Master's Programme

Programme structure

Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (GEO) at ITC (University of Twente) is a two-year Master’s programme, with both years divided into four quarters of ten weeks each. The study load per quarter is 15 credits (ECTS), equalling 420 hours of study; the total study load for the programme adds up to 120 credits.

The first year

You will spend most of the first year taking courses and working on projects.

Quarter 1

The first quarter is dedicated to learning the common basis of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation. This ‘core’ part of the programme (14 credits) consists of three separate yet connected courses:

  • Geo-Information Science and Modelling
  • Earth Observation
  • Data integration: Principles, approaches and user perspectives

This first quarter is also available in a “distance learning” format, where the face-to-face instruction is replaced by an online part-time course.

Quarters 2 - 4

Subsequent quarters in the first year are dedicated to courses in your chosen field of specialization (28 credits), a common course on how geo-information science and earth observation address global challenges (7 credits), and a course of your own choosing (also known as an “elective”; 7 credits). In addition, you will be acquiring important academic skills throughout the first year as well as at the start of the second year (total 5 credits).

Year 1







Sep 2018-Nov 2018

Learning the basiscs of geo-information science and earth observation




Nov 2018-Feb 2019

Choose two courses




Feb 2019-Apr 2019

Choose one course


Common course

Geo-information science and earth observation addressing global challenges




Apr 2019-Jun 2019

Choose one course



Choose one course



Academic skills

Throughout the year

Acquiring academic skills


Summer break

Between the first and second years there will be a summer break of about 8 weeks, allowing you to travel home, discover Europe, take additional summer courses and/or start preparing for your Master’s research.

The second year

The second year of the programme leaves you lots of freedom to make your own choices. Upon successful submission of your MSc proposal you will spend most of your time doing research in the frame of on-going research projects and working on your thesis under the guidance of experienced research staff. The joint study load for your MSc proposal and thesis will be 44 credits, whereas your individual programme will amount to 15 credits.

Personalize your programme

To support your research you will assemble an individual study programme involving additional elective courses, an internship and/or courses at other faculties or universities. Your research activities could include doing field work elsewhere in the world − e.g. in order to collect data to support your thesis. You will have ample opportunity to personalize your programme.

Year 2



Drawup your MSc proposal

Doing MSc research

Work on your thesis.

Going out for fieldwork to collect data to support your thesis (depending on your specialization).

Work in the frame of on-going research project (depending on your specialization).

Individual study programme

Take courses at ITC or at other faculties.

Do an internship.

Academic skills

overview of Courses

Core courses
  • Geo-information Science and Earth Observation: a System-based Approach (14 credits)
Specialization courses: Applied Remote Sensing for Earth Sciences
  • Data Analysis in Earth Sciences (7 credits)
  • Field Measurements and Validation (7 credits)
  • Geological Remote Sensing (7 credits)
  • Spectral Geology (7 credits)
Specialization courses: Geoinformatics
  • Acquisition and Exploration of Geospatial Data (7 credits)
  • Extraction, Analysis and Dissemination of Geospatial Information(7 credits)
  • Image Analysis (7 credits)
  • Integrated Geospatial Workflows (7 credits)
  • Scientific Geocomputing (7 credits)
Specialization courses: Land Administration
  • Land Information Systems and Models (7 credits)
  • Organizing Land Information (7 credits)
  • Responsible Land Administration (7 credits)
  • Spatial Data Techniques (7 credits)
Specialization courses: Natural Hazards, Risk and Engineering
  • Hazard and Risk Studio (7 credits)
  • Introduction to Hazard and Risk (7 credits)
  • Natural Hazard Modelling (7 credits)
  • Physically-based Hazard Modelling (7 credits)
Specialization courses: Natural Resources Management
  • From data to geo-information for natural resources management (7 credits)
  • Systems approach for management of natural resources (7 credits)
  • Mapping and monitoring for natural resources management (7 credits)
  • Environmental modelling: causes and impacts of changing resources (7 credits)
Specialization courses: Urban Planning and Management
  • Planning Sustainable Cities (7 credits)
  • Risk-Sensitive Urban Planning Studio (7 credits)
  • The Compact City (7 credits)
  • Building Inclusive and Competitive Cities (7 credits)
Specialization courses: Water Resources and Environmental Management
  • In-situ Measurements for Water Resources Monitoring and Management (7 credits)
  • Introduction to Hydrological and Environmental Cycles (7 credits)
  • Principles of Modelling for Water Resources and Environment (7 credits)
  • Earth Observation of Water Resources (7 credits)
Specialization courses - Tailor-made specialization
  • Design your very own tailor-made specialization by choosing four courses from the above specialization courses
Common courses
  • Academic skills (4 credits)
  • Global Challenges, Local Action (7 credits)
  • Individual study programme (15 credits)
  • MSc Research (45 credits)
Elective courses
  • Analysing changing multi-hazard risk
  • Catchment hydrology and surface water (7 credits)  
  • Environmental niche modelling (7 credits)
  • GeoICT entrepreneurship in the Bottom-of-Pyramid (7 credits)
  • Geophysics - imaging the unseen (7 credits)
  • Groundwater modelling (7 credits)
  • Intra urban spatial patterns and processes (7 credits)
  • Land degradation and conservation modelling (7 credits)
  • Land governance (7 credits)
  • Laser scanning (7 credits)
  • Spatio-temporal analysis of remote sensing data for food and water security (7 credits)
  • Spatio-temporal modelling and analytics (7 credits)
  • Statisticsfor spatio-temporal modelling and analytics (7 credits)
  • The role of forests in climate change mitigation and the use of multi-sensor remote sensing to assess carbon (7 credits)
  • Water, carbon and ecosystem dynamics (7 credits)