Joint European Master in Comparative Local Development

Master CoDe


General introduction

The Joint European Master Programme in Comparative Local Development is a 2-year Erasmus+ Master Programme organized by the consortium of Corvinus University of Budapest (Hungary), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), University of Regensburg (Germany) and University of Trento (Italy).  

As a multidisciplinary programme CoDe brings together scholars and participants from various fields. Partners of the programme believe that the multifaceted challenges of local development necessitate a comprehensive approach and accordingly, involve scholars and experts from the fields of Economics, Social Sciences and Law as well as from other disciplines relevant to local development (e.g., environmental engineering).

Furthermore, Master CoDe is an encouraging international studying community. Since 2001 259 students attended the master programme: 161 from Europe, 26 from Africa, 63 from Asia and 9 from America. Women participation in the programme has so far been above 50%.

Objectives of Master CoDe

The Master CoDe programme offers knowledge and skills for introducing, supporting and co-ordinating processes of change and transformation at the local level. The focus of the programme falls on local development, specifically: considering public, private and non-governmental actors as fundamental agents of change; questions related to social stability and economic prosperity, in conformity with the European standards and best practice. The general approach is comparative and interdisciplinary.

The programme bridges universities, local authorities, firms and other organizations all over the world with its extended partnership.

Programme structure

I. Didactic activities are structured around mandatory and optional courses, and other activities (such as internship). Courses planned to be offered are:

Semester Course name ECTS Location of the course
  Mandatory modules (60 ECTS)    
1st 1. Economic foundations of local development  9 Budapest
1st 2. Social and political foundations of local development  9 Budapest
1st 3. Research methodology, project evaluation and impact assessment  6 Budapest
2nd 4. Data analysis and territorial statistics  6 Regensburg
2nd 5. The management of diversity in societies 9 Regensburg
3rd 6. Legal analysis of local development  6 Trento
3rd 7. Economic and social analysis of institutions  6 Trento
3rd 8. Local sustainable development 9 Trento
1st / 2nd or 3rd Language course (German, Italian) 3 At any partner university
  Elective (optional) courses (27 ECTS)    
1st / 2nd or 3rd Students are requested to choose elective courses offered by the hosting institution which will provide a list of suitable courses at the beginning of the semester. 27
(in TOTAL)
At any partner university

Didactic activities may also include laboratories and guest lectures. 

II. Participants have the opportunity to attend Hungarian, Slovenian, or other language courses upon their request as extracurricular activity.

III. Internship (10 ECTS): internship is held in qualified organisations (institutions of local and regional government, public/private partnerships, decentralised administrations of national government, industrial districts, trans-border co-operation-projects, policies for enterprises and local development, services to enterprises, research centres, local banks, NGOs active at local level or for the promotion of local development) located in the countries of the partner and associated universities or in international organisations (350 hours).

Students are invited to find other suitable placement opportunities, which meet their research objectives upon authorization by the International Academic Committee of the Master CoDe programme. 

IV. Project Work (Master thesis) (20 ECTS): analysis, research and fieldwork aimed at the elaboration of an original and innovative analysis on local development. 

Schedule of activities

I semester  (1st semester, 1st year)
Mandatory courses 1 – 3, language and optional courses; examinations
September 2017 – January 2018
II semester  (2nd semester, 1st year)
Mandatory courses 4 – 5; language and optional courses; examinations
February 2018 – July 2018
III semester (1st semester, 2nd year)
Mandatory courses 6-8; language and optional courses; examinations
September 2018– January 2019
IV semester (2nd semester, 2nd year)
Internship; Project Work
February 2019 - June 2019
Project Work completion June 2019
Project Work defence and Graduation Ceremony September 2019,


Joint Master Degree in Comparative Local Development

Upon the successful completion of all Master activities, including the Project Work defence, the Academic Authorities of the organising Institutions will award a Joint Master Degree corresponding to:

  • in the Hungarian University system: mesterképzés (M.A.) (Összehasonlító helyi fejlesztési tanulmányok szakon) according to the 78. § of the Higher Education Act No. 204 of 2011 and the Decision no. FF/487-1/2013 of Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal);
  • in the Slovenian University system: skupni magistrski program
  • in the German University system: Mastergrad according to Art. 18 paragraph 1 HRG, Art. 86 paragraph 1, 86 a paragraph 3 BayHSchG;
  • in the Italian University system: Master di primo livello according to the DM 509/99 and subsequent revisions, DM 270/04.

Quality Assurance and Equality Issues

The quality of education and services available to the students of the Master CoDe has always been given high priority by the Consortium. As an Erasmus Mundus Master Course the programme undergoes regular quality reviews and the consortium members pay attention to students feedbacks in order to provide high quality courses and services and to respecting the requirements concerning the pedagogic content, the hosting quality, the usage of language and equal opportunity principles.

With respect to human rights and gender equality, the Consortium guarantees a balanced gender participation in Master CoDe, without prejudice to academic excellence.

With respect to human rights and equal opportunities, the Consortium does its best to support socio-economically disadvantaged, but highly skilled students who are not able to finance their studies on their own. On the one hand, the consortium offers Erasmus Mundus scholarships for limited number of applicants thanks to the support of the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union. On the other hand, disadvantaged students who are not selected to receive an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, but whose proven academic excellence nevertheless allows them to participate in the Master Course, can ask for a partial exemption from the tuition fees after the selection process is closed. Exemption requests will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Admission requirements

In order to qualify for the programme candidates have to comply with the following requirements:

1. a first level (Bachelor) university degree in Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Law, Engineering or an equivalent qualification, i.e. relevant to local development. The degree should correspond to a 180 ECTS study programme. In case of applicants from countries where ECTS is not in place, only the holders of a degree of at least three years, eligible to proceed with master studies in the country of origin, are considered to meet the selection criteria. Only applicants who obtained their degree until the deadline for application can be accepted.

2. satisfactory knowledge of English. Compatibility with this criterion for applying to the programme is initially assessed through self-statement. Shortlisted candidates are requested to provide evidence of their English skills, either through international certificates (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS or similar) or through an online test and skype interview. The level of English knowledge requested for enrolment is B2.

Candidates meeting these requirements will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  1. Higher educational background and language skills;
  2. Project Work proposal;
  3. Motivation and references;
  4. Post-degree courses and activities;
  5. An interview may be requested (in person or through telephone or skype) for shortlisted candidates

Language Policy

English is the language of instruction for the Master CoDe. Nonetheless, participants are required to attend a module of Italian or German language (3 ECTS – 50 hours). Slovenian, Hungarian or other language modules might be offered upon students’ request.

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