M.Sc. Geographical Sciences

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The master's program "Geographical Sciences", which is hosted by the Institute of Geographical Sciences and has a prescribed period of study of 4 semesters, will award the degree Master of Science (M. Sc.) to the student, if completed successfully. The language of instruction is German, English is optional.

The following information pertains to the Study and Examination Regulations of 2011 (effective from the study period starting with the winter semester 2011/12).


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The discovery-led master's program "Geographical Sciences" enables alumni, especially with a bachelor's degree in geography or an equal degree, to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and expertise through a scientific specialization and in-depth studies in the three geographical focal areas "Geographical Development Research", "Terrestrial Systems" and "Environmental Hydrology". It conveys to students subject-specific and interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological competence and trains a general scientific and a subject-specific capacity of judgement in theoretical and practical terms.

Geographical Development Research

The focal area "Geographical Development Research" explores spatial structures and processes in developing and transition countries on the basis of social science theories, models and methods. In particular, students learn to work with theories of development research, human-environment relationships, regional geography, decentralization and municipal management and address questions of regional planning, development practice, development politics and development cooperation.

Terrestrial Systems
The focal area "Terrestrial Systems" covers spacial structures and processes on the basis of natural scientific theories, models and methods in reference to the development of physical and cultivated landscapes against a paleo- and an actual-climatic background. Methods for ascertainment and assessment of proxy data and complementary methods of paleo-environmental research are also taught. The distinction between processes with and without human influence are treated chronologically and regionally to make the results useful for measures of planning and prognosis.

Environmental Hydrology
The focal area "Environmental Hydrology" is concerned with water above and beneath the land surface, its manifestations, circulation and dissemination in time and space building on basic knowledge of the hydrological cycle and the regulating factors of precipitation, discharge and evaporation. The natural scientific basics, models and methods are used to deal with questions arising in the context of human handling of the ressource water (problem of used water quantities, water quality, sustainable water exploitation). For example, the limited water supply in different terrestrial landscapes constitutes a broad field of research which will gain considerable significance in the future (physical and economical water shortage). In addition, the goal is to make the attained findings useful for measures of planning and prognosis.     

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The modularized master's program "Geographical Sciences" with the three areas of concentration "Geographical Development Research", "Terrestrial systems" and "Environmental Hydrology" encompasses 120 credit points (abbr. LP) and subdivides into the modules of a cross-disciplinary curriculum (25 LP), of the respective area of concentration including modules of affine areas of study (65 LP) and the master's thesis including the thesis' defense (30 LP).

1. The cross-disciplinary curriculum comprises of the following modules:

·         „Geographical data processing for advanced learners“ (10 LP)

·         „Human-Environmental-Relations“ (5 LP)

·         „Working as a geographer in professional practice" (10 LP)

2. In the area of concentration "Geographical Development Research" several modules are to be completed.

  • Additionally, elective modules from affine areas of study in a total of 20 LP are to be completed.

3. In the area of concentration "Terrestrial systems" several modules are to be completed.

  • Additionally, elective modules from affine areas of study in a total of 20 LP are to be completed.

4. In the area of concentration "Environmental hydrology" several modules are to be completed.

  • Additionally, elective modules from affine areas of study in a total of 15 LP are to be completed.

      Individual modules of the areas of concentration are listed in the current

      Study and Examination Regulations of 2011 here (in German only).

By choosing elective modules a disciplinal concentration is achieved which serves to deepen and specialize competencies and to broaden students' personal and professional profiles.

At the end of the program a master's thesis is to be handed in.

Study and examination regulations, study plans

Contents and qualificational goals of individual modules are regulated in the study and examination regulations.

The master's program's structure is illustrated additionally by the exemplary study plans.

   Both are to be found here (in German only).

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  • Application deadline

For the first semester only: 15th of April until 31st of May (for the winter term)

For higher semesters only: 1st of July until 15th of August (for the winter term) and

                                            1st of January until 15th of February (for the summer term)

Here adresses and information across the topic of matriculation are to be found.

  • Prerequisites for admission

Admission requires a B. Sc. in Geographical Sciences or an equivalent first university degree. Further information concerning admission and selection procedures are to be found in the articles of admission (in German only).

  • Tuition fees

Fees to be paid during the course of study you find under matriculation fees.

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  • General information and adresses regarding your application you find here.

  • For all study programs of the Geographical Sciences (including areas of concentration) departmental academic advising is offered by lecturers. Additionally academic advising and support from students for students (mainly for beginners) ist offered by the mentors. Contact to lecturers and mentors here.

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Graduates of the master's program are qualified to enter a professional occupation or a doctoral program. Potential areas of occupation are in government agencies, organisations, corporations, production plants, NGOs, development agencies, engineering offices, insurances, administration as well as in politics. Graduates can generally be employed in the public sector, especially in universities, research institutions and subject-related federal or state agencies. International research insitutions and organisations do also offer a range of potential occupations.

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