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Engineering Sciences

Study Surveying, Geodesy in Germany

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The field of surveying and geodesy deals with the recording of the earth, using ground, air, and space-based surveying technology as well as the processing and presentation of geographic information. Nowadays, information systems, modern satellite technology, and digital remote detection sensors are used alongside conventional surveying tools like theodolites, laser scanners, and cameras. This field of study is not purely theoretical, but rather practice oriented.


27 Higher Education Institutions

Bachelor, Master, Diplom

German, English

3-10 Semesters

What can I expect?

During the early stages of your degree programme, you will learn the mathematical, physical, and legal basics that will form the foundation for your studies. This includes modules in surveying, surveying calculations, land management, and CAD, which build a comprehensive basic knowledge in surveying technology. Building on these acquired skills, you will then learn more about sensors used in surveying, photogrammetry, and remote detection as well as physical geodesy and satellite geodesy. You will also learn about the procedures for evaluating and visualising the recorded data. The field offers opportunities for specialisation in areas such as web-based GIS, documentation and planning in civil engineering, and mobile 3D surveying.

Data acquired in this way is used for maps and topographic plans as well as location-based mobile services or navigation systems.

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How can I apply for studying surveying or geodesy?

Most courses of study in the field of surveying and geodesy are not subject to admission restrictions in Germany. In order to enrol, you therefore only need the general higher education entrance qualification or an equivalent qualification.

Subject-specific or personal prerequisites are not required. However, some higher education institutions describe their programmes as being very practice-oriented, which is why you should have an interest in practical work. As early semesters are heavy on in-depth learning of scientific subjects, it will be advantageous for your studies to have a certain technical understanding and spatial awareness.

What is a standard course of study?

Bachelor’s programmes with their standard period of study of six to eight semesters are mostly offered as single-subject programmes. In some cases, however, it is possible to combine the subject with another major or a minor. Following an orientation phase in the first semesters, students usually have to decide on their major.

An internship or obligatory practical semester is only required at a few higher education institutions. In some degree programmes, however, project work and practical experience are essential parts of the course of study.

In order to apply for a Master’s programme, a first recognised degree in a subject-related field must be presented. The Master’s programme usually lasts between three and four semesters. Here, too, the theoretical studies are accompanied by practice-related course formats.

What does it cost to study surveying or geodesy in Germany?

Studying is free of charge at most public higher education institutions in Germany. Most students have to pay a so-called semester contribution of between 150 and 400 euros twice a year to cover administrative costs and costs for the student union. In most cities, this already covers the use of local public transport.

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  and find suitable programmes directly on My GUIDE.

Are there other modes of study and other degrees?

In Germany, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are now considered standard, as in many other countries. In the case of surveying or geodesy, however, there are still a few higher education institutions that offer the option of studying for a German Diplom degree. Such a programme has a standard duration of ten semesters and is completed with a Diplom thesis.

A special feature of this field of study is that many alternative modes of study are offered. In addition to the most common full- and part-time study modes, there is a choice of extra-occupational as well as job-integrating formats. Furthermore, the study of surveying, geodesy can also be completed as a dual study programme.

In a dual study programme, your employer is actively integrated into the curriculum and its content through cooperation agreements. There are weekly or monthly block models as well as alternating between work and study on different days of the week. In part-time and other formats, the course of study can be completed parallel to a full-time job. In this case, the standard period of study is usually doubled.

What are my career options with a degree in surveying, geodesy?

Graduates of a degree programme in surveying, geodesy have a wide range of exciting career options open to them. Depending on their specialisation, they can work in surveying or planning offices, in software development or in public authorities. A civil service career, for example in a surveying agency, is also possible, depending on the federal state. You can also start an academic career including doctoral studies.

Just like the job opportunities, the salary options also vary widely. While with a permanent salaried position as a geodesist you can expect an average starting salary of about 40,000 euros gross, in a civil service career or in doctoral studies you can expect an initially significantly lower income of about 25,000 euros.

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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.