Experimental Geosciences

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Jul 15, 2024
StudyQA ranking:1271 Duration:2 years

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The MSc programme Experimental Geosciences pursues training and research in one of the central areas in Earth Sciences: the characterisation of physical and chemical properties of Earth materials to advance the understanding of processes in and properties of the solid earth. Through the approach based on earth materials the programme in Experimental Geosciences encompasses a number of traditional scientific fields: mineralogy, crystallography, solid state physics, inorganic chemistry, material sciences, geo- and cosmochemistry, as well as geophysics. Only by integrating these diverse subfields in one study programme and research effort one can advance the understanding of the solid Earth.
The programme is built on the scientific and experimental expertise of the "Bayerisches Geoinstitut" (Bavarian Geoinstitute, BGI) that combines:
  • analytical methods to characterise samples
  • synthesis methods at high pressure and temperature
  • in-situ methods for measuring physical properties
  • theory and models to simulate material properties
In the MSc programme students will be trained in many of these techniques. They will build up a solid expertise in Earth materials research that is also applicable in many fields of applied materials research.
The laboratory-based work is supplemented by literature and research seminars that prepare the students to find literature on a subject and to critically evaluate scientific literature.

Educational organisation

The programme is organised in four major module areas, and encompasses a total of 120 ECTS credit points (CP). The module areas are:
A. Experimental Geosciences (core classes) 14 CP
B. Research Techniques, including three one-semester long research projects with research reports, 69 CP
C. Optional/elective courses (11 CP) in any of the following subjects:
  • the solid Earth
  • solid state physics
  • material sciences and catalysis
  • information technology
  • crystallography
  • environmental geochemistry
D. Master's thesis (26 CP); to be completed during the final semester of the curriculum
After completion of the MSc thesis there will be a final oral exam.
In each semester a curriculum of approx. 30 CP has to be performed.

Study abroad unit(s)

Study abroad can be discussed and arranged on an individual basis. Projects and study performed abroad need to be finely tuned to the syllabus of the MSc programme.

Forms of assessment

Student performance will be assessed on an ongoing basis during the programme:
  • classes are graded based on written or oral exams
  • practicals are graded based on problem sets or experiment reports
  • seminars are graded based on written reports or presentations
  • lab classes are graded based on research reports
The MSc thesis is completed during the fourth semester and graded. The study of Experimental Geosciences concludes with an oral exam (45 minutes).

Course objectives

Students are trained to independently (a) identify and understand problems in research and development, (b) identify suitable methods and apply them to address scientific questions.
In the research-based education students are trained in theory and in hands-on laboratory work in a wide variety of experimental and analytical techniques in applied materials research, Earth sciences, chemistry and physics.

Language requirements

Good English skills in both the written and spoken language are required. These will be evaluated based on written documents, through phone interviews and a possible visit of the applicant.

Academic requirements

BSc (or equivalent) in a natural science or a related engineering field
Application material to be submitted is:
  • detailed BSc (or equivalent) degree certificate, including official transcript. If BSc is obtained only between application and start of MSc programme, an official transcript must be provided.
  • CV in tabular form
  • statement explaining the interest in studying Experimental Geosciences, not to exceed two pages (12pt font, in English)
  • contact information for a professional reference
Exceptionally qualified applicants will be selected on the basis of this material.
Other well-qualified applicants will participate in a qualification exam consisting of:
  • a written exam (60 minutes) and
  • a selection interview (20 minutes)

Enrolment fees

Social fee: approx. 65 EUR per semester

Costs of living

Approx. 750 EUR per month to cover personal expenses

Job opportunities

Due to the intensive nature of the programme, students will have only limited time for part-time jobs.

Funding opportunities within the university

Students coming to Bayreuth from a partner university may have the opportunity to receive some financial support from the University of Bayreuth.

Arrival support

The International Office with its Service for International Students (SIS) assists students before and upon arrival (mailing of information, pick-up service from the station). It offers assistance in all administrative matters including registration and enrolment.

Services and support for international students

The International Office with its Service for International Students (SIS) offers administrative, academic, and social support before and during the semester.


The International Office offers assistance in finding accommodation in a student residence (rent approx. 120 EUR to 200 EUR per month) or private accommodation (250 EUR to 400 EUR).
However, a search on the private market as a backup is advisable. You can find links to the private market on our website.
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