Unique broad teaching programmes
The Department of Earth Sciences, together with the Department of Physical Geography, is responsible for the Bachelor's and Master’s Degree Programmes in Earth Sciences. These programmes are unique in the Netherlands, because they offer both undergraduate and graduate courses across the whole breadth of Earth Sciences and Physical Geography.
The Bachelor’s Programme is nominally taught in Dutch, but many courses are taught in English or can be when exchange students participate.
The Bachelor 'Aardwetenschappen' is a broad science course programme that makes students familiar with almost all aspects of the natural and human-induced processes that shape and influence the planet. Earth Sciences combines knowledge and techniques from physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, computational science, geology and geography. Depending on your interests, you determine your specialisation. For example, you will learn how earthquakes are caused and mountains are formed, about hazards in coastal and river areas, or about the chemistry of the oceans and the impact of climate change on ecosystems.
The two contributing departments offer or in part support the following internationally oriented Master's Degree Programmes in Earth Sciences. Please also see the Graduate School of Geosciences website.
EXPLORE PROCESSES AFFECTING THE EARTH'S LIFE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. This two-year programme will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand climate change and its impact on natural environments such as soils, sediments, lakes, groundwater, wetlands, estuaries, and oceans.
The main topics you will study include the evolution of life, the development of sedimentary basins, carbon sources and sinks, biogeochemical and geochemical fingerprinting of sedimentary processes/environments, and climate reconstruction.
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. And how does understanding this help us in using the subsurface in a sustainable and safe manner, e.g. for geothermal energy, for storage of carbon dioxide, hydrogen or radio active waste, for underground building, etc.
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 natural 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.
Seas and oceans play an important role in our day-to-day lives, and over 65% of the world’s population lives or works in coastal areas. Vital for our economy and health – as well as for climate, food, and biodiversity – seas and oceans have immense societal significance. However, the oceans are changing rapidly as human-induced pollution and CO2 emissions lead to warming, acidification and deoxygenation of seas and oceans. The impact on organisms, ocean chemistry, and currents on short to long timescales is uncertain, affecting ecosystems, but also the economy and policymaking.