Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Sciences

Student testimonial (in French)


General content

Human activities are a regular cause of imbalances in natural systems and the societies that depend upon them, on the local, regional or global scale. Understanding the underlying physical, chemical and biological processes is essential for resolving contemporary environmental problems.

This understanding is represented in the form of models that allow informed management decisions to be made. However, these models must take into account data gathered through observation and monitoring of the phenomena concerned. Otherwise, the information they provide will be of little real value.

The Master of Science in Environmental Geosciences provides not only an adequate scientific grounding, but also an understanding of the fundamental links between the observation, modelling and monitoring of environmental phenomena, as each of these aspects enhances the credibility and quality of the other two. This combination also provides a deeper understanding of the phenomena themselves.

The teaching programme focuses on areas of study affected by both physical and chemical processes (for example, water tables, landslides, landfills, diffuse or concentrated pollution), as well as the interactions between environmental disruptors and living organisms. Through this interdisciplinary approach, future professionals are trained to acquire the capacity to confront the increasingly complex interactions between the critical zone, ecosystems and human activities.

Three specialisations are offered:

  • Aquatic Science
  • Natural Hazards and Risk
  • Earth Surface Processes in Mountain Environments 
Practical information


Faculty of Geosciences and Environment
School of Geosciences and Environment

Degree awarded
Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Geoscience

ECTS credits

4 semestres

Teaching language
All compulsory courses are given in English. Students have to choose optional courses, and these may be given in English or French according to their choice. The recommended level of English is C1. All assessed work, including exams, reports and the Master’s dissertation may be written in English or French.

Admission requirements
The criteria for admission into the Master’s programme are either:

  • a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Geosciences and Environment, subject area Environmental Sciences or Geology, awarded by the University of Lausanne;
  • another degree or academic title judged to be sufficient to gain access to the programme, with or without further conditions.

Enrolment and final dates
The degree course begins in the autumn semester only.
Applications must be submitted to the Admissions Department before the deadline.
Final enrolment date: 30 April. Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland: 28 February.

More information
Regulations and course descriptions

Career prospects

The aim of the syllabus is to train students to describe, understand and model physical and chemical processes of both natural and anthropogenic origin. For this purpose, they will need to master and know how to use quantitative methodologies in environmental science (field measurements, laboratory work and data analysis), as well as how to choose appropriate techniques for the evaluation and monitoring of environmental problems. They will have to address the issues related to a theme on the theoretical and empirical foundations of natural science, while taking into account the complexity, uncertainties and limits of knowledge concerning environmental processes.

Moreover, university studies develop a great many transverse skills such as: oral and written communication, critical, analytical and summarising faculties, abilities in research, and so on. This panoply of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired in the course of studies, is excellent preparation for a wide range of employment opportunities, such as:

  • Branches of the public administration responsible for environmental policies
  • Non-governmental organisations dedicated to environmental protection
  • Environmental management in companies
  • Research institutes
  • Consulting firms

Alumni move into a wide variety of roles, for example : PhD at ETH Zurich or director of a solar energy company. Others work at the Swiss Federal Office of Topography, for an energy, water and telecommunications supply company or in teaching.

More information

Subject to changes.
The French version prevails. Only the official texts should be considered binding.
Last update: 25 March 2024

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Version: February 2024


Mme Christine Eden
Faculté des géosciences et de l’environnement
Quartier UNIL-Mouline
Géopolis, Office 4613
CH–1015 Lausanne
Tél. +41 (0)21 692 62 92


Unicentre - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 11 11
Fax +41 21 692 20 15