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Earth Sciences: Future Planet Ecosystem Science (track)

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In the two-year track Future Planet Ecosystem Science of the Master’s programme Earth Sciences, you will learn quantitative methods and gain an in-depth understanding of concepts of geo-ecological systems, essential to face the grand challenges regarding global change, the management of ecosystems, and their services upon which humans rely.

UvA online Open House

This year, you won’t be able to attend any busy on-campus events with lots of people. But our online Open House is the perfect way to get to know UvA study programmes and university life from the comfort of your own home.
Every study programme has an Open House page with videos, FAQs and live events. On the main Open House website you can discover all our programmes, explore the city and campus, and get inspired during our theme weeks.

Discover the Master’s tracks

The Master's programme Earth Sciences offers specialisations in three tracks. Future Planet Ecosystem Science, is one of them. The other two tracks are:

  1. Environmental Management
  2. Geo-ecological Dynamics
What is this programme about
Do you want to know what it’s like to study the Future Planet Ecosystem Science track in the Earth Sciences programme at the University of Amsterdam? Students Bart and Catherine and Dr Boris Jansen will tell you what makes the programme unique and what your career prospects are after this Master’s.

Why specialise in Future Planet Ecosystem Science?

Human impact on our planet has reached unprecedented proportions. This severely affects biodiversity, geo-ecosystems and the services they provide to humanity. We urgently need an in-depth understanding of the functioning of geo-ecosystems, to predict the effects of local and global change (land use change, eutrophication, pollution, climate change) and to successfully manage Earth's systems (e.g. through integrated land management, spatial planning, nature and soil conservation). Only then can we rely on the use of ecosystem services in a sustainable way.

This Master’s track teaches cutting-edge, quantitative methods (including observations, modelling and big data analysis) and how to apply these methods to global challenges. Specific attention is given to the identification of where scientific knowledge falls short of contributing to solutions for the grand challenges we are facing.

Is Future Planet Ecosystem Science the track for me?

Future Planet Ecosystem Science is an interdisciplinary programme which integrates knowledge from disciplines such as earth sciences, ecology, geography, and environmental chemistry.

  • The best way to predict the future is to create it. Are you concerned about global change and the future of our planet with an ever increasing human population?
  • Do you want to deepen your knowledge on the grand challenges that we are facing and the best ways we can address these?
  • Do you want to contribute to increasing the knowledge needed to solve global problems and take the right decisions for creating a sustainable world? 
  • ​Do you want to develop skills in modelling and big data analyses so you can play a part in the science that is needed to support our future planet?
  • Do you have a broad interest in natural sciences?

Then Future Planet Ecosystem Science might be the right track for you!

What does Future Planet Ecosystem Science at the UvA have to offer me?

  1. Future Planet Ecosystem Science offers a unique and inspiring programme with lots of opportunities to make your own choices and customise the content to your own interests. Courses and individual topics focus on how natural science can contribute to solving the main societal challenges of our over-populated planet Earth.
  2. Future Planet Ecosystem Science is taught by a team of inspired and enthusiastic lecturers, specialised in a range of topics that span the fields of earth science to ecology and evolution. In this way we foster interdisciplinary thinking and inspire out-of-the-box approaches to solve the grand challenges of our future planet.
  3. During your Master’s research project you will become member of a research group, making an actual contribution to scientific advancement. You will work closely together with top researchers across multiple scientific fields, which gives you a head start in developing your professional network.
  4. During your studies you will get acquainted with the latest methodologies and you will have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure including e-Science virtual laboratories, GIS-studio, extensive databases, and cluster and cloud computing facilities for topical modelling and data analysis.

Related research institutes

Future Planet Ecosystem Science 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, modelling, and big data analyses. Future Planet Ecosystem Science is designed in close collaboration with the Departments of Ecological Science and Environmental Geography of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who also participate in the teaching.

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc MSc Earth Sciences
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 120 EC ECTS, 24 months
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission Preliminary training necessary
Starts in September
CROHO code 66986