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 27, 2022 - July 8, 2022 Session I
Category Metropolitan Studies & Urban Development
Course levelsBachelor, Master
Class size

max. 15 participants

Credits and certificate

Participants will receive 5 ECTS credit points and a certificate if they attend regularly (at least 80% attendance) and participate actively. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-Universität.

Application deadline May 15, 2022, or when participant quota is reached This course is fully booked.
Course fee730.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)


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.


Syllabus (PDF)

Course structure

Academic lessons

  • You will receive a total of 40 contact hours.
  • The lessons are held four times a week.
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions.


Schedule (Track D):

Monday: 9 am - 12.30 pm

Tuesday: 9 am - 3 pm

Thursday: 12.30 pm - 6.30 pm

Friday: 9 am - 12.30 pm


Cultural extra-curricular activities:

HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and your classmates better and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Boat trip, Beach Volleyball, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Advanced Bachelor students and Master 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.

This course is taught in English, including readings in English. For the understanding of the texts and the discussions in class a language level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

Participating students need to be at least 18 years old.

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