Undergraduate education

Bachelor's programme

Bachelor's programme Climate Physics

Climate and climate change has attracted considerable public attention in recent years. In order to understand the observed variations and changes in our climate system we need to understand the various components of the climate system and their interactions. For example we need to understand how ocean currents affect the global climate system, how melting glaciers and ice sheets – and the ensuing sea level rise – affect coastal systems, and how gases, particles (aerosols) and clouds change the Earth's radiation balance.

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.

Structure of the Bachelor's programme

Climate Physics is part of the Bachelor's programme physics and astronomy. In this Bachelor you will follow general physics and mathematics courses (the required major-related course). In addition, there are optional courses which you can follow in predefined specialization trails ('keuzepaden') and minors. Courses with (sub) topics meteorology, physical oceanography and / or climate are offered in the specialization trail 'Physics of the climate', and in two minors. In these courses the emphasis lies on the physical description of the processes occurring in the atmosphere and ocean. And at the heart of this description of the climate system is the theory of fluid dynamics on a rotating planet. The bachelor is concluded with a research project of which the subject can be freely chosen (within the chosen major subject) by the student.

The year to year description of the Bachelor's programme can be found on the programme website. Note that the teaching language in the bachelor is Dutch.

Is this programme the right choice for you?

Students in this programme are generally talented in mathematics and physics. In addition, they are interested in climate related issues, such as weather, melting glaciers and sea ice, ocean currents or the sea in general and waves at the beach. If you recognise yourself in this description, the study climate physics is the right choice for you.

Bachelor's programme Climate Physics

Future prospects

After graduating the bachelor program physics and astronomy you can start the Master's programme Climate Physics. On graduating the master about 75% of the students will continue in a PhD program at a national or foreign university or research institute. A small percentage (10%) proceeds to become a meteorologist, while the remainder of the graduates end up in for example education, ict, consultency etc. In general the future prospects of bachelor and master graduates in the Netherlands are very good.

More information

Below is a list of options that will provide you with more information (in Dutch):