Earth Science, Master's, 2 years

The Master’s Programme takes advantage of Western Norway’s unique environment for different types of field geology, ranging from Quaternary and glacial geology to Precambrian orogenic and magmatic processes.
  • TuitionFor non eu/eea citizens
  • Years2 Years
  • Intake52
  • Grade requirementsMinimum C
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ECTS120
  • StartAutumn and Spring

Main content

Welcome to master’s programme in Earth Science, a study at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences!   

Start-up meeting: The start-up meeting in autumn semester 2024 will be on Monday 12th of August, at 10:15-12:00, in Auditorium 2, Realfagbygget (Science building) Allégaten 41. 

Attendance is mandatory. At the meeting, important information will be given. If compelling reasons make it impossible for you to attend the meeting, send an email to studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

What to bring with you: Nothing special, something to write on if you want to take notes

Checklist: Follow the steps in our checklist to make sure you’re on track: uib.no/en/checklist 

Students with special needs: If you have a disability and need special arrangements, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can find good solutions for you. 

Queries? Please contact your faculty information centre at 55 58 30 30 or send an email to studie.matnat@uib.no.    


Our overall goal is to develop new knowledge of the Earth's structure, formation history and the driving forces for its dynamic behaviour.   

Earth scientists’ research attempts to understand topics such as:  

  • the relationship between the planet's interior and surface, now and throughout history  
  • how glaciers behave 
  • Earth's changing climate 
  • responsible use of natural resources from the earth and under the sea 
  • how best to build human infrastructure on an evolving planet 

UiB is close to the North Sea oil fields, which provides excellent opportunities for study in the areas of petroleum and marine research.   

More information below.

More information below

Marint bilde forside
Stig Monsen


Earth scientists are needed when building infrastructure like road and rail networks, tunnels and buildings, subsea and on land — in other words, anywhere on the planet where humans can be found. Earth scientists investigate the history of our extraordinary planet in order to understand our present and build for our future.  

At UiB, the Department of Earth Science’s collaboration with the petroleum industry, and its international research programmes, ensures that your education will be relevant and desirable to employers. Employers appreciate earth science graduates for their:  

  • Adaptability 
  • Ability to think creatively and open-mindedly about issues in the world today.  
  • Independence 
  • Conscientiousness 
  • Ability to put their academic training to effective use when solving society’s challenges in the 21st Century.   

Graduates of the programme go on to find work in the petroleum industry, or as consultants in public or private sectors. Some continue to PhDs and careers in research, whether at UiB’s centres of excellence in climate studies and petroleum research, or elsewhere.  

More information below.


The study programme begins in the autumn, and lasts for two years (four academic semesters). The programme is taught in English.  

Programme credit consists of 60 ESCTs from courses and 60 ESCTs from the master’s thesis. 

The programme does not include any mandatory courses. Instead, staff in the department will help you decide on the right courses, based on your chosen thesis topic, and your previous academic background. This course list is tailored to your needs, so that you begin your thesis with the right knowledge and skills. As well as courses in relevant earth science topics, some students may also need to attend training in Foundations of Computer Programming before beginning work on their thesis. Others may attend Field Training before undergoing fieldwork.   

List of master’s courses. 

See full list of courses

Student Life  

Welcome to an international environment at UiB Earth Science. Every year, we reserve 5 places for qualified international students, and the field work you conduct as part of the programme will take you to many interesting places within and beyond Norway.   

The study programme 

Your formal study programme will consist of labs, seminars, field trips and lectures, but your exact timetable depends on your chosen research project: the department will suggest a course list that is tailored to your needs (see Structure). Most courses will have mandatory learning activities, but we encourage you to also attend non-mandatory activities, where you will learn extracurricular material which can be helpful during your exams. 

Although your day-to-day learning experience may be unique, you will find yourself included in a close-knit academic research community, and a study programme where group work is an important aspect. Together with other master’s students and researchers, you will take part in field trips lasting from 2 to 4 weeks (your costs are paid by the university).  


As a master’s student, you will have access to top-class facilities. Master’s students are seen as important, active contributors to the department’s research groups, and at UiB you will have the opportunity to get involved in truly cutting-edge earth science. The department has access to two ocean-going research vessels equipped for marine reflection seismics, and you will have access to a wide range of up to date laboratory and computer facilities.  

Your master’s thesis 

Master's projects are available with all the department’s research groups:   

Before beginning the study programme, you will have a chance to choose which research areas you find most interesting. Your interests and previous academic background will be considered when finding a thesis topic that is right for you. The department also has close ties with UiB's two national centres of excellence in climate studies and petroleum research, which provide additional opportunities for master’s projects. 

What you will learn

The programme aims to give you a broad general knowledge of geoscience, as well as research skills in your chosen specialism. You will learn to:  

  • combine quantitative and qualitative geoscientific data, models and literature in order to establish new knowledge   
  • critically analyse scientific sources of information and use these to reason and formulate new ideas within geoscience   
  • work independently and as part of a team, in order to solve complex problems  

Study Period Abroad  

As part of the programme, you can study the Univeristy Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), for some of your programme — or for the duration of the programme, if your supervisor is based there. Masters students can also choose to attend single courses on Svalbard or stay there for summer courses.  

In addition, you will have other opportunities to travel to exciting areas to conduct fieldwork in Norway, the Nordics, Europe and USA during your time as a master’s student. Your fieldwork might take you to one or more of:   

  • The area around Bergen  
  • Hardanger  
  • Eastern Norway
  • Jæren  
  • Helgeland  
  • Malta 
  • Utah

How to apply

Follow these links to find the general entry requirements and guidelines on how to apply:

You will also have to meet the programme specific entry requirements.

The programme has main admission in fall and supplementary admission in spring (application deadline 1 November), if not all spots have been filled in the fall admission. The spring admission does not apply for applicants from outside the European Union/EEA/EFTA.