Study programme

Climate Physics is a two-year research oriented Master's programme (120 EC). EC stands for European Credits in which 1 EC equals 28 hours of work. 


The curriculum then consists of a 76 EC course part, followed by a 44 EC research part in year 2.

Course part (76 EC)

The course part of this programme consists of:    

  • compulsory course (38,5 EC)  
  • elective courses (37,5 EC)

In the course list below you can find a description of the specific courses.

Research part (44 EC)

The majority of the 2nd year is spend on conducting a research project and writing your Master’s thesis. The research project must contain a significant literature study, in which you will familiarise yourself with the subject. As part of your research training, you will also enhance your academic skills by regular attendance of various seminars. The project concludes with writing a thesis and possibly a publishable paper based on your research. Thesis results are presented and discussed during the thesis defence.  

You’ll select the topic of the thesis research in consultation with your thesis supervisor, who will be a member of the IMAU staff (Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht). The research project will be part of the cutting-edge research performed at the IMAU, or it can be carried out at related institutes, The research project should reflect one of the following five research themes:

  • Ocean Circulation and Climate
  • Physical Oceanography of the Coastal Zone
  • Atmospheric Dynamics and Hydrological Cycle
  • Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
  • Ice and Climate
About the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht

Examination methods

  • Written exams
  • Reports/essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Assignments
  • Master’s thesis

Extra opportunities

Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master’s programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum. Honours programmes are available at interdisciplinary level and allow you to go deeper into subjects or work on projects that transcend your own discipline.

Read more about the honours programmes