A unique and broad teaching programme

Together with the the Department of Earth Sciences, the Department of Physical Geography is responsible for the Bachelor's Degree Programme in Earth Sciences. This programme is unique in the Netherlands, because it offers courses across the whole spectrum of Earth Sciences and Physical Geography. The Bachelor’s Programme is taught in Dutch, but courses can be taught in English when exchange students participate.

Bachelor’s programme

Earth Sciences

The joint 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. Combining aspects from physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and geography you will learn about earth science processes. For example, you wil learn how earthquakes are caused and mountains are formed.

Are you interested in applying for this Bachelor's programme? Please visit the Earth Sciences website. Current students can visit the Student's website.

Master’s programmes

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.

Earth, Life and climate


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.

Are you interested in applying for this Master's programme? Please visit the Earth, Life and Climate website. Current students can visit the Student's website.

Earth Structure and Dynamics


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.

Are you interested in applying for this Master's programme? Please visit the Earth Structure and Dynamics website. Current students can visit the Student's website.

Earth Surface and Water


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.

Are you interested in applying for this Master's programme? Please visit the Earth Surface and Water website. Current students can visit the Student's website.

Marine Sciences

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. 

Are you interested in applying for this Master's programme? Please visit the Marine Sciences website. Current students can visit the Student's website.

Water Science Management


The two-year Master’s programme in Water Science and Management will give you an in-depth understanding of modern water management techniques and water policies from a sustainable development perspective. You will gain an understanding of water’s role with regard to humanity and nature as well as the societal impact of interventions in the water cycle. 

Are you interested in applying for this Master's programme? Please visit the Water Science Management website. Current students can visit the Student's website.