The Master's programme Climate Physics is split equally 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 three courses are compulsory, while another set of courses must be chosen from a predefined list of courses related to the discipline. The exact regulations are provided in the annex of the OER.

Courses of all university bachelor and master programmes can be found with the OSIRIS course catalogue. Schedules for most Master's courses are also available in the Cursusplanner & for scheduling your courses, you can use My Timetable.

The three first-year compulsory courses deal with the multidisciplinary knowledge and skills that are fundamental to each field in climate research:

  • Dynamical Meteorology: 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: the application of geophysical fluid dynamics to large-scale ocean circulations is used to describe wind-driven and thermohaline ocean circulation, adjustment to changes through planetary waves and barotropic/baroclinic instabilities.
  • Atmospheric Composition and Chemistry: surface emissions and chemical transformations determine the composition of the atmosphere. Consequently, they affect air quality and the earth's energy balance.

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)
  • Ocean waves (7.5 EC)
  • Boundary layers, transport and mixing (7.5 EC)
  • Current themes in climate change (7.5 EC)
  • Wave attractors (7.5 EC)
  • Morphodynamics of tidal systemsa (7.5 EC)
  • Morphodynamics of wave-dominated coastsa (7.5 EC)
  • Turbulence in fluidsb (7.5 EC)
  • NIOZ Marine Masters Summer Course (3.75 EC)

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. 

aOnly one of these two courses can be selected as primary elective course. bTurbulence in fluids is a bachelor course, selection of this course requires permission of the programme director and of the exam committee.

During the second year, you will complete an independent research project during 9 months of research. The second year preliminary courses (each 7.5 EC) are:

  • Simulation of ocean, atmosphere and climate
  • Making, analyzing and interpreting observations.

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.

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 (see also: ‘study abroad’). 

You are required to fill out the following forms in order to be able to either start or finish your research project or internship. Please fill out the forms digitally and use a print-out for signing and handing in. The documents require macros to be enabled in Word to use all of the form functionality. After approval of your registration you will be automatically registered in OSIRIS.

  • Make sure to hand in the co-signed Research Application Form at the Science Student Desk prior to starting your project. Important: this form can only be filled out completely after you have discussed the project setup with your intended project supervisor! 
  • 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 after you have submitted your initial request for research project approval.
  • If your project is split into two parts, your project supervisor will fill out the assessment form part 1 at the end of the first part of your project. At the end of your project your supervisor will fill out the assessment form part 2 and hand it in (in pdf) at the Science Student Desk in order to have your grade registered in OSIRIS. 

course enrollment WITH Osiris

For most courses you need to register online through OSIRIS. More information about online registration via OSIRIS can be found here.