MSc Physical Geography: Environmental History
Aims of the Study Programme

IMPORTANT: The obligatory fire drill for all Master students takes place on Tuesday 2017/11/07, 14-16h in NW1 H1-H0020!!!
This fire drill is mandatory for participation in any laboratory course!


The current debate about the reasons and effects of climate change illustrates the need for experts who can understand and explain the complex interrelations that lead to environmental changes through time. Meeting this demand, the M. Sc. “Physical Geography: Environmental History" is a research-oriented master programme in physical geography focusing on the understanding and reconstruction of environmental and climatic history. This master programme is innovative and unique in Germany due to its distinct interdisciplinary approach including courses in physical and human geography, archaeology, geosciences, palaeobiology and environmental physics. To ensure high academic quality and practical orientation, the programme draws on both, expertise within the University of Bremen as well as on partnerships with regional scientific institutions in Bremen and Lower Saxony. All classes are taught in English. Students holding a B. Sc. degree in Geography with a focus on Physical Geography, in Geo- or Earth Sciences with a focus on Sedimentology or Quaternary Geology or in Archaeology focusing on Geoarchaeology are welcome.

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Module Handbook/ Structure of the Study Programme

To download the module handbook please click on the module overview or click here.

1. Semester - Introductory Phase

The introductory phase takes into account the different levels of knowledge and provides basic courses in the form of compulsory lectures and seminars as Consecutive Core Subjects in the disciplines of climatology, environmental physics, geosciences, limnogeology, prehistoric archaeology and vegetation history and archaeobotany. Three out of six Consecutive Core Subjects starting in the first semester and ending at the end of the second semester are elected. The compulsory course Research Process I offers training in presentation techniques and provides a detailed overview of cutting-edge research publications related to the respective fields of the master programme.

General Studies, Internship, Study Abroad

General Studies

General Studies encompass all courses dedicated as such in the study programme of the University of Bremen. A special offer are the eGeneral Studies. Within the master programme General Studies are intended to fill occasional gaps between the required 30 CP and the actually obtained CP, i.e. less than 30 CP in the third semester. Note that the examination office can only take credit for lectures with their full CP. For example, in case 3 CP are missing and you study a 6 CP course, it is not possible to hand in these 6 CP for the missing 3 CP.

Master Thesis

Current suggestions for the master thesis

  • Geochemistry of loess-paleosol-sequences in northern Iran (Prof. Dr. B. Zolitschka):
    XRF-Scanning of individual samples for environmental reconstruction of four dated sediment sequences (material for four mastertheses) from the last glacial cycle in cooperation with the University of Cologne and the Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

  • Laguna Azul (Prof. Dr. B. Zolitschka, Dr. C. Ohlendorf):
    XRF-Scanning of individual samples; Research questions:


  • Completed bachelor programme with 180 CP/ECTS or another comparable scientific study programme with a relation to the M. Sc. “Physical Geography: Environmental History”:
Rules & Regulations

Rules and regulations are provided for download here. Please note that the English translations of all regulations are guidelines and not legally binding. Only the German regulations are legally binding.

Responsibilities and Guidance


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Responsible Person for the Master Course

Bernd Zolitschka is the responsible person for the master course in “Physical Geography: Environmental History”.


Student Adivsory Service

Student councelling including advice for the study abroad is provided by Michael Thiele. Additional information from the general stduent advisory service you find here.


Teaching Stuff

Cooperation Partners

Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP) at Faculty 1: Physics and Electrical Engineering, University of Bremen

Faculty 5: Geosciences, University of Bremen

Institute of History (only in German) at Faculty 8: Social Sciences, University of Bremen

Landesarchäologie Bremen (only in German)

Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research, Wilhelmshaven


MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen


artec - Sustainability Research Center, University of Bremen