Masters

Study processes below the Earth's surface

In the Master in Earth Structure and Dynamics programme, you will explore the composition, structure, and evolution of the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core. During this two-year programme, you will learn to link geological, geophysical, geochemical, and geodetic observations made at the Earth’s surface to physical processes operating within the planet.

Specialise in any aspect of Solid Earth Science

The programme combines physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, and field studies to address how the solid Earth works. It allows you to specialise in virtually any aspect of solid Earth science, ranging from theoretical geophysics to pure geology or geochemistry. Many students choose a combined geology-geophysics focus.

Core areas of teaching and research

The main subject areas you will study consist of seismology, tectonophysics, mantle dynamics, structural geology, metamorphism, magmatic processes, basin evolution, hydrocarbon and mineral deposits, and the properties of Earth materials. You will examine processes ranging from slow geodynamic processes – such as mantle convection, plate tectonics, and mountain building – to those that can have an impact during a human lifetime. These include active crustal deformation, seismicity, and volcanism as well as subsidence, uplift, and seismicity induced by hydrocarbon production and geological storage of CO2.

In the programme, you will address questions such as:

  • How do mountain belts and sedimentary basins form? 
  • How can we image the internal structure of the crust and mantle? 
  • How does plate tectonics really work and how can we model it? 
  • What controls volcanic eruptions and earthquakes? 
  • Can CO2 be safely stored in reservoir rocks in the Earth’s crust? 

You can choose one of three specialisation tracks based on your interests in the field:

Programme objective

The Earth Structure and Dynamics programme focuses on all aspects of the solid Earth as a key component of system Earth – and therefore of Earth system science. This encompasses the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the solid Earth over the full range of spatial and temporal scales as well as the role of solid Earth structure and processes in societally relevant issues such as energy, geo-resources, and geohazards. Examples include understanding the physics of tectonically – or human – induced earthquakes, volcanic hazards or petroleum, mineral, sustainable or unconventional resources. Knowledge of these aspects has direct relevance for professional profiles and future job opportunities.

Summary

Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MSc
  • Master's degree in: Earth Sciences
  • Programme: Earth Structure and Dynamics
Accreditation:
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
66986
Language of instruction:
English
Part- or full-time status:
Full-time
Duration:
2 years
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
120
Start of studies:
September
Tuition fees:
  • Statutory fee - fulltime 2017-2018: € 2,006 (NL/EU) (for exceptions see Tuition Fees and Financial Support)
  • Institutional fee 2017-2018: € 18,201 (non EU/EEA)
Faculty:
Geosciences
Graduate school:
Geosciences
  • "I continued my research in a PhD programme in experimental rock deformation"
  • "Utrecht’s geophysicists are found at the top positions in academics and industry around the world"

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