Understanding Plate Tectonics - From Theory to Experiments, Short Course | Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | Amsterdam, Netherlands
7 days
750 EUR/full
750 EUR/full
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Come along, if you are curious about the Earth, geology and science! Join the Understanding Plate Tectonics - From Theory to Experiments course at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Visit the official programme website for more information


Key Facts

What do volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain ranges, and ocean ridges have in common? They can all be explained by one single theory: plate tectonics!

Plate tectonics, although a recent theory, provides a global framework for understanding and explaining a variety of major natural phenomena and features, such as earthquakes, volcanism, oceans and mountain ranges on continents and seas. In this course, I will teach you how the tectonic plates formed, why and how they move and why they give rise to such diverse features on and beneath the Earth's surface. We will focus not only on the theory, but on also exercises in small groups, and discussions. We will learn how to discover the underlying processes for important geologic formations such as the Andes, the Himalaya, and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We will play with everyday materials to create our own subduction zone and small mountain range; we will also see how small changes in the material can make a big difference in the tectonics story of an area, using numerical models.

The Understanding Plate Tectonics - From Theory to Experiments course at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  is aimed as an introduction to Plate Tectonics for Earth Science students, and also for students whose disciplines are outside the (geo)sciences, but are curious about Earth and how science works.

Programme Structure

After this 1-week course, the students will be able to:

  • explain the key concepts of plate tectonics
  • associate geologic hazards/features with different types of plate boundaries,
  • interpret different kinds of maps and relate the map data to plate tectonic processes,
  • describe the tectonic history of their home country,
  • and design an experimental laboratory exercise about a particular plate tectonic concept.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 7 days

Start dates & application deadlines


TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT




On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any specific GRE, GMAT or GPA grading score requirements for this programme.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Bachelor students of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM). The level of assessment is on Beginner's Bachelor's level but the course is open to Master's students, PhD candidates and professionals as well. Students of journalism and science communication are encouraged to apply, too. The students do not need to have a background in geology or tectonics. Students needs to bring their own laptop.

Tuition Fee

To always see correct tuition fees
  • International

    750 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 750 EUR for the full programme during 7 days.
  • EU/EEA

    750 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 750 EUR for the full programme during 7 days.
  • Students, PhD students and employees of VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC or an Aurora Network Partner: €500
  • Students at Partner Universities of VU Amsterdam: €650
  • Students and PhD candidates at non-partner universities of VU Amsterdam: €750
  • Professionals: €950

Living costs for Amsterdam

1000 - 1500 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Understanding Plate Tectonics - From Theory to Experiments
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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