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Geography (MSc)

Taught in German.

Students cannot be admitted to this course of study anymore. 

This course of study has been replaced by the new Master's degree programmes Human Species – Climate – Paleoenvironment (MSc) and Economic Geography and Spatial Development Policy (MSc)


Master of Science (MSc)

Duration of studies

4 semesters - 120 Credit Points (CP)


since 28.02.2012 

Aim and content of the degree programme   

The aims of the Master’s degree programme in Geography are as follows:
  • To equip holders of a Bachelor’s degree for a career in a wide range of future fit labour markets in the field of geography and related subjects (private business, administration, research), with particular emphasis on an international outlook;
  • To provide further qualifications for future scholars by imparting the special skills required by geographical research methods.
The degree programme conveys more advanced knowledge of the most important geographical research methods. It imparts knowledge and skills in interdisciplinary, project-oriented methods of working, particularly with regard to research theory and the choice of methods, the development of spatial analytical methods, and the use of spatial analysis methods. By making consistent use of synergies in the courses on offer, it enables priority areas to be determined in the following four attractive geographical thematic areas or spheres of competence.
  • A  Spatial analysis of development processes
  • B  Geomorphology, climate change and natural hazards
  • C  Regional development analysis and planning
  • D  Climate analysis and spatial planning
By concentrating on one of these priority areas in a portfolio that is otherwise unavailable at any geographical institution in Germany, graduates will enhance their position on the international geographical labour markets in those fields.   

Entrance requirements

A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study is required for admission. A Bachelor’s degree in geography from a German university is considered to meet the admission requirements. As part of the application and admission process following a review of the individual case, the Examination Board may recognise other qualifications (including those obtained outside Germany) as equivalent; it may also make admission to the Master’s degree programme dependent on the fulfilment of certain additional requirements.

Application and admission

  • This course of study is not limited internally by the JLU.
  • The general application deadlines of the JLU Gießen end by 15 July for the winter semester and 15 January for the summer semester.
  • Please note that the application period for the Master's course can be extended. This information will be published here (in German).
  • Special regulations apply to foreign applicants or those who gained their university-entrance qualifications abroad. More on this...

Commencement of studies

In the winter semester. Permission to begin studies in the summer semester may be given after consideration by the Chair of the Examination Board.    

Composition of degree programme

The Master of Science in Geography consists of a total of 18 modules, 15 of which are in the main subject. The definition, accumulation and award of credit points (CP) are based on the ECTS system. Of the 15 modules, 13 are taught modules. To these are added the period of professional placement (9 CP) and the Master’s thesis (30 CP).

Study Schedule MSc Geography

1st semester:

  • Orientation module - 9 CP
  • Introduction module sphere of competence – 9 CP
  • General skills: English for Geographers - 3 CP
  • One of the following modules (3 CP):
  1. General skills: Process management in scholarship and professional life
  2. General skills: Advanced statistics
2nd semester:
  • Project 1 - 9 CP
  • Project 2 - 9 CP
  • Two of the following modules (3 CP each):
  1. General skills: Labour market positioning
  2. General skills: Academic theory and methodology
  3. General skills: Learning by teaching
3rd semester:
  • Independent studies – 6 CP
  • Thesis preparation seminar – 3 CP
  • General skills: Scholarship in practice – 3 CP
  • General skills: Elective module – 3 CP
  • Professional placement (internship) – 9 CP
4th semester:
  • Thesis – 30 CP
18 CP must be acquired abroad (either in the semester spent abroad (18 CP) or through the combination of a project module involving a period spent abroad (9 CP) and a period of professional placement abroad (9 CP)). In addition, a total of 18 CP in subsidiary subjects must be acquired in the course of the semesters.                                 

Occupational fields / labour market   

The main sources of employment are, on the one hand, the various levels of the civil service and, on the other hand, a broad range of different private business companies (see overview). In addition, numerous geographers work independently in one of the areas listed below.

Typical professional fields and areas of work in the civil service:

Land use planning
District planning
Federal state planning
Regional planning
Urban planning
Traffic planning
Real estate management
Nature conservation
Environmental research / environmental protection
Environmental impact assessment
Spatial planning
Business promotion
Development research
Location research
Development planning
Databanks, etc.
Libraries and archives
Adult education
Supply and waste management
Landscape planning
PR work
In the private sector or as self-employed persons, geographers work in fields such as:

Atlas / educational publishing
Vocational training
Waste management business
Retail trade / location planning
Large companies (all sectors)
Specialist publishing
Remote sensing
Radio and television
Independent planning offices
Environmental impact assessment
Chambers of industry and commerce / trade and professional associations
Dictionary / encyclopaedia publishing
Market research
Marketing / logistics
Oil business
PR work
Planning and consulting enterprises
Detailed information about professional fields as well as graduate career opportunities can be obtained, for example, from  the German Association for Applied Geography (DVAG).

Further information

Subject advisor

  • Dipl.-Geogr. Michael Hollenhorst
    Institut für Geographie
    Schlossgasse 7, room 310
    Phone: 0641-99-36246


Faculty 07
Department of Geography
Student Faculty Association for Geography
German Society for Geography (DGfG)
German Association for Applied Geography (DVAG)

Further studies at JLU Gießen

Following the Master’s degree programme, it is possible to prepare for a doctoral degree.