstudium can be compared to the Anglo-American studies of Liberal Arts. From an interdisciplinary perspective it aims to provide students with well-founded insights into various topics at the crossroads of technology, society, and culture. Five thematic blocks are concerned with conditions, methods, and concepts of the analysis and design of essential social development assignments.
In order to participate in the Applied Studies of Culture and Society students are required to register in written form at the ZAK office. Registration is possible at any time. The programme encompasses the attendance of the lecture series “Introduction into Applied Studies of Culture and Society”, the participation at five courses out of the different thematic blocks, a two-week practical training, and an oral exam. After the successful completion students obtain a graded certificate and a KIT report.
The Begleitstudium ‘Applied Studies of Culture and Society’ is available for instance in the diploma degree programme Computer Sciences. The course offerings are based on the five thematic blocks of the ZAK Begleitstudium.


Interdisciplinary Qualifying Modules

With the interdisciplinary qualifying modules, the ZAK offers a variety of opportunities for complementary education at the KIT. The Centre thus allows for the interlocking of specialized education with interdisciplinary key skills, which professional associations and companies have long been demanding. The university attests the obtained credits as an additional academic qualification.
In order to participate in the qualifying modules students are required to register at the ZAK which is possible at any time.
All modules comprise topics at the crossroads of technology, society and culture from an interdisciplinary perspective:

  • DiMa – Diversity Management
  • EURIIS – European Integration and Institutional Studies
  • FunD – Führungskompetenz und unternehmerisches Denken (Leadership Skills and Entrepreneurial Thinking)
  • INTER-ACT – Internationalisierung und Interkulturelle Handlungskompetenz (Internationalization and Intercultural Decision-making and Responsibility)
  • MeKKo – Medien-Kultur-Kommunikation (Media-Culture-Communication) (Jean Monnet Programme)
  • Studium Generale klassisch – (Classical General Studies)
  • MTF – Musik – Theater – Film (Music – Theatre – Film)


Key Skills – Modules for BA/MA-Students

The BA/MA regulations for students include the module “key skills” (Schlüsselqualifikationen), being a mandatory area of electives.
Every semester, the ZAK offers a broad variety of courses dealing with social and cultural topics. Students acquire key skills that are important not only for their professional career, but also for their studies and for the society as a whole.

As most courses are taught in German, a good working knowledge of German is essential.


General Studies

The Studium Generale has a long tradition at German universities and at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), now the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
This educational opportunity is especially important for a technical university like Karlsruhe, which cannot offer courses of studies in humanities and social studies the way classical universities do. General Studies are directed at students of all departments, interested members of the university as well as guest auditors. They offer a broad range of lectures and seminars about a variety of topics:

  • Mensch & Gesellschaft (Man & Society)
  • Natur & Technik (Nature & Technology)
  • Kultur & Medien (Culture & Media)
  • Wirtschaft & Recht (Economy & Law)
  • Politik & Globalisierung (Politics & Globalization)

Apart from these five subject areas, the ZAK also offers courses on soft skills and computing, as well as creativity workshops. Furthermore, there are two KIT orchestras and a variety of choirs and smaller musical formations to proide musical education.
Guest students are welcome to audit Studium Generale courses. A 75 Euro enrolment fee is charged in order to participate in the approximately 180 courses offered. A university catalogue will be provided at the beginning of the semester.


Studium Generale Zertifikate

Starting in October 2011, the ZAK introduced the option to obtain a new type of certificate in the area of General Studies: the General Studies Certificates.

These new General Studies Certificates offer students the possibility to set an individual interdisciplinary counterpoint to their professional studies and have it certified. They can choose specifically out of the five topics (see above) the one that constitutes the best complement to their course and which mostly strikes their interest.

After having decided upon the topic, three “Leistungsnachweise” (= evidence of academic achievement) that are based on regular class attendance and a graded accomplishment have to be obtained. It is necessary to be matriculated as a student at KIT, but not necessary to finish the certificates within a strict time frame.

The certificates state the chosen topic and the classes the student has taken with their respective grades and the final grade. It is possible to obtain more than one certificate. For each topic a separate certificate will be issued.


Teaching Staff

About 70 of the roughly 180 lectures and seminars of a semester programme of Studium Generale are taught by lecturers of the ZAK teaching staff. These lecturers are experts from within and outside university and offer a wide variety from the fields of science, research, economy, culture, administration, and politics, all bringing extensive professional experience into the seminars and lectures.