Master of Science in Geology

At Ghent University students can choose between the Dutch Master of Science in Geology and the English Master of Science in Geology.

The English master is mainly focused on research, with emphasis on the acquisition of general academic skills, such as research and exploration, reporting and collaboration with fellow students and researchers. You will receive the necessary education to analyse and solve new, broad and more complex geological problems. In this way you will develop a scientific attitude to solve problems following the right research method (qualitative and quantitative field analysis, direct and indirect observation methods, physical and chemical analytical techniques, modelling of geological processes, ...) and the methods to evaluate concerning possibilities/limitations.

This master is provided in a collaboration from Ghent University and KU Leuven. There is choice out of four majors. Besides the two majors that are also available in the Dutch education, namely Basins and Orogens and Groundwater and mineral resources, you can choose for the majors Geodynamics and Georesources and Surface processes and paleoenvironments.

Majors (60 credits)

Basins and orogens

The major 'Geology of Basins and Orogens' covers the emergence and evolution of mountains and great oceanic and continental basins, and how this is linked to the structure and composition of the lithosphere, the climate and biosphere. In this major the diverse specializations of volcanology, paleontology, marine geology, geophysics, sedimentology and geochronology are combined to understand large-scale geological processes. The major not only finds applications in exploration, but also deals with climate change, the origin and evolution of the Earth's crust and life, and sustainable energy and material sciences.

Groundwater and mineral resources

The major 'Groundwater and mineral resources' offers a fundamental and applied vision on the outer layers of the Earth's crust. In those superficial layers we find precious groundwater and essential minerals. Research into the quality of those, the protection of known reserves and the exploration of new groundwater reservoirs and mineral deposits are the key elements for a sustainable development of our planet Earth.

Geodynamics and Georesources

In this major you will learn to gather and interpret geological data about subterranean rock forming processes and mineral resources. The interplay between different physicochemical processes in the Earth make up the core of this major.

Surface Processes and Paleoenvironments

This major focuses on the understanding of present and past geological processes and the interaction between geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and on situating those in a context of world-wide changes. 

Minor Research (30 credits)

Those who acquired the taste of research and who wants to take this road, chooses for the Research minor. This minor is provided fully in English in the shape of elective courses. In this minor you will get the chance to get even more deeply acquainted into your topic or to explore links with other research topics. The following of this minor is among others a splendid preparation for the doctorate.

The Master dissertation (30 credits)

Every master program finalizes with a master dissertation. This is a personal scientific work on a certain topic of choice. This happens in consultation with the supervisor; this is the professor who guides and supports the work, together with the scientific staff. You work out a scientific work independently, which involves a certain further specialization, an element that is often posed as a requirement for a solicitation. The master dissertation is an important and extensive part of the master education.

Consult the online study guide Master of Science in Geology for more detailed information on the content of all courses


A limited number of grants/scholarschips for students from less-developed countries is offered by Ghent University and by the Flemish Government. See the links below for more information about deadlines, application procedure and eligibility: