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Engineering Sciences

Study Environmental Protection and Disposal Technology in Germany

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The field of environmental protection and disposal technology, or environmental technology for short, concerns itself with energy-saving and efficient technologies for the protection of water, air, and soil. Technical methods and processes are managed to either prevent the generation of environmentally hazardous substances in the first place or reduce them after the fact. The areas of study waste management, renewable raw materials, and environmental engineering all belong to this field.


83 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Diplom

German, English

3-10 Semesters

What content can I expect?

Environmental problems such as climate change, plastic waste, and air pollution are the main focus of the field of environmental protection and disposal technology. This field of study deals with technical solutions for those problems and combines aspects from the natural sciences and engineering sciences.

You will learn how to recognise and assess potential as well as actual environmental damage, and how to choose appropriate methods to prevent or rectify the damage. To do so, you will acquire basic knowledge of engineering mechanics and design, process technology, materials technology, and power engineering. Modules in economics and environmental law may also be part of your degree programme.

As a graduate of the environmental protection and disposal technology field, you will be able to develop measures for soil, noise, or water protection as well as techniques for the effective utilisation of renewable energy.

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What are the requirements to study environmental technology in Germany?

Good knowledge of mathematics is essential if you would like to pursue a degree in this field. You should also be interested in technology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Also, you should enjoy learning about correlations in the natural environment and developing solutions for efficient and eco-friendly technologies.

Formally, you need a general higher education entrance qualification or a subject-specific higher education entrance qualification to be eligible to apply for a degree programme in the field of environmental protection and disposal technology. With a subject-specific higher education entrance qualification, you can study degree programmes in this field mostly only at a university of applied sciences. In addition, with some vocational training certificates with special qualifications, you can apply for a Bachelor’s degree programme at some universities of applied sciences. With a general higher education entrance qualification, both types of higher education institutions are open to you.

Usually, courses of study in technical subjects in Germany have a low NC, i.e. a required minimum grade, or have no additional admission restrictions. This rule of thumb also applies to degree programmes in the field of environmental protection and disposal technology. Nevertheless, the admission requirements differ across higher education institutions and from location to location and cannot be stated across the board.

What’s there to know before applying?

Before applying, you should think about whether you prefer the hands-on mentality or are more interested in analysing environmental issues in a theoretical context.

You will find degree programmes with a practical focus mainly at universities of applied sciences. You will gain a broad picture and overall understanding of environmental engineering. It is also common that you have to complete an internship semester during your studies at a university of applied sciences. In the field of environmental technology, you can do this, for example, at companies or associations in waste management, the automotive industry or the energy industry. In addition, students at most universities of applied sciences take compulsory lab classes as a prerequisite for successfully passing exams.

However, if you would rather focus on theory-based research, you will also find a comprehensive range of degree programmes in environmental protection and disposal technology at many universities.

Regardless of the type of higher education institution, you will have the opportunity to specialise in core subjects such as energy technology or energy economics, environmental analysis and technical thermodynamics in both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. Universities usually have a wider range of study options due to their size and third-party funding.

The duration of courses of study in the field of environmental protection and disposal technology is usually seven semesters at universities of applied sciences for a Bachelor’s degree due to the additional practical semester. At universities, the standard period of study is normally six semesters. There are usually no compulsory internship semesters here, but of course, you are encouraged to complete internships. For the Master’s programmes, both types of higher education institutions usually do not include a practical semester. Depending on the institution, the duration of study for a Master’s in environmental technology is three to four semesters.

What costs can I expect?

The majority of all degree programmes in the field of environmental protection and disposal technology are offered at state higher education institutions. There, you are usually not required to pay tuition fees. However, you will have to pay a so-called semester contribution to the higher education institution each semester. The amount of the contribution varies from institution to institution, but is usually between 100 and 400 euros per semester. This is used, for example, to finance student services and sometimes also covers a ticket for local public transport. Depending on where you study, this ticket may be valid for the city, the region or even for all of Germany. Ask your higher education institution whether such an offer is currently available.

The cost of living is difficult to calculate in advance. It very much depends on the city in which you want to study. As a rule, you should expect higher living costs in popular cities. Since rent is a large part of the cost, you should find out in advance about potentially cheaper options such as shared flats or student residences. As soon as you have decided on where you want to study, you should start looking, as halls of residence can fill up quickly. Here, you can find information on local halls of residence and the respective application process for most cities. However, the final monthly costs also depend on your lifestyle. It’s best to find out about ways you can save money in your everyday life to keep costs down.

To finance your studies in Germany, you should also find out about scholarships. There are many different scholarship programmes and excellent grades are not the only deciding factor. You can learn more about scholarships here and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

What career opportunities are there for me?

Depending on whether you are pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, you will usually graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science or Master of Science or Master of Engineering degree. There are only a few courses of study in this field left that let you graduate with the German title Dipl.-Ing.

Due to a large number of different degree programmes in the field of environmental protection and disposal technology, your career opportunities and perspectives are varied. You will find job opportunities, for example, with engineering offices, in industry, research and development, and with public bodies like municipal utility companies.

Depending on your specialisation, there are even more opportunities for you. As an engineer for landscape ecology and nature conservation, for example, you can support the environmentally friendly use of agriculture, forestry or open spaces. Of course, you also have the opportunity to enter research and teaching.

Experience abroad, volunteering or internships can help you define your professional goals for yourself and convince potential employers that you are the right person for the job.

As an environmental tech engineer, you can expect an average to good starting salary which can increase considerably with a few years of experience.

By the way: unlike many other engineering disciplines, environmental engineering holds the record with an about 40% of women among professionals!

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Check your eligibility to study at German higher education institutions (non-binding)

Run a quick and non-binding check to determine whether your certificates make you eligible to study at German higher education institutions. Depending on which educational certificates you provide, you may qualify for all degree programmes or only for certain subjects or types of higher education institutions. It is possible that you do not currently meet the requirements to be eligible to apply to a German higher education institution. In such a case, you may be able to attend a Studienkolleg. Please note that the eligibility check results apply exclusively to undergraduate programmes and are not legally binding.

Once you have completed the non-binding check, degree programmes that match your eligibility will be marked with a corresponding icon.