Introduction to the curriculum

The master Applied Earth Sciences is a two year MSc programme. All students of Applied Earth Sciences (AES) start with the same modules in the first semester: The faculty wide MUDE module and the AES programme core [Q1+2]. Hereafter, you can choose one of the disciplines in the second semester [Q3+4]. These offer you more specialised knowledge in a particular field.

The second year offers even more flexibility and freedom of choice than the first year, providing possibilities to choose in-depth or free electives, or do a multi- or interdisciplinary project in the Netherlands or abroad in Q5 and choose a cross-over module shared with Civil Engineering and/or Environmental Engineering in Q6. This allows you to eventually make a well-informed choice for a research topic for your master thesis.

Year 1

Faculty Module (MUDE)
The first year of the MSc Applied Earth Sciences starts with the faculty module on Modelling, Uncertainty and Data for Engineers (MUDE). This module takes place in Q1 and Q2 and is shared with Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering master students.

During Q1 you will learn key concepts that are applied to a diverse set of real life applications across the Civil Engineering and Geosciences faculty. In a typical week you will be introduced to new theory, practice it on your own through a series of exercises and work together with teachers and classmates in a medium-sized classroom setting. At the end of each week you will apply these concepts in a project along with a group of fellow students. You will also have weekly coding assignments to build your programming skills in a way that will help you apply the methods learned in MUDE using real data sets and models, as well as prepare you for your future MSc thesis work.

In Q2 the MUDE topics increase in complexity and build on the fundamentals from Q1. During the first week you will select a project to work on for the remainder of the quarter, in which you will directly apply the advanced methods. Each project has a supervisor that will guide you through the process.

Programme Core​​​​​​
Parallel to this faculty module the first two periods will include a programme core for only Applied Earth Sciences students. The programme core [Q1+Q2] consists of three modules. 

  1. Earth System, Natural Resources and Climate,
  2. Physical Principles of Earth System Observation,
  3. Dynamics of Solids and Fluids.

These modules will prepare you for the four master disciplines.

After the faculty and programme core modules, you will choose one of the four offered disciplines. Each discipline offers a core module to be combined with one of the A-modules [Q3] which is discipline specific or a combination of multiple disciplines. Subsequently, the students take a B-module [Q4] of their discipline core. The B-module comprises of a lab on a discipline-related societal challenge combined with self-chosen theory components and ends with a discipline-related fieldwork.

You have the option to specialise in one of the disciplines, but also have the flexibility to combine elements from different disciplines.

Year 2

In Q5 you can choose between:

  1. Electives, either within (in-depth) or outside their discipline.
  2. The Joint Interdisciplinary Project (JIP)
  3. The faculty-wide Multidisciplinary Project (MDP). 

During Q6, you follow cross-over modules, 10 credit modules offered to master students of Civil Engineering, Applied Earth Sciences, and Environmental Engineering. In general, these modules may be of two kinds: a) methodological, which are oriented around common techniques and methods or b) topical, that are oriented around common topics of interest. Download the Cross-Over Brochure here to learn more. More in-depth information about each cross-over can also be found here.

Q7 and Q8 are devoted to your individual Master Thesis.