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Bachelors Degree in Geoscience

Information on application/registration for the Bachelors Degree in Geoscience

Next possible admission into the Bachelors in Geoscience is for winter semester 2019/20. Enrolment for summer semester 2019 is only possible for a change of university within a Geoscience Bachelors Degree Programme.

Application is submitted online via the portal campo. The online portal is open for applications from June.
Information about the enrolment and deadlines on the FAU Homepage (German)

Enrolment is undertaken in person at the Student Record Office in Halbmondstr. 6, Room 0.034. Dates for personal enrolment at the Student Records Office can be found on the FAU Homepage.

Information on the Introduction Events at FAU for the winter semester 2018/19 can be found on the FAU Homepage.

Information on review courses (e.g. chemistry crash course ) can be found here (German).

There is currently no numerus clausus on the Bachelors Degree in Geoscience at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

The course starts in winter semester.

The standard length of the Geoscience Bachelors Degree is six semesters. The degree has a modular format, with modules building upon each other thematically. Each module is worth ECTS credits, from the European Credit Transfer System. One credit corresponds to 30 hours of study, and are awarded after examination. Each semester requires 30 credits, with 180 credits required in total to graduate from the Bachelors Degree Programme.

The Bachelors Degree consists of compulsory and elective modules, both within areas of specialisation and subjects beyond geoscience. A large independent research project, the Bachelor’s Thesis, is undertaken in the final semester.

The course includes a Fundamentals and Orientation Phase lasting two semesters, followed by a Bachelor’s Phase of four semesters. This includes the foundations of natural sciences  (chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology) alongside introductions to geology, mineralogy and palaeontology. To complete this phase the following modules totalling 25 ECTS credits must be completed:

  • Grundlagen der Geowissenschaften I (Foundations of Geoscience I)
  • Minerale und Gesteine (Minerals and Rocks)
  • Chemie (Chemistry)
  • Geowissenschaftliche Arbeitsmethoden I (Geoscientific Work Methods)

The object of the subsequent Bachelor’s Phase is an absorption of geoscientific foundations, alongside field and laboratory skills. In the fifth semester students choose three main areas of specialisation (out of five offered areas) and attend a core skill (Key Qualification) module. For the Key Qualification, any module by FAU, including a specific GeoZentrum module, can be chosen.

In the sixth semester the students work on an independent research project lasting two months, the Bachelor’s Thesis. Here students develop the skills to work independently on a scientific research question in their field of specialisation. The projects are written as a report and presented in a seminar to a discussion panel.

The Bachelor of Science is the first scientific qualification, and the title Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) will be awarded on graduation.

For the 5th and 6th semester of the Bachelor degree programme Geosciences you choose three out of five geoscientific elective modules.

The five elective modules at a glance:

Petrology – Geodynamics – Georesources (PG)

This major focuses on geodynamic processes in the Earth’s crust and mantle, which are fundamental in understanding the evolution of our planet. The formation of magmas in Earth’s interior and at active continental margins (mid-oceanic ridges and subduction zones) play an important role. Furthermore, the consequences of magmatic activity, such as volcanic eruptions, and the impacts on society are covered in this field. The formation mechanisms of magmatic ore deposits is an important subject, fundamental for exploration geology. The main methods of investigation in this specialism is isotopic and chemical analysis of rocks.

Appied Sedimentology – Georesources (AS)

The processes that lead to the formation of sedimentary rocks and related non-metallic natural resource deposits, alongside methods of exploration are the main focus of this major. This includes fossil fuels (crude oil, natural gas, coal) and construction materials (sand, gravel, natural rock). A second important topic in this field is geothermal energy as a renewable energy resource. Here the study focuses on the thermal properties of rocks with respect to their use for heat and electricity generation, for both near-surface and deep geothermal engineering. In addition, the isotopic geochemistry laboratory is in this department, focusing on stable carbon and oxygen isotopes for the reconstruction of climatic conditions and changes of Earth’s past.

Applied Geology (AG)

Applied geology is divided into two departments: Engineering Geology and Hydrology.

Engineering geology focuses on the investigation of geohazards, such as landslides, in the upland areas of central Germany and the Alps. Most importantly, analysing potential locations, dimensions and time frames of these often catastrophic events is covered. Investigation methods include aerial photograph interpretation, geodesic measurement, direct measurement of movement alongside soil and rock mechanics. Other topics in engineering geology are tunnel and dam construction, contamination investigation, subsoil investigation and landfill construction.

Hydrology is the study of water cycle processes. It covers ground and surface water dynamics, preservation and safety of regional water supplies, karst hydrology and water chemistry. Main methods of this area are isotope analysis and the  chemical composition of waters. This research group also investigate possible ground storage of CO2.

Applied Mineralogy (AM)

The mineralogical institute covers the applied field of building chemistry (cement mineralogy), high-performance ceramics (e.g. phosphorescent materials) and calcium phosphate as bone substitutes. The focus is on reaction processes in mineralogical substances and their influence on material properties. The methods used are primarily x-ray diffractometry, calorimetry and microprobe analysis.

Palaeobiology – Palaeoenvironment (PB, in English)

Palaeobiology covers the evolution of life and ecosystems, with a focus on environmental conditions and processes. It ranges from the early history of life to recent history and the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Important topics are carbonate sedimentology, marine fossils and taxonomy alongside palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Methods include geological field and laboratory work, chemical analytical methods and statistical analysis of large datasets (primarily the Palaeobiology Database, PBDB).

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Courses from all departments of the University Erlangen-Nuremberg can be used as Key Qualification modules in the Geoscience Bachelors Degree (5th semester). The only requirement is that modules are worth 5 ECTS (e.g. language courses, field trips, lectures).

Modules available as interdisciplinary electives in the Geoscience Bachelors Degree are listed. The interdisciplinary elective module is scheduled for the fifth semester (Programme (German)).

Please note, lectures are offered annually. It is recommended to complete modules offered in the winter semester in the fifth semester and lectures offered in the summer semester in the fourth semester.

Current interdisciplinary elective modules for the Geoscience Bachelors Degree are worth 5 ECTS (most modules are in German):

1. Strukturphysik und Kristallographie (SuKGeoChem) (Crystallography and Structural Physics), (a + b = 5 ECTS) a) Strukturphysik und Kristallographie (SuKGeoChem) für Geowissenschaftler und Chemiker (V) (Crystallography and Structural Physics for Geoscientists and Chemists (lecture series)), 2 SWS Prof. Dr. Hock; winter semester; more information in UnivIS

b) Übungen zu Kristallographie und Strukturphysik für Geowissenschaftler und Chemiker (UE) (Exercises in Crystallography and Structural Physics for Geoscientists and Chemists (exercise)), 2 SWS, Prof. Dr. Hock; winter semester; for time see UnivIS

2. Grundvorlesung PG I: Geomorphologie und Bodengeographie (G-VL I PG) (V) (Foundation Lecture PG I: Geomorphology and Ground Geography) 2 SWS, 5 ECTS Prof. Bäumler; winter semester; for dates see UnivIS

optional: Tutorium: Grundvorlesung I PG (Tutorial: Foundation Lecture I PG); winter semester; for dates see UnivIS

3. Organische Chemie, Grundlagen (OC 54) (V) (Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry), 3 SWS, 5 ECTS, Prof. Dr. Mokhir; winter semester; for dates see UnivIS

optional: Unterstützungsseminar 2 (CC07) zur Organischen Chemie, Grundlagen (UE) (Supporting Seminar 1 or 2 for Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry), winter semester; for dates see UnivIS

4. Einführung in die Astronomie 1 (NW-1) (V) (Introduction to Astronomy 1), 2 SWS, 3 ECTS, Prof. Heber; winter semester; for dates see UnivIS

+ Übungen zur Einführung in die Astronomie 1 (UE NW-1) (UE) (Exercises for Introduction to Astronomy 1), 1 SWS, 2 ECTS, winter semester; for dates see UnivIS

5. Ökologische und systematische Diversität der Organismen A: Einführung in die Zoologie (VorlZoo) (V) (Ecological and Systematic Diversity of Organisms A: Introduction to Zoology), 2 SWS, 5 ECTS, Prof. Feigenspan, Dr. Schmidl; winter semester; for dates see UnivIS

Please contact Dr. Schmidl if you are interested in the course juergen.schmidl@fau.de

7. Computers in Geoscience, 5 SWS , 5 ECTS
Prof. Kießling and assistants; begin of WiSe, for dates see UnivIS; registration via studon

Download module description

The topic of the Bachelor’s Thesis can be assigned at from the end of lecture period in the fifth semester and after the acquisition of 120 ECTS credits. The written Bachelor’s Thesis is worth 12 credits, and the presentation of a Bachelor’s Thesis within a colloquium is worth 3 credits.

A Geoscience Bachelors Degree prepares students for work in industrial enterprises, engineering companies, authorities and comparable establishments. The degree also lays the foundation for further study (Masters).

A list of literature is available here if you would like a basic overview of geology and natural sciences.

Regarding to section 29 of the General Examination Regulations following guidelines apply on the implementation and review of a Bachelor’s Thesis in the Bachelors in Geosicence Degree Programme (Bachelor of Science):
      • A Bachelors Thesis in the Bachelors in Geoscience Degree Programme can be assigned by all professors at the NatFak of FAU (supervisor) and habilitated full-time workgroup heads at the GeoZentrum Nordbayern. The examination board can permit exceptions.
      • Students must ensure that they have a topic for their Bachelor’s Thesis by the start of their final semester at the latest. Topic and date of issue must be submitted to the examination board via the examination office on 1st April of the respective year at the latest. To do this, use the form “Anmeldung einer Bachelorarbeit” (Registration of a Bachelor’s Thesis).
      • The period for the production of a Bachelor’s Thesis is two months. An extension of max. one month is permitted in founded exceptions by the examination board.
      • The Bachelor’s Thesis should follow the rules of scientific publishing and contain the chapters Abstract (max. 250 words), Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, discussion and a list of the References. The total length of the thesis should not be more than 7000 words (including references, figures and tables) (guidelines by the examination board). Please use the model title page for the front page of the Thesis.
      • The thesis must be handed in to the examination office in two casebound copies together with the Erklärung des Betreuers zur Offenlegung (Declaration of Disclosure) and the BAföG-Erklärung (Declaration on Federal Law on Support in Education)
      • The examination board orders all full-time professors and habilitated full-time work group heads at the GeoZentrum Nordbayern as reviewers. The review of the Bachelor’s Thesis is done using the Formblatt Gutachten (Review Form) handed out by the examination board.

The text above is only an excerpt of the General Examination Regulations for the Bachelors and Masters Degree Programmes from February 2016. In this file you find further guidelines and regulations for the Bachelors Degree Programme and the Bachelor’s Thesis.

Latest Examination Regulations: February 2016