Utrecht University

Earth Structure and Dynamics, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
    Duration
  • Tuition Fee
    18690 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition fee
  • English
    Language
Utrecht's University Master in Earth Structure and Dynamics will explore the composition, structure, and evolution of the Earths crust, mantle, and core. During this two-year programme, you will learn to link geological, geophysical, geochemical, and geodetic observations made at the Earths surface to physical processes operating within the planet.

About

The Earth Structure and Dynamics programme from Utrecht University combines physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, and field studies to address how the solid Earth works. It allows you to specialise in virtually any aspect of solid Earth science, ranging from theoretical geophysics to pure geology or geochemistry. Many students choose a combined geology-geophysics focus.

Core areas of teaching and research

The main subject areas you will study consist of seismology, tectonophysics, mantle dynamics, structural geology, metamorphism, magmatic processes, basin evolution, hydrocarbon and mineral deposits, and the properties of Earth materials. You will examine processes ranging from slow geodynamic processes – such as mantle convection, plate tectonics, and mountain building – to those that can have an impact during a human lifetime. These include active crustal deformation, seismicity, and volcanism as well as subsidence, uplift, and seismicity induced by hydrocarbon production and geological storage of CO2.

In the programme, you will address questions such as:

  • How do mountain belts and sedimentary basins form?
  • How can we image the internal structure of the crust and mantle?
  • How does plate tectonics really work and how can we model it?
  • What controls volcanic eruptions and earthquakes?
  • Can CO2 be safely stored in reservoir rocks in the Earth’s crust?

You can choose one of three specialisation tracks based on your interests in the field:

  • Earth Materials

Deformation and metamorphic and igneous processes operating in the crust and upper mantle

  • Physics of the Deep Earth and Planets

An in-depth geophysical approach to understand the deep interior of the Earth and other planets

  • Basins, Orogens, and the Crust-Lithosphere System

Combine courses from other tracks to create a hybrid Geology-Geophysics track

Programme Objective

The Earth Structure and Dynamics programme focuses on all aspects of the solid Earth as a key component of system Earth – and therefore of Earth system science. This encompasses the structure, dynamics, and evolution of the solid Earth over the full range of spatial and temporal scales as well as the role of solid Earth structure and processes in societally relevant issues such as energy, geo-resources, and geohazards. Examples include understanding the physics of tectonically – or human – induced earthquakes, volcanic hazards or petroleum, mineral, sustainable or unconventional resources. Knowledge of these aspects has direct relevance for professional profiles and future job opportunities.

Career Prospects

Many of our graduates go on to find employment in research. Depending on your personal interests and ambitions, you will be equipped to work in both fundamental and applied research. You can pursue a career in applied research in government institutes, consulting firms, or various industries.

Knowledge of large-scale and long-term processes provides you with a good basis for managing major environmental issues. The numerous global-change issues currently facing us mean you can pursue a variety of employment opportunities in divers sectors.

Possible prospects

Typical professional profiles of our graduates include Solid Earth Specialist, Geologist, and Geophysicist.

Accreditation

Accredited by the NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Petrological And Geochemical Evolution Of The Earth
  • Mechanisms Of Deformation And Transport In Rocks
  • Earth Materials: From The Atomic To Planetary Scale
  • Kinetic Processes
  • Advanced Structural-metamorphic Petrology And Mineralogy
  • Structural Analysis Of Deformed Rocks
  • Field Research Instruction Geology
  • Teconophysics
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Applied Geophysics
  • Paleomagnetism
  • Computational Geophysics
  • Dynamics of Earth's Mantle
  • Dynamics of Sedimentary Systems
For more information please visit the programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:

    6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade B):

    193

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:

    93

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

  • The programme Earth Structure and Dynamics is open to students with a Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (e.g. earth sciences, natural sciences, physics, physical geography, civil engineering, applied mathematics).
  • You are able to express yourself in proficient English, both orally and in written text, as evidenced by your motivation letter and/or writing sample, and the interview that is part of the selection procedure.
  • Further accepted proof of your proficiency in English: CPE- Grade C

Tuition Fee

  • International

    18690 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 18690 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2060 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.

For more information about tuition fees and exemptions have a look at the programme website.

Living costs for Utrecht

900 - 1,450 EUR/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.

Funding

Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university. You can begin your search for funding by reviewing the list below, which contains some of the scholarships and loans available to international students:

  • Utrecht Excellence Scholarships
  • Holland Scholarships
  • Orange Tulip Scholarships
  • Canadian student loans
  • Fulbright / NAF
  • US Federal Loans
  • Erasmus+ Master loans

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.