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Department of Economic and Social Geography


The Department of Economic and Social Geography was founded in 1950 and belongs to the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences. Director of the Department of Economic and Social Geography is Prof. Dr. Martina Fuchs. Teaching is focused on the needs of students of Business Administration, Economics and Social Sciences as well as of Regional Studies of Latin America, Eastern Asia and Central Eastern Europe. These students can all take “Economic and Social Geography” as part of their degree courses.

What does Economic and Social Geography do?

Economic and Social Geography concentrates on issues relating to globalisation and localisation. The requirements and consequences in different locations and in the regions concerned are analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods.

In the Bachelor’s programme the Department of Economic and Social Geography is integrated within the combined Social Sciences and the interdisciplinary profile groups. In the Master’s programme the subject offers a higher level of study in the subsidiary “Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeographie”. Furthermore it is possible to continue diploma degree courses at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences and of Regional Studies.
The subject offers a high level of crosslinking within the Faculty; this interdisciplinary approach is enhanced because Economic and Social Geography is integrated in all three Regional Sciences (Latin America, East Asia, Central/East Europe) which are offered in cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy.

Why should you choose Economic and Social Geography?

Extracts slightly modified from: Fuchs, M.; Leupolt, B.; Diez, J.R.; Schamp, E.W. 2002: Wirtschaftsgeographen - ihre Ausbildung, ihre Kompetenz und ihr Markt. In: Rundbrief Geographie, 179, p. 6–8.

Economic Geographers have opened up a variety of professions both in policy related areas as well as in private business. Starting from spatial planning as a cross-divisional area in the public sector they have advanced into new fields, such as in business development, public relations, environmental consulting and development cooperation, in international organisations. In private business, the scope extends to location advice, market research, site and regional analysis (e.g. in industrial management or in the trade, financial and real estate sectors), media and public relations as well as in other areas of consulting or in policy consultation or in associations.
Career prospects are particularly good for Economic Geographers because of the broad business and education, which is methodically oriented, as well as individual specialisation. Apart from learning the basics of Economic Geography it is advisable for students to identify their own main interests and ideas for possible jobs and to organise their studies specifically towards these goals: e.g. with relevant internships, also abroad, as well as with a corresponding topic in the final dissertation.

Economic Geographers are able to

  • Recognise and understand economic processes at the local and regional level from the point of view of economic players

  • Identify macroeconomic structure and processes and to assess these processes with regard to microeconomic courses of action

  • Analyse and assess the incidence of economic regulation systems and regional policy instruments as well as develop new methods

  • Recognise and assess the impact of microeconomic actions on social goals as well as the impact of social norms and the change of norms on microeconomic action

Theoretically, this knowledge includes, among other things,

  • Location theory and location system theory

  • Theories of regional growth, theories of regional innovation, evolutionary economic approaches

  • Theories of multinational companies as well as internationalization

  • Socio-economic and political forms of governance, forms of regulation at different political levels

Economic and Social Geography is an empirical science. This implies strong professional expertise in:

  • Procedures of information research, processing and presentation, with the assistance of IT

  • Quantitative and qualitative social research for the generation of primary data

  • Using an appropriate combination of quantitative and qualitative methods

  • Creation of case studies, especially for operations research

These professional skills include the ability to use various software packages (e.g. statistics software, GIS-software, graphics programs).

Because specifications of Economic Geographers are increasing in most fields, students also learn conversational, moderation and presentation skills.

As well as subject-related and methodical expertise Economic Geographers acquire:

  • The skill of dealing independently with new problem areas

  • The skill of holistically oriented and interconnected spatial thinking

  • The skill of finding solutions to criticism and problems working as a team in one’s own discipline and beyond