Earth Surface and Water

Universiteit Utrecht

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Deze opleiding

Earth Surface and Water is the study of physical phenomena within the Earth's environment, their spatial and temporal characteristics and relationships and the evolution towards our modern landscape.


typeonderzoek, 120 EC
start1 september
taalvolledig Engels
opleidingsduur2 jaar voltijd
numerus fixusnee
The Earth Surface and Water programme trains students to quantitatively study the natural and human-induced physical and chemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of Earth's continental and coastal systems as well as their responses to global change. The main subject areas 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.Students explore and understand the modelling capabilities of the past, present, and future as well as the evolution of Earth's environment, including human impact on this evolution.

The Earth Surface and Water programme focuses on imminent societal problems, such as society's increased vulnerability to climate and environmental changes and to natural hazards such as flooding, storms, and mass movements. It also addresses the threats and opportunities resulting from human activity on our physical environment, including the hydrological cycle.

Waarom aan de UU?

Utrecht is the national focal point of Earth Sciences in the Netherlands. At Utrecht University, research groups of both the Department of Physical Geography and the Department of Earth Sciences study different aspects of the physical Earth. The close proximity of applied research institutions, such as TNO Built Environment, Royal Netherlands Institute of Meteorology, or the Netherlands Institute for Space Research stimulates collaboration and strengthens the quality of research and education.


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specialisatie Geohazards and Earth Observation

The study of land-degradation processes and natural hazards in and on the Earth's surface, with a strong focus on soil erosion, mass movement, land-use changes, land-cover deterioration, and flooding.

The accent is on the interaction between the natural environment and human activities such as deforestation, energy production, and irrigation. Students will use field research, remote sensing, and process-based modelling as integrated tools to quantify land degradation and forecast natural hazards in real time.

specialisatie Coastal Dynamics and Fluvial Systems

The study of natural and human-induced processes, patterns, and products in the world's wave-, river-, and tide-dominated coasts and in alluvial rivers (including coast-river interaction).

This track provides students with a scientific understanding on how coasts and rivers are formed by the dynamic interaction of water motion (waves, tides, and currents), sediment transport, and morphological patterns and how they respond to global change.

Field research, laboratory experiments, shore-based remote sensing, and process-based modelling are integral tools that help in quantitative predictions and critical assessments of the impact of large-scale human activities along coasts and rivers. Students' focus can be on coasts, rivers, or both.

specialisatie Hydrology

The study on the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth, including the hydro-logical cycle and its impact on water resources.

Hydrology focuses on the flow of water, nutrients, and energy between the Earth's surface and subsoil and between its surface and atmosphere. Students will learn to quantify how rainfall is portioned into infiltration, evaporation, and runoff. Students will also explore how nutrients in the soil and the Earth's surface are distributed across the landscape through surface runoff and groundwater flow, and examine quantitative descriptions of the spread of pollutants in soil and groundwater. Through the course content, students gain a detailed understanding of the causes of floods and droughts as well as the deterioration of surface water and groundwater quality.

specialisatie Environmental Geochemistry

Environmental geochemistry focuses on the processes that control the functioning of natural environments on the Earth's surface.

This track focuses on how these environments are linked by the hydrological cycle and how their chemistry is strongly influenced by biological activity. These environments are increasingly disturbed by human activity on local, regional, and global scales. This track provides students with an advanced understanding of how biology, geochemistry, and hydrodynamics interact in these systems. As a result, students can predict the consequences of human activity on Earth's surface environments.


taal van onderwijs100% en
onderwijsopzet60% zelfstudie
30% theorie
10% praktijk
literatuurstudie, mondelinge presentatie, onderzoek, onderzoeksproject, onderzoeksvoorstel, werkcollege, hoorcollege, werkgroep, groepsopdracht, workshop, poster presentatie, individuele opdracht, practicum, zelfstudie, project, laboratoriumwerk, seminar

Toelating en kosten


1 september 2022

aanmelding deadline : 1 juni 2022
collegegeld nog niet bekend

Inschatting maandelijkse studiekosten

bron: Nibud
336kamerhuur in Utrechtrond het landelijk gemiddelde
172collegegeldop basis van € 2060 per jaar
80studieboeken en -spullen
77uiterlijkkleding, kapper, schoenen
132vrije tijdstappen, uit eten, vakantie
42vervoernaast de OV-kaart

€ 1204totale maandelijkse uitgaven landelijk gemiddelde is € 1181
Hiernaast staat een overzicht van de gemiddelde kosten die een uitwonende student heeft. Niet iedere student heeft met iedere kostenpost te maken. Het totaalgemiddelde is dus niet gelijk aan de optelsom van alle kostenposten.

Bekijk ook de uitgebreide toelichting: wat kost studeren?

Studenten en studentenleven


496 studenten volgen deze opleiding
39% daarvan is vrouw
46 eerstejaars gestart in 2017
52% daarvan is vrouw
30945 studenten aan de Universiteit Utrecht
59% daarvan is vrouw
bron: StudieData



Op kamers in Utrecht

66691studenten studerend
31446studenten woonachtig   
€ 336gemiddelde kamerprijs
kamer betaalbaarheid
18 m2gemiddelde kameroppervlak
kamer beschikbaarheid
bron: Nationale Studenten Enquête


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1/10 UU
Earth Surface and Water
€ 336 gemiddelde kamerhuur
46 eerstejaars
52% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
2/10 UU
Earth Structure and Dynamics
€ 336 gemiddelde kamerhuur
46 eerstejaars
52% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
3/10 UU
Marine Sciences
€ 336 gemiddelde kamerhuur
46 eerstejaars
52% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
4/10 UU
Earth, Life and Climate
€ 336 gemiddelde kamerhuur
46 eerstejaars
52% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
5/10 UU
Water Science and Management
€ 336 gemiddelde kamerhuur
46 eerstejaars
52% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
6/10 Amsterdam UVA
Environmental Management
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
12 eerstejaars
58% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
7/10 Amsterdam UVA
Earth Sciences
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
12 eerstejaars
58% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
8/10 Amsterdam UVA
Future Planet Ecosystem Science
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
12 eerstejaars
58% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
9/10 Amsterdam UVA
Geo-ecological Dynamics
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
12 eerstejaars
58% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
10/10 Amsterdam VU
Earth Sciences
€ 424 gemiddelde kamerhuur
? eerstejaars
NAN% vrouw
? uur contacttijd/week
disclaimer: bovenstaande cijfers en beoordelingen zijn aangeleverd door de opleidingen zelf. Wij kunnen de juistheid niet garanderen.

Feiten en / studie in cijfers


bron: Nationale Studenten Enquete
algemeen oordeel4.34.2
De Nationale Studenten Enquete is het grootschalige onderzoek van de overheid onder studenten in Nederland naar de kwaliteit van opleidingen aan hogescholen en universiteiten.
In 2017 hebben meer dan 280.000 studenten hun oordeel gegeven over hun studie en instelling.

Earth Surface and Water aan de Universiteit Utrecht is beoordeeld door 170 respondenten. Gemiddeld waarderen ze de opleiding met 4.3 uit 5.

Na de studie

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Many of our graduates go on to find employment in research. Depending on the student's personal interests and ambitions they will be equipped to work in both fundamental and applied research. A career in applied research in government institutes can be pursued, as well as consulting firms, or various industries. This depends on the track that the student has chosen.

Beroepsperspectief / arbeidsmarkt

A large proportion of our graduates follow their Master's degree by pursuing a PhD in the Netherlands or elsewhere and ultimately a career in either applied or fundamental research. Fundamental research opportunities are available at universities in the Netherlands and internationally. The research may entail field, laboratory, and deskwork (such as computer modelling).
Orientation for a career in a more applied direction can be gained from study profiles focusing on management/society (M-profile). The M-profiles are a supplement to the track chosen within the Master's programme and may also include components outside the Utrecht University Earth Sciences programmes. A Master's programme with M-profile is concluded with an earth science research project and an obligatory traineeship focusing on the chosen profile. Students can choose one of three M-profiles: Geo-Resources, Earth and Sustainability and Climate-KIC.

The M-profile Geo-Resources is made up of a coherent series of courses focusing on knowledge, techniques, and problems regarding the extraction of natural resources including oil and gas.

The M-profile Earth and Sustainability is made up of a coherent series of courses oriented towards sustainable development. This provides a solid basis for a career within governmental organisations and consultancy firms that are active in the field of sustainable development.

The M-profile Climate-KIC focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship in the context of climate change and offers opportunities in the private sector in particular.

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Potentiële beroepen

physical geographer
bron: StudieData


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