Study programme Climate Physics
The Master's programme Climate Physics is split into a theoretical part (first year) and a practical and research part (second year). The credits for each course are expressed in study points (EC), where 1.5 EC is equivalent with 40 hours of work. Within the theoretical part four courses are compulsory, while another set of courses must be chosen from a list of courses related to the discipline. The exact regulations are provided in the annex of the OER.
Four first-year and two second-year compulsory courses deal with the multidisciplinary knowledge and skills that are fundamental to each field in climate research:
Atmospheric Composition and Chemical Processes: discusses surface emissions and chemical transformations that determine the composition of the atmosphere. Consequently, they affect air quality and the earth's energy balance.
Dynamical Meteorology: goes into the application of geophysical fluid dynamics to atmospheric weather phenomena enables us to understand the formation and dynamics of sea-breeze systems, thunderstorms, fronts and cyclones.
Dynamical Oceanography: applies geophysical fluid dynamics to large-scale ocean circulations, to describe wind-driven and thermohaline ocean circulation, adjustment to changes through planetary waves, and barotropic/baroclinic instabilities.
Earth System Modeling: introduces the methods to capture the climate system in an Earth System Model (ESM) and a first experience on working with an ESM.
Making, Analyzing and Interpreting Observations introduces techniques to use laboratory, in situ and remote sensed observations for climate research.
Open Science for Physicists evaluates the best practices, concepts and conditions used by physicists in- or outside academia.
Primary optional courses (22.5 to 37,5 EC) may be selected from a wide range of offerings in specialized Climate Physics courses:
- Ice and climate (7.5 EC)
- Current themes in climate change (7.5 EC)
- Waves in geophysical fluids (7.5 EC)
- Advanced topics in climate dynamics (7.5 EC)
- Morphodynamics of tidal systems (7.5 EC)
- Morphodynamics of wave-dominated coasts (7.5 EC)
- Stable isotopes in Earth sciences (7.5 EC)
- Turbulence in fluids (7.5 EC) *
- NIOZ Marine Masters Summer Course (3.75 EC)
- Boundary layers (3.75 EC) footnote: restrictions apply (specified in Annex of OER)
- Remote sensing (3.75EC)
Secondary optional graduate courses (up to 15 EC) may be selected from within and outside the programme, faculty or University. Courses offered by the Graduate School of Natural Sciences are always accepted. For other courses, permission of the programme director is required. Courses offered by e.g. the Faculty of Geosciences are accepted unless the course clearly overlaps with courses from the Climate Physics programme.
* Turbulence in fluids is a bachelor course, selection of this course requires permission of the programme leader and/or master coordinator.
During the second year, you will complete an independent research project during 9 months of research. Within the research part 1 EC is to be spent on attending the master introduction and the course Dilemmas of the scientist.
The exact topic of the thesis research is selected in consultation with your thesis supervisor, who is a member of the IMAU staff (IMAU=Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, the research institute that is coupled to this Master’s programme). The research project may be performed at IMAU, in which case it will reflect one of the following five research themes:
- Oceans and Climate
- Coastal and Shelf Sea Dynamics
- Atmospheric Dynamics
- Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
- Ice and Climate
The research project can also be carried out at another institute, including research institutes such as Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut (KNMI) or Nederlands Instituut voor onderzoek ter Zee (NIOZ). The research is concluded with a written Masters thesis, which is graded by the supervisor, together with another independent staff member.
For more information, please consult the research page of the IMAU institute.
Course enrollment with Osiris
For most courses you need to register online through OSIRIS.
Within all Master's programmes one or more research projects are mandatory. Please see ‘Study programme’ for general information on such projects in your curriculum. In many cases, a research project may be carried out outside of the university, in the form of an internship at a company, research institute, or another university. This can be in the Netherlands as well as abroad, with the exception of ADS (see also: ‘study abroad’).
You are required to apply for approval of your research project by submitting a request via OSIRIS Student. Please select ‘My Cases’, ‘Start Case’ and then ‘Research Project GSNS’. Important: in order to apply completely and correctly, you must have discussed the project setup with your intended project supervisor beforehand! We advise you to study the request form previous to discussing it with your supervisor, or fill it out together, to make sure you obtain all of the information required.
After submitting your request, it will be forwarded to your master’s programme coordinator, the board of examiners and student affairs for checks and approvals. After approval of your project it will be automatically registered in OSIRIS. If something needs to be amended, you will be notified by email. Please DO NOT register yourself in OSIRIS for the relevant research project courses. You will be automatically registered upon approval of the Research Application Form.
- Please note that this protocol (English version) applies when a project is delayed
- In case of a project or internship outside of Utrecht University, please make sure you fill out the Work Placement Agreement in OSIRIS Student / my cases. This agreement will be available for filling out in OSIRIS Student/My Cases when you fill out the form for research project approval.