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An overview of the Faculty

Geosciences and Environment | Aims of the study programme | Research

Geosciences and Environment

The Faculty of Geosciences and Environment is essentially an inter-disciplinary faculty, since the disciplines studied include pure, experimental, and social sciences. For example geology is a natural science, whereas geography is primarily at the cross-section of the natural and social sciences. Situated as it is at the interface between these different domains, the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment focuses on planetary changes in general, of natural or anthropic origin, particularly in alpine and metropolitan contexts. Research is concerned with the effects of these changes on man, animals, and vegetation, and is therefore strongly based on core disciplines (such as geology, or geography) which have been considerably expanded and developed.

Aims of the study programme

The Faculty prepares students for careers in teaching, research, industry, or in the public utilities. It offers a wide choice of courses which will form part of the European prgramme known as the "Bologna process". As well as professionally-oriented specialised post-graduate diploma courses, the Faculty also offers a doctoral programme in a range of specific disciplines related to geosciences and environment.

Besides preparing students for a career in teaching geography, Faculty courses also provide an excellent grounding in topics related to the physical and social environment thus anticipating the inevitable future needs of the "gymnases" for teachers in this field.


In numerous specialised laboratories and institutes, equipped with up-to-date scientific instruments, the Faculty makes its own contribution to the national research programme. Its work is supported by the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research, by other local, national or European foundations, and by private enterprise. In addition it funds education and research projects in developing countries. Another objective is to encourage further education, and to this end it has acquired the necessary tools and computer facilities to enable faculty members to undertake advanced studies in a virtual environment.
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