Faculty of Mathematics, Physics
and Informatics
Comenius University Bratislava

Physics of the Earth

International Joint Master Study Programme

The faculty will not be opening this program in the academic year 2024/2025.





Usual duration:

2 years

Language of courses:


Program directors:

prof. RNDr. Peter Moczo, DrSc.


doc. Mgr. Martin Gális, PhD.
doc. Mgr. Jozef Kristek, PhD.
prof. Dr. Götz Bokelmann (University of Vienna ) 
prof. Dr. Bruno Meurers (University of Vienna ) 

Related study programs: bachelor's degree programs Physics

Description of the Study Program

The international Joint Master Study Programme is provided jointly by the University of Vienna (UW) and the Comenius University in Bratislava (CUB). A student applies and becomes student of both universities. A graduate of the programme is a graduate of both universities. The program is in English language.

There is no tuition fee for the EU citizens and permanent residents of EU. The tuition fee for other students is 1500 EUR at CUB plus tuition fee at UW.

Building on Bachelor programmes in Physics or Geophysics, the Joint Master Study Programme provides a broad and deep scientific education in Physics of the Earth. This fundamental education allows not only to understand the principal functioning of our planet, but also some of the major challenges faced by humanity through its dependence on the physical environment, e.g., natural resources and hazards, as well as the impact of man on nature and man`s own environment.

The focus of the study programme is on furthering the exposure to mathematics and physics as relevant in the Physics of the Earth, and the quantitative methods used in the field. Students learn how to observe and mathematically describe phenomena occurring in the physical environment. The fundamental education advances analytical thinking, and graduates can work independently and develop problem-solving competence that can be applied to questions of basic research as well as industrial applications. There are optional classes in applications such as exploration-related techniques and seismic hazard analysis.

Graduates also profit from the exposure to the English language in which the Master programme is taught.

What to expect

To achieve the objectives of the study, the study programme consists of five compulsory modules through which the students acquire basic knowledge of mathematical and numerical methods, and basics of physics of the Earth: Mathematical and Numerical Methods, Seismic Waves, Physics of the Earth 1 and 2, and Geophysical Measurements. By completing courses from the five compulsory modules, students will receive 46 credits. Students will deepen their knowledge and focus on specialized subjects by choosing subjects from Compulsory elective courses. Students must choose at least 23 from this module. Students can adapt the trajectory of learning by completing elective courses, for example, from Elective courses module. In the Master module, students learn to discuss and present scientific results related to the focus of the thesis. They will receive 6 credits for this activity. The study is completed by elaboration of a diploma thesis for 28 credits and its oral public defence for 2 credits.

Profile subjects are: Signal Analysis, Inverse Problems, Numerical Methods, Digital Filtering in Geophysics, Seismic Waves and Physics of Earthquakes 1 and 2, Gravity field, Magnetic Field of the Earth, Tectonophysics, Geophysical Measurements, Physics of the Earth Seminar 1 and 2.

Courses are scheduled on two days in Bratislava and on one day in Vienna during all weeks in semester.

Master’s Thesis

With the diploma thesis, the student has to demonstrate the ability to independently acquire theoretical and practical knowledge based on the current state of science and creatively apply, use and develop them. The final thesis will be prepared by the student under the guidance of the thesis supervisor. The supervisor of the final thesis will prepare a written report on the final thesis and propose its evaluation. The final work is assessed by the opponent. The opponent will prepare a written report on the final thesis and propose its evaluation.

The topic of the thesis is to be taken from a field of the modules offered. Topics supervised at CUB are focused on physical structure of the Earth, physical processes in the Earth and in the Earth environment, on processing and analysis of experimental and observatory measurements, on methods of mathematical and numerical modelling of physical processes and physical fields in the Earth and its environment.

Examples of successful master theses of our students:

Graduates’ career opportunities

Through the thorough education in the field of Physics of the Earth, students will be able to choose between careers in fundamental research and technologically oriented companies, particularly in the fields of energy, natural hazard and risk, security, raw materials, groundwater, and environment. Pertaining research is performed in national research organizations, universities, and the private sector, with applications in national and international organizations (e.g., CTBTO, IAEA, SwissRe, Aon, Seismik), in companies dealing with oil and gas or other natural resources, and in the insurance industry. The rigorous approach learned in this programme allows graduates to use their skills also in other physical and natural science occupations. Students acquire skills in information technologies and data processing, as well as physical measurement. Beyond job opportunities that are available exclusively to graduates, more general opportunities exist in public administration, engineering companies and consulting.a