Structure

The Masters program Physical Geography is made up of 90 ECTS credits. Thus, the full-time program lasts 1.5 years. 60 ECTS credits must be earned by writing the Master’s thesis. 30 ECTS credits must be earned by taught courses. The choice of these courses depends on your individual research project and is tailored to your interests and needs.

Module                                                  ECTS credits

Compulsory

60
Core electives min. 15
Elective courses max. 15
Total 90

Compulsory modules

Module ID Title Language ECTS Term
GEO 610 Master's thesis and master's exam English 60 Spring and Fall

The Master's thesis represents an independent scientific work under the guidance of an experienced member of the teaching staff.  The thesis is worth 60 ECTS credits and may extend over two consecutive semesters, but must not exceed 18 months. The results of the thesis will be presented in a public seminar.

Core elective modules

We offer a range of core elective courses, each counting 6 ECTS credits, covering the breadth of Glaciology and Geochronology, Hydrology, Soil Science and Geomorphology:

Module ID Title Language ECTS Term
GEO 411 Field studies on high mountain processes English 6 Spring
GEO 463 Soil Science I English 6 Fall
GEO 419 Soil Science II English 6 Spring
GEO 412 Soil Science III English 6 Spring
GEO 413 Quantification and modelling of the Cryosphere English 6 Spring
GEO 415 Cryosphere dynamics English 6 Spring
GEO 416 Environment – Soil – Vegetation German 6 Spring
GEO 417 Environmental archives and age determination English 6 Spring
GEO 418 Atmosphere and Climate English

6

Spring
GEO 471 Hydrological field measurements and calculations English 6 Spring
GEO 475 Hydrological Modelling English 6 Fall

Elective courses

May be freely chosen from the Master’s offerings at the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, or other Swiss universities, in consultation with the mentor. At most 15 ECTS credits of elective courses may count towards the Specialized Master in Physical Geography. The list below shows some possibilities:

Module ID Title Language ECTS Term
Geo 862 Cold Region Hydrology English 4 Spring
Geo 818 Dendro-Ecology English 6 Spring
701-1253-00L Analysis of climate and Weather data English 3 Fall

701-1251-00L

Land-Climate Dynamics English 3 Fall

102-0237-00L

Hydrology II English 3 Fall

102-0287-00L

Fluvial Systems English 3 Fall

651-4023-00L

Groundwater English 4 Fall

102-0488-00L

Water Resources Management English 3 Spring

701-1216-00L 

Numerical Modelling of Weather and Climate English 4 Spring

More information

Read further details in the University of Zurich module directory

For enquiries, contact Samuel Abiven (samuel.abiven@geo.uzh.ch)