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The Master's Program in Integrated Climate System Sciences

SICSS offers a well-structured study program in Integrated Climate System Sciences concluding with an internationally recognized Master of Science (MSc) degree. The two-year program is offered in English. Tuition need not be paid as each student is subsidised by the German government (more information at the Campus Center of Universität Hamburg).

Our research-oriented SICSS MSc program offers courses in a variety of fields of natural sciences and climate-relevant aspects of social and economic sciences.

"Studying at SICSS is more than just achieving a degree – it’s like an attitude. With a background in natural sciences, I felt somehow restricted to these disciplines, but I did not want to limit my thinking within these “boundaries”. That feeling made me search for a program where I could broaden my view and frame my knowledge in order to follow my own expectations in working on a positive societal impact. This might sound a little utopic. But even though I am not yet close to this goal, studying at SICSS helps me a lot in understanding and collaborating with scientists from other research fields."

Rebecca Froese, SICSS MSc alumna from Germany

Fast facts Master's program Integrated Climate System Sciences:

  • Two years
  • Taught in English
  • No tuition fees
  • Unique approach: Students study all parts of the climate system, including economics and social sciences as well as climate communication
  • International atmosphere with 75 % international students
  • Small classes with only up to 20 students
  • Excellent career prospects: more than 80 % of our graduates start to work in academia, NGOs or consultancies within less than six months after graduation.
  • Access to an international research environment at Germany`s hub for climate research.

SICSS will surround you with students from many different countries. The number of students is limited to 20 per year ensuring ready access to lecturers and a person-centered learning environment.

Universität Hamburg is a place welcoming you with an international research environment and a vibrant, intercultural campus as many scientists, doctoral researchers and students come from all over the world.

“The limited number of students at SICSS ensures a lot of student-teacher interaction. At the same time, the school’s diversity provides an inspiring environment. Our students benefit from the exceptional scientific setting of  CliSAP and the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN). People from numerous institutions engage in climate research from various angles. At SICSS you can study all different aspects of the climate system, all taught by experts in their respective field. And whenever one reaches the boundary of her or his own expertise, there’s always someone else, who can help you out. Stimulating discussions guaranteed.”

Prof. Dr. Johanna Baehr, Institute of Oceanography Universität Hamburg and SICSS lecturer

The MSc in Integrated Climate System Sciences (ICSS) combines all sciences addressing the climate system. This includes natural sciences as well as climate-relevant aspects of social and economic sciences.

This interdisciplinary approach will enable you to understand the processes of climate variability and climate change and its respective consequences for societies, including how they respond to these.  

Your curriculum will focus on earth system sciences, considering natural processes in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere and biosphere. To describe the earth system and its complexities, you will mainly use mathematical methods and numerical modeling. Observation and monitoring data are used to validate the models.  

Another focus is on the climate-relevant aspects of social and economic sciences to understand political and social processes and conflicts caused by or arising from climate change.

This approach will enable you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the past, current and future climate variability of the earth system, letting you perceive Earth as an integrated system.

Become an expert in integrated climate system sciences!

The SICSS MSc program is designed to give you a strong background in natural sciences and modelling skills and an understanding of the climate-relevant aspects of social and economic sciences.

SICSS will encourage you to look beyond your own discipline. You will become both an expert in your specific field and proficient in interdisciplinary thinking.

Based on this sound scientific education the SICSS MSc program offers three tracks:

  • Physics of the climate system
  • Biogeochemistry of the climate system
  • Climate-related economics and social sciences

During the first semester the SICSS MSc program will give you an understanding across the three program tracks. From the second semester the program opens the opportunity to give your personal curriculum either an “in depth” focus on one of the tracks or an “interdisciplinary” approach where you combine various courses from the three tracks.  

Please note: The SICSS MSc program does not include any technological component (although it may indirectly show up in economic courses), any engineering approaches (where original research is not the focus) and any business and management aspects (although international legal and safety issues are addressed). For more details on the SICSS MSc program contents and learning outcomes, please see the course descriptions in the module handbook.