The first two terms consist of thematic teaching modules, each of which is composed of weekly block courses. The more fundamental courses are offered primarily to ensure that students from different backgrounds receive the necessary training before proceeding with the more advanced courses. Each module is assessed by a written examination at the end of the module. In addition, the participants in the first academic year must present an oral presentation (winter term) and a scientific essay (summer term) that will be graded and contribute to the final MSc grade. Field experimental and laboratory work is carried out during a two-week excursion in the first term.
During the third term, participants are required to study at one of the partner institutions of the ZMT/University of Bremen. During this period, students must carry out their fieldwork and data collection for their MSc thesis. Alternatively, participants may bring data/material for elaboration from their home institutions or may further analyse existing samples from ongoing projects of the ZMT and the University of Bremen. Prior to leaving for the field work abroad, participants must create a written MSc thesis proposal, to be read and agreed upon by his/her thesis supervisors. Once abroad at the partner institution, participants must hold an oral presentation explaining the purpose and work plan of their field work. Before their return to Bremen they need to present their preliminary research findings to the partner institution.