Master of Geology (Leuven)

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

This master is a two-year program jointly organized by KU Leuven and Ghent University. You’ll receive in-depth training in the various fields of geology and develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to work in interdisciplinary teams addressing complex geological problems.

What is the program all about?

The strong emphasis on research is a major benefit of the program. Besides enhancing your knowledge and skills in numerous specialized courses, including a field-mapping course, you will conduct your own master’s thesis project within a research team (professor, postdoc, PhD-student) and at the same time develop the important scientific skills, such as reporting and presenting, that you’ll need in your future career.

Structure

The master’s program offers 4 different majors: Geodynamics and Georesources, Surface Processes and Paleoenvironments, Geology of Basins and Soil and Groundwater.

  • In Geodynamics and Georesources, you will study rock-forming processes and mineral distributions in the subsurface. You will develop the ability to analyze and explain the complexity of the various interacting physical and chemical rock-forming processes and apply this knowledge to the exploration of natural resources. This major is organized by KU Leuven.
  • In Surface Processes and Paleoenvironments, you will study the interaction between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. You will develop the ability to analyze and explain the complex interaction of surface processes relating to the variability of various aspects of the Earth’s surface, including the water cycle and Earth’s climate. This major is organized by KU Leuven.
  • In Basins and Orogens, you will study the processes steering the genesis and evolution of sedimentary basins and the surrounding areas. You will develop the ability to analyze and explain the complexity of the interacting processes that determine the evolution of sedimentary basins. This major is organized by Ghent University.
  • In Groundwater and Mineral Resources, you will study hydrogeological and pedological characteristics and processes with a focus on the fundamental and applied aspects of soils and groundwater. You will develop the ability to analyze and explain the complexity of the physical and chemical processes influencing soil and groundwater, and to be able to come up with remedial measures. This major is organized by Ghent University.

Strengths

  • The program is firmly rooted in the research of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (KU Leuven) and the Department of Geology (Ghent University). Both departments continuously develop and maintain innovative and widely recognized research programs on both the fundamental and applied aspects of geoscience.
  • The program offers optional courses on a wide variety of topics, from environmental law to volcanology. This allows you to shape your own profile according to your interests.
  • The KU Leuven has a strong exchange program (Erasmus) with top universities in Europe and around the world.

Is this the right program for me?

  • You must have obtained an academic bachelor’s degree in the field of geology. For other diplomas in closely related fields, admission may only be granted after a thorough investigation into your study background.
  • You must show proficiency in oral and written English.

Objectives

The program Master of Geology has the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge and insight

1. Having a thorough knowledge of and insight into the field of geology.
2. Having advanced knowledge of at least one subdiscipline in the field of geology and insight in contemporary research within this subdiscipline.

Applying knowledge and insight

3. Having the competences and the insight to take the following steps in one’s own scientific research within a research team:
a. define a research topic, formulate a research question and adjust it during the research,
b. constitute a suitable solution process and plan it,
c. perform and implement a risk analysis about the planned experiments,
d. perform a scientific study independently and accurately,
e. process the acquired data
f. while taking into account the relevant deontological rules of conduct.

Developing and opinion

4. Being able to, starting from a research question, consult the relevant discipline-related literature and assess its validity.
5. Being able to, starting from a research question, process, interpret and comment independently the results of the own research as well as bibliographical study in a critical way.
6. Being able to critically judge complex scientific, societal and ethical issues concerning the discipline and formulate scientifically motivated and ethically sound answers.

Communication

7. Possessing the necessary attitudes and skills to participate in a team in a multidisciplinary and international professional environment.
8. Being able to take a motivated position and defend it orally towards peers and experts as well as communicate in writing for a general audience.
9. Being able to report, communicate and present written as well as orally, taking into account the relevant deontological rules of conduct.

Learning skills and educational aims

10. Being capable of acquiring knowledge, carrying out research and tackling scientific problems in an autonomous way, with attention to originality and creativity
11. Possessing the skills to keep up-to-date with the recent international developments within the discipline and in science in general.
12. Possessing advanced/broad knowledge and skills that are applicable to disciplinary research and the professional environment.

Career Opportunities

As a Master in Geology, you may be involved in the development, research or as a manager in industry or as a freelance expert. In consultancy, you are most likely to work in environmental geology, hydrogeology or geotechnology. In industry, you will be involved in exploration, exploitation and the treatment of natural resources.

In governmental agencies and research institutions, you may be responsible for the inventory, management, research and sustainable use of the subsurface with respect to tackling environmental issues.

If you dream of pursuing an academic career, your next step may be embarking on a PhD-project in Leuven, Ghent, or elsewhere.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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