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Master
Earth Sciences: Geo-ecological Dynamics (track)
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Study programme

Geo-Ecological Dynamics integrates knowledge from disciplines such as earth sciences and physical geography, including soil science, geomorphology, paleo- and landscape ecology, environmental chemistry, hydrology and climatology.

The curriculum and courses

Geo-ecological Dynamics is a two-year programme (120 EC) with 30 EC dedicated to compulsory courses, a literature study (12 EC) and an independent Master's research project (at least 48 EC). An additional 30 EC can be devoted to either elective courses, a minor (e.g. the Science for Sustainability minor), or an internship in corporate consultancy, civil society or a governmental organisation.

  • Compulsory courses for Geo-ecological Dynamics
    • Vulnerability Assessment of Geo-ecosystems (12 EC)*
    • Applications in GIS & Remote Sensing (6 EC)**
    • Biogeochemical cycles (6 EC)
    • Environments through Time (6 EC)
    • Research Workshop & Skills Lab (6 EC)

    * mandatory with enrolment in September, elective with  enrolment in February
    ** mandatory with enrolment in February, elective with  enrolment in September

  • Elective courses for Geo-Ecological Dynamics
    • Vulnerability Assessment of Geo-ecosystems (12 EC)*
    • Applications in GIS & Remote Sensing (6 EC)**
    • Soil and Landscape Degradation (6 EC)
    • Environmental Measuring Techniques (6 EC)
    • Field Course Geo-ecological Systems (12 EC)
    • Climate Change (6 EC)

    * mandatory with enrolment in September, elective with  enrolment in February
    ** mandatory with enrolment in February, elective with  enrolment in September

You can also choose from selected courses from other programmes, such as: Grand Challenges of Human-Ecosystem Interactions (6 EC), Science Based Geo-ecosystem Management (6 EC), Metropole Ecology (6 EC), Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry (6 EC), Energy & Climate Change, Science, Policy and Economics (6 EC), Integrated Coastal Dune Management (6 EC),  System Innovation and Transition Management (6 EC).

For detailed information regarding the curriculum and courses, please see the UvA Course Catalogue via the link below. 

Majors and minors

At the UvA  you can choose to do your Master's programme with a society-/ business-oriented major or minor that focuses on other skills than doing research. In this case you will follow the programme of your chosen scientific discipline during the first year of your Master's (although slightly adjusted), and a society-/ business-oriented major or minor during the second year. You will graduate as a Master of Science. If you have the ambition to do a professional specialisation make sure to inform about conditions early in your Master's programme. 

Master's thesis project

The Master's thesis research project is literally your masterpiece. It is an independent research project supervised by an expert. The topic of your research is preferably closely linked to the research of the group but can also be chosen freely as long as an expert on the topic can be found to supervise you. During the period that you are working on your research project you will be a member of a research group to optimise communication with your peers and supervisors, to provide you with a broader perspective by being involved in other research as well, and to facilitate you in developing your professional network.

Accreditation and academic title

Degree requirements 

A Master of Science degree in Earth Sciences is awarded upon successful completion of all the core courses in the curriculum and a written Master's thesis based on an independent research project. This translates into a total of 120 ECTS credits.

Accreditation and degree 

The Master's programme in Earth Sciences has been legally accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme, students will receive a Master's degree in Earth Sciences and the title of Master of Science (MSc).

Related research institutes

Geo-ecological Dynamics works across disciplines and is firmly embedded in the interdisciplinary Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) which covers high quality research on earth surface science, ecology, environmental chemistry, (soil-)chemical analytics and modelling.

Bring your own device

All students enrolled in Earth Sciences are requested to bring their own laptop, due to the nature of the programme. More information on specific system requirements can be found here.