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Master's Programme Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences

Faculty Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences
Duration / ECTS-Credits 4 semesters / 120 ECTS-Credits
Academic Degree
Master of Science (MSc)
Qualification Level
Master (Second Cycle)
ISCED-11: Level 7, EQF/NQF: Level 7
ISCED-F 0532 Earth Sciences
Mode of Study
Study Code
UC 066 614
Curriculum Information on the curriculum (2015W) *
Language of Instruction English
Admission Requirements
Relevant bachelor's degree or equivalent and Language Certificates


* Information on the curriculum (2015W)

The complete version of the curriculum reflects the currently valid version of the curriculum. It is for informational purposes only and is not legally binding. The legally binding version of the curriculum, including any amendments, may be found in the University of Innsbruck Bulletins.

In order to determine which version of the curriculum is applicable in your case, see the Catalogue of Studies,
  available at:
  Section: Current Curriculum version.

University of Innsbruck Bulletins » (Click to open all University of Innsbruck Bulletins)


Relevant bachelor's degrees at the University of Innsbruck:

Proof of general university entrance qualification:

The general university entrance qualification for admission to a master's programme must be proven by the completion of a subject-related bachelor's programme, another subject-related programme of at least the same higher education level at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution, or a program defined in the curriculum of the master's programme. To compensate for significant differences in subject matter, supplementary examinations (maximum 30 ECTS credits) may be prescribed, which must be taken by the end of the second semester of the master's programme. The rectorate may determine which of these supplementary examinations are prerequisites for taking examinations provided for in the curriculum of the master's programme.

In the course of the proof of the general university entrance qualification, the completion of the following core areas within the framework of the completed bachelor's degree programme shall be examined in any case:

  •   5 ECTS-Credits Weather Analysis and Forecasting
  • 20 ECTS-Credits mathematics
  • 12 ECTS-Credits physics and/or chemistry
  •   2 ECTS-Credits programming language or computer science

Before you apply, please make sure that your bachelor degree has at least the equivalent of 20 ECTS in mathematics, 12 ECTS in physics/chemistry and 2 ECTS in programming. Otherwise your application cannot be processed further.

Recommended Course Sequence

The exemplary course sequence given below is recommended for full-time students beginning their study programme in the winter semester. The table shows one possible course sequence for the master's programme and is not compulsory. Delays resulting from repeated examinations are not taken into account.

The standard duration of the study programme is 4 semesters or 120 ECTS-Credits, whereby according to the Universities Act of 2002, a workload of 1,500 (real) hours per academic year must be fulfilled, corresponding to 60 ECTS-Credits (one ECTS-Credit is equivalent to a workload of 25 hours).

First Semester »

5.0 ECTS-Credits: VU Atmospheric Radiation and Remote Sensing
5.0 ECTS-Credits: VU Physics of the Climate System
5.0 ECTS-Credits: VU Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
5.0 ECTS-Credits: VU Mountain Meteorology
5.0 ECTS-Credits: VU Boundary Layer Meteorology
3.5 ECTS-Credits: VO Numerical Methods for Models in Atmospheric Sciences
1.5 ECTS-Credits: PS Numerical Methods for Models in Atmospheric Sciences 

Second Semester »

5.0 ECTS-Credits: Atmospheric Chemistry and Biogeochemistry
5.0 ECTS-Credits: The Cryosphere as Part of the Climate System
3.5 ECTS-Credits: Advanced Weather Forecasting
4.0 ECTS-Credits: Geostatistics
4.0 ECTS-Credits: Scientific Programming
7.5 ECTS-Credits: Field Course Atmospheric Sciences

Third Semester »

10.0 ECTS-Credits: Elective Modules
10.0 ECTS-Credits: Interdisciplinary Skills
4.5 ECTS-Credits: Numerical Modeling of Weather and Climate
3.0 ECTS-Credits: Modeling of the Cryosphere and Climate System
3.0 ECTS-Credits: Reading, Writing and Presenting Scientific Content      

Fourth Semester »

27.5 ECTS-Credits: Master's Thesis
2.5 ECTS-Credits: Master's Thesis Defence 

Graphic chart »

Studienverlauf_MA Atmosphärenwissenschaften_Stand 01.10.2015_en

Detailed recommended course schedule

Qualification Profile and Skills 

The Master’s Programme Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences provides an in-depth understanding of atmospheric processes and their interactions with land, oceans, ice and biosphere from the molecular to the global scale and from short-term phenomena such as turbulences and storms to long-term climate changes; with a focus on snow and ice, climate and global change, applied meteorology (environment, energy, glaciology), the application of advanced observation systems (satellite technology) for data assimilation and process modelling in the area of environment and forecasting, or the analysis of the significance of complex orography in the dynamics of atmospheric flows. A special focus of the education in Innsbruck refers to mountain aspects. The entry requirement for the Master’s Programme Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences is a bachelor’s degree in a related field with basic skills in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer languages. Alongside a deeper comprehension of the basic knowledge acquired in the bachelor’s programme, students learn to independently apply scientific methods to the interpretation of weather maps, to prepare large-scale and local weather forecasts based on the comprehension of the workings of current operational forecasting models. Besides providing technical expertise in the field of meteorology, the programme additionally teaches students to evaluate scientific topics of meteorology and atmospheric physics in an interdisciplinary context, and to autonomously apply them to new areas of study, incorporating the university’s research specialities.

Expected Learning Outcomes 

Graduates possess highly specialized knowledge in the field of atmospheric and cryospheric sciences. They are able to integrate, transfer and implement scientific methods and knowledge at the intersections of other related nature sciences.

Future Prospects: Occupational Profiles and Career Opportunities

The career fields for graduates of the master’s programme range from meteorological and hydrological services, weather consulting companies, avalanche warning services, environmental agencies, domestic and foreign research institutions and operational centres, to interdisciplinary areas of responsibility where meteorology plays a key role. The Master’s Programme  Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences prepares students for relevant doctoral studies as well as careers beyond the academic area in national and international research institutions.

Postgraduate and further Studies at the University of Innsbruck

Extension Study Programme

Within the scope of the Study Programme, a Supplementary Programme corresponding to 60 ECTS-Credits may be passed. Admission to the Supplementary Programme requires the admission to or the having passed of one of the selected Study Programmes. Detailed information:

Information about examination regulations, assessment and grading

Examination regulations

The examination regulation is an integral part of the curriculum, detailed information can be found under the paragraph examination regulations.

Description of the applied grading system (including the grade distribution table) »

The grade distribution table is a statistical representation of the distribution of all successfully completed examinations in a given programme of study or subject (based on all registered students for the programme or subject). The grade distribution table is updated in regular intervals.

 Austrian grading
 Outstanding performance

= 100%


 Generally good, but with some errors
 Generally sound work with a number of substantial errors
 Performance meets the minimum criteria
 Substantial improvement necessary; requirement of further work

December 2021

Overall classification of the qualification

Not applicable
Explanation: An overall classification (mit Auszeichnung bestanden/pass with distinction, bestanden/pass, nicht bestanden/fail) – is awarded only for examinations that conclude a programme of study and consist of more than one subject (an examination of this type is not specified in the curriculum of this programme of study). 

Information about the Programme (in German only)

Forms (in German only)

Contact and Information

Examination Office
Standort Innrain 52d Piktogramm barrierefreier Zugang

Associate Dean of Studies
Ao.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Georg Mayr

Dean of Studies
Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Gertraud Meißl 

Information for students with disabilities

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