The MSc course is a two-year programme with a modular structure.
Phase one: The first two semesters consist of lectures and coursework in Göttingen. Forest-related knowledge and methods are taught in compulsory modules such as Tropical Silviculture and Forest Ecology, Tropical Soil Science, Forest Resource Assessment, Bioclimatology and Global Change, International Forest Policy and Economy, and Project Planning and Evaluation.With a wide range of elective modules, students may specialise in some fields of forestry, gain interdisciplinary knowledge by choosing courses from other faculties of the university (e.g., Agricultural Sciences, Biology) or improve professional skills (e.g., foreign languages, soft skills).
Phase two: During the third semester (winter semester), an interdisciplinary student project is conducted abroad. The project deals with a problem specific to the project partner, e.g., agroforestry, reforestation, conservation, forest fires, soil protection. So far projects have taken place in Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malawi, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. In addition to the students' own research activities, the project organisation and the ability to work in an intercultural context are of high priority.
Phase three: Having completed the project, students usually begin fieldwork for the final thesis in a country of their choice. Field research usually takes up to three months and is supervised by professors and experienced scientists.
The Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology offers a modern working environment. Apart from many well-equipped laboratories and great variety of research facilities (climate chamber, gene and molecular biological equipment, greenhouse, etc.), the faculty holds the largest library of forestry literature in Germany. During the programme, students will experience a variety of new and traditional teaching methods.
The faculty runs some blended learning projects and is developing e-learning modules constantly. E-learning methods are mainly applied in GIS and software courses. Stud-IP is the Internet-based platform that is used by students and lecturers, especially for sharing documents, results and online discussions.
In addition to "traditional" lectures in an auditorium, students are often taught in smaller groups outside during excursions and practical courses.
Some modules are designed as seminars in which students are required to give a presentation on a specific topic; the presentation and topic will be discussed among the group.
An interdisciplinary project is carried out by the students in the second winter semester. Students work as a team on a forestry-related problem with a focus from different disciplines. The students find themselves in close-to-reality situations in which they have to cope with a given situation and find a practical solution.
Students can take an optional internship module. The four-week internship can be completed in a forestry-related institution or enterprise during the lecture breaks.