StudiesDegree programmesGeography
Economic Geography (M.A.)

Economic Geography (M.A.)

The teaching in the programme leading to a Master of Arts in Economic Geography focuses on the regional development in countries at different stages of development. You will learn to use your theoretical knowledge to explain the spatial structures of the economy, empirically investigate regional development processes and draw up sound strategies for implementing regional policy. The regional focuses of the Institute are Germany, the EU, North America, South-East Asia, China and Japan.

The Master's programme has four key thematic specialisations, which currently play a major role in the practical implementation and the scientific debate and in which the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography has gained an international reputation: globalisation and regionalisation / entrepreneurship and enterprise creation/ knowledge and innovation / economic development and policy desig.

  • Key thematic specialisations

    Globalisation and regionalisation:
    In a globally networked world, why are businesses and the labour force concentrated at certain locations?

    Entrepreneurship and enterprise creation:
    Which factors determine business start-up activity and what impact do they have on the regional economy?

    Knowledge and innovation:
    What role do knowledge and innovation play in regional economic growth?

    Economic development and policy design: Which strategies and instruments can be used to achieve social economic policy goals such as growth and development?

  • Course profile
    • Topical issues of practical relevance which are at the heart of the academic, business and economic policy debate,
    • Courses by lecturers who research and publish on topical issues in one of the largest departments of economic geography in Germany,
    • Classes by external instructors who work with you to explore the relevance and implementation of economic geography issues from a practical perspective,
    • Individual supervision and specialisation through small group teaching, internships interwoven into the taught courses and involvement in research projects,
    • Sound training in quantitative and qualitative research methods which provides you with the skills needed to work independently on academic research issues and on the job,
    • Work with the latest (usually freely available) software which is of relevance for your employment prospects,
    • Advanced courses from the fields of economics and business administration can be taken as your minor,
    • International orientation provided by a semester or an internship abroad and regular lectures by visiting international academics and
    • Excellent employment prospects (substantiated by regular surveys of alumni) thanks to practically oriented training and our active alumni network.
  • Admission requirements

    Places are limited to 25 per year. Students must already have studied a certain amount of economic geography and economics during their Bachelor programme (geography, economics or related disciplines).

    Detailed information

  • Programme objectives

    Graduates of the Master's programme are trained to hold positions of responsibility and exercise managerial functions in institutions and companies or to continue along an academic career path.

    Students are equipped with the skills needed to analyse, explain and assess individual economic and overall economic structural and developmental problems from an economic geography point of view. Students develop a theoretically sound and practically sophisticated view of spatial economic objectives, suitable analytical concepts and political measures.

    They acquire key competences especially in relation to methodology and the ability to process complex issues of economic geography in a logical and consistent way. This includes the ability to apply scientific methods to deal with fundamental and application-oriented issues, and use team work and presentations in the process.


The master course is modular in structure: Thematically related courses, e.g. lectures, seminars, experimental exercises and internships, can be combined into one module. The modules are assigned credit points (LP) according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Credit points reflect the average time spent on course attendance, self-study and exam preparation required to pass the module. An LP/ECTS is awarded for an average workload of 30 hours. As a rule, 30 LPs/ECTS are acquired in one semester. The master's programme comprises a total of 120 credit points (LP/ECTS). It consists of compulsory and required elective modules.

Module catalogue

  • Brief explanation of the modules

    M.1 Theories of economic geography
    This module imparts advanced knowledge on theories of regional development and regional economic growth. The lecture gives students an overview of relevant theories, which are subsequently (in the same week) examined in greater depth in the seminar using the original literature. Each student presents one relevant article which is specified by the lecturer and discusses it at the end of the semester in a short written essay based on the discussion in the seminar. The theories dealt with here always refer to topical and relevant fields from basic and applied research.

    M.2 Methods of empirical economic geography 1
    The module imparts more in-depth knowledge on the quantitative statistical methods used in economic geography. These particularly include multivariate regression techniques: the objective is to acquire the ability to make independent decisions about the range of methods to be used for different specialist issues and to master the corresponding techniques and software packages.

    M.3 Policy design in theory and practice
    Students acquire more in-depth knowledge on the policy design of economic spatial systems on different levels of scale. The lectures deal with the theoretical and methodological basis of the spheres of activity of economic policy with a spatial implication, which is consolidated in the seminar with the aid of concrete practical examples from Germany and abroad. The module teaches students specialist skills which are especially important when dealing with the practical aspects of regional policy, economic development, cluster and innovation policy or the promotion of start-ups, for example.

    M.4 Methods of empirical economic geography 2
    Seminar A (application of quantitative empirical methods) focuses on the ability to independently select empirical methods, apply them and interpret the results. The module also teaches students to identify and process secondary data, and analyse them by means of quantitative empirical methods. The knowledge gained is then implemented by producing and presenting an academic study. Seminar B offers a choice between different advanced methodology courses, e. g. GIS or qualitative social research. The content depends on the course chosen.

    M.5 Semester abroad / M.6: Internship abroad
    The third semester is intended to be spent studying abroad or completing an internship abroad.

    M.7-1 and M.7-2 International Seminar in Economic Geography (ISEG)
    The International Seminar in Economic Geography (ISEG) takes place every semester; over one week, internationally renowned researchers give a daily lecture in English. Economic geography students attend the ISEG twice.

    M.8 Internship
    A six-week internship is mandatory. It may also be completed in combination with the semester abroad.

  • Minor in economics

    Students who completed a Bachelor programme in a geography-related discipline must take the minor in economics.

    They can select courses from one of eight specialisations. The specialisation must be selected in consultation with the academic advisory service of the School of Economics and Management. The choice of modules and the allocation of courses are specified by the School of Economics and Management. Students may change their specialisation once during the course, but the 25 CP they have to achieve must be from one single specialisation.

    The eight specialist disciplines are:

    • Economic Policy and Theory
    • Empirical Economics and Econometrics
    • Environment and Development
    • Finance, Banking & Insurance
    • Health Economics
    • Accounting, Taxation & Public Finance
    • Strategic Management
    • Information and Operations Management
  • Minor in applied regional science

    Students who have completed a Bachelor programme in an economics-related discipline must take the minor in applied regional science.

    In addition to modules in applied economic geography, this minor contains a practical introduction to thematic cartography and (as a compulsory option) an advanced course on location assessment with the aid of geographical information systems.

Completing your degree and career prospects

Options after graduation


The regulations appertaining to the organisation and administration of a degree programme and its examinations are described and laid down so as to be legally binding in the examination regulations (PO). They regulate the examination requirements and the procedure to be followed. They specify which modules involve examinations and course work as well as the number and type of examinations.
They also contain stipulations on the time allowed to prepare final theses. The examination regulations lay down which information has to be provided when registering for an exam; whether documentary proof has to be submitted and if so, what is needed; the time frame for holding repeat examinations, and what the procedure is when examinations are missed.


Course advisor

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Rolf Sternberg
Schneiderberg 50
30167 Hannover
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Rolf Sternberg
Schneiderberg 50
30167 Hannover

Programme coordination

Dr. Angela Imhoff-Daniel
Schneiderberg 50
30167 Hannover
Dr. Angela Imhoff-Daniel
Schneiderberg 50
30167 Hannover