There are two ways to get your doctorate in Germany
- the 'individual doctorate' and
- the 'structured doctorate'.
The individual doctorate is the traditional method in Germany. You need to find a professor who is willing to supervise your PhD thesis and you can freely arrange a research topic and working time. Although the overall duration is usually not set at the beginning it usually takes 3 to 5 years.
In recent years, structured PhD programmes have become more common and resemble those in the Anglo Saxon world. In a structured PhD programme you are part of a larger group of PhD students who all start together and work in a field of research that is set by the programme coordinators. Most programmes last 3 years.
Find out more here.