Universiteit Twente
GemMsc / Content / Structure

GEM MSc course - Structure

5 team at observation point in AamsveenThe total duration of the course is 22 months. This corresponds to 120 ECTS course credits.

The GEM Course is divided into one foundation year (60 ECTS) and one year of specialization (60 ECTS). For some participants, it is possible to complete the course in 18 months, but without any break between the first and second year.

During the first year, the students have common foundation studies in geo-information (GIS) and earth observation (RS), as well as a range of subjects related to environmental modelling and management. The foundation year studies are coordinated by the University Twente (The Netherlands) and Lund University (Sweden).

The two choices of (first year) course work have a slightly different flavour depending on the background and career aspirations of the student. At the University Twente in the Netherlands, students study the interaction of society and technology related to environmental modelling and management (i.e. context-related education focusing on natural resource management), while those who opt to follow the first year at Lund University in Sweden receive more emphasis in quantitative biophysical modelling.

The second year of the GEM course is dedicated to thematic specialisation and thesis work. This second year must be spent at a different university. In other words, students move from where they have spent their first year of studies, either the University of Twente/ITC or Lund University, to any one of the other partner universities (University of Southampton, University of Iceland, University of Warsaw). Students who spend the first year at University of Twente/ITC may, of course, opt to go to Lund University in the second year. Likewise, those starting in Lund may spend their second year at University of Twente/ITC. Students starting their GEM course in 2017 can, unfortunately, not follow their second year at the University of Southampton. Students may also visit our associated university, the University of Sydney, in Australia. This gives you an insight in geographically related environmental challenges in which different partner universities have expert knowledge.

Partner Universities

University of Warsaw, Poland: offers the possibility to specialize in EU policy and Environment.

Southampton University, United Kingdom; offers the possibility to specialize in Environmental modelling of Oceans and Land.

University of Iceland: offers the possibility to specialize in Environmental Change at Northern Latitudes.

University of Twente, Faculty ITC, The Netherlands: offers the possibility to specialize in Biodiversity, Carbon modelling and Food Security.

Lund University, Sweden: offers the possibility to specialize in Geomatics, modelling of greenhouse gases and WEB solutions for Environmental Modelling.

University of Sydney (associated partner): complements the opportunities at the other EU partner universities, and adds depth to specialist areas of study such as disaster management (fire, drought, flooding), coastal management, urban studies and migration.

The University of Sydney, offers the possibility to visit and undertake research field work in Australia. This gives an exciting opportunity to study in a different cultural environment full of environmental challenges. All ECTS credits earned at the University of Sydney are recognised by the five EU university partners, allowing students to fully transfer their earned credits towards the double/multiple degree.

The course is taught (in English) by staff of international repute to apply not only solid theoretical knowledge but also the latest technology and techniques to real-world case studies. The programme integrates skills from a variety of disciplines (including environmental science, remote sensing and GIS) with management and policy skills. Problem-based teaching methods challenge participants to think through and solve complex issues.

In particular, the teaching is designed to develop competencies both in groups and individually that allow students to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice.

Unique opportunity to discover Europe

During the course, significant time is spent in at least two different European countries (United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, Iceland and the Netherlands). This offers students a unique opportunity to become acquainted with the academic, social and cultural diversity of Europe.

Australia

The Third-country partner, Sydney University, offers you the opportunity to visit and undertake research field work in Australia. This gives you an exciting opportunity to study in a different cultural environment full of environmental challenges. Expertise at Sydney University complements the opportunities at the other EU partner universities, and adds depth to specialist areas of study such as disaster management (fire, drought, flood), coastal management, urban studies and migration. All ECTS credits earned at Sydney University are recognised by the 5 EU university partners, allowing you to fully transfer your earned credits towards your double/multiple degree.

What degree will you gain?

Successful graduates are awarded a multiple MSc degree in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation with a specialisation in environmental modelling and management.

Valuable insights

Throughout, the course offers links to existing research programmes and contacts with top researchers at the partner universities. In addition, a variety of non-academic agencies such as WWF, IUCN, government planning agencies and industrial partners provide important course input through visits, guest lectures and case studies.

Visiting scholars

Within the GEM programme a number of visiting scholars are invited to visit the partner universities every year. During their visit, the scholars are expected to support the GEM students with advice on their research, provide course input through guest lectures and develop research cooperation/activities with the various partner universities.


  • ITC
  • Lunds Universitet
  • University of Iceland
  • Universitas Varsoviensis
  • University of Southampton