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Geosciences (MSc)

What is the degree programme about?

Geosciences has a standard duration of four semesters and builds on the Bachelor's degree programme. Students acquire advanced knowledge and skills in geosciences and are qualified for graduate research.

The GeoZentrum Nordbayern at FAU covers a wide range of geoscience disciplines. Students select and study two of the following five geoscience specialisations:

  • 1. Applied geology (hydrogeology and engineering geology)
  • 2. Applied mineralogy
  • 3. Applied sedimentology – georesources
  • 4. Geochemistry – Petrology – Georesources
  • 5. Palaeobiology (in English)

The specialisation in Palaeobiology can be combined with one of the other four specialisations or studied independently and entirely in English. In this case, the main subject of 'Palaeobiology' is studied with the additional specialisation in 'Earth System Research Lab'. Please see our website for more information.

There are numerous possible combinations and the degree programme is the only one of its kind in Germany in this respect. You benefit from the flexibility of being able to tailor your studies to your particular areas of interest and the requirements of the field you wish to work in after graduating.

Core subject and specialisation

GeoZentrum Nordbayern offers five possible specialisations: petrology and geodynamics, applied sedimentology-resources, applied geology (hydrogeology/engineering geology), applied mineralogy, and palaeobiology/palaeoenvironmental studies.

Students choose one of these as main subjects and one as a supplementary subject. Detailed information about each of these specialisations can be found on the degree programme information sheet.

Modules and degree programme structure

1st semester (winter semester)

Lectures to augment the basic knowledge acquired in the Bachelor's degree programme and introduction to the specialisation areas as preparation for the field and laboratory courses offered in the following semesters.

Block courses outside of the lecture period: work placement in industry or mapping/project or field exercise module

2nd semester (summer semester)

Lectures and exercises, core skills module

Block courses outside of the lecture period: work placement in industry or mapping/project or field exercise module

3rd semester (winter semester)

Students advance their knowledge through research modules; comprehensive modules directly prepare students for their Master's thesis, core skills module

Block courses outside of the lecture period: work placement in industry or mapping/project or field exercise module

4th semester (summer semester)

Master's thesis and Master's oral examination

Module structure plan for Master's degree programme in Geosciences

A detailed explanation of the individual specialisation areas can be found on our website or on the official information sheet for the Master's degree in Geosciences.

Admission requirements

The current admission requirement for the Master's degree programme in Geosciences is a final grade of 2.5 in the previous degree. Students who have not achieved this grade may be accepted via a selection process.

The teaching language for the Master's degree programme in Geosciences at FAU is German; the teaching language for the specialisation in Palaeobiology is English. The required language level in English is B2.

Application procedure

It is only possible to apply to start the degree programme in the winter semester. Applications must be submitted via the Application portal Campo.

It is only possible to apply for the summer semester when transferring from a Master's degree programme in earth sciences at another university. If required examinations have not been completed at the time of application, students may be permitted to provide proof of these at a later date. Students must present confirmation of the date the Bachelor's degree will be awarded from the examinations office responsible.

Further information about the Master's application procedure

Degree programme start date and application deadlines

The Master's degree course in Geosciences is restricted (Qualification Determination) and can only be started in the winter semester. The application for access to the qualification assessment procedure should normally be submitted from end of March to mid-July and is made online via the Application portal Campo.


Application for the summer semester is only possible if students change universities in a Master's programme in Geosciences. Any exams that are still missing at the time of application can be submitted at a later date. In this case, it is necessary to enclose a confirmation of the responsible examination office of the prospective date of the Bachelor's degree of the application.

Further information on the master application

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Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

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Degree type: Master of Science (MSc)
Type of study: Master
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 4 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: English, German
Admission: Qualification assessment
Size: (25-49 Students)
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences