Master of Geology

Course content

The global and sustainable management and conservation of water and soil, mineral resources and energy stands worldwide very high on the agenda. To manage these important resources, a fundamental knowledge of our planet Earth is required.

For a geologist “global change” is a familiar topic, with a variety of facets. Our planet is an incredibly dynamic system and unraveling it is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.

Ghent University offers a master programme, with the opportunity to specialize in one of the following topics: “soil and groundwater” or “basin dynamics: from lithospheric processes to biosphere evolution”. Both topics  address a key element in the system of our planet.

The first topic brings forward the characterization and protection of two essential ingredients of life on our planet: soil and groundwater.

The second topic encompasses the origin and evolution of large oceanic and continental sedimentary basins, and the role they play in the composition, structure and dynamics of the lithosphere, the climate and the biosphere.

A very important facet within these studies is cooperation in development.

Course structure

The backbone in the study of these two topics (soil and groundwater/ basin dynamics) is a major course package in combination with a master dissertation for 30 credits. The project that will lead towards the master dissertation can be started in the first master year.

The major course package in soil and groundwater offers two different modules. Both deal with the integrated management of the identified compartments (soil and groundwater). The integrated approach forms an asset for this study.  Environmental impact assessment for instance links the two compartments as an entity. It underpins the forecasting and evaluation of the impact of man on the environment.

The major course package in basin dynamics is also divided in two modules. The first module focuses on sedimentary processes, the dynamics of oceans and climates and the evolution of the biosphere, with micropaleontology in a key role. In the second module petrological and geophysical aspects are addressed. Both modules include field work.

Beside the major course package (60 credits), there is also a minor course package for 30 credits. This minor course package consists of elective courses that help the student to get prepared for fundamental research, in the framework of a doctoral study, or straitghtforwardly for Industry. These minor course packages address three areas: “research and enterprise”, “education” and “economy and management”. The minor “research and enterprise” in particular is interesting for English speaking students. It is also possible to opt for a stay abroad within the space offered by the minor course package.

Career perspectives

The strong multidisciplinary foundation of this master programme does not only open doors towards innovative research, but also towards dynamical industrial sectors, governmental agencies , NGO’s, etc. A student in the master programme of Geology also acquires step by step an enormous advantage: the skill to express him/herself fluently in professional English. The world will be his/her work area.

Admission requirements


  • For non-Flemish degrees:

the course is open to students with at least a Bachelor degree in the field of Geology with a minimum of 180 credits.

  • For Flemish degrees:

the list of degrees giving access to this master can be consulted in the online course catalogue.


Check the language requirements for English study programmes.