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Joint-Master "Physics of the Earth"

Copyright: M.Meschede

A programme offered by the University of Vienna and the Comenius University in Bratislava

Physics of the Earth studies our physical environment, the functioning of the Earth – and some of the major challenges facing humanity through its dependence on the physical environment, e.g. natural resources and hazards, and how to deal with them.


Further information click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EP3D6cv0i0


The Joint Master study

  • is a two-year programme offered by the major universities of Austria and Slovakia: University of Vienna and Comenius University in Bratislava
  • builds on the strength and complementary expertise of the two universities, in wave propagation, data analysis, and applications in seismic hazard, nuclear verification, the oil/gas industry, and national and international organisations
  • broadens students´ experience through exposure to different scientific and cultural contexts, and provides good job opportunities.
Abb.: GFZ, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum

Students will

  • learn how to observe and mathematically describe phenomena occurring in our physical environment
  • extend their mathematics and physics background for Physics of the Earth, and learn quantitative methods
  • advance their analytical thinking, learn to work independently, and develop problem-solving competence for basic research and industrial application
  • explore applications, e.g. exploration-related techniques, seismic hazard, and others.


The Joint Master programme “Physics of the Earth” extends over 4 semesters with a total students’ workload of 120 ECTS.

  • 5 compulsory modules (46 ECTS in total) develop the students’ basic knowledge of mathematical and numerical tools and of the main principles of the physics of the Earth.
  • Students deepen their knowledge and focus on specialization topics within two compulsory elective modules with an extent of at least 23 ECTS and 15 ECTS respectively by selecting courses out of specific lists.
  • In the Master module (6 ECTS) students learn to discuss and present scientific results closely linked to their thesis content.
  • The study is completed by a Master thesis (28 ECTS) and an oral defense with public presentation (2 ECTS).

Courses are taken both at Comenius University in Bratislava and at University of Vienna. They are scheduled on two days in Bratislava and on one day in Vienna during all weeks of a semester. 

A short graphical guide of the study specifying the module contents is provided here.

Bratislava and Vienna are linked together by public transport. Both railway and bus connections are offered on hourly basis each day. Travel time is 90 minutes roughly.



source: https://pixabay.com/en
source: https://pixabay.com/en


Students having earned a Bachelor degree in Physics or quantitatively oriented geophysics programmes are eligible. Bachelors of other geophysics programs or related fields (astronomy, meteorology) will have access with restrictions according to the national legislation. 

Students have to apply for admission to both Comenius University in Bratislava (CUB) and University of Vienna (UW) strictly complying with the following procedure:

  1. Students shall first apply for admission at CUB.
  2. CUB accepts students with a completed bachelor program in Physics at the UW or the CUB without further examination or restrictions (direct access).
  3. Applications by students without direct access (i.e. having completed a bachelor’s study programme considerably different from Physics) will be individually evaluated jointly by CUB and UW. Based on the evaluation of the application, an admission exam at CUB may be required.
  4. In addition, students' preceeding studies need to be equivalent to studies in Slovakia. Applicants , who received their bachelor degree from institutions outside Slovakia, need to provide a certificate of degree equivalence confirming that their bachelor's degree is recognized in Slovakia.
  5. The deadline for completing the admission procedure at CUB is August 31. Students would be well advised to apply for admission before April 24. Students who complete their bachelor study later than April 24 can apply for admission as well. Those students should complete their study early enough to keep the August 31 deadline for finalizing the admission procedure at CUB. 
  6. Immediately after having completed the admission procedure at CUB, students have to register at UW.
  7. UW will accept only those students who have a positive notification by the CUB.
  8. Applicants become students of the joint programme only after having been officially accepted and enrolled at both universities.

Beginning the study is only possible in a winter semester, as is the best path through the master study.

Detailed information, in particular on how to apply at the respective universities, is provided here:

CUBGeneral information and rules
Admission procedure
Admission procedure

Important deadlinesUniversity of ViennaComenius University Bratislava
Winter term
Application for admission NAuntil 22 April
Admission exam for Master study, only for students from other faculties or non-Physics bachelor study programsNA20 June to 1 July
Personal admission with acceptance letter15 June to 30 NovemberNA
Registration for courses (open only for accepted students)before end of Septemberapprox. before end of September
Courses1 October to 30 January21 September to 18 December
Examinations*4 January to 12 February
Summer term
Registration for courses (open only for accepted students)before end of Februaryapprox. before end of February
Courses1 March to 30 June15 February to 20 May
Examinations*23 May to 1 July
Master thesis and defense
Submission of Master thesisanytime4 May
Defense of Master thesisanytime6 June to 10 June
Final state oral examNA20 June to 24 June

 * In total 4 examinations are scheduled for courses with non-continuous assessment: after the end of the course and at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the following semester.

Exclusion from Studies

Different national laws apply to the joint master program, hence both systems have to be considered. If a student loses his right to continue his/her studies at one partner university, the other partner university excludes the respective student as well.


  • In order to continue their studies, students must acquire at least 40 credits by the end of the first academic year (AY) (31 August). 
  • In order to extend their studies to three years, students must acquire at least 80 credits by the end of the second AY (31 August). Complete semesters within interuption periods are not included in the length of study.

Reasons for exclusion from study at CUB include:

  • not meeting the requirements of the monitoring stage of study
  • not successfully completing a subject at the relevant university within the required number of attempts (according to the study regulations at CUB)
  • not paying tuition fees
  • decision made by the disciplinary committee
  • exceeding the number of limited semesters for the whole programme

Reasons for exclusion from study at UW include:

  • not successfully completing a subject at the relevant university within the required number of attempts (4 attempts in total)
  • not paying tuition fees or Student’s Union fees
  • not continuing studies every semester.


University of Vienna: Ao.Univ.Prof. Dr. Bruno Meurers, Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, A - 1090 Wien, Althanstrasse 14, UZA II, 2D504, Phone: +43 1 4277 53724, e-mail:  bruno.meurers@univie.ac.at 

Comenius University in Bratislava: Prof. RNDr. Peter Moczo, DrSc., Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University Bratislava, Mlynska dolina F1, 84248 Bratislava, Slovak Republic, Phone:  +421 2 60 29 51 79, e-mail:  moczo@fmph.uniba.sk

Institut für Meteorologie und Geophysik
Universität Wien

Althanstraße 14
1090 Wien

T: +43-1-4277-537 01
F: +43-1-4277-95 37
Universität Wien | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Wien | T +43-1-4277-0
Letzte Änderung: 06.03.2017 - 14:46