|Programme||Geography: Culture, Environment and Tourism|
|Degree awarded||Master of Arts (M.A.)|
|Duration and credits||4 semesters; 120 ECTS credits|
|Starts in||October (winter semester)|
|Language of instruction||German|
About the programme
This accredited master's programme in Geography allows you to combine regional science and tourism research and specialise in one of seven cultural world regions while learning the corresponding foreign language. This subject combination is unique in Germany.
The programme features compulsory modules in business, economics and cultural studies, based on the University's tremendously successful International Cultural and Business Studies (ICBS) programme. While studying this programme, you will develop the skill set required to tackle complex issues in regional development and tourism using integrative and interdisciplinary approaches. In-depth regional knowledge and extensive intercultural competence round off the profile of this hands-on programme of study.
- A combination of subjects that is unique in Germany
- Core subjects: cultural and environmental geography; regional science and tourism; management and marketing; and interdisciplinary regional and tourism analysis
- Specialise in a world region of your choice and learn the corresponding language
- Make your own research projects part of the programme, focusing on regional studies and tourism
This degree programme enables you to become a specialist in your chosen world region, teaches you to think in terms of interconnected networks and prepares you for occupations in spatial and regional planning, political, economic and business consulting and tourism, as well as imparting the necessary knowledge to conduct research in an international environment.
As a graduate, you will be qualified for occupations which require a scientific mindset and strong strategic and conceptual skills: this includes roles in public administration and associations, in planning offices, economic development agencies, tourism boards and nature reserves, as well as in private-sector consultancies and tourism companies, such as tour operators, event and incentive agencies or theme parks.
This Master's degree opens up access to doctoral study, and you may even be able to begin on a suitable doctoral project while completing the M.A. programme!
The programme consists of three module groups:
A) Core modules
The core modules give you an overview of the principle topics and problems of the relevant geographic subjects (cultural and environmental geography, regional studies and tourism) in regional contexts, as well as management and marketing. During the ‘Vor Ort’ excursion at the beginning of the programme you will have an opportunity to discuss fundamental questions of tourism and regional development with other students, lecturers and guest speakers.
You will complete the following four core modules in this group:
1) Cultural and environmental geography
2) Regional studies and tourism, including the ‘Vor Ort’ excursion
3) Management and marketing
4) Interdisciplinary regional and tourism analysis
B) Cultural studies focus modules
You will specialise in one of the following world regions: the anglophone world, east-central Europe, the francophone world, the Ibero-Romance area, the Italian cultural area, Southeast Asia or Germany. Module group B consists entirely of cultural studies modules and a foreign language programme.
C) Regional science and tourism profile modules
Research-focused teaching and learning is the remit and the objective of the profile modules, which uses an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to facilitate the transition from directed study to independent research in regional and tourism studies.
As part of the programme, you will write a thesis on a topic chosen from the profile modules (module group C) or one of the core modules 1–4 in module group A.
Upon completion of the degree programme you will have earned a total of 120 ECTS credits.
Impressions from the programme
'Vor Ort' excursion
The 'Vor Ort' (German for 'on-site') excursion at the beginning of the Master's programme deals with the fundamental practice-related questions of tourism and regional research, taking a city in the region around Passau as an example. The excursion, which lasts three days, offers you an ideal setting for the exchange of expertise as well as informal conversations with other students, lecturers and professors of Passau's geography chairs. Attached below are compilations of impressions from previous excursions to Bad Füssing in Lower Bavaria (2013) and to Linz, the state capital of Upper Austria (2014):
- Bad Füssing, 2013
- Linz, 2014
- Bad Füssing, 2015
- Award winning-study about tourismus in the Danube region
Symposium on the transition from student to professional
Once every year, M.A. Geography students organise the 'Wege in die Praxis' symposium in cooperation with supervisors from the geography chairs. Intended to help students get an idea of their career prospects after university, the symposium features guest speakers who work in a variety of fields in the tourism and regional management sectors, who share their insight into their day-to-day jobs and give their assessment of key pre-requisites for career entry nowadays. After the talks there is time for questions and discussion.
Excursion to Istanbul: Cultural Tourism, Regional and Urban Development (Summer Semester 2015)
Academic entry requirements
You should have a good first degree in cultural studies, business studies, economics, tourism or a related discipline, gained at the end of a three-year full-time programme, with a result of at least 2.5 according to the German marking system or be ranked among the best 50% of your cohort.
Required work experience
When applying, you will need to provide evidence of an internship in spatial or regional planning, regional economic development, consultancy or tourism of at least eight weeks in duration, and be able to demonstrate a grasp of the principles of economics and/or business studies equivalent to a minimum of 15 ECTS credits or one semester's study with 8 contact hours per week.
German language requirements
You will need German language skills at level B2 CEFR or higher to study this degree programme, as that is the main language of instruction for this programme. Therefore, you will have to provide a recognised German language certificate such as DSH-1 or TestDaF TDN 3×4 (i.e. level 3 in all four categories) with your application, unless German was the language of instruction for your secondary school education (e.g. Abitur at a German international school) or your first undergraduate degree (i.e. a German-taught bachelor's degree programme).
The University of Passau has set up a German language teaching unit, German Courses Passau, which offers a selection of preparatory language programmes tailored to the needs of international students. These range from summer courses to a full academic year and cater to learners of all levels.
English language requirements
You should have English language skills equivalent to UNIcert® level II or level B2 of the Common European Reference Framework for Languages (CEFR).