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Tectonics courses & courses with tectonic content offered at the FU-Berlin

  Obligatory /elective courses only for students in the MSc program “Geodynamics & Geomaterials” seeking an MSc in the Tectonics and Sedimentology groups. The other courses listed below are required for all BSc and MSc students of the Geological Sciences. We emphasize that all four courses "Beginning Field Mapping", "Advanced Field Mapping", "Beginning Map Interpretation & Profile Construction" and "Advanced Map Interpretation & Profile Construction" are required if one seeks acceptance as an MSc candidate in either Tectonics or Sedimentary Systems.


BSc Program (in German)

  • Earth Science I & II (1st & 2nd semester, 4 SWS, Faculty): Introduction to structure of the Earth, Plate Tectonics and its driving forces, 120-150 students
  • Beginning Map Interpretation & Profile Construction (2nd semester, 2 SWS, Pleuger): Basic map reading, run as parallel courses for 120-150 students
  • Practical I: Field course (2nd semester, 2 SWS, Faculty), c. 30 students
  • Beginning Field Mapping I (4th semester, 2 weeks, Pleuger): Basic mapping skills, course for 18 students
  • Geology of Europe (3rd semester, 2 SWS lecture, 2 SWS practical, Pleuger)
  • Tectonics I (5th semester, 2 SWS lecture, 2 SWS practical, N.N.): stress & strain, rock mechanics, fracturing, faulting, folding, shearing, measurement and projection of structures (Note: this is a basic course in Structural Geology)
  • Geological laboratory methods (4th or 6th semester, 2 SWS practical, N.N., Giribaldi) usually 8 students
  • Advanced Map Interpretation & Profile Construction (3rd or 5th semester, 2 SWS, Pleuger, N.N.): Basic map reading, usually 20 students


MSc Program (in English)

  • Tectonics of sedimentary basins (1st semester, 2 SWS lecture, 2 SWS practical, Le Breton), c. 40 students
  • Advanced Mapping & Seminar (2nd semester, 2 weeks, N.N.): Usually in complexly faulted and folded areas, 15-20 students
  • Tectonics II (3rd semester, 2 SWS lecture, 2 SWS practical, Pleuger): Plate kinematics, heat flow & mechanisms, rheology, gravimetry & isostacy, etc., for c. 30 students
  • Earth Dynamics Modelling (3rd or 5th semester, 2 SWS lecture, 2 SWS practical, N.N.), basic parametrization and thermomechanical modelling of tectonic processes, including mantle convection, magmatism,oceanic spreading, subduction, orogenesis, transform faulting etc., c. 20 students

  • Fabrics & Rheology of Geological Materials (4th semester, 2 SWS lecture, 2 SWS practical, N.N.): micro-deformation mechanisms, experimental rock deformation, mineral and rock rheology, usually 15-20 students

  • Seminar for current research projects (2 SWS, Faculty): weekly seminar on Thursday afternoons, usually 20 students
  • Field trips to areas of special geological significance (2 weeks, Faculty)
  •  Special Themes in Geology (4 SWS, includes seminars): usually offered irregularly or on demand for 10-15 or more students
    • Geology of Mountain Belts – case studies (N.N.)
    • Introduction to spatial data analysis with Matlab und ArcGIS (SoSe, Scherler)
    • Tectonic Geomorphology (WiSe, Scherler)
    • Other courses on special offer, also at other Berlin-Potsdam institutions



  • LP = Leistungspunkte, credits (for students)
  • SWS = Semesterwochenstunden (for faculty), means “number of hours of up-front teaching time per week during the semester” (full-time profs have 9 SWS, postdocs have 4 SWS)
  • Field and Short Courses: 2 SWS per week i.e., for a week of full-day courses