Masters

Explore processes at or near the Earth's surface

The Master’s programme in Earth Surface and Water involves the study of natural and human-induced physical and geochemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of the Earth’s continental and coastal systems. This two-year programme provides you with knowledge that is essential to manage the planet sustainably, guarantee the availability of resources for future generations, and understand and avert natural hazards.

The main subject areas you will study consist of the dynamics of coastal and river systems, (geo-)hydrological processes, groundwater remediation, land degradation in dry lands and mountainous regions, natural hazards, and delta evolution on centennial and longer time scales.

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

Core areas of research

The Earth Surface and Water programme trains students to quantitatively study the natural and human-induced physical and chemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of Earth’s continental and coastal systems as well as their responses to global change. Students explore and understand the modelling capabilities of the past, present, and future as well as the evolution of Earth’s environment, including human impact on this evolution.

In the programme, you will address questions such as:

  • How do river floods affect delta systems and their inhabitants?
  • How can we use natural processes under climate change to maintain safe - yet attractive and dynamic - coastlines?
  • How can satellite images be used to estimate erosion losses?
  • Will we have enough water to sustain the world’s rapidly increasing population in 2050?
  • What is the most efficient way to clean an oil spill that enters the soil and groundwater? 

The programme trains students to combine field observations and laboratory experiments with the latest developments in remote sensing and computational methods. Research developed by our staff and students has a strong international profile, encompasses scales ranging from microscopic to global, and concerns both past and contemporary processes.

Programme objective

Physical geographers, geochemists, and hydrologists are necessary to identify nature’s actions in our modern world, especially with society’s ever-increasing pressure on the natural environment. The Earth Surface and Water programme therefore focusses on imminent societal problems, such as society’s increased vulnerability to climate and environmental changes and to natural hazards such as flooding, storms, and mass movements. It also addresses the threats and opportunities resulting from human activity on our physical environment, including the hydrological cycle.

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 Surface and Water
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
  • "The programme offers you plenty of oppurtunity to develop your personal research skills"
  • "The programme clearly provides diverse opportunities to jump-start a scientific career."

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