Master in Earth, planetary and environmental sciences

Master in Earth, planetary and environmental sciences


Presentation and goals

The Geodynamics program is a research-oriented course (whose primary purpose is to prepare students for doctoral studies) that aims to teach a high level of knowledge and skills in the field of lithosphere dynamics, including formation, deformation and interactions with deep and surface processes. The training is organised over two years with a series of modules in common with other programs in the specialisation, as well as modules specific to this programme. The course is based on theoretical, practical and field modules, as well as research internships.

The aim of the Geodynamics program is to train students for academic and industrial research professions in all the fields of Earth sciences that relate to the dynamics of the lithosphere, in particular its formation (petrology-geochemistry), deformation (tectonics at different spatial and temporal scales) and interactions with deep and surface processes.



Further information

The course has a strong focus on hands-on teaching; up to 24 ECTS of field modules can be selected in this program. This type of training is a fundamental aspect of Earth and environmental sciences courses. Grenoble's advantageous location means that field training adds a strong "brand image" to the master, with the Alps offering an extremely rich geological field. We also offer a field workshop in marine geophysics, in collaboration with the Villefranche-sur-Mer ocean observatory, and an international field school, in collaboration with our foreign partners.

This field practice is supplemented by many digital educational activities, carried out in the form of practical assignments or projects. The principle is a strong emphasis on using the latest tools for quantitative exploration of the Earth and its environment. Geophysical measuring tools are supplemented by interpretation tools, such as numerical modelling, signal processing, remote sensing and seismic interpretation. The support of the OSUG@2020 excellence laboratory has been essential to implementing or renewing many of these tools.

Most of the "tools" modules (i.e. numerical modelling, remote sensing/GIS) are organised in the form of projects, enabling students to apply these tools to mini-problems that correspond to their choice of program and their interests. Several disciplinary modules (UEs) also partly take the form of a supervised project, where students work in small groups to resolve a societal problem.

Certain modules are common to the first part of semester 1 (first year of the master) and semester 3 (second year of the master). These modules are only available every other year : 

  • Modules available in even-numbered years (2016, 2018, etc): lithosphere dynamics ; tectonics-metamorphism field workshop ; geochemical evolution of the Earth
  • Modules available in odd-numbered years (2017, 2019, etc) : petrology ; petrology field workshop ; dynamics of the Earth's surface

The modules in semester 3 are taught in English, as is at least one module from the master 1st year. The policy is to offer teaching in English in the event that there are non-French-speakers among the students, both in 1st and 2nd years.

International dimension :

Internationally-oriented programmes

The program has a strong international focus, with teaching mostly in English. An International field school is set up in semester 9 in collaboration with our partners in other countries, and there are opportunities for research internships abroad. Several foreign students are welcomed onto the programme every year, often as part of research agreements with our international partners.

Partner laboratories
Other partner structure(s)



    Program under construction - awaiting CFVU vote

    Practica, projects, and missions

    Internship: Mandatory
    Duration: master 1st year : 6-8 weeks ; master 2nd year : 5-6 months
    Internship abroad: In France or abroad
    • In 1st year, an internship module of 6 ECTS is mandatory. This internship takes place over 6-8 weeks in june-july; the defence is in september. This internship can take place in either a laboratory or a company. This arrangement gives students enough time for a significant internship, which can be extended over the whole summer
    • In 2nd year, an internship of one semester (24 ECTS, which supplements the 6 ECTS described above) is mandatory. This internship takes place in a research laboratory (in Grenoble or elsewhere). More and more students are choosing to carry out their 2nd year's internship abroad, a choice that we strongly support. Laboratory internships are supervised in the host laboratory by an internship tutor and monitored by the program managers. Every internship gives rise to an individual written thesis and a public defence (except in rare cases of confidentiality)
    • In addition to the internships, this programme includes a strong component (up to 24 ECTS) of field workshops, where the students work in small groups. These workshops systematically give rise to a report, and sometimes to oral presentations

    Field workshops and research workshops can be held abroad

    Registration and scholarships

    Registration and scholarships

    Access condition

    • The 1st year is open to students who have obtained a national diploma equivalent to a bachelor degree (licence) in a field compatible with that of the master, or via a validation of their studies or experience
    • Entry to the 2nd year may be selective. It is open to candidates who have completed the first year of a Master in the field, subject to a review of their application

    Public continuing education : You are in charge of continuing education :

    • if you resume your studies after 2 years of interruption of studies
    • or if you followed training under the continuous training regime one of the previous 2 years
    • or if you are an employee, job seeker, self-employed

    If you do not have the diploma required to integrate the training, you can undertake a validation of personal and professional achievements (VAPP)

    Candidature / Application

    For candidates whose country of residence is not included in the "Studies in France" portal (PEF) scheme, the calendar for the eCandidat application campaigns is available here

    You want to apply and sign up for a master ? Please be aware that the procedure differs depending on the diploma you want to take, the diploma you have already obtained and, for foreign students, your place of residence.Let us be your guide – simply follow this link 


    This course is intended for students in geosciences with a strong interest in research. Students either have solid experience in geology with extensive field experience and a penchant for a quantitative approach, or a good background in physics-mechanics and mathematics that they wish to apply to Earth sciences. The course will mainly be taught in English.

    Target group

    • Students in initial training who have obtained a bachelor degree (licence) in Earth, physical, or mechanical sciences
    • Foreign students wishing to pursue their studies in the geodynamics field in France
    • Students in continuing education wishing to pursue advanced studies in the geodynamics field


    Tuition fees 2020-2021 : 243 €

    And after

    And after

    Further studies

    Doctoral thesis, in the field of Earth, planetary and environmental sciences

    Doctorate in a foreign university

    A reorientation to the Georesources program is possible up to the end of the 1st year. Depending on the choice of UEs in semesters 7 and 8, reorientations to the Georisks or Geophysics programs are also possible.

    Sectors of activity

    Competitive examinations for careers in research (researchers), education-research (teacher-researcher) (CNRS, University, CNAP, IRD and research organisations abroad) and engineering (consultancies, mining and oil companies) after pursuing doctoral studies.