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Earth Surface and Water - MSc

Utrecht University Geosciences

Full time September MSc 2 years full time

About the course


The Master’s programme in Earth Surface and Water involves the study of natural and human-induced physical and geochemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of the Earth’s continental and coastal systems. This two-year programme provides you with knowledge that is essential to manage the planet sustainably, guarantee the availability of natural resources for future generations, and understand and avert natural hazards.

The main subject areas you will study consist of the dynamics of coastal and river systems, (geo-)hydrological processes, groundwater remediation, land degradation in dry lands and mountainous regions, natural hazards, and delta evolution on centennial and longer time scales.

You can choose one of four tracks based on

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Entry Requirements

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Dutch and other EU/EEA students 2019-2020: € 2,083
Non-EU/EEA students 2019-2020: € 19,900
more information and exceptions on Please see the university website for further information on fees for this course.

Course Content

Where is Utrecht University


Student Profile(s)

Jessica Bergsma


"I recently graduated from the Master’s programme in Earth Surface and Water, where I specialised in coastal dynamics and river systems. In the last semester of my studies I did an internship at Arcadis, a global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets. After my internship, I was offered a permanent position at their coastal and river department, where a vibrant team of specialists, advisors and project managers is working on coastal and river challenges, both in the Netherlands and abroad. For me a workweek is never the same, since every project is unique and projects have different lead times. For example, I am now working together with a team on the MIRT-research project ‘Sustainable riverbed of the Rhine branches’ for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and Rijkswaterstaat. We are investigating the different options for interventions in the summer bed of the Rhine branches on a short-term and long-term time scale to stop the long-term autonomous erosion of the riverbed. We are doing this by incorporating different interventions in the morphological model, such as dredging, sediment nourishment and groyne adaptions, after which we look at the morphological response of the river. Our work includes exploring the various interventions possible in a river and the modelling itself. I gained the knowledge about the interventions and about the modelling during the Master’s programme."


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