Aims of the Study Programme


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.

Goals and Guiding Principles

The M. Sc. “Physical Geography: Environmental History" focusses on the reconstruction of environmental and climatic history as scientific expertise in this field is paramount today. The programme provides physical-geographical knowledge and skills that will enable you to analyse, interpret and evaluate the complex effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental changes on nature and society. Global environmental changes are one of the biggest social, political and cultural issues of the 21st century. In order to cope with their complexity, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches in teaching and research are developed to qualify you for linking natural and anthropogenic phenomena.

Information about the past, obtained from natural, archaeological and historical archives as well as from instrumental data, enables you to understand how global climate and environmental changes affect natural and socioeconomic systems as well as to investigate future environmental development. You learn to evolve your own scientific questions in close contact to ongoing national and international research projects. You work in an interdisciplinary manner through research-based education and in close co-operation with research institutions in Bremen and Lower Saxony. Methodological training in the field, in the laboratory and on the computer (including geographical information systems – GIS) qualifies you for different applied labour markets, e. g. public administration, planning offices, adult education as well as media sectors and information technology.

Course of Study

You will be trained in interdisciplinary lectures, seminars, projects as well as in laboratory and field courses. Lecturers are leading experts in their respective fields and will provide you with information about up-to-date research questions. Thus, you participate in ongoing research by working on own projects while preparing your master thesis.

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