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.
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.
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.