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Unravel our planet’s past, present and future

Tackle the complex problems of our planet

This two-year programme will give you the knowledge and skill-set you need if you want to help tackle the complex problems our planet faces today. You’ll be able to specialise in one of three subjects: Geology and Geochemistry, Earth and Climate, or Global Environmental Change and Policy. Each specialisation has different streams, allowing you to build your own individual profile in preparation for your future professional career

The programme is renowned for integrating other subject areas into its specialisations, such as Mathematics and Informatics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental Sciences, so you can choose whether you want to become a broadly trained Earth Scientist or focus on one of the streams offered by the three specialisations.


Project-related
The programme is worth 120 ECTS; around 50 ECTs are research project-related, which means you’ll be involved in a company traineeship, or take part in a research project complete with fieldwork, lab work and/or computer modelling.

The Master’s programme in Earth Sciences at VU Amsterdam has an excellent reputation. It is small-scale, which means you will have personal contact with all students, but it has a large scope, allowing you to choose from a broad range of topics. In that sense, Amsterdam and the programme are much alike: impressive but small enough to make you feel right at home!

International
The master looks at global earth systems and international challenges such as climate change, the energy transition, policy and economic, natural hazards and biodiversity loss. We also organise, when possible, international fieldwork. The training is not limited to Dutch cases, but crosses borders. 

Wherever possible we provide personal mentoring throughout your studies from a staff member who will help you shape your curriculum and get the most out of your studies, as well as prepare you for your future career. Faculty members and fellow students come from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds, making the Master’s Earth Sciences at VU Amsterdam a truly international programme. Our teachers have high international profiles based on successful fund raising; several have received international awards. 

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Which specialisation do you choose?

The first year you start with your specialisation. This year consists mainly of compulsory courses, practicals, an excursion (can also be in the second year) and is finished with an individual research project.

Summary

Earth Sciences offers various specialties. Choose the specialisation that appeals to you!

Summary

With the specialisation Geology and Geochemistry (G&G) you focus on the Earth’s crust and mantle. You deal with geodynamics, tectonics, sedimentary and structural geology, stratigraphy, petrology, isotope geochemistry, planetary evolution, and basin analysis. You apply geological, (isotope) geochemistry and radio-isotope dating techniques to, for example:

  • understand the relations between subduction, volcanism and metamorphism;
  • ascertain the age and rates of continental collision and uplift, subsidence and denudation; 
  • study the origin, filling and deformation of basins, providing understanding of the structures in reservoirs, e.g. for geothermal energy; 
  • deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;
  • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.


Compulsory courses include:
deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;

  • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.
  • a field excursion 
  • two individual research projects

You can combine this with a set of optional courses to further specialise in five streams (see details below). There is a large choice of research and thesis projects ranging from ‘Magma genesis in the Lesser Antilles Arc’ to ‘Towards improved Synthetic Seismograms.’


Streams

Stream G&G 1: Geochemistry and Petrology
You learn a broad range of geochemical and petrological techniques and apply those to explore the processes responsible for the formation and development of the Earth’s crust, mantle and core.

Stream G&G 2: Geodynamics and Tectonics
You study the deformation and flow in the Earth from the upper crustal scale to the whole mantle scale, and learn to investigate the driving forces and resistive forces involved in such deformation and flow.

Stream G&G 3: Subsurface resourcing
In this stream you learn about exploration of earth resources and subsurface activities in its broadest sense. This stream deals with the current transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, inclusing sequestration of CO2 and use of geothermal energy.

Stream G&G 4: Planetary Science
You study the processes that lead to the formation and evolution of rocky planets and moons to provide a better understanding of Earth’s evolution.

Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings in field and/or lab oriented studies on carbonate and/or siliciclastic sediments and rocks from the Quaternary back to the Precambrian.


Contact  information
Prof. Dr. Wim van Westrenen (coordinator)
w.van.westrenen@vu.nl


You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Summary

During the specialisation Earth and Climate (E&C) you’ll focus on the Earth's surface and also study climate records, applying field work with laboratory research to, for example:

  • understand and reconstruct land-surface processes, ocean and climate dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, (paleo-)ecology, and the role of humanity; 
  • assess the relationship between Earth’s spheres on time-scales between tens and millions of years;
  • quantify the magnitudes and rates of climate change; 
  • deal with environmental management and policy topics. 

Electives enable you to explore your own areas of interest, and you can choose from a range of research and thesis projects; you can also follow courses from the other tracks.
 
Streams
Stream E&C 1: Climate Dynamics and Earth System Modelling
Understand today’s climate system and how its components interact, and become an expert in numeric climate modelling and data analysis, helpful in predicting future climate. 


Stream E&C 2: Paleoceanography and Biogeochemical Cycles

Study the history of the ocean. Learn about past and modern climate change and how to quantify magnitudes and rates of changes. You may even get to join a sea-going expedition.


Stream E&C 3: Earth Surface Dynamics
Understand why landscapes look the way they do. You’ll study the past and present roles of changing climates, vegetation and human society, and learn techniques used in industry and academia.


Stream E&C 4: Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
Learn methodological skills such as remote sensing imagery and learn to work with large datasets. You can choose electives in your own fields of interest.


Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings. You could specialise for example in microbial mineral formation or stable isotope geochemistry.


Contact information:
Dr. Jorien Vonk (coordinator)
j.e.vonk@vu.nl

You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Summary

If you want to help create sustainable solutions to challenges caused by major changes in the Earth’s geological and ecological systems through sound interdisciplinary research, the specialisation Global Environmental Change and Policy is for you. Humanity has entered the Anthropocene, a new period in Earth history characterised by the unprecedented impacts of human activities on the Earth’s systems; this specialisation addresses those impacts. As well as understanding the Earth System, you will analyse the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change.

In the first year you will study Earth Sciences, Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy and Governance, exploring integrated approaches to solving global sustainability challenges. You will also learn methods of interdisciplinary research, including fieldwork.

Compulsory courses include:

  • Tenerife fieldwork
  • Land-use Change and Ecosystems
  • Climate Impacts and Policy 
  • Advanced Spatial Analysis
  • Methods for Environment and Resource Management 
  • Designing Interdisciplinary Research 


Streams
Depending on the stream you choose, you can select different electives in energy, ecosystems and biodiversity and water. In the first year you will go on a field trip to Tenerife where you will study causes and solutions to the variety of sustainability problems on this island. More information on the research course on Tenerife can be found here.

For more information, contact Marleen de Ruiter at gecp.ivm@vu.nl


For Whom?
The specialisation is for students who want to go beyond understanding the earth system, but instead aim to contribute to sustainable solutions by analysing the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change. Our students are highly motivated, interested in interdisciplinarity, focused on solutions rather than limitations, and equipped with a critical and analytical mind.

What?
This is a rigorous, two-year Masters programme aimed at developing student’s skills in scientific research. Students can expect to learn a range of skills to achieve this: from knowledge of earth systems and climate change, to technical skills in programming and GIS, to developing research proposals, two opportunities to conduct research in fields of their interests, and understanding of how this research can be applied within wider contexts of economics and policy making. The opportunity to specialise in their second year deepens applied knowledge within one of three streams, providing opportunity to be a generalist with specialist knowledge on water, energy or biodiversity and ecosystems.

At the end of the programme, you will have acquired a sound knowledge of sustainability-related Earth Sciences knowledge, combined with the additional perspectives of economics and governance. With this unique combination you’ll be able to pursue advanced careers in research, consultancy, international organisations and companies, and governments. You will also be qualified to study national and international sustainability PhD programmes.

Contact information
For more information write an e-mail to gecp.ivm@vu.nl

You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

  • Various Earth Sciences specialisations

    Summary

    Earth Sciences offers various specialties. Choose the specialisation that appeals to you!

  • Geology and Geochemistry

    Summary

    With the specialisation Geology and Geochemistry (G&G) you focus on the Earth’s crust and mantle. You deal with geodynamics, tectonics, sedimentary and structural geology, stratigraphy, petrology, isotope geochemistry, planetary evolution, and basin analysis. You apply geological, (isotope) geochemistry and radio-isotope dating techniques to, for example:

    • understand the relations between subduction, volcanism and metamorphism;
    • ascertain the age and rates of continental collision and uplift, subsidence and denudation; 
    • study the origin, filling and deformation of basins, providing understanding of the structures in reservoirs, e.g. for geothermal energy; 
    • deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;
    • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.


    Compulsory courses include:
    deal with relationships between deeper processes caused by intraplate stresses, surface processes and sedimentary sequences;

    • compare the evolution of Earth with other rocky bodies in our solar system.
    • a field excursion 
    • two individual research projects

    You can combine this with a set of optional courses to further specialise in five streams (see details below). There is a large choice of research and thesis projects ranging from ‘Magma genesis in the Lesser Antilles Arc’ to ‘Towards improved Synthetic Seismograms.’


    Streams

    Stream G&G 1: Geochemistry and Petrology
    You learn a broad range of geochemical and petrological techniques and apply those to explore the processes responsible for the formation and development of the Earth’s crust, mantle and core.

    Stream G&G 2: Geodynamics and Tectonics
    You study the deformation and flow in the Earth from the upper crustal scale to the whole mantle scale, and learn to investigate the driving forces and resistive forces involved in such deformation and flow.

    Stream G&G 3: Subsurface resourcing
    In this stream you learn about exploration of earth resources and subsurface activities in its broadest sense. This stream deals with the current transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, inclusing sequestration of CO2 and use of geothermal energy.

    Stream G&G 4: Planetary Science
    You study the processes that lead to the formation and evolution of rocky planets and moons to provide a better understanding of Earth’s evolution.

    Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
    You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings in field and/or lab oriented studies on carbonate and/or siliciclastic sediments and rocks from the Quaternary back to the Precambrian.


    Contact  information
    Prof. Dr. Wim van Westrenen (coordinator)
    w.van.westrenen@vu.nl


    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

  • Earth and Climate

    Summary

    During the specialisation Earth and Climate (E&C) you’ll focus on the Earth's surface and also study climate records, applying field work with laboratory research to, for example:

    • understand and reconstruct land-surface processes, ocean and climate dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, (paleo-)ecology, and the role of humanity; 
    • assess the relationship between Earth’s spheres on time-scales between tens and millions of years;
    • quantify the magnitudes and rates of climate change; 
    • deal with environmental management and policy topics. 

    Electives enable you to explore your own areas of interest, and you can choose from a range of research and thesis projects; you can also follow courses from the other tracks.
     
    Streams
    Stream E&C 1: Climate Dynamics and Earth System Modelling
    Understand today’s climate system and how its components interact, and become an expert in numeric climate modelling and data analysis, helpful in predicting future climate. 


    Stream E&C 2: Paleoceanography and Biogeochemical Cycles

    Study the history of the ocean. Learn about past and modern climate change and how to quantify magnitudes and rates of changes. You may even get to join a sea-going expedition.


    Stream E&C 3: Earth Surface Dynamics
    Understand why landscapes look the way they do. You’ll study the past and present roles of changing climates, vegetation and human society, and learn techniques used in industry and academia.


    Stream E&C 4: Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
    Learn methodological skills such as remote sensing imagery and learn to work with large datasets. You can choose electives in your own fields of interest.


    Stream G&G and E&C 5: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
    You study sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a range of settings. You could specialise for example in microbial mineral formation or stable isotope geochemistry.


    Contact information:
    Dr. Jorien Vonk (coordinator)
    j.e.vonk@vu.nl

    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

  • Global Environmental Change and Policy

    Summary

    If you want to help create sustainable solutions to challenges caused by major changes in the Earth’s geological and ecological systems through sound interdisciplinary research, the specialisation Global Environmental Change and Policy is for you. Humanity has entered the Anthropocene, a new period in Earth history characterised by the unprecedented impacts of human activities on the Earth’s systems; this specialisation addresses those impacts. As well as understanding the Earth System, you will analyse the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change.

    In the first year you will study Earth Sciences, Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy and Governance, exploring integrated approaches to solving global sustainability challenges. You will also learn methods of interdisciplinary research, including fieldwork.

    Compulsory courses include:

    • Tenerife fieldwork
    • Land-use Change and Ecosystems
    • Climate Impacts and Policy 
    • Advanced Spatial Analysis
    • Methods for Environment and Resource Management 
    • Designing Interdisciplinary Research 


    Streams
    Depending on the stream you choose, you can select different electives in energy, ecosystems and biodiversity and water. In the first year you will go on a field trip to Tenerife where you will study causes and solutions to the variety of sustainability problems on this island. More information on the research course on Tenerife can be found here.

    For more information, contact Marleen de Ruiter at gecp.ivm@vu.nl


    For Whom?
    The specialisation is for students who want to go beyond understanding the earth system, but instead aim to contribute to sustainable solutions by analysing the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change. Our students are highly motivated, interested in interdisciplinarity, focused on solutions rather than limitations, and equipped with a critical and analytical mind.

    What?
    This is a rigorous, two-year Masters programme aimed at developing student’s skills in scientific research. Students can expect to learn a range of skills to achieve this: from knowledge of earth systems and climate change, to technical skills in programming and GIS, to developing research proposals, two opportunities to conduct research in fields of their interests, and understanding of how this research can be applied within wider contexts of economics and policy making. The opportunity to specialise in their second year deepens applied knowledge within one of three streams, providing opportunity to be a generalist with specialist knowledge on water, energy or biodiversity and ecosystems.

    At the end of the programme, you will have acquired a sound knowledge of sustainability-related Earth Sciences knowledge, combined with the additional perspectives of economics and governance. With this unique combination you’ll be able to pursue advanced careers in research, consultancy, international organisations and companies, and governments. You will also be qualified to study national and international sustainability PhD programmes.

    Contact information
    For more information write an e-mail to gecp.ivm@vu.nl

    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Continue with the choosen specialisation

The second year offers a variety of electives focused on advanced and more specialised topics and themes, like Planetary Science, Man and Climate and Geothermal Energy. The year is finished with the Master Thesis, which can include an internship.

Summary

You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses in the first year. In the second year you will focus on a set of optional courses, finishing the Research Project started in the first year and the Master Thesis.

You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Summary

You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses and practicals in the first year. In the second year students deepen their studies by selecting one of three distinct streams: energy, ecosystem services, and water. Therefore, the second year consists of compulsory courses (Climate Impacts & Policy, Advanced Spatial Analysis, and the Master Thesis Project) and a variety of electives that are different for each of the three streams. A total of 18 credits can be obtained within each stream.


You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

Summary

Bridge the gap between science and society

Many of the societal challenges that require research and innovation cannot be addressed by scientists alone. And at a time when ‘the facts’ are being questioned, scientists need to engage with the public more openly. Take, for instance, public health issues like the coronavirus pandemic. Scientists conduct numerous studies on the best preventive measures, but those measures need to be understood and adopted by the public in order to be effective. And when it comes to climate change, many members of the public are still resistant to believing the scientific data, which makes them reluctant to change their behaviour in ways that protect the environment. On these and other issues, how can scientists engage with members of the public in thoughtful and productive ways? 

This specialisation provides you with the relevant knowledge, skills and practical experience to help shape meaningful conversations about science in public. You will not only learn how to inform and educate the public about science, but you will also learn how to engage the public in addressing societal issues together with scientists and innovators. After completing this specialisation, you will have an in-demand skills set. You can work, for instance, as a science journalist at a newspaper, a communications advisor at a biomedical company, a content manager at a science museum, or as a public relations manager at an environmental organisation. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The Science Communication specialisation immerses you in the world of science communication through five courses and an internship. During the first semester, you will to follow two compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC) and Science and Communication (6 EC). You will also choose (at least) two out of three elective courses in science communication (18 EC total): Science Journalism (6 EC), Science in Dialogue (6 EC) and Science Museology (6 EC). The third course is an elective. This could be an elective course from your Master’s programme. Visit Studiegids for an overview of elective courses of your Master's programme.

During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses (30 EC). You can choose between a reflective practice internship (only if you follow this specialisation in the second year of your master’s programme) or a research internship. With a reflective practice internship, you will work at a science communication company and apply the knowledge you have acquired to professional practice (21 EC). You will also write a reflection on professional practice (9 EC). If you choose a research internship, you will conduct research in the field of science communication.

Please register for your Science Communication courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

Summary

Bridge the gap between science and society

There is an urgent need for professionals with an academic background in the natural and life sciences, who have knowledge of policy, management and entrepreneurship. The Science in Society specialisation prepares you for working, for instance, as a consultant, policymaker, researcher or entrepreneur at the interface of science, technology and society. It provides you with tools and strategies for understanding and addressing complex societal problems related to scientific, technological or medical developments. 

During the specialisation, you will learn to analyse and create policy advisory reports and to improve on aspects of management such as leadership styles and motivation techniques. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The Science in Society specialisation teaches you how to identify, analyse and manage complex societal problems. 

During the first semester, you will follow three compulsory courses:

  • Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC)
  • Analyzing Governmental Policy (6 EC)
  • Communication, Organization and Management (6 EC).

You will also choose two or three elective courses (12 EC total). You can find an overview of all elective courses you can choose from here

During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses to professional practice (30 EC).

Please register for your Science in Society courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

Summary

Motivate & inspire students as a teacher in the STEM disciplines - This specialisation is taught in Dutch. 

During the specialisation Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines, you will learn how to transfer your knowledge and motivate and inspire students in your field of study, whether it is Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology. For computer science, there is another route: the one-year teacher training programme. The courses for this teacher training specialisation are taught in Dutch and your teaching qualification will be valid in the Netherlands.

As a teacher, you make an important contribution to the future of young people, society and education in the Netherlands. In our knowledge economy, specialists in the area of knowledge transfer are indispensable. With an abundance of jobs in secondary education, obtaining a teaching qualification guarantees job security and—flexibility—because in addition to being a teacher, you are also a scientist in your field.

The teacher training programmes at VU Amsterdam are unique because of their modular structure that is built around 20 themes (core practices). You will apply these teaching practices directly in the classroom, as you will be working in a school for more than 50% of your study programme. At VU Amsterdam, personal attention and individual guidance are top priority. You will have a mentor from VU Amsterdam and a workplace supervisor who is an experienced first-degree subject teacher.

With this specialisation, you will obtain a specialist Master's degree in a STEM discipline and a first-degree teaching qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid).  This means that in two years, you will be qualified to teach both lower and upper secondary vocational education (HAVO/VWO) and pre-university education (VMBO) in the Netherlands. All teachers in the STEM disciplines are also qualified to teach the STEM elective NLT (Nature, Life and Technology). 

The teacher training specialisation in the STEM disciplines starts every academic year in September and February, unless you are following a Master's programme in Ecology, Earth Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or Biomedical Technology and Physics. Within these Master's programmes, you can only start the specialisation in September.

Second year

What makes you unique as a STEM teacher? We explore your strengths as a teacher while focussing on personal attention, customisation and guidance. You will follow an integrated programme, which includes a practical component (internship) in secondary education and didactic theory at VU Amsterdam. You will be taught general didactics related to core practices as well as specific subject-related didactics for your school subject. The theory is always applied and tested in practice at the school where you conduct your internship. You will start immediately with the practical component. Internships are arranged by VU Amsterdam.

Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines courses

  • Earth and Climate

    Summary

    You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses in the first year. In the second year you will focus on a set of optional courses, finishing the Research Project started in the first year and the Master Thesis.

    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

  • Global Environmental Change and Policy

    Summary

    You have acquired a broad background by following a set of compulsory courses and practicals in the first year. In the second year students deepen their studies by selecting one of three distinct streams: energy, ecosystem services, and water. Therefore, the second year consists of compulsory courses (Climate Impacts & Policy, Advanced Spatial Analysis, and the Master Thesis Project) and a variety of electives that are different for each of the three streams. A total of 18 credits can be obtained within each stream.


    You can read more about the programme and course descriptions in the studyguide.

  • Science Communication

    Summary

    Bridge the gap between science and society

    Many of the societal challenges that require research and innovation cannot be addressed by scientists alone. And at a time when ‘the facts’ are being questioned, scientists need to engage with the public more openly. Take, for instance, public health issues like the coronavirus pandemic. Scientists conduct numerous studies on the best preventive measures, but those measures need to be understood and adopted by the public in order to be effective. And when it comes to climate change, many members of the public are still resistant to believing the scientific data, which makes them reluctant to change their behaviour in ways that protect the environment. On these and other issues, how can scientists engage with members of the public in thoughtful and productive ways? 

    This specialisation provides you with the relevant knowledge, skills and practical experience to help shape meaningful conversations about science in public. You will not only learn how to inform and educate the public about science, but you will also learn how to engage the public in addressing societal issues together with scientists and innovators. After completing this specialisation, you will have an in-demand skills set. You can work, for instance, as a science journalist at a newspaper, a communications advisor at a biomedical company, a content manager at a science museum, or as a public relations manager at an environmental organisation. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

    The Science Communication specialisation immerses you in the world of science communication through five courses and an internship. During the first semester, you will to follow two compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC) and Science and Communication (6 EC). You will also choose (at least) two out of three elective courses in science communication (18 EC total): Science Journalism (6 EC), Science in Dialogue (6 EC) and Science Museology (6 EC). The third course is an elective. This could be an elective course from your Master’s programme. Visit Studiegids for an overview of elective courses of your Master's programme.

    During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses (30 EC). You can choose between a reflective practice internship (only if you follow this specialisation in the second year of your master’s programme) or a research internship. With a reflective practice internship, you will work at a science communication company and apply the knowledge you have acquired to professional practice (21 EC). You will also write a reflection on professional practice (9 EC). If you choose a research internship, you will conduct research in the field of science communication.

    Please register for your Science Communication courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

  • Science in Society

    Summary

    Bridge the gap between science and society

    There is an urgent need for professionals with an academic background in the natural and life sciences, who have knowledge of policy, management and entrepreneurship. The Science in Society specialisation prepares you for working, for instance, as a consultant, policymaker, researcher or entrepreneur at the interface of science, technology and society. It provides you with tools and strategies for understanding and addressing complex societal problems related to scientific, technological or medical developments. 

    During the specialisation, you will learn to analyse and create policy advisory reports and to improve on aspects of management such as leadership styles and motivation techniques. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

    The Science in Society specialisation teaches you how to identify, analyse and manage complex societal problems. 

    During the first semester, you will follow three compulsory courses:

    • Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC)
    • Analyzing Governmental Policy (6 EC)
    • Communication, Organization and Management (6 EC).

    You will also choose two or three elective courses (12 EC total). You can find an overview of all elective courses you can choose from here

    During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses to professional practice (30 EC).

    Please register for your Science in Society courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

  • Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines

    Summary

    Motivate & inspire students as a teacher in the STEM disciplines - This specialisation is taught in Dutch. 

    During the specialisation Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines, you will learn how to transfer your knowledge and motivate and inspire students in your field of study, whether it is Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology. For computer science, there is another route: the one-year teacher training programme. The courses for this teacher training specialisation are taught in Dutch and your teaching qualification will be valid in the Netherlands.

    As a teacher, you make an important contribution to the future of young people, society and education in the Netherlands. In our knowledge economy, specialists in the area of knowledge transfer are indispensable. With an abundance of jobs in secondary education, obtaining a teaching qualification guarantees job security and—flexibility—because in addition to being a teacher, you are also a scientist in your field.

    The teacher training programmes at VU Amsterdam are unique because of their modular structure that is built around 20 themes (core practices). You will apply these teaching practices directly in the classroom, as you will be working in a school for more than 50% of your study programme. At VU Amsterdam, personal attention and individual guidance are top priority. You will have a mentor from VU Amsterdam and a workplace supervisor who is an experienced first-degree subject teacher.

    With this specialisation, you will obtain a specialist Master's degree in a STEM discipline and a first-degree teaching qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid).  This means that in two years, you will be qualified to teach both lower and upper secondary vocational education (HAVO/VWO) and pre-university education (VMBO) in the Netherlands. All teachers in the STEM disciplines are also qualified to teach the STEM elective NLT (Nature, Life and Technology). 

    The teacher training specialisation in the STEM disciplines starts every academic year in September and February, unless you are following a Master's programme in Ecology, Earth Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or Biomedical Technology and Physics. Within these Master's programmes, you can only start the specialisation in September.

    Second year

    What makes you unique as a STEM teacher? We explore your strengths as a teacher while focussing on personal attention, customisation and guidance. You will follow an integrated programme, which includes a practical component (internship) in secondary education and didactic theory at VU Amsterdam. You will be taught general didactics related to core practices as well as specific subject-related didactics for your school subject. The theory is always applied and tested in practice at the school where you conduct your internship. You will start immediately with the practical component. Internships are arranged by VU Amsterdam.

    Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines courses

Internships

You can spend time working on an external research project or traineeship under supervision of our staff, who have excellent contacts in both national and international companies and universities. This hands-on experience is a great way to prepare for, and familiarise yourself with, the labour market.

If you think a career as a teacher might be for you, you can take up the opportunity this programme offers with its “teacher’s variant”..

You can also attend national ‘career days’, organised on campus by the VU’s study association GeoVUsie. These will help you get a better idea of the different career paths open to you. You can also attend seminars, organised throughout the year.

Change your future with the Earth Sciences programme

Change your future with the Earth Sciences programme

With our VU MSc degree you will have great career prospects. You could for example work in an environmental consultancy company  or in a governmental institution, as a geothermal energy researcher or a minerals surveyor. Urban and rural planning companies also have their fair share of Earth Scientists.

A lot of our graduates continue their academic careers, either staying in academia or taking up a position in Research and Development. And of course you can stay in education by becoming a teacher in secondary school.

Explore your future prospects
woman in cave