Geosciences and Technology

Geosciences are dedicated to our planet Earth, its formation and the nature of its surface. How these geological resources can be used is the subject of geotechnology.

The field of study at a glance

The term geosciences encompasses several courses of study. They all dealt with aspects of the Earth system, i.e. soil, rocks, water and the atmosphere, and how these influence each other. The field is strongly research-oriented and interdisciplinary, for example with points of contact with environmental sciences or environmental technology. Geotechnology is also at the interface with engineering sciences.

Geoscientists are sought-after experts in raw material extraction, environmental protection, waste storage and urban and regional planning. In the latter area there is overlap with subjects such as civil engineering or urban and regional planning.

Course offered

The “Geo-related” degree programs include the following offerings:

  • Geosciences examine the layers of the earth, water and the atmosphere as well as their interactions with each other.
  • Geography can be divided into two large sub-areas: Human geography is primarily concerned with the influence of humans on geographical space, from social and economic aspects. Physical geography, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with the structures and natural and human-caused changes to the earth's surface.
  • The focus in geology or mineralogy is on the earth's crust. For example, students learn how minerals and rocks are formed. Practical research in the form of field or laboratory work plays a major role in this course of study.
  • An application-related specialization of geology is geotechnology, also called georesource management, mining, mining or raw materials engineering. It deals with the mining or extraction of resources such as geothermal energy, water, minerals or fossil fuels.
  • Geoecology combines the natural and environmental sciences. Environmental systems and the influence of people on them are considered.
  • From a physical perspective, the field of geophysics looks at the earth's natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or raw material deposits.
  • Meteorology deals with the physical and chemical processes of the atmosphere. The findings in this field are used for weather forecasts or in climate research.
  • Hydrology or water technology observes where and how water occurs on our planet, how it moves, and what influence living things have on it the reserves have and what physical, chemical and biological properties water has.
  • Geoinformation or surveying forms a separate field. Earth data is recorded and evaluated in order to use it for maps or navigation systems, for example.

Contents of the course

In all degree programs in this field, the bachelor's degree initially includes basic geoscientific training with modules from physics, biology, chemistry and mathematics. In the Geosciences course, these include basic mineralogical and petrological knowledge, geoinformatics, geochemistry, sedimentology, tectonics, paleontology and earth history, hydrogeology and geophysics.

Depending on the course of study, the Master's program focuses on different things:

  • In the Geosciences degree program, for example, there are modules in areas such as astrophysics, geochemistry, geoinformatics, geology, geophysics, hydrogeology/environmental geology, engineering geology/geotechnics, mineralogy, petrology/reservoir research or paleontology.
  • The Geography degree program offers various options for specialization, e.g. anthropogeography (human geography), physical geography or regional analysis.
  • The geoecology course focuses on landscape ecology, soil science, hydrology, mineralogy/geochemistry and bio/geoinformatics.
  • The training in the meteorology course includes modules in theoretical, experimental and applied meteorology including climatology, with experimental and numerical internships as well as an interdisciplinary elective area.

Admission criteria & application for study

The geoscience bachelor's degree programs are generally free of admission.

Career opportunities after graduation

Geoscientists primarily find employment as experts in the consulting sector. Geological consulting companies, engineering and planning offices for the environmental sector (e.g. processing contaminated sites, remediation of soil, groundwater or subsoil) require geoscientific expertise. There are also job opportunities in the public service, in particular at state geological offices, at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, in the Bundeswehr's geoinformation service, at local authorities (municipalities, districts) as well as at state mining authorities or at universities and non-university research institutions.

Manufacturers of geoscientific measuring equipment, the construction industry and software manufacturers also employ geoscientists.

Mineralogists also find work in companies that develop or process new materials, e.g. high-performance materials, surfaces and Coatings, mineral building materials and binders. In industry, they also take care of the environmentally friendly treatment and disposal of mineral residues or the restoration of cultural heritage.

Meteorologists work primarily in climate and environmental research at research institutions and at national and international weather services; also in engineering offices and industrial companies as an expert or environmental protection officer or for insurance companies in risk assessment. Meteorologists are also employed in the Bundeswehr's geoinformation service, among other things, for weather advice or in the area of research and further development (e.g. of forecast models).

Geographers work predominantly in the private sector, for example in aerial photography and remote sensing companies, in specialist publishers, in the real estate industry, in site planning for larger companies, in the tourism and tourism industry, in consulting and consulting companies, in energy supply companies or environmental protection organizations. Fields of work also arise in public administration (statistical offices, municipal and special-purpose associations, spatial planning and environmental protection offices), at universities, at associations, chambers and research institutions.