M.A. 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
Uniquely in Germany, the accredited M.A. Geography: Culture, Environment and Tourism programme allows you to combine the study of geography with regional studies and tourism research and to specialise in one of five cultural areas as well as a foreign language of your choice. At its core, the programme's curriculum features elements of cultural studies, social science, environmental geography, business studies and economics. It also includes a one-month stay abroad for the purpose of carrying out an independent research project or to complete an internship. When you graduate from this programme you will be able to successfully deal with complex geographical questions – in the context of urban and regional development or tourism – by adopting integrative and interdisciplinary approaches. In-depth regional knowledge and extensive intercultural competencies round off the profile of this research-led and practice-oriented programme.
For details, please consult the Academic Advice Service's infosheet [German content].
- A combination of subjects that is unique among German universities
- Core subjects: cultural, social and environmental geography; regional and tourism research; and management and marketing
- Specialise in a cultural area with certified foreign language tuition
- Integration of self-contained research projects with a focus on urban, regional or tourism research into the study programme
- Study in small study groups and in close contact with the teaching staff
This degree programme imparts regional competencies and trains students in critical and networked thinking. It opens up occupational fields in spatial and regional planning, political and economic consultancy and tourism in an international environment and/or as an academic pursuit. Graduates qualify for academically demanding occupations that require a high level of analytical, strategic and conceptual ability. This includes positions in public-sector organisations, e.g. in planning offices, in economic development, in tourism departments or nature reserves, but also in private consultancies and companies in the tourism sector. The master's degree also opens up access to doctoral study, for those who wish to pursue an academic career.
The overall programme carries a load of 120 ECTS credits. It has a modular structure and is divided into three areas:
Module area A: Core module groups
The core module groups provide you with an overview of discipline-specific core subjects and problems of the relevant sub-areas of geography (social, cultural and environmental geography; regional research; and tourism) as well as the management and marketing fields. During the "Vor Ort" (German for "on site") excursions at the early stages of the programme, students, lecturers and professional guest lecturers engage in personal dialogue to discuss the basic questions of tourism and regional development. The following core module groups are integrated:
- Cultural and Environmental Geography
- Regional Studies and Tourism
- Management and Marketing
Module area B: Cultural studies focus modules
To allow you to engage in-depth in interdisciplinary study, you will choose a regional focus: the Anglophone world, the Francophone world, the Ibero-Romance area, East-Central Europe or Southeast Asia. Module area B consists of cultural area studies and foreign language training. The Language Centre of the University of Passau has an outstanding reputation throughout Germany.
Module area C: Profile module group
Research-led teaching and research-led learning are the declared aim of the profile modules, in which you will receive integrated and interdisciplinary guidance for the conduct of your own research project. A stay abroad of at least one month to complete an internship or conduct a research project completes this module group.
The degree programme includes a master's thesis on a topic chosen from one of the core module groups Cultural and Environmental Geography or Regional Studies and Tourism or the profile module "Interdisciplinary Regional and Tourism Studies: Intercultural – International – Regional".
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:
- Berechtesgaden, 2019
- Linz, 2018
- Bad Füssing, 2017
- Linz, 2016
- Award winning-study about tourism in the Danube region (newspaper article)
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:
You should have a good first degree in cultural studies, business studies, economics, tourism, social science 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 grading scheme or ranked among the best 50% of your cohort.
To be eligible you must have:
- geography knowledge amounting to a minimum of 15 ECTS credits.
- knowledge of research methods for geography and/or social science and/or statistics amounting to a minimum of 5 ECTS credits.
- basic knowledge of business administration and/or economics amounting to a minimum of 15 ECTS credits.
(Rule of thumb: One ECTS credit amounts to roughly 30 hours of work, including time spent in the classroom and on self-study at home.)
If you do not fully meet the above requirements but are extremely interested in studying this degree programme, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to advise you.
When applying, you will need to provide proof of having completed an eight-week internship/industrial placement in one of the following sectors: regional or spatial planning, economic development or consultancy, in a public-sector organisation or the tourism industry.
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 in all four categories, unless German was the language of instruction for your secondary school education (e.g. Abitur at a German international school) or prior tertiary education.
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.
You should furnish proof of English language skills equivalent to level B2 CEFR (e.g. UNIcert® II).
Get detailed information on the application process and start your application – or e-mail us your questions.