How to study in Germany after SPM or IGCSE for Malaysian students?

how to study in Germany

Many international students want to study in Germany as it is well known for its top-quality education which is recognised worldwide as well as offering a wide range of courses for students to choose from. One of the most popular courses amongst Malaysian students is the engineering courses. Among them are mechanical engineering, mechatronics engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, biomedical engineering and industrial engineering and there are many Malaysian students applying to those courses. Students can apply to many other courses as well, such as Business Studies, Mathematics, Design and Languages. As there are many benefits to study in Germany, Malaysian students often aim to further their studies to Germany immediately after completing their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM or International General Certificate of Secondary Education, IGCSE. Here are the requirements SPM and IGCSE leavers will have to fulfil before applying to study at a German university.

Many international students want to study in Germany as it is well known for its top-quality education which is recognised worldwide.​

University Entrance Qualification (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung HZB)

In order to be able to study in Germany, or to be exact, to study a Bachelor’s degree at a German university, students will need to have a recognized university entrance qualification, or in German, the “Hochschulzugangsberechtigung“. SPM or IGCSE alone is not sufficient to meet the university entrance qualification. Malaysian students will have to complete their pre-university program if they wish to study in Germany.

Not all pre-university qualifications are recognised in Germany. According to Anabin, which is the database you can use to find out how your school-leaving certificate will be evaluated in Germany, some of the examples of pre-university qualifications which allows Malaysian students to gain direct entry to a Bachelor’s degree program in German universities as are follows

  1. Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)
  2. General Certificate of Education (A-levels)
  3. Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) with Universities Admission Advice Letter (UAAL)
  4. International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB diploma)

There are other pre-university qualifications which are recognised too. Do check with us if you have studied something else which is not listed above.

In addition to having the right pre-university qualification, students will need to have the right subjects combination as well. This is dependant on the Bachelor’s degree they wish to apply for as well as the pre-university qualification they decided to take. For example, students who wish to study engineering or medicine in Germany will have to take Mathematics and Science subjects during their pre-university. Students applying for business-related courses should take Mathematics and other business-related subjects.

Other pre-university qualifications such as the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), matriculation, Diploma and Foundation programs from private colleges in Malaysia are generally not recognised in Germany. Students who have a Diploma from MARA, UTM and a few other polytechnics can study in Germany by completing their Studienkolleg in Germany. Studienkolleg takes about one year to complete so a Diploma program, (which takes one year) followed by a Studienkolleg, (another year) will not be an advisable pathway to study in Germany.

the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), matriculation, Diploma and Foundation programs from private colleges in Malaysia are generally not recognised in Germany​

Important to note here is that the Studienkolleg is not a replacement for the pre-university qualifications listed above. It is not possible for Malaysia students to enrol to a Studienkolleg immediately after their SPM, O-level or IGCSE programs. Students will need to take one of the recommended pre-university qualifications.

It is not possible for Malaysia students to enrol to a Studienkolleg immediately after their SPM, O-level or IGCSE programs.​

German Language Proficiency

Most Bachelor’s degree courses offered by German universities are conducted in German. For those courses, it is necessary for students to be sufficiently proficient in the German language prior to applying to the universities. The following German language certificates are accepted by the universities:

  • DSH (at least DSH2)
  • TestDaF (at least TDN 4-4-4-4)
  • Goethe Zertifikat C1 or C2, depending on the universities
  • The DSD German language diploma (“Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz”)

Generally, international students are required to learn German up to the C1 level. It takes one year to reach the C1 level from zero if the students attend an intensive German program of at least 20 hours each week and they will have to consistently perform well during the duration of their language program.

Some students prefer to start learning German only after completing their STPM, A-level, IB or equivalent pre-university qualifications. This way, they are able to fully concentrate on doing well in their pre-university examinations as well as their language examination. Some other students prefer to study their pre-university and the German language in parallel as they want to shorten the preparation time and start their Bachelor’s degree earlier.

Other requirements to study in Germany

On top of the above university entrance qualification and German language proficiency, some courses in certain universities will require additional requirements. For example, in order to enrol to study Mechanical Engineering, applicants are often required to complete a 6 to 8 weeks industrial pre-internship (Vorpraktikum) and this requirement has to be met prior to their university enrolment.

Applicants interested in applying to courses in the art field like design or fashion will often have to sit for an aptitude test and submit their design portfolio during their application. Likewise, applicants of music degrees in Germany will often need to audition in Germany. It’s much more time-consuming compared to other more academic degree courses.

It’s highly recommended for students to check the study requirement from the universities they are applying to find out the exact requirements as set by them. There are students who have fulfilled 4 out of 5 requirements only to find out about that one last requirement too late.

If you have any questions about the requirements to study in Germany, we will be happy to assist anytime. Kindly contact us at [email protected]