Human activities are a regular cause of imbalances in natural systems and the societies that depend upon them, on the local, regional or global scale. Understanding the underlying physical, chemical and biological processes is essential for resolving contemporary environmental problems.
This understanding is represented in the form of models that allow informed management decisions to be made. However, these models must take into account data gathered through observation and monitoring of the phenomena concerned. Otherwise, the information they provide will be of little real value.
The Master of Science in Environmental Geosciences provides not only an adequate scientific grounding, but also an understanding of the fundamental links between the observation, modelling and monitoring of environmental phenomena, as each of these aspects enhances the credibility and quality of the other two. This combination also provides a deeper understanding of the phenomena themselves.
The teaching programme focuses on areas of study affected by both physical and chemical processes (for example, water tables, landslides, landfills, diffuse or concentrated pollution), as well as the interactions between environmental disruptors and living organisms. Through this interdisciplinary approach, future professionals are trained to acquire the capacity to confront the increasingly complex interactions between the critical zone, ecosystems and human activities.
Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Geoscience
Compulsory courses are given in English, but a few optional courses are given in French. Recommended level in English : C1. The dissertation, reports and exams may be written in English or French.
Final enrolment date
30 April. The degree course begins in the autumn semester.
Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland : 28 February.
Timetables and course descriptions
The aim of the syllabus is to train students to describe, understand and model physical and chemical processes of both natural and anthropogenic origin. For this purpose, they will need to master and know how to use quantitative methodologies in environmental science (field measurements, laboratory work and data analysis), as well as how to choose appropriate techniques for the evaluation and monitoring of environmental problems. They will have to address the issues related to a theme on the theoretical and empirical foundations of natural science, while taking into account the complexity, uncertainties and limits of knowledge concerning environmental processes.
Moreover, university studies develop a great many transverse skills such as: oral and written communication, critical, analytical and summarising faculties, abilities in research, the learning and transmission of knowledge, independence and the ability to make judgements in the field of specialisation and overlapping areas. This panoply of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired in the course of studies, is excellent preparation for a wide range of employment opportunities such as those mentioned in the «Career prospects» section.
Subject to changes.
The French version prevails.
Last update: 7 March 2016
Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement
Tél. +41 21 692 35 00
Fax +41 21 692 35 05