Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 2.13 k / Semester(s)  
StudyQA ranking:1355 Duration:2 years
Candidates with a Bachelor's degree related to geoscience will obtain in-depth knowledge in one of three specialisations, which he or she has to choose at the very beginning of the programme. At the same time, participants will be taught to work independently and fully responsibly on a research project. Participants will be enabled and motivated to build up their knowledge by themselves and within teams. They will be trained to assume responsibility as geoscientists, members of social networks and as managers. The promotion and improvement of communication, personality and leadership skills will play an important role.
The three specialisations from which the student has to choose at the very beginning of the programme are:
  • Tectonophysis of Orogeny (Prof Ratschbacher)
  • Environmental Geoscience (Prof Matschullat)
  • Hydrogeology/Hydrochemistry (Prof Merkel)

Students of the specialisation Tectonophysis of Orogeny will be enabled to work with methods of structural geology, geo-thermo chronology, geomorphology, remote sensing, and petrology. They will be able to analyse and interpret coupled processes of active and fossil orogenies by using innovative techniques. The focus of education and related research is on active orogenies and coupling processes from mantle to atmosphere.

Students of the specialisation Environmental Geosciences will be enabled to work on complex environmental problems on their own responsibility. The curriculum for each student will be adapted according to the prior knowledge of the candidates. The main focus lies on the interactions in the atmosphere (including climate and chemistry of atmosphere). Successful candidates will assume responsibility in administration, science, education, and research at universities and research centres.

Students of the specialisation Hydrogeology/Hydrochemistry will be enabled to cope with hydrologic, hydro-geological and hydro-chemical problems with respect to practical and research aspects on their own responsibility. This covers groundwater exploration and exploitation, surface water issues concerning water chemistry (field and laboratory), numerical modelling of flow, transport and chemical and biochemical reactions in aquatic environments. Utilisation of water and water protection is addressed with respect to drinking, irrigation, and industrial water and includes geothermal aspects as well.

Educational organisation

The low student-to-teacher ratio ensures individual attention for each student. The condensed curriculum and the diverse educational backgrounds of the participants demand their full commitment to independent study. Project work, seminars and home assignments are included. Having successfully passed the exams in three semesters, students complete the programme with a Master's thesis (six months) covering a research area offered by the respective supervisors. Publication of research results is appreciated and students will be trained in communication techniques: how to write a scientific paper and how to present results in a talk or poster at international conferences.
For exceptional cases a fast track option to enter a PhD programme is available.

Study abroad unit(s)

Participants may spend one or two semesters at partner universities of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. A minimum of 60 credits have to be earned from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.


Available on request

Forms of assessment

Courses, lectures, presentations and training will be graded using the European credit point system. Exams may be oral or written. Prerequisites for some examinations are home assignments, reports and presentations by the students. A total of 120 ECTS points is required, of which 30 ECTS points are awarded for the Master's thesis. This consists of the written thesis and a public defence (presentation and discussion). Up to a maximum of 50% of the ECTS credits may be from other universities with the ECTS credit point system in place.

Course objectives

Successful candidates will be specialists, but will be able to adapt to various contexts and will be capable of successful cooperation. They will be able to independently lead research projects and take over leadership responsibility. Thus, students will be put in a position to independently evaluate scientific problems, write reports and papers and present results.

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of sufficient English proficiency: TOEFL 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), 79 (internet-based) or equivalent. This test can be waived if an applicant has done his Bachelor's degree in a country where English is the official language or English is the applicant's mother tongue.

Academic requirements

Bachelor's degree in geosciences or related subject

Enrolment fees

Approx. 90 EUR per semester

Costs of living

Living costs amount to 500-600 EUR per month, which includes accommodation, insurance, food, sports, and other expenses.

Job opportunities

Many consulting firms located in and around Freiberg offer jobs and internships. The department offers jobs related to research projects and teaching obligations for outstanding students with excellent language skills (either in English or in German).
Postgraduate students may work as scientific/teaching assistants (wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft) at the University for a maximum of 80 hours per month.
Students from abroad should enquire at the Registration Office for Foreign Nationals (Ausländerbehörde) to ascertain if they need a work permit for working at the university.

Funding opportunities within the university

The "Deutschlandstipendium" is open to international students. However, this stipend will be granted only to outstanding students.

Arrival support

The International Centre provides support to new international students by assigning a mentor to each new student. A buddy is a German or international student who speaks German and English, sometimes French, Spanish or Russian. The mentor takes the newcomer through the first steps in Freiberg and at the university, i.e. picking the student up at the train station upon arrival, helping with enrolment, and with all other required administrative formalities (e.g. health care, opening a bank account, administrative formalities at city hall). Students who wish to participate need to register well in advance of their arrival (

Services and support for international students

Intensive and individual professional advice is provided by the supervisors and coordinators of the programme. The International Centre offers support to all international students within the mentor programme, German language courses as well as information and consultation about studying and living in Freiberg.
Student initiatives offer valuable cultural services for all students and PhD students at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and support the intercultural exchange at the university. Their activities include the international weekend at the beginning of the winter semester, the regular international corner with topical events, and trips to interesting places in Germany.
Psychological counselling is also provided to all students in need.


Both dormitories and private accommodation are available. In Freiberg, many students choose to live in their own flats or to share flats as part of a WG (WG = "Wohngemeinschaft"). Flats are in many cases unfurnished, although built-in kitchens are usually provided.
Rent for a single room is approx. 170-350 EUR per month. Often, a deposit of two to three months' rent has to be paid. Most prices given by private landlords are quoted without the price for utilities such as heating, water, and electricity. This rental pricing without services is called "Kaltmiete". The additional expense for utilities is usually about 150-200 EUR per month.
Private accommodation can be found on the internet at: (Städtische Wohnungsgesellschaft Freiberg) (RWR Immobilien Freiberg)
Only a very limited number of rooms in the student hall of residence Max Kade Haus are available for doctoral students:
The International Centre offers support with finding accommodation on the private market (
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