M.A. Geography: Culture, Environment and Tourism

M.A. Geography: Culture, Environment and Tourism

M.A. Geography: Culture, Environment and Tourism


New admission requirements will be in effect for the M.A. Geography: Culture, Environment and Tourism, once approval has been obtained from the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Science and the Arts. In order to successfully apply for a place for winter semester 2018-19 (starting in October 2018), you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Knowledge of geography amounting to a minimum of 15 ECTS credits.
  • Knowledge of research methods in geography and/or social science and/or statistics amounting to a minimum of 5 ECTS credits.
  • Basic knowledge of business administration or economics amounting to a minimum of 15 ECTS credits.
  • Proof of English language skills at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
  • Proof of an internship in spatial or regional planning, regional economic development or consultancy, public administration or tourism of at least eight weeks in duration.
Quick facts
ProgrammeGeography: Culture, Environment and Tourism
Degree awardedMaster of Arts (M.A.)
Duration and credits4 semesters; 120 ECTS credits
Starts inOctober (winter semester)
Language of instructionGerman

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

Career prospects

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!

Programme syllabus

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.

Master's thesis

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.

Module catalogue (German) and Programme structure (German)

Impressions from the programme

Please note that the pdf files linked to below are only available in German.

'Vor Ort' excursion

The 'Vor Ort' (German for 'on-site') excursion at the beginning of the master's programme deals with the fundamental practical 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 knowledge exchange as well as informal conversations with other students, lecturers and professors of Passau's geography chairs. Below are some impressions from previous excursions to Bad Füssing in Lower Bavaria and to Linz, the state capital of Upper Austria:

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 prerequisites for career entry nowadays. After the talks there is time for questions and discussion.

Here is an overview of the programmes of previous symposia:



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.

You should have gained knowledge, e.g. in your prior degree programme, of the following subjects:

  • Geography amounting to a minimum of 15 ECTS credits.
  • Business Administration and/or Economics amounting to a minimum of 15 ECTS credits.
  • Research Methods for geography and/or social science and/or statistics amounting to a minimum of 5 ECTS credits.

To illustrate what this means: One semester's study with eight teaching contact hours per week would roughly amount to 15 ECTS credits.



Required work experience

When applying, you will need to provide evidence of an internship in spatial or regional planning, regional economic development or consultancy, public administration or tourism of at least eight weeks in duration.

German language requirements

You will need German language skills at level C1 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-2 or TestDaF 4×4 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).