Field courses




Field work

Field education is a central component of geoscience education. It serves the goal of practical competence acquisition in the field. Theoretical knowledge acquired in the lecture hall is to be illustrated and applied in practice in one-day or multi-day field courses at Bachelor's and Master's level, and field methods are to be learned.

In the field education at the Aachen location, three main types of field events can be distinguished, which are anchored in the respective examination regulations:

  • Mapping courses and terrain methods: The focus is on learning and trying out various terrain methods learned in theory in practice.
  • Module-based terrain courses: At the end of modules in the compulsory and elective areas, terrain courses are firmly integrated into the study plans, in which the theoretically taught content of the module is visualized in practice. In this area - depending on the learning objective of the respective module - in addition to field courses, industrial visits or a mix of both event types are conceivable.
  • Freely selectable geoscientific field courses: Completion of a number of geoscientific field days determined according to the respective examination regulations, if necessary subdivided according to level and specialization. The student can choose from a selection of geoscientific field courses of one or more days with different technical or regional emphases.

Frequency, insurance, leave of absence and costs

Due to climatic reasons, the geoscientific field education is mainly offered in the summer semesters. The range of terrain courses that can be recognized according to the respective examination regulations can be found in RWTHonline under Curriculum Support in the respective module. Offers of external or non-geoscientific providers are not recognized - except in the case of a semester abroad.

Students who are duly enrolled at RWTH Aachen University and who are not on leave are legally insured against accidents within the scope of their studies by the Unfallkasse NRW. Due to § 48 Abs. 5 Hochschulgesetz NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Education Act), students on leave of absence are generally not admitted to off-campus courses.

The costs of the off-road training vary depending on the duration and regional destination of the off-road event between 0 euros (e.g. one-day off-road events in Aachen and the surrounding area), several hundred euros (e.g. off-road events lasting several days in Germany and Europe) or even a thousand euros (e.g. off-road events lasting several weeks outside Europe). Part of the cross-country training is subsidized. It is recommended to calculate expenses for off-road events of about 500 Euro per year. The estimated costs for each off-road event (calculated without grants) are given in RWTHonline and are available at registration.

Registration, participation fee, withdrawal and reimbursement of costs

Participation in field events requires timely registration (in the summer semester usually March 1-15) and allocation via RWTHonline. It is possible to register for several field events at the same time by indicating preferences.

As of the summer semester 2019, payment or, if applicable, a deposit of the participation fee is due directly with the allocation as confirmation of acceptance of the place in the field event within usually one to two weeks. Only with this payment is the place considered accepted and the registration is binding. If the payment is not made on time, the place will be given to someone else.

Since the costs for cross-country events change depending on the number of participants, it is in the interest of all concerned not to generate any remaining places, e.g. due to short-term cancellations (especially outside the cancellation deadlines). For this reason, according to the examination regulations, a withdrawal without consequences is only possible within one week after notification of the allocation to the corresponding cross-country event. Paid-in participant amounts will not be refunded in order to avoid a redistribution among the other participants in the field event. It is therefore recommended to take out a private travel cancellation insurance, which guarantees a refund of the participant fees in certain cases (e.g. illness, death).

Examination performance and compulsory attendance

Due to the nature of the subject, attendance is compulsory in field events, which is why registration for a field event is simultaneously linked to registration for the corresponding examination.

The exact form of the examination is specified in the respective examination regulations. In the case of possible alternative examination forms, the lecturer will announce the corresponding examination form(s) in good time. Non-attendance at a field event as well as failure to hand in the examination performance(s) on time will therefore result in a grade of 5.0.