M.Sc. Geography

University of Lausanne

Application deadline: 30 April. Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland: 28 February.
Tuition fee:
  • € 545 / Semester (EEA)
  • € 545 / Semester (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
  • French
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The Master of Science in Geography allows to specialise in three fields: Urban Studies, Geomorphology and Management of Mountain Regions, and Development Studies.

The programme offers:

* an interdisciplinary programme at the interface of Geosciences and Environmental Sciences;
* a general reflection on the organisation of territories, of technical networks and of spatial, natural and human systems on different spatial scales;
* an in-depth reflection on the transformations of urban spaces in a perspective of sustainable development: eco-urban planning, city policies, urban planning;
* an in-depth study of the natural dynamics of the Alpine environment and its evolution linked to climatic changes, socio-economic changes and territorial development;
* an emphasis in teaching on the use of quantitative methods (Spatial Analysis, Geomatics, Geovisualisation).


The first three semesters are dedicated to training and the start of research work. After a period of general preparation, the training continues in the specialisation module in the second and third semesters.

The subject area Urban Studies is based largely on human geography. It includes two optional subjects. On the one hand, the sub-ject «Sustainable Town Planning and Urban Projects» is based on a study of the envi-ronmental challenges of sustainable urban development and analysis of urban projects viewed from the perspective of ecological town planning. On the other hand, the subject «City Systems and Spatial Analysis» broadens theoretical and practical knowledge of spatial analysis and analysis of geographical informa-tion networks and systems (GIS).

The Geomorphology and Management of Mountain Regionsorientation, with a strong grounding in Geomorphology and a focus on the study of environmental dynamics in high mountain regions, concentrates in particular on the reaction of permafrost to climatic changes and the evolution of alpine landscapes due to the combined effects of environmental and socioeconomic changes.

The Development Studies specialisation is orientated towards the study of economic, social, political and ecological transformation in the countries of the south. Development is described in rural and urban contexts, especial-ly in Africa and Asia. Apart from the scientific analyses, training emphasises apprenticeship in the instruments used in international coopera-tion. The fourth semester is devoted essentially to writing the dissertation in the subject of the chosen orientation. The last two semesters can lead to more specific training as part of a work placement or an international placement certificate (practical training).


Various evaluation methods are used. Practical tests, seminars and ongoing checks are carried out in principle during course periods. Written and oral examinations are held during the Facultys scheduled examination sessions. The Masters dissertation is a personal research activity carried out under the responsibility of a Faculty teacher. This activity is the subject matter of a written document (dissertation). The Masters diploma is awarded following its oral presentation and defence.


Candidates must be holders of a Bachelor of Science in Geosciences and Environment degree awarded by the University of Lausanne, or of a Bachelors 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 Masters degree course, with or without further conditions

Teaching language: French, some courses in English. Recommended level: C1.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 570
TOEFL iBT® test: 88

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