Spatial Sciences

Minor at Leuphana College

How do we achieve an economically promising as well as ecologically compatible and socially just and thus sustainable use of space? This fundamental question is the focus of the minor in Spatial Sciences. You will acquire a basic understanding of environmental space as a system of social-ecological interactions and deal with current challenges such as the energy turnaround, adaptation to climate change or the renaturation of areas.

Studying Spatial Sciences minor

You will learn about utilisation possibilities and conflicts as well as threats and develop solution approaches for sustainable regional spatial development taking into account current challenges such as climate change, land use change, loss of biodiversity as well as dwindling resources.

Spatial and environmental planning interventions for the control and management of spatial systems are discussed with a focus on resource use, nature conservation and/or climate adaptation. The potentials and limits of these interventions are analysed using case studies from urban and rural areas. Social and political decisions on environmental spaces are assessed in terms of their feasibility and effectiveness.

Study objective

The aim of the minor is for you to be able to explore, analyse and evaluate spatial systems and their changes as well as interventions in these systems with regard to ecological and socio-economic aspects.

In the course of your studies, you will also acquire practical skills such as mapping and interpreting with the help of spatial information systems.

By studying spatial sciences, you will acquire the ability to actively participate in scientific and social debates and decision-making processes.

Specialisations in the Minor in Spatial Sciences

You can choose between different specialisations in the Spatial Sciences minor. Courses are regularly offered on the following topics in the various modules:

  • Climate and energy
  • Nature conservation and landscape planning
  • Social-ecological systems

Climate and energy

Starting with basic knowledge on the topic of climate and weather, dealing with the spatial demands of the energy transition and climate protection strategies, and ending with the topic of climate adaptation, you have the opportunity to comprehensively deal with this topic area in the minor in Spatial Sciences.

In addition to Leuphana researchers working on this subject area, in this minor focus you will meet people who are known throughout Germany and who can not only report on the current state of research on these topics but who are also committed to them on a daily basis in business and society. In addition to theoretical input, excursions are offered.

Nature conservation and landscape planning

In this focus you will learn about the basics and instruments of nature conservation and deal with functions, legal bases and management concepts of protected areas. In practice-oriented courses with a high proportion of excursions, you will deal with the topics of landscape planning and protected area management in case studies and not just abstractly.

Several lecturers in this focus come from the field and have worked for many years as landscape planners or in management functions of protected areas. A course on biodiversity and nature conservation rounds off this thematic focus.

Social-ecological systems

You deal with social-ecological system dynamics and especially with relationships of people with their environment at the landscape level. You will study how people use landscapes and how, in turn, biodiversity and ecosystem services are affected. You will learn to examine ecological and social elements in case studies and to represent and analyse them in maps. This data can then be used to develop recommendations for policy or to develop assessment and adaptation strategies.

An annual practical project on the restoration of biodiversity in urban areas enables you to take practical action.

Compulsory modules in the Spatial Sciences minor

Studying at Leuphana college means that you also deal with topics outside of Spatial Sciences. The following overview lists the modules you take in the Leuphana Semester (30 credit points, CP), Major (90 CP), Minor in Spatial Sciences (30 CP) and Complementary Studies(30 CP):

Leuphana Semester

  • Transforming knowledge: responsible action
  • Problematising knowledge: critical thinking
  • Producing knowledge: methodologies
  • Producing knowledge: Concepts and Methods of your major
  • Introduction to the discipline of your major

2. Semester

  • Introduction to Spatial Sciences
  • 4 major modules
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

3. Semester

  • Fundamentals of spatial systems
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

4. Semester

  • Spatial Approaches in Analysing Environmental Systems
  • Elective module
  • 3 major modules
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

5. Semester

  • Evaluation and Adaptation of Spatial Systems
  • Elective module
  • 3 major modules
  • 1 Complementary Studies module

6. Semester

  • Bachelor dissertation
  • 1 major module
  • 2 Complementary Studies modules

Please note

Spatial Sciences is a mixed-lan­gua­ge mi­nor (sub­si­dia­ry sub­ject). You can stu­dy the Spatial Sciences mi­nor ent­i­re­ly in Eng­lish.

Study regulations / Subject-Specific Schedule

Compulsory modules and elective modules in Spatial Sciences minor

You will begin your studies of the minor in Spatial Sciences in the second semester. In the Introduction to Spatial Sciences module, you will receive a broad introduction to the fundamentals of spatial sciences and an overview of the specialisation options that await you in the rest of your studies.

In the third semester, in the Fundamentals of Spatial Systems module, you will deal with the complexity and interrelationships of the biophysical shaping of environmental space and its use by humans on a global, regional and local level.

In the fourth semester, you will practise spatial thinking in the analysis of environmental systems and their changes in the module Spatial Approaches in the Analysis of Environmental Systems.

Building on this, the module Assessment and Adaptation of Spatial Systems is about examining, weighing up and assessing interventions in spatial systems and estimating their effects.

In the compulsory modules you will find courses on the various thematic focal points mentioned above, so that you can decide for yourself which area is most interesting for you in terms of content.

In the fourth and fifth semesters, you will take one elective module in addition to the compulsory modules. You can choose between the following elective modules: In Methods of Spatial Sciences I you learn to work with geographic information systems. You can deepen this knowledge in Methods of Spatial Sciences II. In this module, you also have the opportunity to get to know other methods used in spatial sciences. In the module Spatial Planning in Practice, the focus is on assessing practical interventions in spatial planning - based on what you have already learned in the previous semesters. This module is very practical and often includes one or more field trips.

Course Structure

You start your Bachelor degree at the College with the Leuphana Semester. The first semester at the College gives you the opportunity to get to grips with science and scholarship in a very fundamental way. The minor in Spatial Sciences deepens or complements your major. In the Complementary Studies, you have the freedom to pursue your thirst for knowledge individually by immersing yourself in a different field of knowledge each semester.

Studying spatial sciences as a minor subject. study model at Leuphana College ©Leuphana
Studying Spatial Sciences as a minor subject: study model at Leuphana College

Major combination options for minor in Spatial Sciences

Cultural Studies (EN)
Cultural Studies (GER)
Digital Media (ENG)
Economics (ENG)
Environmental Sciences (GER)
Global Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENG)
International Business Administration & Entrepreneurship (ENG)
Law (GER)
Political Science (GER)
Studium Individuale (ENG)

Profession and Career

In the Spatial Sciences minor, you will acquire skills that are needed in science as well as in business, politics, administration and non-profit organisations. Depending on the major/minor combination, different professional fields come into consideration for you:

  • Public planning and policy consulting (spatial planning in the field of sustainable land use, transport, energy and settlement development planning)
  • Science and research (climate change adaptation strategies, sustainable land use)
  • Designation and management of protected areas
  • Private sector site planning and planning offices
  • Regional market research and operational site management
  • App development or user experience expertise in the field of locative media, technology developers in the field of augmented reality and geographic information systems
  • activities in NGOs

Decisive for the overall qualification is the content orientation in the choice of modules / courses as well as the choice of major and the focus in the major.

At a glance

  • Degree awarded: Spatial Sciences minor can only be studied in combination with a major
  • Study places: 65
  • Teaching and examination language: German / English*
  • Restricted admission: no (from WiSe 24/25)

* You can study the Spatial Sciences minor entirely in English.


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