ONLINE COURSE: Arts, Culture and Creative Industries in Berlin

Berlin, known as a creative city, has a past influenced by many different factors. How has its creativity developed since its reunification in 1990? Come join this course to examine how history formed Berlin as a creative city and what challenges it faces today to keep the label. Be ready to use interdisciplinary skills to find the answers!

Course periodJune 14, 2021 - June 25, 2021 Session I
Category Metropolitan Studies & Urban Development
Course levelsBachelor, Master
Class size

up to 15 participants

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points after successful completion of the online course. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the online course a Transcript of Records will be issued by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Application deadline May 15, 2021, or when participant quota is reached
Course fee600.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)

Online Course Fee


Since the German reunification, Berlin has become a magnet for arts and culture and widely known as a creative city. This course has been developed to give students a comprehensive introduction into the cultural economic development of Berlin since 1990 and the different policies (cultural, economic, planning) that promoted culture, creative industries and Berlin’s ‘Creative City’ development.

The first part of the module will focus the historical roots of cultural development in Berlin and examines the roles played by art practitioners, cultural entrepreneurs and public policy. The second part will address contemporary challenges for arts and cultural development in the city and critically discuss the impacts that creative city strategies have on cities.

The course follows an interdisciplinary approach in urban studies, drawing upon research literature from sociology, geography, cultural studies and urban planning.


Preliminary Syllabus (PDF)

Course structure

The course content is equivalent to an on-site course offering 40 contact hours.

The study time includes:

  • virtual class room lessons with the lecturer and the fellow students (50%)
  • group exercises (25%)
  • assignments and self-study (25%)


Track D

Weekly schedule of virtual class room sessions:

  • Course days: Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Time: tba - each session will last 2.15h and will take place within the time frame of
    12.30 pm - 6.30 pm (Berlin time, UTC+2)
    6.30 pm – 0.30 am (Beijing time, UTC+8)
    8.30 pm – 2.30 am (Sydney time, UTC+10)
    5.30 am – 11.30 am (Chicago time, UTC-5)
Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Master students and advanced undergraduate students of all subjects with an academic background and a strong interest in the various aspects of Cultural Policy, including e.g. cultural studies, geography, politics, urban planning, social sciences and economics..

In order to follow the course, a very good command of English is required. The minimum age requirement is 18 years.

Dr. Janet Merkel

Janet Merkel is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning at Technical University Berlin. Between 2015 and 2018 she has held a lectureship for culture and creative industries at City, University of London where she taught in the BA Culture and Creative Industries and the MA Culture, Policy and Management program. She obtained a PhD from Humboldt University Berlin in urban sociology. Between 2007 and 2014, she has been working at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) in the research unit ‘Cultural Sources of Newness’ and was a research fellow at Center for Cultural Policy at Hertie School of Governance, Berlin.

Her research interests include cultural work, creative industries, sociology of creativity and new forms of work organization (co-working) as well as urban politics and governance for culture and creative industries. She employs qualitative research approaches such as case study analysis, interviews and document analysis. Her research has been published in both peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Ephemera, Urban Studies) and internationally edited volumes (e.g., Sage, Routledge, Edward Elgar).

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin