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Earth Sciences


This programme addresses Earth System Science and Environmental Management, focussing on earth surface processes and their interactions with humans and ecosystems. Students will learn how landscapes and ecosystems are generated and interact with climate and human activity. In addition, they will acquire skills that are essential for managing environments in a sustainable way, preparing them actively to contribute to securing the future of our planet. It is a relatively small study group, so the atmosphere is informal and the lines of communication are short.

Introduction Earth Sciences

Within this master there are two tracks that you choose from: Earth System Science and Environmental Management. Are you curious about more information of the study? Watch the video and find out why this is the study for you.


Track 1: Earth System Science

In the track Earth System Science of the Master's programme Earth Sciences, students will deepen their understanding on the processes that determine the functioning of the Earth System and the role and impact of humans and climate change on this system. Such knowledge is essential when facing current grand challenges concerning global change, but also to realise sustainable goals while gaining insight into geo-ecological system services. At spatial scales, varying from the molecules to earth system as a whole, students will study the landscape and climate dynamics based on fieldwork, laboratory work and modelling studies.

Entry requirements

A natural science bachelor (e.g. in Earth Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Environ­mental Studies or others), but with experience in earth science topics.

More information about this track will be available soon.

If you want to apply for the Earth System Science track, please for now follow the application and admissions procedure from the Environmental Management track. In both Studielink and the UvA application procedure you can choose the new track

Track 2: Environmental Management

In the track Environmental Management of the Master's programme Earth Sciences, students will learn to combine knowledge on the management of geo-ecological systems using inter­disciplinary approaches. Study systems include managing nature reserves, establishing urban green centres, and revitalising degraded landscapes. Students will be trained to apply this knowledge in a professional setting and to tackle environmental management problems for the benefit of society.

Entry requirements

For this track, students with a natural science bachelor (e.g. in biology, chemistry, environ­mental studies or others), but without experience in Earth Science topics: we offer a self-tuition deficiency course (including exam) on geology, geo­mor­phology and soil science. The exam of this deficiency course has to be passed before the start of the master.

Why study Earth Sciences?

  • You have an inquisitive mind and like the challenge of finding solutions for the complex environmental issues that are facing our changing planet.
  • In the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) we offer you a wide range of brand new and state of the art facilities (e-science labs including GIS, remote sensing and geo-ecological modelling, soil- and environmental chemistry and erosion labs) to enable you to let your course work meet the latest scientific standards.
  • You wish to acquire in-depth insight on the functioning of environmental processes affecting our planet, and to use this to challenge existing knowledge and contribute to practical solutions and applications.
  • You are eager to combine a scientific interest in earth sciences with related fields in ecology, hydrology, environmental chemistry and human impact studies to understand their complex interaction, which is required to address the global, regional and local processes.
  • You have a quantitative attitude, and are eager to learn, use and apply state of the art analytical methods which can include and combine e-science based techniques, advanced laboratory techniques and field measurement techniques.
  • You want to become part of inspiring research projects, in both national and international settings.
  • It is a relatively small study group, so the atmosphere is informal and the lines of communication are short.

Experts of the Earth

The Master's in Earth Sciences will enable you to study and understand many different aspects of global geo-ecosystems, and how humans can harmonize their actions with nature and landscapes. The programme has a very international student population, and many students decide to do research projects abroad. Examples of recent projects include 'Reducing land degradation in the Peruvian Andes' and 'Environmental response of
revegetation in Spain and Slovenia

Societal and Business trajectories

In general, Master's students are trained to become independent researchers. But at the UvA Faculty of Science you can also choose to complete your Master's programme with a societal or business trajectory that focuses on other skills than doing research. There are several professional majors and minors available, depending on the track you choose.

Explore your campus

Want to see where you will be studying? Explore the campus in our virtual map, or plan a visit and experience it yourself using the interactive app.

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc Earth Sciences
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 120 ECTS, 24 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66986
Location Science Park