Fields of study

As many as 5,700 students have elected the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences as their academic home. They are enrolled in courses at the Departments of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Biology, Geography, Geoscience, and Marine Science. Each department offers various courses. Information on qualifications required, enrolment, curricula etc. are available here.

Below you will find a short overview of the fields of study.


Biology – long live biodiversity!

Biology concentrates on the many living beings that populate our planet– ranging from the smallest bacterium up to the gigantic redwood tree. Biologists try to understand every single organisation level of their object of research – spanning across the analysis of the molecular bases to the research of their role within complex environmental systems. On all of these levels, evolutionary research tries to explain the genesis of processes and to understand the enormous biological complexity.

At Kiel University, internationally recognized scientists are interested in finding out more about the interaction between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment. The adaptation process to various stressors is part of this research, as well as the coexistence of organisms with their bacterial flora. A lot of working groups put their research focus on understanding how evolution contributed to the formation of the characteristics of systems, and on understanding molecular regulatory mechanisms.

The central role that biology plays within modern research is clearly shown by its participation in four Clusters of Excellence at Kiel University. International connections

and interdisciplinary collaboration of research groups induce a beneficial relationship between fundamental and application-oriented research. This qualifies graduates of Biology to work in a broad field. They are recruited by industry, test laboratories, research facilities, governmental agencies or the medical sector.

Courses at the Department of Biology

  • Biology B.Sc.
  • Biology M.Sc.
  • Biochemistry / Molecular Biology B.Sc.
  • Biochemistry / Molecular Biology M.Sc.
  • Biology B.Sc. / B.A., becoming a teacher
  • Biology M.Ed., becoming a teacher


More information on individual courses can be found  here.


The power of attraction

Chemistry explores the composition, transformation and characteristics of substances and compounds. With the aid of chemical methods, knowledge is gained which is then used to better understand the substances as such and to produce new, synthetic substances. Chemistry plays an important role in the fields of energy supply, the manufacturing of new materials, mobility, health and communication. The sustainable use of resources is also of growing importance.

If you study chemistry at Kiel University, you will be able to work in many sectors. Among these are research and development in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, or various jobs at small and medium sized companies such as the Land Office or Environmental Office at public services. Chemists’ ability to constantly analyse facts critically enables them to work also in fields such as commerce, and in society.

The Department of Chemistry cooperates with numerous universities and research institutions worldwide and is currently involved in research projects on national and international levels. Our teaching staff participate in ERASMUS/SOKRATES exchange programs and DAAD programs. Various projects are supported by the German Research Society (DFG) and third-party funding – which proves the quality of research in chemistry at Kiel University. Among them is the Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 677 “Function by Switching” (in German), where chemists work closely with physicists and researchers of material science. Furthermore, the Institute of Physical Chemistry is part of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”.

Courses at the Department of Chemistry

  • Chemistry B.Sc.
  • Chemistry M.Sc.
  • Chemistry and Business Administration B.Sc.
  • Chemistry and Business Administration M.Sc.
  • Chemistry B.Sc. / B.A., becoming a teacher
  • Chemistry M.Ed., becoming a teacher

More information on individual courses can be found here.


Of cities and coasts

The Department of Geography brings together methods of social and natural thinking in Human and Environmental Research. At the Department of Human Geography, approaches from various fields such as economics, social science and cultural studies are combined. The Department of Physical Geography deals with integrated approaches to landscape, coastal and climate development.

Geographers from Kiel University cooperate in various areas of research and teaching. Among these are: collaborations with faculties at Kiel University, international research associations, municipal and regional scientific, economical institutions and institutions of spatial planning as well as schools.

Geography studies at Kiel University have a practical orientation, as seen in our various application-oriented modules. Also the teaching staff often have a qualified planning background and experience in the professional sector. This mixture of scientific studies and practical application is a strong characteristic of our courses. Both classes on methodical application and hands-on experience in companies and schools are obligatory in all B.A. and Master’s degree programs. Research Projects also include application-oriented aspects. Students approach their Master’s thesis by choosing subjects they like and taking classes that offer in-depth knowledge. They are also able to acquire first-hand experience in research and take part in international exchange programs.

Courses at the Department of Geography

  • Geography B.Sc.
  • Urban and Regional Development M.Sc.*
  • Environmental Geography and Management M.Sc.*
  • Sustainibility, Society and Environment M.Sc.*
  • Geography B.Sc. / B.A., becoming a teacher
  • Geography M.Ed., becoming a teacher


In collaboration with the Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Science

  • Applied Ecology M.Sc. *
  • Ecohydrology M.Sc. *
  • Environmental Management M.Sc. *


Courses marked with * are part of the Kiel School of Sustainability. Kiel School of Sustainability is an institution within the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. It is interdisciplinary and combines Master degree programs at Kiel University that focus on environment and sustainability, and markets these under the brand name “Kiel School of Sustainability”. The institution aims to promote internationalisation, and is developing new courses accordingly. More information can be found here.

In collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities

  • Prehistoric and Historic Archeology B.Sc.
  • Prehistoric and Historic Archeology M.Sc.

More information on individual courses can be found here.


Understanding the Earth – layer by layer

Knowledge of today’s physical, chemical and biological processes on Earth’s surface and its interior, drawn from scientific methods, analysis and models are the basis for understanding the planet we live on. This helps geoscientists to understand the Earth’s history, thus enabling them to provide answers to complex issues of resources, climate, and living conditions. In this way, geoscience contributes to a sustainable development and utilisation of the Earth. Geoscientists find jobs in engineering offices, in resource management and in areas of environment and nature conservation.

At Kiel University, marine and applied research concepts are widely applied to answer questions relating to geoscience. Scientific research covers a multitude of areas including marine geoscience and palaeontology, the physical and chemical characteristics of minerals, applied geology and hydrology, as well as geophysics.

Research at our department is internationally recognized and is supported by various third-party funded projects. Geoscientists from Kiel University are a driving force in numerous national and international projects and are linked closely to colleagues from other scientific institutions.

The department is an active participant in DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centres and the Cluster of Excellence “Future Ocean”, a joint project with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

Courses at the Department of Geoscience

  • Geosciences B.Sc.
  • Geosciences M.Sc.
  • Physics of the Earth System B.Sc.
  • Geophysics M.Sc.
  • Marine Geosciences M.Sc.

More information on individual courses can be found here.


Marvellous Maths!

Mathematics has a very long tradition in science. Its core idea is to abstract and reduce everything to its essence. In doing so, its findings are universal, and they not only shape our modern society in various ways, but also constitute an impressive human achievement and beauty in themselves.

In dealing with mathematics, students learn how to reduce problems to their essence, to argue with logical rigour, to find imaginative solutions and to make connections  between seemingly unconnected matters. In doing so, they learn to work with the most important “language” of the natural and economic sciences.

Mathematicians are well liked on the labour market due to their structured way of dealing with problems and the analytical skills they possess. Mathematical methods are a must in various jobs: statistical techniques in the medical sector and insurances, stochastic, financial methods at banks and the finance sector, numeric simulation and various technical applications, as well as teaching maths at schools.

Courses at the Department of Mathematics

  • Mathematics B.Sc.
  • Mathematics M.Sc.
  • Financial Mathematics M.Sc.
  • Mathematics B.Sc. / B.A., becoming a teacher
  • Mathematics M.Ed., becoming a teacher

More information on individual courses can be found here.

Marine Science


The Department of Marine Science teaches and researches at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, one of the leading institutes world-wide in the field of Oceanography. The institute analyses the chemical, physical, biological and geological processes within oceans and their interaction with the seabed and atmosphere. In this, it is the only German institution that covers such a range of studies. Kiel University offers two Master’s degree courses in cooperation with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre.

The ocean is the greatest and to a large extent least known habitat of our planet. It is essential for the Earth’s ecosystem. This explains the growing need for scientists who are able to analyse and evaluate the natural system of the ocean, its potential as a resource, and the possible changes occurring within it. The Master’s degree program Biological Oceanography aims to train graduates to the point where they can successfully work on complex tasks and scientific problems. This includes jobs such as marine environmental monitoring. Besides offering training in biological oceanography and fish ecology, studies also emphasise the increasing utilisation of the seas by men, and the resultant changes within the marine ecosystem. Also, graduates are expected to gain an understanding of neighbouring scientific subjects in order to be able to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams.

Physical oceanography, which is part of geoscience, focuses on the physical processes of the ocean and its interactions with the atmosphere. The main goal is to describe and explain complex movements in the ocean within various space and time scales. In the Department  of Climate Physics, a highly active area of research is the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. Both systems affect each other in ways that have not yet been thoroughly explained, but which are very important for understanding the variability of climate. Another aim is to gain a better knowledge of the ocean and the atmosphere as factors in climate fluctuation, in order to enable a more precise forecast of physical climates.

Courses at the Department of Marine Science

  • Biological Oceanography M.Sc.
  • Climate Physics M.Sc.

More information on individual courses can be found here.


Risks and possible side effects

The courses at the Department of Pharmacy inform students about the risks and side effects of medical substances and drugs as well as all their beneficial effects. They learn everything concerning medical products: their production, their analysis, and their application. Pharmacy is a multidisciplinary science with elements from the various natural and medical sciences. It is therefore a multifaceted Life-Science course of study with an orientation towards both practical applications and research.

Anybody who would like to concentrate on a variety of natural science subjects and seeks a connection to the healing professions and patients should choose this course of study. Pharmacy offers an ideal basis for various jobs in commercial pharmacies, hospital pharmacies or the pharmaceutical industry.

The Department of Pharmacy at Kiel University has been evaluated with excellent results by the Verbund Norddeutscher Universitäten. It also holds a high position at the CHE-Ranking and the ranking of student bodies of pharmaceutical departments in Germany. We are also successful in terms of basic research – many of our findings are used to develop new medicines. 


  • Pharmacy, first state examination
  • Pharmacy, second state examination
  • Pharmacy, third state examination

More information on individual courses can be found here.


What holds the world together – at its core

Physics examines the functional principles of nature, ranging from the search for the smallest particle and phenomena in our environment and technology up to cosmic incidents. It thus forms the basis for chemistry and biology as well as for engineering.

In a time when lifelong learning is called for, the study of physics offers a sound foundation for working in many, varied professional areas. Physicists are wanted in jobs dealing with microelectronics, in the chemical industry, in the finance sector or in consultation companies. Our graduates acquire competencies such as structured, analytical thinking, the ability to describe complex events with quantitative methods, to deal with problems in practical and goal-orientated ways, and communication skills. They also acquire knowledge of electronics, modern measurement methods, computing and numeric methods.

The quality of teaching and research in the Department of Physics is internationally acclaimed. Scientists of Kiel University have taken part in the developing and building of instruments for space probes and are leaders in the field of nanoscience. Other key research areas are the examination of plasma as ionized state of matter, the physics of solid-state bodies as well as interfaces and surfaces. Various projects have attracted third-party funding. Among these are the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centres, projects of space science in collaboration with ESA and NASA, as well as the development and utilisation of large research establishments such as the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile.

Courses at the Department of Physics

  • Physics B.Sc.
  • Physics M.Sc.
  • Physics B.Sc. / B.A., becoming a teacher
  • Physics M.Ed., becoming a teacher

More information on individual courses can be found here.