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Human Species – Climate – Paleoenvironment (MSc)

Taught in German


Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Duration of studies

4 Semester - 120 Credit Points (CP)


By AQUAS in the winter semester 2015/16

Entrance requirements

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 (e.g. degrees in Geology, Geoecology, Climatology, Sociology, Politology); it may also make admission to the Master’s degree programme dependent on the fulfilment of certain additional requirements.

Aim and content of the degree programme

The aims of the Master’s study programme in Human Species – Climate – Paleoenvironment 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.
Further information on the study programme.

Degree programme structure

The Master of Science in Human Species – Climate – Paleoenvironment consists of a total of 16 modules, 13 of which are on specialised issues in the fields of Human Species – Climate – Paleoenvironment. The definition, accumulation and award of credit points (CP) are based on the ECTS system.

Application and admission

  • This course of study is not limited internally by the JLU.
  • The general application deadlines of 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).

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.   

Structure of the degree programme

Study schedule, MSc in Human Species – Climate – Paleoenvironment (for first-semester students starting in the winter term 2017/18)


1st semester

  • Introductory module Physical Geography and Anthropogeography – 6 CP
  • In-depth module Human Species – Climate – Paleoenvironment – 6 CP
  • One of the following modules (6 CP):
    • Advanced Geostatistics
    • International Development Cooperation Organisations
  • General Skills: English for Geographers – 6 CP

2nd semester

  • Project 1: Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology – 6 CP
  • Project 2: Man in Past Climates and Climate Change Impacts – 6 CP
  • Project 3: students can choose:
    • 3a: Practice Project Lab, Field and Models– 6 CP
    • 3b: Interviews in Fieldstudies – 6 CP
  • General skills: Learning by teaching – 6 CP

3rd semester

  • Independent studies – 9 CP
  • Thesis preparation seminar – 3 CP
  • General skills: Elective module – 3 CP
  • Professional placement (internship) – 9 CP

4th semester

  • Thesis – 30 CP

At least 12 CP must be acquired abroad.
In addition, a total of 18 CP in subsidiary subjects must be acquired in the course of the semesters.

Career opportunities / 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) or the German Association for Geography.

Subject Advisor

Dipl.-Geogr. André Staarmann
Institut für Geographie
Senckenbergstr. 1, Raum 111
35390 Gießen
Tel.: 0641-99 36202

Further studies at JLU Giessen

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