Earth and Climate Physics

Earth and Climate Physics is a specialisation at the Master of Science Programme (MSc) in Physics.

A geophysicist uses scientific methodology in conjunction with data from field work, laboratory experiments and satellite-based measurements to describe problems that will lead us to a better understanding of Earth and its climate.

Earth and Climate Physics students are required to choose courses and thesis topics in areas including:

  • the physical, chemical and dynamic processes in the atmosphere, oceans, ice caps and the climate system in general, as well as their history and mutual interactions.
  • analysis of ice cores in order to understand the history of the Earth's climate and its change.
  • the Earth's internal structure and gravitational field.
  • the development of mathematical methods for analysing geophysical data.
  • surface processes, mineralogy, and the climate on Mars.
  • studies of moons and other terrestrial planets in the solar system.

Geophysicists often gain international experience during their MSc programme or thesis, either directly by studying abroad or by participating in the department's international networks. Geophysics research is very international, and the department is part of several international projects, including deep-drilling projects in Greenland and Antarctica, Earth-orbit satellites, and space missions to Mars.

In order to promote interdisciplinary working methods and approaches, the demands placed on the specialisation in geophysics are flexible. The specialisation forms the basis for a variety of jobs in research, teaching and communications.

Study Tracks

It is a good idea to use your elective and restricted elective courses to design a study track that allows you to study a subject area in depth during the specialisation. You can target your specialisation in the following directions:

However, you can also customise your programme with a mixture of courses and projects which are relevant to you.

Programme structure

The Earth and Climate physics specialisation can be structured in two different ways, depending on whether you write a thesis worth 45 or 60 ECTS.

Course of study 1 – thesis 45 ECTS: 

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1 Earth and Climate Physics Inverse Problems Restricted elective course Restricted elective course
Restricted elective course Restricted elective course Elective course Elective course
Year 2 Restricted elective course Thesis
Restricted elective course

Course of study 2 – Thesis 60 ECTS:

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1 Earth and Climate Physics Inverse Problems Restricted elective course Restricted elective course
Restricted elective course Restricted elective course Elective course Elective course
Year 2 Thesis

Restricted elective courses

Choose your restricted elective courses from the lists below. Click on each course for a detailed description.

NB: The list is based on the academic year 2020/2021 and is therefore only indicative. The final list of restricted elective courses in the academic year 2021/2022 is ready in spring 2021.