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Applied Natural Sciences

Studying Applied Science in Germany

An article by Julia Kimmerle

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That is what it's about

Beer and headache tablets have one thing in common: the expertise of process engineers and chemical engineers was required for the creation of both. The ingredients must be mixed correctly to trigger and halt chemical processes. Process engineers and chemical engineers consider the biological, chemical and physical processes: they crush, clean, mix, separate, and ferment raw materials. They also develop systems to control these processes. Graduates work everywhere that consumer goods are manufactured. Without them, there would not be any fuels or fruit yoghurts. In Germany, at around 30 per cent, the proportion of women is significantly higher than in other engineering disciplines.

This is how the course runs

Given that the number of candidates is on the increase, many universities have introduced a numerus clausus . To date, students had to achieve at least a 2.9. Some universities in Germany require proof of an eight-week work placement before commencing studies, though this can also be made up during the course. Those, who study the subject, should be interested in Natural Science and technology, and enjoy analytical thinking. Many worry about the challenging Maths, Physics and Organic Chemistry courses in the first few semesters. There is this belief, though it is entirely unfounded, says Bernd Schinke: "The specialist knowledge can be learned, enjoying the subject cannot." Serap Üclü (22), who is in the fourth semester of Applied Chemistry at the University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg, Germany, found Physical Chemistry in which one must understand how and why materials are transformed the most difficult. It can be overcome in the end though. She enjoyed the Biochemistry aspect of the course the most, as it is closely related to Medicine and Biology. "We learn a great deal about amino acids, proteins, enzymes, carbohydrate and DNA, which I find utterly fascinating." Given that the specialist literature for both disciplines is almost exclusively written in English, it helps to be competent in the language.