International Area Studies - Global Change Geography (Master-Studiengang)

Version: 28.06.2021

General Information

Programme type Master-Studiengang
Degree Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Credit points 120 CP
Standard period of study 4 semesters
Start of studies Winter semester only
Form of study Classroom teaching, Full-time studies
Medium of instruction English and German
Admission not restricted (no NC)
Specific admission requirements yes (Details)
Faculty Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät III – Agrar- und Ernährungswissenschaften, Geowissenschaften und Informatik
Institute Institut für Geowissenschaften und Geographie
Alle Studienangebote

Programme objectives

The bilingual, consecutive master's programme in International Area Studies - Global Change Geography is unique in Germany.

It offers

  • the opportunity to study global change phenomena in local contexts,
  • a diverse range of courses that open up different geographical perspectives on human-environment relations/interactions,
  • a specialization in Land System Science, Human Geography, Digital Geography, Social-Ecological Systems and combinations thereof,
  • a portfolio of methods ranging from remote sensing and geoinformation technologies to the latest social science survey options
  • a research-oriented teaching concept and the opportunity to participate in research projects within the framework of learning modules,
  • interdisciplinary specialization options through a wide range of elective modules and thus an interest-driven individual profile creation with diverse career prospects.

The MSc International Areas Studies - Global Change Geography focuses on today’s major international challenges. These include, for example, opportunities and risks of globalisation, perspectives of the world economy, emergence and effects of international conflicts, land use change and its ecological impact, dealing with limited resources and climate change with its consequences. With the MSc International Area Studies – Global Change Geography you have the opportunity to study and critically analyse these and other aspects on the basis of an interdisciplinary, closely linked range of subjects, both conceptually and in the actual regional context. For this purpose, we offer you a range of courses in which you can flexibly choose your own focus and supplementary fields.

With its strong interdisciplinary orientation, the master’s programme provides you with professional skills in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary networked thinking and analysis. The MSc International Area Studies – Global Change Geography expands the specialised knowledge of geographically oriented bachelor’s programmes to include internationally occurring problems, explanatory approaches and solution options in connection with specific regional contexts in the light of global change. The study programme can be configured in such a way that orientations towards research and application are possible.

For information in German, see here.

Study in Halle!

Study in Halle because ...

  • you can study geography in an integrative way with a focus on global change and its local and regional facets, especially at the intersection of human-environment relations.   

  • you can focus your studies on research or application and choose your own geographical track. In particular, an interdisciplinary and international orientation is more than welcome.

  • you can start your professional career based on a wide methodological range from social science survey and evaluation techniques to laboratory and field analytics to digital methods (GIS and remote sensing) in depth.

  • you can easily participate in research activities of the institute and the University of Halle; for example in the context of in-house projects on questions of global change or connect with the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research or the Center for Interdisciplinary Regional Studies.

  • the consequences of the phase-out of coal mining and post-mining landscapes and the development of transformation regions are being researched here. Experts from various disciplines are gathered in Halle because this is not the first time that diverse economic, political, social and ecological transformation processes are taking place in this region.

Career opportunities

The MSc International Area Studies - Global Change Geography opens career opportunities to professions that require an understanding of complex intersectoral and spatial relationships. It qualifies for both subject-related scientific work and the use of scientific expertise in the preparation of public and corporate decisions. Possible employers are universities and research institutions, companies, associations, state and municipal institutions as well as international organisations.


The MSc International Area Studies - Global Change Geography is accredited. For more information, please visit the website of the Accreditation Council.

Programme structure

The study programme is structured as follows:

  • Compulsory modules (15 CP)
  • Elective modules (75 CP)
  • Master's thesis (30 CP)


Compulsory modules (45 CP)

Modules CP rec.

Understanding Global Change and International Areas: Key Concepts and Theories

10 1
Global and Regional Geographies - an Overview 5 2

Master's thesis

30 4

Elective modules (75 CP) 

Modules CP rec.

Elective modules: Geography (45-75 CP)

From the elective modules Geography, one specialisation (at least 30 CP) and one up to three supplementary sections (minimum 10 CP each, but a maximum of 40 CP in total) of must be chosen.

Specialisation or supplementary section: Land System Science (LSS)
Land System Science 1: Climate and Ecosystems 5 1
Land System Science 2: Global Environmental Change 5 1
Land System Science 3: Project-based Study in Geoecology I - Collection, Analysis and Interpretation of Data at the Local Scale 5 2
Land System Science 4: Project-based Study in Geoecology II - Upscaling to the Landscape Scale 5 2
Land System Science 5: Project Development and Assessment 5 3
Land System Science 6: Selected Topics and Applications 5 1, 2 or 3
Land System Science 7: Internship -
Innovation Lab
10 3
Modellbildung in der Geoökologie 5 2
Specialisation or supplementary section: Human Geography (HG)
Human Geography 1: Approaches and Research in Human Geography Today 10 1
Human Geography 2: Human Geography Project 10 2
Human Geography 3: Advanced Human
Geography Project
10 3
Human Geography 4: Urban and Regional Perspectives of Socio-demographic Change 10 1, 2 or 3
Human Geography 5: Research Lab 10 1, 2 or 3
Human Geography 6: Regional Geography 10 1, 2 or 3
Specialisation or supplementary section: Digital Geography (DG)
Digital Geography 1: Advanced Geodata Handling and Analysis 5 1
Digital Geography 2: Concepts and Theories of Digital Geography 5 1
Digital Geography 3: Current Challenges in Critical Geographies of the Digital 5 2
Digital Geography 4: Advanced GIScience 5 2
Digital Geography 5: Project-based Studies 10 3
Digital Geography 6: Selected Methods 5 1, 2 or 3
Specialisation or supplementary section: Social-Ecological Systems (SES)
Social-Ecological Systems 1: Spatial Modelling, Scenario Development and Impact Assessment I 10 1

Social-Ecological Systems 2: Spatial Modelling, Scenario Development and Impact Assessment II

5 2
Social-Ecological Systems 3: Academic Writing I 5 2
Social-Ecological Systems 4: Academic Writing II 5 3
Social-Ecological Systems 5: Project-based Studies I 5 2
Social-Ecological Systems 6: Project-based Studies II 10 3
Social-Ecological Systems 7: Research Exercise 5 3
Social-Ecological Systems 8: Internship - Innovation Lab 10 3
Supplementary section: Integrative Geography (IG)

Integrative Geography 1: Global and Regional Geographies – Example Case Study

5 2
Integrative Geography 2: Field Course 10 3

Elective modules: Interdisciplinary Modules (0-30 CP)

The following list is abbreviated for reasons of presentation. For a complete overview of the modules offered, please refer to the study and examination regulations. Note that some of the modules are offered in German only.

Interdisciplinary modules are offered in the following areas:

  • Ecosystem Analysis and Assessment
  • Informatics
  • Economics
  • Economic History
  • Law
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Agrarian Economy and Policy
  • Politics
5-10 1, 2 or 3

The content, learning objectives, workload, requirements and prerequisites of specific modules are published in the module catalogue and the study and examination regulations (in German only). 

Admission requirements

***Note: The contents may be subject to change.***

Applicants for the MSc International Area Studies - Global Change Geography must

  • hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent degree in geographically oriented or comparable field with a minimum grade of 2.0 or better according to the German academic grading scale and

  • prove good knowledge of written and spoken English.

A study programme is comparable if

  • at least 10 ECTS have been obtained in statistics and geographic information systems and

  • at least 60 ECTS have been obtained in at least three areas clearly related to planning sciences, environmental sciences, physical geography, socio-economics and human geography.

Decisions on comparability are made by the examination board on the basis of the transcript of records submitted.

Applicants must prove their English language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate, Unicert II, German Abitur or an equivalent internationally recognised language certificate attesting level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). However, proof of language proficiency is not required if the first degree was obtained in a study programme taught in English.

Important note: The MSc International Area Studies - Global Change Geography is a bilingual study programme (English/German). Therefore, international applicants must additionally prove their German language proficiency for studies. For more detailed information on German language requirements for university, see here.

This chapter consists of excerpts roughly translated into English. Only the study and examination regulations are legally binding.

For information in German, see here.


***Note: The contents may be subject to change.***

The admission to the MSc International Area Studies - Global Change Geography is currently not restricted (no NC).

  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) obtained in Germany must apply via by 31 August 2021.

  • Applicants with a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) obtained abroad must apply via by 15 June 2021.

Halle University reconsiders its admission policy every winter semester and determines whether admission to a study programme is restricted (Uni-NC) or free (no NC). From May each year, the current decision is published here (see also General Information).

Required documents

The following documents must be submitted with the application for admission:

  1. An official certified hard copy of your bachelor's degree or equivalent  (i.e., graduation certificate and transcripts) and certified translations unless the originals are in English or in German. Important note: Applicants via uni-assist may apply online with scanned documents (both in original language and certified translations, if necessary). However, official certified hard copies of the translated graduation and language certificates must be submitted for enrolment.

  2. Halle University does accept provisional graduation certificates, if your degree is scheduled after the application deadline. Please submit your transcripts indicating minimum 2/3 of your total credits to be passed / your senior student stage, accordingly. The final graduation certificate shall be submitted with enrolment, respectively by no later than 31 January in the year following admission. Note: Extended submission deadlines - see Corona FAQ.

  3. Proof of English language proficiency (see admission requirements)

  4. Language certificate attesting German language proficiency for university studies (see admission requirements)

This chapter consists of excerpts roughly translated into English. Only the study and examination regulations are legally binding.

For information in German, see here.

Information for international applicants

For any questions regarding application and admission - except eligibility - please see website or contact Kati Gaudig (Student Registration Office - International Students Section).

Programme advisor

For detailed information concerning the contents, objectives and structure of the programme, please contact the programme advisor.

Astrid Henke
(Studienbüro des Instituts für Geowissenschaften und Geographie)

Institut für Geowissenschaften und Geographie

Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4
Room: H4 2.27
06120 Halle (Saale)

Phone: 0345 55-26010