The Earth Structure and Dynamics programme at Utrecht University combines geology, geophysics, mathematics, physics, chemistry 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, sedimentary basin evolution, properties of Earth materials, including their relevance for sustainable, unconventional and conventional geo-resources.
You will examine processes ranging from slow geodynamic processes - such as mantle convection, plate tectonics and mountain building - to those having an impact on human time scales.
These include active crustal deformation, seismicity and volcanism, as well as subsidence, uplift and seismicity induced by hydrocarbon production, geological storage of CO2 and geothermal energy as well as applied and environmental mineral physics topics.
You will work at scales ranging from satellite imagery and field observations to laboratory experiments and petrographic studies, and from global seismic tomography to electron microscopy.
Observational data are linked to the Earth’s internal structure and to geodynamic processes through modelling, using the latest theoretical, physical, experimental and computational methods.
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?
- What are the key subsurface evaluation procedures for sustainable geo-resources?
You can choose one of three specialisation tracks based on your interests in the field:
- Earth MaterialsDeformation and metamorphic and igneous processes operating in the crust and upper mantle
- Physics of the Deep Earth and PlanetsAn in-depth geophysical approach to understand the deep interior of the Earth and other planets
- Basins, Orogens, and the Crust-Lithosphere SystemUnderstand the processes at the scale of the crust and lithosphere such as the formation and evolution of sedimentary basins or mountain chains. This is a combined track for a hybrid Geology-Geophysics (Solid Earth specialist) profile.
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 sustainable, unconventional and conventional geo-resources. Knowledge of these aspects has direct relevance for professional profiles and future job opportunities.
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. Typical professional profiles of our graduates include Solid Earth Specialist, Geologist, and Geophysicist.
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.
Accredited by the NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.
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- Structure and Composition of the Earth's Interior
- Petrological and Geochemical Evolution of the Earth
- Kinetic Processes
- Earth Materials: From the Atomic to Planetary Scale
- Mechanisms of Deformation and Transport in Rocks
- Structural Analysis of Deformed Rocks
Check out the full curriculumVisit official programme website
- 24 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- Apply before , International
- Apply before , EEA/EU
- Apply before , National
DisciplinesEarth Sciences Geology Environmental Sciences View 25 other Masters in Earth Sciences in Netherlands
Explore more key informationVisit official programme website
We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.
- 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).
Make sure you meet all requirementsVisit official programme website
International20715 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 20715 EUR per year during 24 months.
EU/EEA2168 EUR/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 2168 EUR per year during 24 months.
Living costs for Utrecht
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
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.
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Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.