In the course of study, social processes in the context of development and transformation are analyzed on the basis of social science theories, models and methods. Theories of development research are related to regional contexts and questions of resource management as well as development practice, policy and cooperation are discussed and discussed in the area of ??tension between planning and application. Likewise, methods of geographical information processing, empirical social research and qualitative and quantitative data processing in empirical contexts are used on a topic-related basis. The discipline-based course is supplemented by interdisciplinary options for individual orientation and specialization.

A central aspect of the course is project work, in which the students learn to plan, carry out and complete empirical research projects in the context of South or Central Asia, both independently and in a group. This includes the development of the question and the choice of working methods, instruments and techniques as well as the documentation and presentation of the results.




The course is divided into a disciplinary area with 75 credit points (CP), an interdisciplinary elective area (15 CP) and the master's thesis (30 CP).

The disciplinary area comprises the fundamentals of development research and policy, human-environment relationships and the regional geography of South and Central Asia as well as the methods of geographic information processing and project management. Project work and work in professional practice build on this knowledge.

In the interdisciplinary area, modules from related disciplines can be selected for individual specialization and orientation.

The structure and course of the course are regulated by the course and examination regulations. It contains detailed descriptions of the content and qualification goals of each individual module and an exemplary course plan. It defines the type and requirements of the examination performance of the modules and the master’s examination. In the regulations, the credit points (CP) for each module or event as well as the workload in hours for the entire course are specified.

The master's thesis should show that the students are able to independently work on and present a research task using scientific methods. After successfully completing the study program, the university degree Master of Science (M.Sc.) is awarded.

Modules of the course

Basics and methods

module Basics of geographic development research
module Human-environmental relationships
module Development Policy Strategies and Instruments I - Economic and Ecological Dimensions
module Strategies and Instruments of Development Policy II - Political-Institutional and Social Dimensions
module Regional Studies - Regional Geography of South and Central Asia
module Geographic information processing for development research
module Project management

Specialization and project work

module Project I - Empirical Development Research
module Project II - Development Research and Development Practice
module Geographical work in professional practice



To be admitted to the master’s degree, applicants must demonstrate the following requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in a geography, social or regional science course or an equivalent university degree,
  • Proof of language proficiency in English (level B2 GER).



Graduates have in-depth scientific knowledge and advanced professional skills.

Possible areas of activity include national and international development organizations, journalistic and media multipliers, authorities, associations, organizations, production companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), development agencies, consultancies, administrations and politics.

Graduates are qualified for doctoral studies and are able to meet the professional requirements in science and practice using modern methods.

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