Faculty of Information Sciences

Undergraduate course Archival Studies BA

"More than just basement and attic!"

Archives store the knowledge of the past and thereby form the basis for the knowledge of our time. Archives collect, estimate and index analogue as well as digital records. They preserve them on the long run and make them available for science and society.

In this course of study you will learn the methods of dealing with older and very new "historical" records. In doing so you will be able to recognize records which must be preserved in the long term. Furthermore you will be capable to index records in their historical context, store them sustainably in their various forms, process them for current and future users as well as provide them to the public without violating someone's rights.

Course Structure

The study program consists of:

  • basic compulsory modules that students of the Library Science and Information and Data Management departments also attend,
  • specialized compulsory and optional modules,
  • practice-oriented project modules,
  • two internships (8 weeks after the 2nd semester and 22 weeks in the 5th semester),
  • writing a thesis.

The standard period of study lasts 7 semesters. You will finish the study as Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). This allows you employment in many archives or archive-related institutions. Furthermore you will have the option to start a master's program, for example the master's degree Information Science at the University of Applied Sciences, Potsdam.

Course contents

Fundamentals: information society, media, web technology and information systems, scientific work, statistics, subject-related English, management, law

Specialized modules: archival indexing, handwritings 19th/20th century, fundamentals of history, records management, e-government, acquisition and valuation, digital archiving, digital presentation of archival material, administrative history and archive law, archive management, preservation, archive construction and use

Optional modules: imparting historical sources, archival materials and their preservation, documentary methods, digital preservation, metadata, document management, older palaeography, diplomatics, chronology, small auxiliary sciences, information visualization

Projects: depending on current themes and cooperation partners

A detailed description of the course content can be found in the module guide:

The course schedule as well as the description of each module for the undergraduate course "Archiv B.A." (new accreditation for the WS 2016/17) can be found in the module guide "Archiv B.A." (in German).

The curriculum for the currently ongoing study program "Archiv B.A." (till start of course WS 2015/16) can be found in the module guide „Archiv B.A (Stand WS 2015/16)“ (in German).

The professional field

Archivists working in:

  • state archives,
  • municipal archives,
  • church archives,
  • economic archives,
  • parliamentary, party and association archives, media archives,
  • archives of universities and other scientific institutions,
  • archives of societies and social movements

Archival knowledge is also in demand in many other institutions which manage, process and provide written records in analogue or in digital form such as registries of authorities, museums or memorials.



higher education entrance qualification or professional experience which is recognized as equivalent


  • curiosity about environments and behaviors of the distant and recent past,
  • interest in historical and social processes,
  • structured and abstract reasoning,
  • good articulation in speech and writing,
  • enthusiasm in dealing with historical writing material and writing surfaces,
  • motivation to work with digital content and technologies,
  • basic IT skills,
  • willingness and ability to communicate,
  • ability to concentrate oneself on work in the long term,
  • independence, organisational capability and capacity for teamwork.

Distance learning and master's degree program

For experienced practitioners we offer the following advanced training courses:

Distance Learning "Archive" (in German)

Postgraduate course "Archival Science MA"


Apply now until 15 August

For more information, please visit Application.

Student advisory service

Please note: You will need to have a sound to profound command of German in order to satisfy the admission

Document from 1834
Old book
Different writings