Fachbereich Geowissenschaften

Study Contents MSc Geowissenschaften / Geosciences (starting WS 21/22)

The Master's program in Geosciences is designed for a standard study period of two years. For a successful degree, students acquire 120 credit points from a program of 5 compulsory modules (30 CP), 10 elective modules (60 CP) and the Master's thesis (30 CP). Students can focus on one of three specializations: Mineralogy, Paleontology or Geodynamics and Geophysics, in which they are have to complete three core modules. In addition, the program can be finished without specialization. A further seven modules can be chosen at will (both with respect to the selected specialization area and in combination with other subject areas).

Detailed information on the study contents can be found in the Module Handbook.

Compulsory Modules for all Geosciences Students

The compulsory program for all students of the M.Sc. Geosciences includes two method-oriented "container" modules, a field course for advanced students, and two general modules covering scientific practice and presentation.

Experimental and Analytical Methods in Geo- and Environmental Sciences; Data Analysis and Modeling Methods in Geo- and Environmental Sciences

The two method-oriented modules “Experimental and Analytical Methods in Geo- and Environmental Sciences” and “Data Analysis and Modeling Methods in Geo- and Environmental Sciences” allow students to freely combine three methodological units from the respective modules on offer. This enables them to acquire methodological competence in experimental/analytical fields as well as in the field of data analysis and modeling, which are needed for their individual study focus, e.g. as part of their Master's thesis.

Advanced Field Methods in Geoscience

The advanced field course “Advanced Field Methods in Geoscience”, ensures that practical field training, which represents a key, unique selling point for geoscience graduates on the job market, is anchored in the compulsory teaching.

Scientific Practice, Scientific Presentation, Master Thesis

Scientific practice is a research-oriented internship within the work groups of the Department of Geosciences. The key objective is to participate in research projects and to formulate a research agenda for the Master thesis, which takes place at the end of the MSc program. Integral part of the scientific practice program is the presentation of the thesis results in a seminar in the fourth semester (scientific presentation).

All work groups contribute to the supervision within scientific practice.

Compulsory Modules in each Specialization

The compulsory elective area offers students the opportunity to specialize in one of the three areas: Mineralogy, Paleontology or Geodynamics and Geophysics or to complete their studies without specialization. Depending on the personal study orientation, three modules each are stipulated within these specific specializations, which contain basic study contents necessary for the offered subjects.

Studying without a specialization requires, in addition to the compulsory modules, the successful participation in three from a list of ten specified modules in order to ensure a sufficiently broad geoscientific qualification. The remaining modules can be chosen as desired and allow for considerable specialization as well as the opportunity to study the entire field of geoscientific research. If course capacities allow, available modules from the M.Sc. Applied and Environmental Geoscience can also be selected. Upon request, additional modules related to the content and qualification objectives of the course can be admitted as elective modules by the chairperson of the examination board.

Specialization "Mineralogy"

Specialization in Mineralogy concentrates on mineralogical, geochemical and petrological processes that take place in and on Earth, including the formation of ore deposits. The analysis, modelling and simulation of these processes is an essential part of the study. Since minerals are the basic building blocks of all rocks and therefore of the earth, modern mineralogical and petrological research and knowledge are the basis for understanding these processes and thus the formation and change of the earth and the planets over time.

The three core modules are “Isotope Geochemistry”, “Economic Geology”, and “Igneous Processes” taught by members of the Isotope Geochemistry and Petrology and Mineral Resources groups, respectively.

Specialization "Paleontology"

The focus of this specialization is on both marine and continental biological processes from the past and present. The emphasis is on the understanding of fossil organism groups (from plants to vertebrates) as proxies for changing ecosystems, evolutionary processes, climate dynamics, and facies analysis. In addition, practical knowledge in paleontological laboratory and excavation techniques and other field-based methods are imparted.

The three core modules are “Paleoecology of Marine Ecosystems”, “Paleoecology of Terrestrial Ecosystems”, and “Evolution of Organisms” taught by members of the Terrestrial Paleoclimatology, Invertebrate Paleontology, and Biogeology groups, respectively.

Specialization "Geodynamics and Geophysics"

Geodynamics deals with the quantification of the interactions between climate, tectonics and processes on the earth's surface. This research is very interdisciplinary and focuses on the integration of depth, surface and atmospheric processes.

The three core modules are “Physics of the Earth´s Surface”, “Physical Properties of Earth Materials”, and “Advanced Geophysics” taught by members of the Earth System Dynamics, Structural Geology, and Geophysics groups, respectively.