Doctor of Philosophy Programme Geography 

Faculty Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences
Duration / ECTS-Credits 6 semesters / 180 ECTS-Credits
Academic Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Qualification Level
Doctorate (Third Cycle)
ISCED-11: Level 8, EQF/NQF: Level 8
ISCED-F 0532 Earth Sciences
Mode of Study
Study Code
UC 094 xxx | UC 794 660 xxx
Information on the Curriculum (2009W) *
Language of Instruction German / English
Admission Requirements Relevant diploma or master's degree or equivalent and Laguage Certificates

* Information on the Curriculum (2009W)

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 master's or diploma degrees at the University of Innsbruck:

Proof of general university entrance qualification:

With the exception of § 64 par. 5 UG 2002, the general university entrance qualification for admission to a doctoral programme shall be demonstrated by the completion of a relevant diploma programme or master's programme or another relevant programme of at least the same level of higher education at a recognised domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution. To compensate for substantial subject-related differences, supplementary examinations may be prescribed, which must be taken by the end of the second semester of the doctoral degree programme.

The rectorate may determine which of these supplementary examinations are prerequisites for taking examinations provided for in the curriculum of the doctoral degree programme.

Modules and Dissertation

Compulsory Modules
30 ECTS-Credits
150 ECTS-Credits

Concept of Doctoral Thesis
5 ECTS-Credits

Generic Skills
5 ECTS-Credits

Scientific Core Skills
5 ECTS-Credits

Discussion of New Research Results
5 ECTS-Credits

Participation in the Academic Discussion
5 ECTS-Credits

Doctoral Thesis Defence
5 ECTS-Credits

The dissertation is a piece of scientific work in a special field of geography which – in contrast to a diploma or master's thesis – serves to prove thestudent's ability to cope with scientific questions in an independent way.

The dissertation can also consist of articles that are related in terms of subject matter or methods. The quality criteria mentioned in the curriculum are valid.

The student has to propose a team of supervisors, consisting of at least two people (dissertation committee), and to nominate one of them as the supervisor mainly responsible. It is permissible to propose supervisors (with the exception of the main supervisor) from subject‐related fields. Injustifiable exceptional cases it is possible for students to propose only one supervisor.

Prior to beginning the work, the student has to communicate the dissertation topic and names of the supervisors in writing to the Director of Studies. Topic and supervisors are considered as accepted, if the Director of Studies does not veto them by means of a decree within one month after the receipt of the proposal.

Qualification Profile and Skills

The Doctor of Philosophy Programme Geography offers scientific development in the field of Geography with special attention to the issues of the man-environment-relationship, the structure and change of natural and social systems in their mutual spatial references and different regional contexts.

Expected Learning Outcomes for the Doctorate

Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy Programme Geography have a theoretical and systematic understanding of their research discipline and the methods employed by research in this field. Through their submission of an original piece of scientific work, graduates of this program have made their own contribution to research which widens boundaries of knowledge and conforms to the evaluation standards of experts.

Future Prospects: Occupational Profiles and Career Opportunities

The career fields of graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy Programme Geography range from science (universities and research centres), economy (e.g. consulting companies, engineering offices, banking and insurance, tourism associations), public services (offices and authorities, policy consulting) to NGOs (e.g. development cooperation, special interest groups).

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

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

Information for students with disabilities

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