Soil, Water, Atmosphere (BSW) / BSc


The BSc programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere is a programme in the domain of Earth Sciences and focuses on the outer Earth's crust and the atmosphere in relation to their significance to mankind. It focuses on the structures and patterns found at the Earth's surface and on the physical, chemical and biological processes operating within and between the lithosphere, the pedospere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere at various spatial and temporal levels. In addition, Soil, Water, Atmosphere deals with the impact of human activities on the Earth and with sustainability issues on the Earth's surface and atmosphere. The education offered in the programme aims to pass on knowledge, skills and academic attitude that enable its students to recognize, analyse and answer questions in the interrelated fields of soil, water and atmosphere. During the first two years of the programme, students acquire comprehensive knowledge of soil, water and atmosphere and thorough knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry. The programme has a distinctly integrative approach and is unique in its focus on the interaction between the environment and humans. Fieldwork, excursions, and other forms of practical instruction make up an important part of the programme. In the third year, students may choose from a number of advanced courses in the fields of soil, water and atmosphere. Half a year of optional courses makes it possible to study a field of application in natural resource management, include a minor, or prepare for various master's degree programmes. The programme is concluded with an individual thesis.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this BSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- understand the mechanisms underlying the major terrestrial and atmospheric processes and their influence on the pedosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere;
- apply physical, chemical, biological and spatial concepts and approaches to describe and interpret phenomena, occurring at or near the earth's surface;
- analyse a problem in the field of soil, water, and atmosphere by writing a research plan under supervision, including the main phases of scientific research such as collecting and reflecting on relevant scientific literature;
- evaluate procedural knowledge by executing research, such as processing and interpreting data and placing results in a wider context;
- apply laboratory and field techniques, and mathematical, computational and statistical methods that earth scientists commonly use;
- use state-of-the-art software for data acquisition, analysis and modelling;
- execute projects effectively as a member of an international team;
- interpret current scientific research in the field of soil, water, atmosphere and explain both orally and in writing;
- demonstrate a responsible attitude by reflecting on social and ethical issues that arise in the field of earth sciences;
- design and plan their own learning path (under supervision) based on continuous reflection upon personal knowledge, skills, performance and interest.

Programme Director

Dr. ir. A.F. Moene
Phone: 0317-(4)86472

Study Adviser(s)

- Ir. M. Gorska
Phone: 0317-(4)86202

Programme Committee

Chair: Prof. dr. J. Wallinga
Secretary: M.W. Kampinga


Study Association


Unconditional Admission to the MSc

MCL Climate Studies;
MDR Development and Rural Innovation;
MEE Earth and Environment; 
MGI Geo-information Science.