Study programme

The courses below are for cohort 2024 onward. If you are already a student at UU and are looking for information about cohort 2023 or earlier, please check our student website. 

Earth Structure and Dynamics is a two-year Master’s programme taught in English that includes both courses and research forming a total of 120 points in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). On this page you will find information concerning the curriculum, courses, educational methods, examinations and extracurricular opportunities.


The first year is devoted to course work, while the second year is primarily spent conducting independent research and/or a traineeship. The programme offers considerable scope to design your own personal ‘Master’s plan’ matching your interests and competences.


Tracks are recommended, coherent combinations of courses combined from the total programme. They are meant to help you design your own curriculum based on your preferred specialization within the Earth Structure and Dynamics programme. The three tracks are:

  • Physics of the Solid Earth and Planets
    An in-depth geophysical approach to understand the deep interior of the Earth and other planets
  • Basins, Orogens and the Crust-Lithosphere System
    Understand the processes at the scale of the crust and lithosphere such as the formation and evolution of sedimentary basins or mountain chains. This is a combined track for a hybrid Geology-Geophysics profile.
  • Earth Materials
    Deformation, metamorphic and igneous processes operating in the crust and upper mantle, also relevant for exploitation of sustainable geo-resources.
Read more about tracks


Below you can find an overview of the courses per track.

    Educational methods

    • Lectures 
    • Field research, where relevant
    • Independent research
    • Internship/guided research


    • Written exams
    • Short papers of reports
    • In-class presentations
    • Active participation
    • Internship of guided research report
    • Thesis, resulting from independent MSc-level research

    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