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Semester Classes

Foto: Miriam Prüßner

Regular Semester Classes

The International Undergraduate Study Program (IUSP) takes courses from the university's regular course catalogue. Usually, classes take place two hours per week.
Important: Each class, whether held in English or German, is being supported by tutorials (obligatory!) in English with four hours per week, especially for IUSP students. In the tutorials, students are working up the contents of the lecture, not only of the first eight weeks the IUSP participants are staying, but also the contents of the second half of the German semester. In addition, the tutors work more deeply on the topic with the students and deepen their knowledge.

The IUSP students give presentations and write essays on the topics according to the respective class and tutorial. Generally, marks are given for oral work (presentations, performance in class etc.) and written work (reports, bibliographies, homework, essays etc.).

Class Choice: We are adding classes as they come in from the professors, and will start publishing classes from December on for the Spring semester, and from July on for the Fall semester.* As soon as the list will be complete, we will notify all students, and ask for their class choice in an email. We will ask for their final decision after their arrival in Marburg. Only students with the language level B1.1 and above can enroll for classes held in German.

Note on Class Attendance
Please bear in mind that attendance is required in order to receive credit for IUSP classes. Failure to attend classes can result in grade cuts and/or a grade not being issued to you if you do not attend classes regularly. IUSP students do not have the option of simply sitting for the exam at the end of the semester without having attended classes. Health issues and other serious reasons for missing lectures are, of course, another matter. Please keep your teacher and/or the IUSP staff informed if you are unable to attend lectures.

*Please note:
Generally speaking, class descriptions are posted online later than what many colleges and universities outside of Germany are accustomed to. The reason for this lies in the differing academic calendars. The classes for the spring semester in Marburg are published in January; classes for the fall semester in Marburg are published in July. We recommend looking at classes from the previous academic year to get a feel for what classes will be offered in the corresponding semester of the current academic year. In most subject areas, similar courses are offered on a rotating basis one time each academic year. We do not offer the same classes every year/semester. Introductory-level courses, however, are generally repeated. Browsing through past catalogues can be helpful in giving you an idea of what courses may be offered and what courses may be counted towards your degree.
The descriptions in the class list are taken from our university course catalogue. It can be accessed, if of interest, through the word "Course Catalogue" in the menu of "Portals". 

Class List Fall 2020 

Online Classes

Subject Area: American Studies 

Subject Area: Business Administration and Economics

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen Prof. Dr. Bernhard Nietert: Entscheidung, Finanzierung und Investition (held in German)Prof. Dr. Bernhard Nietert: Entscheidung, Finanzierung und Investition (held in German)

    Course Pre-requisites: None (introductory course)

    Main problems answered
    How should you make decisions in general?
    How can you separate good real investments and good funding opportunities from bad ones?
    What is risk? How can you measure and manage it?

    Course Description
    Successfully investing in and funding of projects requires, first, that you know projects’ institutional characteristics and, second, that you have learned how to make rational choices. Therefore, this course gives you an introduction to investment and funding possibilities as well as decision theory. On that basis, classic and modern investment evaluation methods for riskless cash flows are discussed. Finally, an introduction to measurement and management risk is given. 

    Required Textbooks and Materials
    I do not follow any particular textbook but rather use material from a number of sources. Therefore, I provide participants with lecture notes, exercises (including solutions), and questions and problems available from https://www.uni-marburg.de/de/fb02/professuren/bwl/bwl02/lehre/downloads/entscheidungfinanzierung-und-investition

    Academic Plan
    1 Introduction
    1.1 Basics
    1.2 Basics of decision theory
    1.3 Types of investments and financing
    2 Investment evaluation under certainty
    2.1 Determination of cash flows under certainty
    2.2 Problems with and fundamentals of investment evaluation
    2.3 Classical investment evaluation under certainty
    2.4 Modern investment evaluation under certainty
    3 Financing evaluation under certainty
    3.1 Introduction
    3.2 Financing that is directly related to investment
    3.3 Financing that is not related to investment
    4 Risk
    4.1 Getting to know risk
    4.2 Determination of cash flows under risk
    4.3 Management of risk

    Grading Policy
    Your course grade is based on a written exam.
    Components of the course
    Lecture (in German) and tutorial (in English)

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen Prof. Dr. Oscar A. Stolper: Entrepreneurial Finance (held in English)Prof. Dr. Oscar A. Stolper: Entrepreneurial Finance (held in English)

    Course Pre-requisites
    For advanced bachelor´s students (recommended prerequisite: introductory corporate finance)

    Learnings objectives
    The objective of this course is to introduce the financial knowledge and tools an entrepreneur needs to start, build and harvest a venture. At this, we adopt a life cycle approach to entrepreneurial finance. Specifically, following an initial developing stage, successful ventures reach a startup stage in which they focus on their business model and plan. As marketing and sales begins, ventures undergo a survival stage and then typically enter a rapid-growth stage in which they start demonstrating value creation. Finally, early-maturity stage ventures seek for ways to harvest the value created and provide a return to their investors. Upon successful completion of this course, you are familiar with the financial management tools and techniques. Moreover, you will have developed a thorough understanding of potential investors and their mindset as well as the institutional environment in which ventures operate during the different stages.

    Course Description
    The challenge of envisioning a new product or service, inspiring others with entrepreneurial spirit and bringing it to market can be one of the great experiences in life. Of course, all ventures require financing – taking investors’ money today and expecting to return a significantly larger amount in the future. In the meantime, the venture must manage its financial resources, communicate effectively with all stakeholders and create the harvest value expected by investors.

    Required Textbooks and Materials
    Leach/Melicher „Entrepreneurial Finance“ (Cengage Learning)

    Academic Plan
    1 Introduction
    2 Developing the business idea
    3 Organizing and financing a new venture
    4 Preparing and using financial statements
    5 Evaluating operating and financial performance
    6 Managing cash flow
    7 Types and costs of financial capital
    8 Projecting financial statements
    9 Valuing early-stage ventures
    10 Venture capital valuation methods
    11 Professional venture capital
    12 Other financing alternatives
    13 Harvesting the business venture investment

    Grading Policy
    Your course grade is based on a written exam.

    Components of the course
    Lecture and tutorial (both in English)

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen Prof. Dr. Torsten Wulf: Problem Solving and Communication (held in English)Prof. Dr. Torsten Wulf: Problem Solving and Communication (held in English)

    Course Pre-requisites
    For advanced bachelor students

    Learning objectives
    The objective of the course “Problem Solving and Communication” is to teach the students in their problem-solving skills and present them tools for a better communication. The course
    develops practical skills necessary for leading a company successfully in a global business environment.

    Course description
    The course focuses on novel, complex problems that occur quite frequently in every-day management situations. A methodology for approaching and solving such problems is
    presented, i.e. participants will learn how to systematically define, structure, analyse, and solve novel, complex problems. A central premise of this course is, however, that any solution is only valuable if it is also communicated effectively – in other words: problem-solving and the communication of solutions have to go hand-in-hand. Therefore, participants of this course will also learn how to structure and design convincing presentations.

    Required Textbooks and Materials
    Minto, B.: The Pyramid Principle, London, 2001.
    Zelazny, G.: Say it with charts, 3rd ed., New York 1996.

    Academic Plan
    1. Identifying problems
    2. Structuring problems
    3. Analyzing problems
    4. Communicating solutions
    5. Managing in the problem-solving process

    Grading Policy
    The grading of this course is based on a team presentation. Here, you are challenged with an actual management situation. Being a member of a project team, you have to prepare and
    communicate a solution to a management task. The specific task as well as the team distribution will be laid out towards the end of the course.

    Components of the course
    Lecture and tutorial (both in English)

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen Prof. Dr. Sascha Mölls: Corporate Governance & Financial Accounting - An International Perspective (held in English)Prof. Dr. Sascha Mölls: Corporate Governance & Financial Accounting - An International Perspective (held in English)

    Lecturer:               Prof. Dr. Sascha H. Mölls

     Contact hours:      6 per week (6 SWS)

     ECTS-credits:        6 (lecture & presentation, tutorial)

     Language:             English

     

     Pre-requisites:     

     Basic knowledge of financial accounting and/or corporate financing is helpful, but not required. Participants should, however, be interested in the economic analysis on firm and/or country level.

     

    Course description:

     In the last years countries around the world have either adopted the capital market-oriented International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or adjusted their national accounting standards accordingly. With the IFRS being deeply linked to a corporate governance system typical for the US or Great Britain, companies are supposed to be primarily financed by equity and/or debt offered on well-developed capital markets. Employed managers (and not the equity holders themselves) manage companies and (strategic) decisions of firms are typically made with a strict reference to market parameters. In such systems, ownership is characterized by high rates of free float and labor markets are rather deregulated following a “hire and fire”-philosophy. Against this background the question arises if such a strictly capital market-based standardsetting is suitable for other countries in the light of national corporate governance systems which differ from the US-system due to unique path dependencies, cultures as well as socio-economic traditions. If these unique characteristics prevail or can only slowly be adjusted, national regulatory policies and changes in the institutional framework are deemed ineffective. Thus, the introduction of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or capital market-based reforms of national accounting standards as well as of the corporate law might not be suitable for all countries. Such a situation would result in a regulatory paradox of “legal form over economic substance”. 

     

    The seminar aims at exploring some of the sketched differences by an empirical analysis of selected topics from the field of “comparative corporate governance/financial accounting”. Based on samples of the 100 biggest corporations from countries around the world, given annual reports as the main “database” and prepared checklists for the analysis participants are supposed to analyze the financing patterns and the capital market environment empirically to derive and discuss implications for the standardsetting process with regard to financial accounting as well as corporate governance in general. Topics include – among others – a wide variety of issues such as ownership and control, corporate financing and additional capital market-based parameters (e.g. corporate ratings), manager remuneration schemes, the effectiveness of soft laws (e.g. codes of ethics) as well as the relevance of corporate social responsibility. Thus, the main question is: Are capital market-based financial accounting standards suitable for economies around the world given country-specific differences in corporate governance systems?

     

    Participants can either work individually or in groups of up to three students. The results of the individual or joint work have to be presented at different stages of the project and a short final essay has to be handed in. Assistance will be given on a regular basis.

     

    Literature:

     Calkoen, Willem J.L. (Ed.) [2019]: The Corporate Governance Review, 9th Edition, Law Business Research: London.  

     Goergen, Marc [2017]: International Corporate Governance, 2nd Edition, Pearson: Harlow.

     Larcker, David/Tayan, Brian [2015]: Corporate Governance Matters, 2nd Edition, Pearson: Upper Saddle River.

     Mallin, Christine A. (Ed.) [2011]: Handbook on International Corporate Governance - Country Analyses, 2nd Edition, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham/Northampton.

     Alexander, David/Nobes, Christopher [2020]: Financial Accounting – An International Introduction, 7th Edition, Pearson: Harlow.

     Penman, Stephen H. [2013]: Financial Statement Analysis and Security Valuation, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill: New York.

     Weygandt, Jerry J./Kimmel, Paul D./Kieso, Donald E. [2015]: Financial Accounting – IFRS Edition, 3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken. 

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen Prof. Dr. Sascha Mölls: Corporate Governance & Sustainability - Cases & Methods (held in English)Prof. Dr. Sascha Mölls: Corporate Governance & Sustainability - Cases & Methods (held in English)

    Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Sascha H. Mölls
    Contact hours: 6 per week (6 SWS)
    ECTS-credits: 6 (lecture & presentation, tutorial)
    Language: English
    Time and place: tba

    Pre-requisites:
    Participants should be interested in the relationship between corporate governance and sustainability activities / reporting. Basic knowledge of empirical research methods is helpful, but not required.

    Course description:
    Companies today are expected not only to maximize their value and provide relevant financial information about the ongoing business but are also presumed to engage in environmental and social activities as an integral part of their management process. Such activities are typically made transparent towards stakeholders through “corporate social responsibility” (CSR)-reporting using guidelines introduced by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Such additional reporting has not only gotten increasing attention in shareholder-oriented ‘exit’ systems of corporate governance but in particular in bank-based insider systems prevalent in continental Europe and Asia. The relationship between corporate governance-frameworks and CSR is complex and ambiguous. CSR is associated with potential benefits for the company, that, however, are long-term and uncertain. Thus, whether the costs associated with CSR outweigh its benefits crucially depends on the time horizon as well as on the effects of certain governance mechanisms (= firm characteristics) on the success of firms. In this course, we start with a thorough introduction into the fundamentals of corporate governance (as an economic interpretation of corporate law focusing on organizational and strategic features as well as financial aspects) and go on with reviewing existing empirical evidence regarding the relevance of firm-specific corporate governance attributes for the decision-making about CSR activities and reporting. Participants further apply the gained conceptual knowledge by working on case studies comparing the practice of CSR-reporting in large listed companies from different countries. Finally, the empirical base allows for a detailed discussion of insights as well as implications.

    Literature:
    Fifka, M.S. [2013]: Corporate Responsibility Reporting and its Determinants in Comparative Perspective – a Review of the Empirical Literature and a Meta-analysis, in: Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 22, pp.1–35.
    Jain, T. / Jamali, D. [2016]: Looking Inside the Black Box: The Effect of Corporate Governance on Corporate Social Responsibility, in: Corporate Governance: An International Review, Vol. 24(3), pp.253–273.
    KPMG [2017]: The road ahead. The KPMG Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017, https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2017/10/kpmg-survey-ofcorporate-
    responsibility-reporting-2017.pdf
    Rao, K. / Tilt, C. [2016]: Board Composition and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Diversity, Gender, Strategy and Decision Making, in: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 138, pp.327–347.

Subject Area: English Studies 

Subject Area: German Studies 

Subject Area: History 

Subject Area: Media Studies

Subject Area: Peace and Conflict Studies

Subject Area: Political Science 

Subject Area: Psychology

Subject Area: Religious Studies

  • Inhalt ausklappen Inhalt einklappen Dr. Carrie Dohe: The Ecological Turn in religions within and beyond Germany: Adaptation, Transformation, Innovation and Tradition (held in English and German)Dr. Carrie Dohe: The Ecological Turn in religions within and beyond Germany: Adaptation, Transformation, Innovation and Tradition (held in English and German)

    We are inundated by news about climate change and the loss of biological diversity, while confronted with ads from companies that claim their products are “green.” Do we even know what “green” means? Is an entity, such as a religious community, “green” if it has divested from oil and coal, purchases sustainably-made products, or uses low-energy light bulbs? And what do these practices have to do with religion?

    In this class on religious environmentalism, we explore environmentalist-related terms to begin discussing the “greening of religions” hypothesis. We further question what religion is and does in this context. Are some religions “anthropocentric” and therefore inherently hostile to nature, while others are “biocentric” and thus environmentally friendly? How do actors reinterpret mundane practices as religious ones, what kinds of new ecologically-oriented religious traditions have been invented, and how do interfaith environmentalist initiatives work?

    The questions we explore concern:

    1. the religious and secular sources actors use to formulate religious environmental ethics, such as Indra’s Net as a Buddhist understanding of the planetary web of life, or Noah’s Ark as justifying defense of the US Endangered Species Act;

    2. the kinds of practices that ensue from these ethics, including the Christian Day of Creation, interfaith prayer services for climate protection, and plastic-free Ramadan;

    3. the kinds of networks religious actors create to convey their new ethics and practices: Interfaith Power and Light in the US, GreenFaith, Religions for Biological Diversity in Germany, etc.;

    4. how and why other entities, such as NGOs and the UN, partner with religious communities to promote the preservation of the planet; and

    5. other cultural, social and political factors that encourage or hinder (Inter)religious environmentalism. Examples include Islamophobia in the West as both an obstacle to and stimulus for environmentalism and post-Communist materialism, dislike of Pope Francis and coal production as nationalist ideology in Poland.

    By the time students finish the class, they can nuance any claims made about religions being green or brown. They have a working knowledge of environmentalist terms and scholarly debates in the study of religious environmentalism. They have studied primary materials and empirical studies illustrating the above-listed points of inquiry and they understand better why a divide often exists between what religious actors say and what they do on environmentalism.

    The texts are in English and German. Reading of the texts and active participation in the seminar are required. The teaching language is German and English. The language used will be adjusted according to the needs of the students.
    ---------------------------------

    Wir werden von Nachrichten über den Klimawandel und den Verlust der biologischen Vielfalt überschwemmt, während wir mit Werbungen von Unternehmen konfrontiert werden, die behaupten, ihre Produkte seien "grün". Wissen wir überhaupt, was "grün" bedeutet? Ist eine Organisation, wie eine Religionsgemeinschaft, "grün", wenn sie sich von Öl und Kohle disinvestiert, nachhaltig hergestellte Beschaffung kauft oder Energiesparlampen verwendet? Und was haben diese Praktiken mit Religion zu tun?

    In diesem Seminar über religiösen Umweltschutz diskutieren wir umweltbezogene Begriffe, um mit der Diskussion über die Hypothese der "Begrünung der Religionen" zu beginnen. Wir fragen uns weiter, was Religion in diesem Zusammenhang ist und tut. Sind manche Religionen „anthropozentrisch“ und daher naturfeindlich, während andere „biozentrisch“" und deswegen umweltfreundlich? Wie interpretieren Akteure weltliche Praktiken als religiöse, welche neuen ökologisch orientierten religiösen Traditionen wurden erfunden und wie funktionieren interreligiöse Umweltinitiativen?

    Die Fragen, die wir untersuchen, betreffen:

    1. die religiösen und weltlichen Quellen, die Akteure verwenden, um religiöse Umweltethik zu formulieren, wie Indras Netz als buddhistische Vorstellung des planetarischen Lebensnetzes oder Noahs Arche als Rechtfertigung für die Verteidigung des US Endangered Species Act;

    2. die Arten von Praktiken, die sich aus dieser Ethik ergeben, einschließlich des christlichen Schöpfungstag, interreligiöser Gebetsdienste für den Klimaschutz und des plastikfreien Ramadan;

    3. die Arten von Netzwerken, die religiöse Akteure schaffen, um ihre neue Ethik und Praxis zu vermitteln: Interreligiöse Macht und Licht in den USA, GreenFaith, Religionen für biologische Vielfalt in Deutschland usw.;

    4. wie und warum andere Einrichtungen wie NRO und die Vereinten Nationen mit Religionsgemeinschaften zusammenarbeiten, um die Erhaltung des Planeten zu fördern; und

    5. andere kulturelle, soziale und politische Faktoren, die den (inter-)religiösen Umweltschutz fördern oder behindern. Beispiele hierfür sind die Islamophobie im Westen als Hindernis und Ansporn für Umweltschutz und postkommunistischen Materialismus, Abneigung gegen Papst Franziskus und Kohleproduktion als nationalistische Ideologie in Polen.

    Wenn Ende des Semesters das Seminar zum Schluss kommt, können die Studierenden alle Behauptungen über Die Religionen, die grün oder braun sein solleen, nuancieren. Sie verfügen über ein funktionierendes Wissen über Umweltsbegriffe und wissenschaftliche Debatten im der Religionswissenschaft bez. religiösbezogenen Umweltschutz. Sie haben Primärquellen und empirische Studien studiert, welche die oben genannten Untersuchungspunkte veranschaulichen, und sie verstehen besser, warum es oft eine Kluft gibt zwischen dem, was religiöse Akteure sagen, und dem, was sie im Bereich des Umweltschutzes tun.

    Die Texte sind in englischer und deutscher Sprache verfasst. Das Lesen der Texte und die aktive Teilnahme am Seminar sind erforderlich. Die Unterrichtssprache ist Deutsch und Englisch.. Die verwendete Sprache wird an die Bedürfnisse der Studierenden angepasst.

    Literatur 
    Religion in the Anthropocene, ed. Celia Deane-Drummond, Sigurd Bergmann & Markus Vogt

    Routledge Handbook of Religion Ecology, ed. Willis Jenkins, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

    Religion and Spiritualität: Ressourcen für die Große Transformation? Mitherausgegeben von Misereor und Brot für die Welt

    Religion in Environmental and Climate Change: Suffering, Values and Lifestyles. Ed. Dieter Gerten and Sigurd Bergmann

    Biodivinity and Biodiversity: The Limits of Religious Environmentalism. Emma Tomalin

In-Class Teaching

At the moment, the following classes are planned as in-class sessions. (All is dependent on official policies regarding the current global health crisis. Classes might be switched to online classes.) 

Subject Area: American Studies

Subject Area: Business Administration and Economics

Subject Area: English Studies

Subject Area: German Studies 

Subject Area: History

Subject Area: Political Science

Subject Area: Religious Studies

Class Lists from Previous Semesters

Spring 2020

Fall 2019

Spring 2019

Fall 2018

German Conversation Classes

The main goal of our Conversation Classes is to improve students' ability to communicate and interact in German. The classes focus on teaching students conversational techniques and strategies, improving students’ listening abilities, and strengthening students’ grasp of German grammar and vocabulary. The conversation classes will have the same language levels as the intensive German language classes.