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The foundation of sustainability

Earth Sciences

Global Environmental Change and Policy

Tackle the complex problems of our planet

This two-year Master’s programme gives you the knowledge and skill-set to tackle the complex problems our planet faces today. You will specialise in one of three subjects: Geology and Geochemistry, Earth and Climate, or Global Environmental Change and Policy. Each specialisation has different streams, allowing you to build your own individual profile in preparation for your future professional career.

Choose your own path
The programme is renowned for integrating other subject areas into its specialisations, such as Mathematics and Informatics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental Sciences. You choose whether you want to become a broadly trained Earth Scientist or focus on one of the streams offered by the three specialisations.

Work on projects
The programme is worth 120 ECTS; around 50 ECTS are research project-related, which means you will be involved in a company traineeship, or take part in a research project complete with fieldwork, lab work and/or computer modelling.

The Master’s programme in Earth Sciences at VU Amsterdam has an excellent reputation. It is small-scale, which means you will have personal contact with all students, but it has a large scope, allowing you to choose from a broad range of topics. In that sense, Amsterdam and the programme are much alike: impressive but small enough to make you feel right at home!

International
The master looks at global Earth systems and international challenges such as climate change, the energy transition, policy and economic, natural hazards, and biodiversity loss. We also organise, when possible, international fieldwork. The focus is not limited to Dutch cases, and by crossing the border, aims to achieve a broader inclusion.

Wherever possible we provide personal mentoring throughout your studies from a staff member who will help you shape your curriculum and get the most out of your studies, as well as prepare you for your future career. Faculty members and fellow students come from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds, making the Master’s Earth Sciences at VU Amsterdam a truly international programme. Our teachers have high international profiles based on excellent research and successful fundraising; several have received international awards. 

The start date of this programme is 1 September.

Which specialisation do you choose?

The first year you start with your specialisation. This year consists mainly of compulsory courses, practicals, an excursion (can also be in the second year) and is finished with an individual research project.

Earth Sciences offers various specialties. Choose the specialisation that appeals to you!

Summary

With the specialisation Geology and Geochemistry (G&G) you focus on the Earth’s crust and mantle. You deal with geodynamics, tectonics, sedimentary and structural geology, stratigraphy, petrology, isotope geochemistry, planetary evolution, and basin analysis. You apply geological, (isotope) geochemistry and radio-isotope dating techniques to, for example:

  • understand the relations between subduction, volcanism and metamorphism;
  • ascertain the age and rates of continental collision and uplift, subsidence and denudation; 
  • study the origin, filling and deformation of basins, providing understanding of the structures in reservoirs, e.g. for geothermal energy; 
  • deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;
  • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.


Compulsory courses include:
deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;

  • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.
  • a field excursion 
  • two individual research projects

You can combine this with a set of optional courses to further specialise in five streams (see details below). There is a large choice of research and thesis projects ranging from ‘Magma genesis in the Lesser Antilles Arc’ to ‘Towards improved Synthetic Seismograms.’


Streams

Stream G&G 1: Geochemistry and Petrology
You learn a broad range of geochemical and petrological techniques and apply those to explore the processes responsible for the formation and development of the Earth’s crust, mantle and core.

Stream G&G 2: Geodynamics and Tectonics
You study the deformation and flow in the Earth from the upper crustal scale to the whole mantle scale, and learn to investigate the driving forces and resistive forces involved in such deformation and flow.

Stream G&G 3: Subsurface resourcing
In this stream you learn about exploration of earth resources and subsurface activities in its broadest sense. This stream deals with the current transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, inclusing sequestration of CO2 and use of geothermal energy.

Stream G&G 4: Planetary Science
You study the processes that lead to the formation and evolution of rocky planets and moons to provide a better understanding of Earth’s evolution.

Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings in field and/or lab oriented studies on carbonate and/or siliciclastic sediments and rocks from the Quaternary back to the Precambrian.

Study guide
You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the study guide.

Contact  information
For more information, please contact Jeroen van der Lubbe (coordinator) at h.j.l.vander.lubbe@vu.nl.

Compulsory courses

  • Research Project Geology and Geochemistry
  • Mantle Properties
  • Regional Geology and Geo-resources
  • Orogenesis
  • Sedimentary Basins
  • Designing Interdisciplinary Research

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide.

Summary

During the specialisation Earth and Climate (E&C) you’ll focus on the Earth's surface and also study climate records, applying field work with laboratory research to, for example:

  • understand and reconstruct land-surface processes, ocean and climate dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, (paleo-)ecology, and the role of humanity; 
  • assess the relationship between Earth’s spheres on time-scales between tens and millions of years;
  • quantify the magnitudes and rates of climate change; 
  • deal with environmental management and policy topics. 

Electives enable you to explore your own areas of interest, and you can choose from a range of research and thesis projects; you can also follow courses from the other tracks.
 
Streams

Stream E&C 1: Climate Dynamics and Earth System Modelling
Understand today’s climate system and how its components interact, and become an expert in numeric climate modelling and data analysis, helpful in predicting future climate. 


Stream E&C 2: Paleoceanography and Biogeochemical Cycles

Study the history of the ocean. Learn about past and modern climate change and how to quantify magnitudes and rates of changes. You may even get to join a sea-going expedition.


Stream E&C 3: Earth Surface Dynamics
Understand why landscapes look the way they do. You’ll study the past and present roles of changing climates, vegetation and human society, and learn techniques used in industry and academia.


Stream E&C 4: Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
Learn methodological skills such as remote sensing imagery and learn to work with large datasets. You can choose electives in your own fields of interest.


Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings. You could specialise for example in microbial mineral formation or stable isotope geochemistry.

Study guide
You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the study guide.

Contact information
For more information, please contact Dr. Jorien Vonk (coordinator) at j.e.vonk@vu.nl.

Compulsory courses

  • Research Project Earth & Climate
  • Landscape Dynamics
  • Designing Interdisciplinary Research

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide.

Summary

If you want to help create sustainable solutions to challenges caused by major changes in the Earth’s geological and ecological systems through sound interdisciplinary research, the specialisation Global Environmental Change and Policy is for you. Humanity has entered the Anthropocene, a new period in Earth history characterised by the unprecedented impacts of human activities on the Earth’s systems; this specialisation addresses those impacts. As well as understanding the Earth System, you will analyse the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change.

In the first year you will study Earth Sciences, Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy and Governance, exploring integrated approaches to solving global sustainability challenges. You will also learn methods of interdisciplinary research, including fieldwork.

Tenerife fieldwork
In the first year, you will be able to apply the learned knowledge and the acquired methods during the fieldwork to the island of Tenerife in early March. Together with your group, you will focus on research within the domain of multi- and consecutive hazards, namely volcanic hazards and storm hazards. Your work will contribute to an EU-wide research project called Myriad which specialises in disaster risks. More information on the research course on Tenerife can be found here.

Streams
In the second year students are able to choose one of the three streams offered: Energy, Ecosystem services, or Water. Each stream has its own electives allowing students to personalise their second year. More information about the streams can be found under the 2nd year tab. 

For Whom?
The specialisation is for students who want to go beyond understanding the Earth system and instead aim to contribute to sustainable solutions by analysing the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change. Our students are highly motivated, interested in interdisciplinarity, focused on solutions rather than limitations, and equipped with a critical and analytical mind.

What?
This is a rigorous two-year Masters programme aimed at developing student’s skills in scientific research. Students can expect to learn a range of skills to achieve this: from knowledge of earth systems and climate change, to technical skills in programming and GIS, to developing research proposals and conducting research in the fields of their interests, and to an understanding of how this research can be applied within wider contexts of economics and policy making. The opportunity to specialise in their second year deepens applied knowledge within one of three streams, providing opportunity to be a generalist with specialist knowledge on water, energy or biodiversity and ecosystems.

At the end of the programme, you will have acquired a sound knowledge of sustainability-related Earth Sciences knowledge, combined with the additional perspectives of economics and governance. With this unique combination you’ll be able to pursue advanced careers in research, consultancy, international organisations and companies, and governments. You will also be qualified to study national and international sustainability PhD programmes.

Study guide
You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the study guide.

Contact information
For more information, contact Marleen de Ruiter (coordinator) at gecp.ivm@vu.nl

Compulsory courses

  • Challenges and Solutions for GEC&P
  • Climate Systems
  • Environmental Policy for GEC&P
  • Land Use Change and Ecosystems
  • Methods of Environment and Resource Management
  • Methods of Global Environmental Change
  • Designing Interdisciplinary Research
  • Research Project Global Environmental Change & Policy

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide.

  • Geology and Geochemistry

    Summary

    With the specialisation Geology and Geochemistry (G&G) you focus on the Earth’s crust and mantle. You deal with geodynamics, tectonics, sedimentary and structural geology, stratigraphy, petrology, isotope geochemistry, planetary evolution, and basin analysis. You apply geological, (isotope) geochemistry and radio-isotope dating techniques to, for example:

    • understand the relations between subduction, volcanism and metamorphism;
    • ascertain the age and rates of continental collision and uplift, subsidence and denudation; 
    • study the origin, filling and deformation of basins, providing understanding of the structures in reservoirs, e.g. for geothermal energy; 
    • deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;
    • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.


    Compulsory courses include:
    deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;

    • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.
    • a field excursion 
    • two individual research projects

    You can combine this with a set of optional courses to further specialise in five streams (see details below). There is a large choice of research and thesis projects ranging from ‘Magma genesis in the Lesser Antilles Arc’ to ‘Towards improved Synthetic Seismograms.’


    Streams

    Stream G&G 1: Geochemistry and Petrology
    You learn a broad range of geochemical and petrological techniques and apply those to explore the processes responsible for the formation and development of the Earth’s crust, mantle and core.

    Stream G&G 2: Geodynamics and Tectonics
    You study the deformation and flow in the Earth from the upper crustal scale to the whole mantle scale, and learn to investigate the driving forces and resistive forces involved in such deformation and flow.

    Stream G&G 3: Subsurface resourcing
    In this stream you learn about exploration of earth resources and subsurface activities in its broadest sense. This stream deals with the current transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, inclusing sequestration of CO2 and use of geothermal energy.

    Stream G&G 4: Planetary Science
    You study the processes that lead to the formation and evolution of rocky planets and moons to provide a better understanding of Earth’s evolution.

    Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
    You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings in field and/or lab oriented studies on carbonate and/or siliciclastic sediments and rocks from the Quaternary back to the Precambrian.

    Study guide
    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the study guide.

    Contact  information
    For more information, please contact Jeroen van der Lubbe (coordinator) at h.j.l.vander.lubbe@vu.nl.

    Compulsory courses

    • Research Project Geology and Geochemistry
    • Mantle Properties
    • Regional Geology and Geo-resources
    • Orogenesis
    • Sedimentary Basins
    • Designing Interdisciplinary Research

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide.

  • Earth and Climate

    Summary

    During the specialisation Earth and Climate (E&C) you’ll focus on the Earth's surface and also study climate records, applying field work with laboratory research to, for example:

    • understand and reconstruct land-surface processes, ocean and climate dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, (paleo-)ecology, and the role of humanity; 
    • assess the relationship between Earth’s spheres on time-scales between tens and millions of years;
    • quantify the magnitudes and rates of climate change; 
    • deal with environmental management and policy topics. 

    Electives enable you to explore your own areas of interest, and you can choose from a range of research and thesis projects; you can also follow courses from the other tracks.
     
    Streams

    Stream E&C 1: Climate Dynamics and Earth System Modelling
    Understand today’s climate system and how its components interact, and become an expert in numeric climate modelling and data analysis, helpful in predicting future climate. 


    Stream E&C 2: Paleoceanography and Biogeochemical Cycles

    Study the history of the ocean. Learn about past and modern climate change and how to quantify magnitudes and rates of changes. You may even get to join a sea-going expedition.


    Stream E&C 3: Earth Surface Dynamics
    Understand why landscapes look the way they do. You’ll study the past and present roles of changing climates, vegetation and human society, and learn techniques used in industry and academia.


    Stream E&C 4: Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
    Learn methodological skills such as remote sensing imagery and learn to work with large datasets. You can choose electives in your own fields of interest.


    Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
    You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings. You could specialise for example in microbial mineral formation or stable isotope geochemistry.

    Study guide
    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the study guide.

    Contact information
    For more information, please contact Dr. Jorien Vonk (coordinator) at j.e.vonk@vu.nl.

    Compulsory courses

    • Research Project Earth & Climate
    • Landscape Dynamics
    • Designing Interdisciplinary Research

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide.

  • Global Environmental Change and Policy

    Summary

    If you want to help create sustainable solutions to challenges caused by major changes in the Earth’s geological and ecological systems through sound interdisciplinary research, the specialisation Global Environmental Change and Policy is for you. Humanity has entered the Anthropocene, a new period in Earth history characterised by the unprecedented impacts of human activities on the Earth’s systems; this specialisation addresses those impacts. As well as understanding the Earth System, you will analyse the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change.

    In the first year you will study Earth Sciences, Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy and Governance, exploring integrated approaches to solving global sustainability challenges. You will also learn methods of interdisciplinary research, including fieldwork.

    Tenerife fieldwork
    In the first year, you will be able to apply the learned knowledge and the acquired methods during the fieldwork to the island of Tenerife in early March. Together with your group, you will focus on research within the domain of multi- and consecutive hazards, namely volcanic hazards and storm hazards. Your work will contribute to an EU-wide research project called Myriad which specialises in disaster risks. More information on the research course on Tenerife can be found here.

    Streams
    In the second year students are able to choose one of the three streams offered: Energy, Ecosystem services, or Water. Each stream has its own electives allowing students to personalise their second year. More information about the streams can be found under the 2nd year tab. 

    For Whom?
    The specialisation is for students who want to go beyond understanding the Earth system and instead aim to contribute to sustainable solutions by analysing the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change. Our students are highly motivated, interested in interdisciplinarity, focused on solutions rather than limitations, and equipped with a critical and analytical mind.

    What?
    This is a rigorous two-year Masters programme aimed at developing student’s skills in scientific research. Students can expect to learn a range of skills to achieve this: from knowledge of earth systems and climate change, to technical skills in programming and GIS, to developing research proposals and conducting research in the fields of their interests, and to an understanding of how this research can be applied within wider contexts of economics and policy making. The opportunity to specialise in their second year deepens applied knowledge within one of three streams, providing opportunity to be a generalist with specialist knowledge on water, energy or biodiversity and ecosystems.

    At the end of the programme, you will have acquired a sound knowledge of sustainability-related Earth Sciences knowledge, combined with the additional perspectives of economics and governance. With this unique combination you’ll be able to pursue advanced careers in research, consultancy, international organisations and companies, and governments. You will also be qualified to study national and international sustainability PhD programmes.

    Study guide
    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the study guide.

    Contact information
    For more information, contact Marleen de Ruiter (coordinator) at gecp.ivm@vu.nl

    Compulsory courses

    • Challenges and Solutions for GEC&P
    • Climate Systems
    • Environmental Policy for GEC&P
    • Land Use Change and Ecosystems
    • Methods of Environment and Resource Management
    • Methods of Global Environmental Change
    • Designing Interdisciplinary Research
    • Research Project Global Environmental Change & Policy

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide.

Continue with the chosen specialisation

The second year offers a variety of electives focused on advanced and more specialised topics and themes, like Planetary Science, Man and Climate and Geothermal Energy. The year is finished with the Master Thesis, which can include an internship.

Summary

With the specialisation Geology and Geochemistry (G&G) you focus on the Earth’s crust and mantle. You deal with geodynamics, tectonics, sedimentary and structural geology, stratigraphy, petrology, isotope geochemistry, planetary evolution, and basin analysis. You apply geological, (isotope) geochemistry and radio-isotope dating techniques to, for example:

  • understand the relations between subduction, volcanism and metamorphism;
  • ascertain the age and rates of continental collision and uplift, subsidence and denudation; 
  • study the origin, filling and deformation of basins, providing understanding of the structures in reservoirs, e.g. for geothermal energy; 
  • deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;
  • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.


Compulsory courses include:
deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;

  • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.
  • a field excursion 
  • two individual research projects

You can combine this with a set of optional courses to further specialise in five streams (see details below). There is a large choice of research and thesis projects ranging from ‘Magma genesis in the Lesser Antilles Arc’ to ‘Towards improved Synthetic Seismograms.’


Streams
Stream G&G 1: Geochemistry and Petrology
You learn a broad range of geochemical and petrological techniques and apply those to explore the processes responsible for the formation and development of the Earth’s crust, mantle and core.

Stream G&G 2: Geodynamics and Tectonics
You study the deformation and flow in the Earth from the upper crustal scale to the whole mantle scale, and learn to investigate the driving forces and resistive forces involved in such deformation and flow.

Stream G&G 3: Subsurface resourcing
In this stream you learn about exploration of earth resources and subsurface activities in its broadest sense. This stream deals with the current transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, inclusing sequestration of CO2 and use of geothermal energy.

Stream G&G 4: Planetary Science
You study the processes that lead to the formation and evolution of rocky planets and moons to provide a better understanding of Earth’s evolution.

Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings in field and/or lab oriented studies on carbonate and/or siliciclastic sediments and rocks from the Quaternary back to the Precambrian.


Contact  information
For more information, please contact Jeroen van der Lubbe (coordinator) at h.j.l.vander.lubbe@vu.nl.


You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Compulsory courses

  • Master Thesis Geology and Geochemistry
  • Research Project Geology and Geochemistry
  • Geology & Geochemistry Field Excursion

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide

Summary

You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses in the first year. In the second year you will focus on a set of optional courses, finishing the Research Project started in the first year and the Master Thesis.

You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Compulsory courses

  • Research Project Earth & Climate
  • Thesis Project Earth & Climate

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the studyguide.

Summary

You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses and practicals in the first year. In the second year students deepen their studies by selecting one of three distinct streams: energy, ecosystem services, and water. Therefore, the second year consists of compulsory courses (Climate Impacts & Policy, Advanced Spatial Analysis, and the Master Thesis Project) and a variety of electives that are different for each of the three streams. A total of 18 credits can be obtained within each stream.


You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Compulsory courses

  • Climate Impacts & Policy
  • Advanced Spatial Analyses
  • Master Thesis Global Environmental Change & Policy      

You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide

Summary

Become a reflective science communication practitioner

Science Communication is a transdisciplinary major that gives you insights in the fundamentals of science, communication and science communication.

You develop an in-depth understanding of communication processes between scientists of different disciplines, between different sciences and their stakeholders, and between science and citizens. The major (60 EC) is open to students of most two-year masters at the Faculties of Science of VU Amsterdam and UvA.

For more information about the courses, internship, job opportunities or other questions, please have a look on the Science Communication page.

Summary

Motivate & inspire students as a teacher in the STEM disciplines - This specialisation is taught in Dutch. 

During the specialisation Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines, you will learn how to transfer your knowledge and motivate and inspire students in your field of study, whether it is Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology. For computer science, there is another route: the one-year teacher training programme. The courses for this teacher training specialisation are taught in Dutch and your teaching qualification will be valid in the Netherlands.

As a teacher, you make an important contribution to the future of young people, society and education in the Netherlands. In our knowledge economy, specialists in the area of knowledge transfer are indispensable. With an abundance of jobs in secondary education, obtaining a teaching qualification guarantees job security and—flexibility—because in addition to being a teacher, you are also a scientist in your field.

The teacher training programmes at VU Amsterdam are unique because of their modular structure that is built around 20 themes (core practices). You will apply these teaching practices directly in the classroom, as you will be working in a school for more than 50% of your study programme. At VU Amsterdam, personal attention and individual guidance are top priority. You will have a mentor from VU Amsterdam and a workplace supervisor who is an experienced first-degree subject teacher.

With this specialisation, you will obtain a specialist Master's degree in a STEM discipline and a first-degree teaching qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid).  This means that in two years, you will be qualified to teach both lower and upper secondary vocational education (HAVO/VWO) and pre-university education (VMBO) in the Netherlands. All teachers in the STEM disciplines are also qualified to teach the STEM elective NLT (Nature, Life and Technology). 

The teacher training specialisation in the STEM disciplines starts every academic year in September and February, unless you are following a Master's programme in Ecology, Earth Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or Biomedical Technology and Physics. Within these Master's programmes, you can only start the specialisation in September.

Second year

What makes you unique as a STEM teacher? We explore your strengths as a teacher while focussing on personal attention, customisation and guidance. You will follow an integrated programme, which includes a practical component (internship) in secondary education and didactic theory at VU Amsterdam. You will be taught general didactics related to core practices as well as specific subject-related didactics for your school subject. The theory is always applied and tested in practice at the school where you conduct your internship. You will start immediately with the practical component. Internships are arranged by VU Amsterdam.

You can find the complete course overview in the study guide

  • Geology and Geochemistry

    Summary

    With the specialisation Geology and Geochemistry (G&G) you focus on the Earth’s crust and mantle. You deal with geodynamics, tectonics, sedimentary and structural geology, stratigraphy, petrology, isotope geochemistry, planetary evolution, and basin analysis. You apply geological, (isotope) geochemistry and radio-isotope dating techniques to, for example:

    • understand the relations between subduction, volcanism and metamorphism;
    • ascertain the age and rates of continental collision and uplift, subsidence and denudation; 
    • study the origin, filling and deformation of basins, providing understanding of the structures in reservoirs, e.g. for geothermal energy; 
    • deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;
    • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.


    Compulsory courses include:
    deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;

    • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.
    • a field excursion 
    • two individual research projects

    You can combine this with a set of optional courses to further specialise in five streams (see details below). There is a large choice of research and thesis projects ranging from ‘Magma genesis in the Lesser Antilles Arc’ to ‘Towards improved Synthetic Seismograms.’


    Streams
    Stream G&G 1: Geochemistry and Petrology
    You learn a broad range of geochemical and petrological techniques and apply those to explore the processes responsible for the formation and development of the Earth’s crust, mantle and core.

    Stream G&G 2: Geodynamics and Tectonics
    You study the deformation and flow in the Earth from the upper crustal scale to the whole mantle scale, and learn to investigate the driving forces and resistive forces involved in such deformation and flow.

    Stream G&G 3: Subsurface resourcing
    In this stream you learn about exploration of earth resources and subsurface activities in its broadest sense. This stream deals with the current transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, inclusing sequestration of CO2 and use of geothermal energy.

    Stream G&G 4: Planetary Science
    You study the processes that lead to the formation and evolution of rocky planets and moons to provide a better understanding of Earth’s evolution.

    Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
    You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings in field and/or lab oriented studies on carbonate and/or siliciclastic sediments and rocks from the Quaternary back to the Precambrian.


    Contact  information
    For more information, please contact Jeroen van der Lubbe (coordinator) at h.j.l.vander.lubbe@vu.nl.


    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

    Compulsory courses

    • Master Thesis Geology and Geochemistry
    • Research Project Geology and Geochemistry
    • Geology & Geochemistry Field Excursion

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide

  • Earth and Climate

    Summary

    You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses in the first year. In the second year you will focus on a set of optional courses, finishing the Research Project started in the first year and the Master Thesis.

    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

    Compulsory courses

    • Research Project Earth & Climate
    • Thesis Project Earth & Climate

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the studyguide.

  • Global Environmental Change and Policy

    Summary

    You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses and practicals in the first year. In the second year students deepen their studies by selecting one of three distinct streams: energy, ecosystem services, and water. Therefore, the second year consists of compulsory courses (Climate Impacts & Policy, Advanced Spatial Analysis, and the Master Thesis Project) and a variety of electives that are different for each of the three streams. A total of 18 credits can be obtained within each stream.


    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

    Compulsory courses

    • Climate Impacts & Policy
    • Advanced Spatial Analyses
    • Master Thesis Global Environmental Change & Policy      

    You can find the complete course overview for this year in the study guide

  • Science Communication

    Summary

    Become a reflective science communication practitioner

    Science Communication is a transdisciplinary major that gives you insights in the fundamentals of science, communication and science communication.

    You develop an in-depth understanding of communication processes between scientists of different disciplines, between different sciences and their stakeholders, and between science and citizens. The major (60 EC) is open to students of most two-year masters at the Faculties of Science of VU Amsterdam and UvA.

    For more information about the courses, internship, job opportunities or other questions, please have a look on the Science Communication page.

  • Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines

    Summary

    Motivate & inspire students as a teacher in the STEM disciplines - This specialisation is taught in Dutch. 

    During the specialisation Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines, you will learn how to transfer your knowledge and motivate and inspire students in your field of study, whether it is Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology. For computer science, there is another route: the one-year teacher training programme. The courses for this teacher training specialisation are taught in Dutch and your teaching qualification will be valid in the Netherlands.

    As a teacher, you make an important contribution to the future of young people, society and education in the Netherlands. In our knowledge economy, specialists in the area of knowledge transfer are indispensable. With an abundance of jobs in secondary education, obtaining a teaching qualification guarantees job security and—flexibility—because in addition to being a teacher, you are also a scientist in your field.

    The teacher training programmes at VU Amsterdam are unique because of their modular structure that is built around 20 themes (core practices). You will apply these teaching practices directly in the classroom, as you will be working in a school for more than 50% of your study programme. At VU Amsterdam, personal attention and individual guidance are top priority. You will have a mentor from VU Amsterdam and a workplace supervisor who is an experienced first-degree subject teacher.

    With this specialisation, you will obtain a specialist Master's degree in a STEM discipline and a first-degree teaching qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid).  This means that in two years, you will be qualified to teach both lower and upper secondary vocational education (HAVO/VWO) and pre-university education (VMBO) in the Netherlands. All teachers in the STEM disciplines are also qualified to teach the STEM elective NLT (Nature, Life and Technology). 

    The teacher training specialisation in the STEM disciplines starts every academic year in September and February, unless you are following a Master's programme in Ecology, Earth Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or Biomedical Technology and Physics. Within these Master's programmes, you can only start the specialisation in September.

    Second year

    What makes you unique as a STEM teacher? We explore your strengths as a teacher while focussing on personal attention, customisation and guidance. You will follow an integrated programme, which includes a practical component (internship) in secondary education and didactic theory at VU Amsterdam. You will be taught general didactics related to core practices as well as specific subject-related didactics for your school subject. The theory is always applied and tested in practice at the school where you conduct your internship. You will start immediately with the practical component. Internships are arranged by VU Amsterdam.

    You can find the complete course overview in the study guide

Internships

You can spend time working on an external research project or traineeship under supervision of our staff, who have excellent contacts in both national and international companies and universities. This hands-on experience is a great way to prepare for, and familiarise yourself with, the labour market.

If you think a career as a teacher might be for you, you can take up the opportunity this programme offers with its “teacher’s variant”..

You can also attend national ‘career days’, organised on campus by the VU’s study association GeoVUsie. These will help you get a better idea of the different career paths open to you. You can also attend seminars, organised throughout the year.

Change your future with the Earth Sciences programme

Change your future with the Earth Sciences programme

With our VU MSc degree you will have great career prospects. You could for example work in an environmental consultancy company  or in a governmental institution, as a geothermal energy researcher or a minerals surveyor. Urban and rural planning companies also have their fair share of Earth Scientists.

A lot of our graduates continue their academic careers, either staying in academia or taking up a position in Research and Development. And of course you can stay in education by becoming a teacher in secondary school.

Explore your future prospects
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