Master of Earth Sciences

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is renowned for combining all Earth Sciences specializations with other subject areas. Earth Sciences at our university are closely linked to Biology and Environmental Sciences. Why limit yourself to being just a geologist or a geographer? Become a true Earth Scientist, with far-reaching background knowledge that allows you to really make the most of your future. How exactly do ice ages, life, plate tectonics and CO2 cycles in the Earth’s crust and oceans interact? What is the relationship between landscape and fault movements in the dating of rocks or in processes like uplift and erosion?

The programme in a nutshell

Earth Sciences is a general Master’s programme which differs from the specialized Masters we offer. The programme gives you the opportunity to choose a specialization, but selecting one does not mean that you are restricted to just that one subject. You have the option of exploring every aspect of one specific area in great detail if you want to, but you are also free to choose your own subjects for up to a quarter of the required credits.

Here is a small selection of the subjects we offer:

  • Sedimentary Environments: Dynamics and Climate Change Recorders
  • Building Tectonic Models
  • Advanced Geochronology
  • Contaminant Hydrogeology
  • Magmatic Processes
  • Soil-Vegetation Atmosphere Exchange

The three specializations we offer:

  • Earth Surface Processes, Climate and Records
  • Geology and Geochemistry
  • Global Environmental Change and Policy

Course descriptions

The Master’s programme in Earth Sciences takes two years and is worth 120 ECTS. 54 ECTS are project-related, involving a company traineeship, an orientation phase at a science journal, or participation in a research project complete with fieldwork, lab work and/or computer modelling.

Career prospects

After the doctoral or master degree programmes, there are opportunities to continue your educational career in a number of PhD programmes at the Vrije Universiteit, organised within a number of research schools:

  • Inter-University Centre for Geo-ecological Research (ICG);
  • Netherlands Research School for the Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE);
  • Research School Sedimentary Geology (NSG);
  • Integrated Solid Earth Sciences (ISES).

The PhD programme always consists of carrying out a research project, leading to a PhD thesis/dissertation, and of several compulsory or elective course modules.

Admission requirements

HBO students and students with a BSc degree obtained at an institution inside or outside of the Netherlands

Students who hold a certificate of higher vocational education (hbo) or an equivalent of a VU Amsterdam BSc degree obtained at an institution inside or outside of the Netherlands may be admitted to the Master's programme in Earth Sciences on the basis of a decision to that effect taken by the Examination Board. The Examination Board will determine whether the qualification in question is sufficiently relevant to warrant admission. The Examination Board may place additional requirements on the student before granting admission to the programme.

English language proficiency requirements. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires international applicants to pass an English language proficiency test.

N.B. Students who need a visa (MVV) to enter the Netherlands must have passed the test and submitted the original test certificate before 1 June. All other students have to submit the test certificate at the latest before 1 September.

Program taught in:
  • English

See 79 more programs offered by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam »

Last updated October 26, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
2,083 EUR
for EEA students. €14.500 for non-EU/non-EEA students.
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Application deadline
End Date