M.Sc. Environmental Geosciences

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • EUR554 Semester (Non-EEA)
  • French, English (Find a course)
University of Lausanne | Lausanne, Switzerland
The Master of Science in Environmental Geosciences examines the relationship between man and his environment and its consequences. An attempt is made to analyse and understand the different aspects of this relationship and to quantify its interactions with a view, finally, to being able to propose action strategies.

Description of Environmental Geosciences


This involves a clear evaluation of risks and a definition of limits beyond which risks are unacceptable both for man and for nature. To implement these limits concretely within society calls for a precise evaluation of their consequences and the way in which different social groups perceive them.

Teaching on this Master´s degree therefore lays emphasis on the understanding of processes and their quantification, the estimation and management of risks, and an assessment of the feasibility and efficiency of possible actions. To this end, the programme is based on six fields of competence: environmental concerns, knowledge of basic mechanisms of the environment, knowledge of dangers and hazards and their representation, data analysis, regional development, construction and management of risks and their reductions.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline 30 April. Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland: 28 February.
Tuition fee
  • EUR 554 Semester (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 554 Semester (EEA)
CHF 580 per semester
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

The common module comprises introductory courses with a cross-disciplinary dimension. Through transverse activities and teaching it gives students insight into the multidisciplinary nature of the environment.The specialisation module allows the student to choose one of the following subject areas:

  • Physical and Chemical Processes of the Environment

  • Risk Analysis, Monitoring and Representation

  • Environmental Social Issues.This module includes compulsory blocks, optional blocks, and finally the possibility of a free choice of course credits. The dissertation constitutes the final course module.


Evaluations may take the form of written or oral examinations, practical work, discussions, field trip reports or conference organisation.


Subject to the prior agreement of the mobility Commission, students enrolled on a Masterís cycle may study for one or two semesters in an institution recognised by UNIL while con-tinuing to be registered with the University of Lausanne.

Skills development

University studies develop, in addition to spe-cific academic skills, a great many transverse skills such as: oral and written communication, critical, analytical and summarising faculties, abilities in research, the learning and trans-mission of knowledge, independence and the ability to make judgements in the field of specialisation and overlapping areas.This panoply of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired in the course of stud-ies, is excellent preparation for a wide range of employment opportunities such as those mentioned in the «Career prospects» section.


Common module

  • Common courses off campus

  • Environmental seminar

  • Communication courses

  • Joint environmental project

  • Etc.

20 ECTS credits

Specialisation module

One free-choice area of specialisation

60 ECTS credits

1. Physical and Chemical Processes of the Environment

  • Stable Isotopes as Environmental Markers

  • Environmental Biochemistry

  • Air, Soil and Water Pollution

  • Etc.

2. Risk Analysis, Monitoring and Representation

  • Quantitative Advanced Risks and Vulnerability

  • Risks and Dangers Associated with Landslides

  • Analysis of Environmental Data

  • Etc.

3. Environmental Social Issues

  • Representation and Social Construction of Risks

  • Analysis of Environmental Controversies

  • Ethics of the Environment and Sustainable Development

  • Territorial Risk and Policy

  • Urban Agriculture

  • Etc.

Within each specialisation there are optional blocks which allow the completion of compulsory courses

  • Analytical Methods

  • Methods and Risks


  • 40 ECTS credits

Requirements for Environmental Geosciences

Candidates must be holders of a Bachelor of Science in Geosciences and Environment degree awarded by the University of Lausanne, or of a Bachelorís degree in Geography, Environmental Studies or Earth Sciences awarded by a Swiss university. Another degree or academic title may be judged equivalent and give access to the Masterís degree course, with or without further conditions.

Teaching language: Mainly French, with a few courses in English. Recommended level: C1. The dissertation may be written in English.

Work Experience for Environmental Geosciences

No work experience is required.

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University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Switzerland Founded in 1537, the University of Lausanne is composed of seven faculties where approximately 11,500 students and 2,200 researchers work and study. Emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach, with close cooperation between students, professors and teaching staff. The UNIL campus is spread across three locations, the largest of which is in Dorigny, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

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