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Physical Geography (BSc)

What is the degree programme about?

Geography is about much more than knowing the names of towns and rivers or the exact location of Germany on a map. Snow and ice in the water cycle, soil and vegetation in a changing environment and processes which shape the surface of the earth are all key topics in physical geography. You will learn about current topics such as climate change, global resources, ecological crises, and natural hazards, as well as a wide range of specialist methods such as geographical information systems, satellite remote sensing and laboratory analysis. It is important that you are interested in studying a broad range of subjects, as you will also take modules in neighbouring disciplines such as biology, chemistry, geology or physics. In addition, you will take courses in statistics and computer science where you will learn how to evaluate data related to climates and ecology in order to predict global environmental change, for example. You should also enjoy travelling, as the many excursions are not limited to Germany and Europe. Overall, Physical Geography is a diverse degree programme that will ensure you have good career prospects and enable you to understand, explain and help to solve issues related to ecology and society.

What can I do with this degree?

The subject of geography occupies a unique position between the natural sciences, the humanities and the social sciences. As you will develop strong methodological skills during the degree programme and also study related subjects, there are a wide range of possible careers. By choosing specialisations during the degree programme you can increase your chances on the job market. Geographers often work in:

  • environmental planning
  • environmental analytics
  • consultancy

Other areas where graduates may work include:

  • geographical information and satellite remote sensing
  • development co-operation
  • specialist publishing, journalism and public relations
  • conservation
  • teaching and research
  • many other areas where specialist knowledge of the environment and society are required
What qualities and skills do I need?
  • an interest in current issues related to society and the environment that is not limited to what is studied in the degree programme
  • an interest in thinking critically and logically instead of learning by heart
  • a passion for the outdoors
Good reasons for choosing to study at FAU
  • an intellectually stimulating degree programme including both theory and practice
  • a modern education in geography and related methods
  • a good mix of traditional and innovative teaching styles
  • the chance to gain communication skills and intercultural skills
  • a wide range of possible excursions and an emphasis on the practical side of geography
Potential challenges
  • To prepare for your future career you should choose courses that are relevant to your desired profession from the start and ensure you do not study too broad a range of subjects.
  • Methods such as statistics, geographical information systems (GIS) and different laboratory techniques are key tools for geographers and must be learnt during the degree programme.
  • The content varies significantly from what is taught in geography at school. In light of this, you should not assume that you will find it easy if you did well in geography at school, although it is of course a good sign if you enjoyed studying the subject previously.
Degree programme start date and application deadlines
Further information on the application can be found at on the general FAU info page and on Page of Physical Geography.
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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: Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Type of study: One subject Bachelor's degree programme
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 6 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: German
Admission: No Admissions Restrictions, Registration
Size: (25-49 Students)
Early entrance programme: yes
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences

Student Advice and Career Service
Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ)
information sheet
Information material
Studying Geography at FAU (german)
What is climate research? (German)
What is sabre growth? (german)