University of Freiburg

Founded in 1457, the University of Freiburg is one of the oldest German universities, and is now one of the nation’s leading research and teaching institutions. Forestry is taught in the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources. The foremost research fields of the Faculty concern the interactions between environment and society, especially taking into account aspects of global change. Topics including “sustainable use of resources” and “forests and landscapes” are a central part of research interests.

Natural sciences, social sciences, and technical competences serve as a foundation for a wide-ranged, interdisciplinary approach to research and education. As a result, scientific findings provide us with a deeper understanding and transfer into society and political consulting.

MSc European Forestry studies at the University of Freiburg

The MSc European Forestry students can choose studies from the MSc Forest Sciences/Forstwissenschaften programme. This specialisation focuses on the sustainable management of natural resources, with a particular focus on forested landscapes.

Courses generally yield 5 ECTS credits each, with a duration of three weeks. A course usually comprises lectures, practices, tutorials, preparation, reading, independent learning and assessment. Freiburg offers courses in, for example.:

Core Modules:

  • Global Environmental Changes (1st semester, winter)
  • Research Skills (1st semester, winter)
  • Human-Environment Interactions (1st semester, winter)
  • Soil Ecology & Management (2nd semester, summer)
  • Ecosystem Management (2nd semester, summer)

Modules of the Elective Track “International Forestry”:

  • Forest Resources and their Goods and Services (1st semester, winter)
  • Plantation Forestry (1st semester, winter)
  • Tropical Forest Ecology (1st semester, winter)
  • Integrated Land Use Management (2nd semester, summer)
  • International Forest Governance (2nd semester, summer)
  • Close-to-Nature Forest Management (2nd semester, summer)

Modules of the Elective Track “Wildlife, Vegetation and Biodiversity”:

  • Biodiversity (1st semester, winter)
  • Conservation Biology (1st semester, winter)
  • Research in Wildlife Ecology (1st semester, winter)
  • Insect Communities and Dynamics (2nd semester, summer)
  • Restoration Ecology (2nd semester, summer)
  • Assessing, Analysing and Monitoring of Vegetation (2nd semester, summer)

Individual Electives (3rd semester, winter, topics might change from year to year):

  • Forest Resources and Management in France and Germany
  • Statistics with R
  • Ecohydrology
  • Ecological Roles of Plant Secondary Metabolites
  • Experimental Sustainability Economics
  • Natural Hazards and Risk Management
  • Global Groundwater – Agriculture Nexus
  • Entomology in the Laboratory (EntoLab)
  • Biomass Resource Assessment
  • Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
  • Hydrohazards: Risk Assessment and Management
  • Biomass Resource Assessment
  • Wildlife Habitat Modelling
  • Carbon Forestry
  • Laboratory Course in Dendroecology

A complete Curriculum can be found on the web pages of the MSc Forest Sciences/Forstwissenschaften programme.

Studies at the University of Freiburg are structured in 2 semesters; a winter semester from mid October to mid-February, and a summer semester from mid April to mid-July.

For further information on MSc European Forestry studies at the University of Freiburg, please contact our German coordinator and Professor, Dr. Heinrich Spiecker (instww(at)

Presentation on MSc European Forestry studies in Freiburg

University of Freiburg 2023 (PDF), updated 8 Feb 2023.