The Master's degree course in Regional Science/Spatial Planning at KIT is a full time study course.
The credits to be achieved are calculated according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). During the four terms of study, lectures and projects to the extent of 120 ECTS points have to be passed, corresponding to an average of 30 ECTS points per semester. 1 ECTS credit point equals a workload of 30 hours including attendance of lectures and self-instruction.
The Master's degree course is subdivided into different modules (compulsory modules and elective modules).
Compulsory modules M1–M10: They must be completed by all students of the Master's degree course in Regional Science/Spatial Planning at KIT.
Elective modules M11–M20: In addition to the compulsory modules, all students of the Master's degree course in Regional Science/Spatial Planning must choose two electives.
The current module manual is available in the secretariat of IfR and at www.ifr.kit.edu/549.php.
Students are offered lectures, courses, seminars, tutorials and colloquia to learn theoretical foundations and methods of regional science. Objectives, instruments and challenges of spatial planning are discussed. The situation in Germany is compard with international examples.
The range of courses offered in regional science is completed by seminars teaching important additional qualifications such as working methodology, presentation techiques, and others.
Thanks to the limited number of study places, students have the chance to take active part in all of the courses and profit by personal mentoring and supervision. As of the first semester, students are encouraged to adopt a critical approach and to question theories and case studies.
Throughout the four terms of the Master's degree course, each student prepares two original scientific papers. These papers discuss and further develop theories and methods of regional science and spatial planning by applying them to a concrete question. In the framework of a seminar, they regularly present the current state of their scientific paper.
During the first and second semester, the study project is developed, worked on and presented. It is a scientific state-of-the-art-paper summarizing the current state of knowledge in a certain subject field, dealing with open research questions and possible research methods. The study project usually provides the basis of the master project which is the focal point of the third and fourth semester.
As opposed to the study project, empirical field research is a mandatory part of the master project. Thus, students have the chance to acquire valuable practical work experience in their future field of occupation. The field research period must cover at least 4 weeks and take place in a developing country outside Germany. Students from developing and newly industrialized countries usually chose a research subject in their home country. Students from Germany or other industrialized countries conduct research in a developing or newly industrialized country.
Regional Science Field Trip
Likewise, the regional science field allows students to apply their knowledge in a transdisciplinary context. The regional science field trip lasts several days and focuses on land use conflicts and solution approaches in European context.
This three-day event takes place in the first semester in a venue outside of Karlsruhe. The DAAD bears the costs.
Different interactive methods (case study, role play, exchange of experiences and subsequent presentation, ...) allow the students to further develop their intercultural competence. They both increase their understanding of their respective cultural identity as well as insights into conflicts and chances which may arise from an intercultural learning and working environment. Strategies to solve conflicts are presented and discussed, particularly in view of the actual learning environment in the framework of the Master's degree course.
Especially during the lecture-free period between the second and third semester, students may do an internship for instance with German authorities, companies or institutions of development cooperation.
The Master's degree course in Regional Science/Spatial Planning builds on courses of study from the field of spatial and planning science. Considering the broad variety of study courses that fall into these categories in an international context, it is not possible to draw up a conclusive list. Yet, the variety of study courses, especially their different weighting of theory and practice, of scientific fundament and planning pragmatism means that some fundamentals have either been left out or only briefly touched on. Some students therefore lack fundamentals which are however assumed to be known.
In order to still allow all candidates a successful start of studies, a supplementary module has been created on the recommendation of an accreditation committee. The supplementary module individually supports candidates to acquire the fundamentals required to join the Master's degree course in Regional Science/Spatial Planning. The supplementary module takes place each year in September prior to the start of the master's degree course.
The objective of the supplementary module is to broaden the technical and methodical background of the participants, focussing on scientific working and planning. Above, particiants are given advice on when and how to join the master's degree course to successfully complete it.