Taught course

Marine Sciences

Utrecht University · Geosciences

Entry requirements

Visit our Admission and Application web page for further information.

Months of entry


Course content

Contribute to the sustainable use of sea and ocean resources

Seas and oceans play an important role in our day-to-day lives, and over 65% of the world’s population lives or works in coastal areas. Vital for our economy and health – as well as for climate, food, and biodiversity – seas and oceans have immense societal significance. However, the oceans are changing rapidly as human-induced pollution and CO2 emissions lead to global warming and ocean acidification. The impact on organisms, ocean chemistry, and currents on short to long timescales is uncertain, affecting both business and policymaking.

As part of your two-year Master’s programme in Marine Sciences, you will learn how marine systems and processes operate naturally – and how they change through human intervention. The programme offers multidisciplinary cutting-edge information in this rapidly developing field.

Diverse community of students

If you are a science student with an educational background in biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science, this programme offers you the perfect preparation for a career as a marine scientist. Students with a Bachelor's degree in another natural science or technical discipline and students from University Colleges who would like to contribute to the sustainable use of sea and ocean resources are also invited to apply.

Multidisciplinary approach

A broad research approach to this rapidly developing field is necessary to make human intervention more sustainable, identify risks, and improve future scenarios. Essentially, all current issues in Marine Sciences are multidisciplinary.

Crucial questions you will investigate during your studies include:

  • How does global warming and changing ocean circulation impact ecosystem functioning?
  • How do changing ecosystems affect ocean chemistry?
  • How does a change in ocean chemistry affect biology?

Marine science research expertise

Utrecht University has the most extensive in-house expertise in marine sciences of all Dutch universities, and our staff participate in numerous international marine programmes and projects. The multidisciplinary focus of the programme will prepare you for a challenging career in a wide range of international organisations that are active in coastal areas and oceans and in harnessing society for future ocean change.

Programme objective

The Marine Sciences Master’s programme will enable you to specialise in the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes taking place in seas and oceans. You will investigate how seas and oceans functioned in the past, are functioning at present, and will function in the future.

You will explore issues such as energy and climate change, mining, pollution, the flow of traffic at sea, fisheries policies, and coastal defences. Examining the consequences of these themes – such as the fact that the disappearance of the Arctic’s summer ice cap will allow drilling for oil and gas – requires an multidisciplinary approach.

Information for international students

Please visit our website for further information.

Fees and funding

International students
Statutory fee € 2,006 (NL/EU); Institutional fee € 18,201 (non EU/EEA)

Visit our website for further information on Tuition Fees and Financial Support.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Faculty of Geosciences
+31(0)30 253 27 23