Erasmus+ GEM MSc in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Envir. Modelling

March 15, 2022

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Location (s):

  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
Louvain, Tartu, Twente, Twente


GEM is a two-year MSc in “Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modelling and Management”. GEM is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree Programme (EMJMD). Thanks to funding from the Erasmus+ programme, we can offer 60 full MSc scholarships across four intakes, starting in September 2022.



The Programme is a combined partnership of four different Universities. 

GEM integrates academic excellence from four leading universities and their respective MSc programmes in geospatial science in a strategic partnership to support innovative academic practices. Each partner addresses different aspects of human-environment interaction challenges with applied geospatial science:

  • Natural resources management at ITC-University of Twente, the Netherlands (ITC)
  • Ecosystems and the environment at Lund University, Sweden (LU)
  • Agriculture and forestry at UCLouvain University, Belgium (UCLouvain)
  • Socio-ecological systems and urban planning at the University of Tartu, Estonia (UT)

About GEM

The aim of the GEM programme is to deliver top-class graduates from the EU and around the world, with the skills and networks to better manage socio-ecological systems for sustainable and equitable growth.

GEM is a prestigious, integrated, international study programme, jointly delivered by an international consortium of four higher education institutions. Each partner brings expertise in different aspects of human-environment interaction challenges with applied geospatial science:

  • Natural resources management at ITC-University of Twente, the Netherlands (and GEM coordinating partner)
  • Ecosystems and the environment at Lund University, Sweden
  • Agriculture and forestry at Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Socio-ecological systems and urban planning at the University of Tartu, Estonia

Why Choose GEM?

GEM is an innovative, international education programme from four European university partners that:

  • Bases its innovative teaching approaches on collaborative studies with stakeholders to address real socio-ecological challenges. As a GEM graduate, you will understand the scientific process and be able to apply it in your future career, both inside and outside academia, to meet sector skill needs.
  • Makes extensive use of open-source ICT to bring diverse groups of students, staff, and stakeholders together in virtual environments for interdisciplinary learning. As a GEM graduate, you will interact with stakeholders in different sectors, and be comfortable doing so.
  • Builds upon strategic partnerships between universities and industries to develop professional experience in the use of GI and EO science to address global challenges. As a GEM graduate, you will develop leadership, negotiation, networking, management, and communication skills and will be ready to act.
  • Builds capacity by providing equal access to top-tier education. This diversity increases access to education and develops your language and culture skills, broadening minds to new ways of thinking 

Study Tracks 

There are four tracks to choose from. These tracks integrate academic excellence from the four universities in geospatial science applied to societal challenges for a sustainable world. Each year is spent at a different university in a different European country, depending on the track you will choose. At the end of your study, you will get a double degree from the two universities respective to your chosen track. Successful completion of the two-year course will earn you 120 credits (60 per year) which are needed to obtain the double degree diploma.


  • Track 1 – GEM for Urban-Rural Interactions: University of Tartu provides geospatial analysis, basic remote sensing, Geo-information method foundation and socio-ecological/urban and planning. ITC-University of Twente provides advanced remote sensing and entrepreneurship for natural resource management. This track addresses the challenge of sustainably meeting the natural resource demands of a rapidly urbanising world.
  • Track 2 – GEM for Land Use Systems: University of Tartu provides the same first year as track one, but with year two at Université catholique de Louvain on environmental challenges related to agriculture, forestry and nature conservation in the context of climate change. This track addresses the challenge of planning and assessing the impact of land use change in a changing climate. 
  • Track 3 – GEM for Ecosystems & Natural Resources: Lund University provides the foundation year in geo-informatics, including GIS/geospatial analysis, remote sensing, ecosystem modelling and dynamic process-based spatial models. ITC-University of Twente provides the second year on natural resources management including courses on rangelands, ecosystem services and conservation to address the challenge of managing and valuing natural resources to enhance the resilience of society.
  • Track 4 - GEM4 Food Security: Lund University provides the foundation year with Université catholique de Louvain hosting the specialisation year on food security challenges related to crop production, including its inter-annual variability in a context of changing climate and its environmental impacts. This track addresses the challenge of food security in the context of climate change and associated socio-environmental vulnerabilities.

What Degree will you gain?

Successful graduates are awarded a multiple MSc degree in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation with a specialisation in Environmental Modelling and Management.

Career Perspectives

The GEM programme was first established in 2005 within intakes up until 2017. During that time over 260 students graduated from the programme. There is a high demand for GEM graduates globally, as evidenced by alumni employment rates: 11% work in government, 9% in NGOs, 27% in private companies, 29% in academic organisations, 2% are entrepreneurs (22% are unaccounted, meaning we do not know their current employment details). Our alumni, who are 55% male and 45% female, work globally: 38% in Europe, 28% in Asia, 15% in Africa, 15% in the Americas and 4% in Oceania. 50% of GEM graduates have moved onto PhD programmes in the EU and the US.


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:


  • Satisfy the minimum requirements for English proficiency tests (e.g. IELTS of 6.5 / TOEFL of 580) for more examples of English tests see the English proficiency requirements below on this page.
  • Have a first or upper second class (2.1) BSc honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognised university. 
  • Have a background/discipline related to the course, preferably combined with work experience in a relevant field.


The GEM programme aims to admit highly qualified students from the widest possible range of countries and with an equal representation of both genders, if possible.


Deadline: March 15, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:


The GEM programme has approximately 15 full scholarships per intake from Erasmus +, but candidates may also apply for other types of funding/scholarships to enter the GEM programme. For self-funded students we refer you to the financial information mentioned below.


Approximately 15 Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) Scholarships are offered each year. EMJMD scholarships will offer funding for the duration of a maximum of 24 months and provide the following: 



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