Career Development

Academic and professional knowledge and skills

This Master’s programme will prepare you to analyse scientific, practical, economical, or societal problems from a integrated marine scientific perspective. Based on your expertise you will be able to provide an explanation for the problem or to identify knowledge gaps and to formulate appropriate research questions. You will be skilled to extract and integrate information from scientific literature for analysing the problem and/or performing the research.

When research is required, you will be able to delineate the approach and methodology. You will also be trained to use specific techniques and to interpret the related results for finding answers for your questions. These techniques can include field research, laboratory experiments, computational methods and the application of geophysical, biological, or chemical procedures. Your specialisation in the Master’s programme will determine in which of these techniques you will become most skilled.

At the end of your problem analysis or the performed research, you will be able to discuss the outcome by integrating all results and evaluating them in view of the current scientific knowledge and the underlying questions. You will have learned to formulate conclusions and to translate them into solutions of the problem or into strategies for finding solutions in the future.

As solving many geoscientific problems require a multidisciplinary approach, you will also be trained to cooperate in a team and to join forces with experts from other disciplines. The Master’s programme will enable you to present the results of your analysis or research in written or oral forms of communication including scientific publications, reports, and presentations. You will learn to present your knowledge to experts and non-experts. 


Orientation for a career in a more applied direction can be gained from study profiles focusing on management/society (M-profile). The M-profiles are a supplement to the track chosen within the Master's programme and may also include components outside the Utrecht University Earth Sciences programmes.

A Master's programme with M-profile is concluded with an earth science research project and an obligatory traineeship focusing on the chosen profile. You can choose one of two M-profiles:

  • Geo-Resources
  • Earth and Sustainability

M-profile Geo-Resources

The M-profile Geo-Resources is made up of a coherent series of courses focusing on knowledge, techniques, and problems regarding the extraction of natural resources including oil and gas. The courses are given by specialists from the non-academic sector (e.g. Shell, TNO, EBN) and by lecturers of Utrecht University and the Free University of Amsterdam. The courses are directed towards many aspects of geology and geophysics that are essential for the successful exploration of geo-resources such as oil and gas.

The following courses have all been labelled as making part of the M-profile Geo-Resources:

  • Reflection Seismology & Petroleum Systems
  • Geology and Petroleum Geology of the North Sea
  • Earth Resources
  • Sustainable and Unconventional Geo-Resources
  • Subsurface Evaluation for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development
  • Elective courses offered outside the Earth Sciences programmes

M-profile Earth and Sustainability

The M-profile Earth and Sustainability is made up of a coherent series of courses oriented towards sustainable development. This provides a solid basis for a career within governmental organisations and consultancy firms that are active in the field of sustainable development. The courses focus on a multi-disciplinary approach of local and global problems. Key is the integration of approaches from the social sciences and natural sciences. The courses are given by lecturers of the Master's programme Sustainable Development within the Graduate School of Geosciences. The courses provide a natural science background for a wide range of topics related to sustainability. Much attention will be devoted to policy with respect to energy, natural resources (including water),land use, and socio-economic aspects that are of importance for long-term changes for the benefit of a sustainable Earth. 

The following courses have all been labelled as making part of the M-profile Earth and Sustainability:

  • Tools for Energy & Materials Analysis
  • Themes in Global Change and Ecosystems
  • Sustainable Energy Systems
  • Ecosystem Modelling
  • Energy & Material Efficiency
  • Fossil Resources
  • Environmental & Materials Policy
  • Climate Systems and Adaptation
  • Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Development
  • Development Themes

Career Support

UU Career Support

UU Career Support offers training related to career orientation and job application skills; examples include writing an application letter and CV and conducting a job interview. You can find more information about career support on UU Career Support for Dutch students or UU Career Support for international students.

UU Careers Day

Once a year Utrecht University organises a Careers Day. The Careers Day offers the opportunity to sign up for workshops and trainings, and to meet recruiters at the careers fair. It’s also possible to join a job application training or have your resume checked.