MEST - Master Européen en Sciences du Travail (Specialization "European Labour Studies")

By participating in the MEST program, students get the chance to spend their third semester at one of our partner universities and to earn the international certificate „Master Européen en Sciences du Travail”. Relevant information to support the students throughout their MEST experience is summarized below.


The semester abroad generally starts halfway through the third semester of the MA Social Policy program in January or February depending on the partner university. Annual application deadline for the participation in the MEST program is September 15. The application must include the following documents:

  • Certificate of enrolment
  • Confirmation of the successful completion of the seminar “European labour studies and comparative employment relations” (6 ECTS)
  • Confirmation of the successful completion of two additional seminars of the MA Social Policy that were taught in English
  • Proven language proficiency in English, French, Spanish or Italian (depending on the host university) or confirmation of the successful completion of the English class “English for European labour studies and social policy".


Selection process
Due to high tuition fees, there is only a limited number of places available in England, Ireland and the Netherlands. Therefore, the number of available study places at these universities is renegotiated each year by the partner universities of the MEST network. This is usually not the case at the other partner universities. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of study places offered to students from Bremen, or the students’ first or second choice of the foreign study place cannot be served, a selection must be made. In the case of a selection, the Master Examination Board decides on the admission to participate in the MEST program.

Language requirements at our partner universities
To attend the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE), the University College Dublin (UCD), the University of Warwick and the Universiteit Amsterdam, English proficiency at C1 level is required, which needs to be documented by a TOEFL or IELTS certificate. In recent years, however, these universities have also accepted the C1 certificate of the language course "English for European Labour Studies and Social Policy".

All other partner universities accept proven language proficiency at B2-level as a formal requirement. Generally, language skills at C1 level are recommended to successfully study a Master’s degree abroad. Students intending to study at Toulouse, Barcelona, Lisbon or Florence need to prove their proficiency in the respective language. Fremdsprachenzentrum, Institut français and Instituto Cervantes offer placement tests and language courses. To study in Milan, Ljubljana, Louvain-la-Neuve and Bucharest, proven English proficiency suffices.

Preparing to study abroad

Students planning to study abroad in their third semester should start gathering information about our partner universities’ programs no later than the start of the second semester. Application deadline is September 15 of each year. After being accepted at one of our partner universities, students should get in touch with their coordinators at the partner university to clarify questions regarding admission, accommodation and offered courses.

Student and MEST coordinator, agree on a preliminary schedule for the semester abroad in a so-called “Learning agreement” – in correspondence with the partner university. Depending on the partner university, this might include compulsory classes of the partner university’s Master’s degree program. The semester abroad will usually be funded by the ERASMUS-program. At the beginning of the winter term, participants will receive all the necessary paperwork to apply for funding. Additional information regarding eligibility conditions can be obtained at the International Office (Contact: Cornelia Krain:

Duration of the study abroad

The summer term at our partner universities usually starts early as compared to the University of Bremen. In London, Dublin, Warwick and Amsterdam, the semester already starts in the beginning of January due to the trimester structure of their programs. Other universities usually start their term in February. These different timeframes need to be taken into account to ensure a seamless transition back to University of Bremen. Depending of the program structure at the partner university, students can already return to Bremen for the summer term. In some cases, students can take additional classes at the partner university in correspondence with their coordinators. Students of our partner universities spend the summer term in Bremen and elect classes of the MA Social Policy that are taught in English. Thus, students have the chance to get firsthand information about studying abroad.

Prerequisites for successful completion of the MEST-program

ECTS that are earned at the partner university can be accredited in Bremen (Module M7). To complete the “European Labour Studies” specialization and to receive the international MEST-certificate, additional requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Successful completion of courses at the partner university worth at least 20 ECTS
  • Writing the Master’s thesis on a topic relevant in “European labour studies”
  • Writing a report (5 pages) about the courses, lecturers, tutoring, accommodation as well as other aspects of studying abroad