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About the Program

The program is a 2-year master program leading to a Master of Science in Environmental Sciences. During these two years, the students will learn about the approaches to environmental sciences from a natural science and a social science perspective. Almost all courses are specially designed for this program, teaching is in English throughout. The international student group is mirrored by the international experiences of the lecturers and the close collaboration with lecturers from Duquesne University in environmental law and management. During the entire study program a high-quality educational standard is ensured by small course sizes and strong direct interactions with the teachers.

Program Structure

The two-year program (4 terms) is structured in three phases: In the first phase (1st and 2nd term), the basic (inter-)disciplinary knowledge is the main focus in order to allow students with different backgrounds to obtain equal grounds in the different aspects of environmental sciences. Therefore, these first two terms mainly comprise mandatory courses, which cover 60 ECTS points in total. In the 3rd term, students will concentrate on the optional part of the curriculum. A wide variety of elective courses and project oriented research will be offered in each of the key areas of the program to meet the interests of the students. In the forth 4th term, the students will work on their master's theses, a 6-months research project in one of the research groups involved in IMES.

Please note that the module structure below is meant to be for indicative purposes only. The names and availability of the courses may change depending on the circumstances every year.

1st and 2nd term


Course Structure (Changes might apply)


Winter Term (1st Term)

Summer Term (2nd Term)

 Module Atmosphere I


Meteorology I

Meteorology II




 Module Atmosphere II


Chemistry of the Atmosphere 



 Module Biosphere


Ecology I  

Ecology  II


 Module Environmental Medicine


Environmental Medicine I

Environmental Medicine II


 Module Environmental Law


Introduction to Environmental Law

International Environmental Law


 Module Environmental Management


Environmental Policy and Management




 Module Environmental Politics



EU Environmental Policies and Policy-Making 

Political Ecology




 Module Environmental Cultural Ecology


Introduction to Human and Environment Relations 

Basic Concepts of Research in Hazard, Vulnerability, (…) Risk Management




 Module Environmental Economics



Energy, Resources, (…), and the Economy




 Module Environmental Education


Basic aspects of environmental education

Didactics of excursions




 Module Geosphere


Introduction to Environmental Geophysics

Landscape Formation




 Module GIS








 Module Physical Hydrology


Physical Hydrology







Introduction to Environmental Statistics





3rd term

During the third term, each student is required to choose 2 advanced modules from the key areas of IMES, each module comprising 12 ECTS points and an integrated course of advanced environmental sciences (6 ECTS). At the end of the summer (2nd) term, a meeting is scheduled to discuss decisions on modules for the 3rd term.

For more details regarding the modules klick here.

4th term

During the last term, the students will work on an independent scientific project in one of the IMES-associated research groups. At the end of the 3rd term, a meeting is scheduled to discuss chosen master topics and supervisors as well as starting dates (preferably March 1st or April 1st). The topic is then officially issued by the IMES examination office. Within six months of the starting date, the students will submit 3 copies of the thesis (written in English) to the examination office. Preferably within six weeks of submission, there will be an oral defense of the thesis in front of a thesis committee consisting of the two referees and one professor from the examination office.

Teaching and Assessment

The program consists of lectures, seminars, workshops, laboratory sessions, excursions and projects. A mixture of assessment modes will be used: written and oral examinations, longer term papers, and field and laboratory exercises. The program is modularized and assessed according to the European credit transfer system (ECTS) standard. The teaching and examination language is English.

What is Expected

Students should be motivated to understand, measure and monitor earth's environmental systems. Students should be willing to invest time and effort on how to predict, manage and respond to new environmental changes.