Master's programme

Climate Physics

Through the two-year research Master's programme Climate Physics, talented and motivated students become researchers with a solid grounding in the field of meteorology, physical oceanography and climate. It focuses on the fundamental physical processes that make up the Earth's climate system, on theoretical, observational and computational knowledge of the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere (ice), and on their interactions.

This Master’s programme is officially registered under the name Natuurkunde en Meteorologie & Fysische Oceanografie (code 60705)

Societal relevance

Concern about anthropogenic global climate change has acquired an increased sense of urgency in recent decades. In order to determine how trace gases, aerosols and clouds change the Earth ́s radiation balance, how ocean currents affect the global climate system, how melting glaciers and ice sheets – and the ensuing sea level rise – affect coastal systems, you need a quantitative grasp of the various components of the climate system and their interactions.

Many questions still remain unanswered

Although our understanding of the physical processes in the climate system has improved steadily, many questions still remain unanswered. So, apart from being scientifically interesting and challenging, climate-related research is also very relevant to society, because it will enable us to make more reliable predictions about future trends in the climate and their implications for mankind.

The programme

Our master and PhD students share their enthusiasm for this programme

Climate Physics is a Research Master's programme which lasts two years. Designed to train talented motivated students to become highly experienced researchers, the programme focuses on the fundamental physical processes that make up the Earth climate system. This approach requires advanced mathematical skills right from the start. The programme builds on this basis by adding specialised theoretical, observational and computational knowledge and skills relating to the atmosphere, oceans, the cryosphere (ice), biosphere and their interactions. Moreover, students are encouraged to develop a critical attitude towards the results of research projects and the validity of their underlying assumptions.

An excellent way to prepare for the Climate Physics Master's programme is to follow the Bachelor programme 'Physics and Astronomy', within which various optional climate-related courses are taught. It goes without saying that talented, motivated students from around the world with a different (physics) background are also very welcome.

Why Climate Physics at Utrecht University

The Climate Physics programme is one of few Master's programmes that addresses all components of the climate system (atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere and biosphere) as well as their interactions. We study the system from a fundamental point of view, focusing on describing as well as understanding the physical processes that are at the heart of the observed phenomena. The Climate Physics programme is closely integrated with the PhD programme of the Buys Ballot Research School (BBOS), which is led by IMAU. This relationship has led to a stimulating, challenging, friendly environment in which students and staff know each other by name and meet not only in classes but also during coffee breaks and at sporting events.

More Information

    Practical information

    Information about admission requirements, required degree, language requirements, application procedures and deadlines can be found on the master programme website.


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