Study Programme

Intake 1 starts October 1, 2019 at the University of Salzburg. See also > Important Information for new students @ PLUS

CDE lasts for 2 year academic years (4 semesters).

Students start and study at the University of Salzburg, Austria in year 1 and  go to either University of South Britanny, France (Study Track A) or Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic (Study Track B)  in year 2.

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a tool of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) for making studies and courses more transparent and thus helping to enhance the quality of higher education.

One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS credits that are normally equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of total workload. Hours per credit in Austria 25, in France 29, in Czech Republic ~26.

As a CDE student, you should enroll for at least 30 credits every semester.

The academic title ‘Master of Science’ is conferred by three European Higher Education Partners: (1) University of Salzburg (PLUS), (2) University of South Brittany (UBS), and (3) Palacky University Olomouc (UPOL).

Currently Specialization TRACKS A & B CDE graduates receive dual degrees awarded by University of Salzburg and University of South Brittany, University of Salzburg and Palacky University Olomouc attesting the successful completion of the CDE study programme.

No.  All students spend the first academic year at University of Salzburg (PLUS) in order to acquire a set of core Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing competences.

At the time of application for admission, candidates select and prioritize at least one Specialization Track, ST GeoDSc – University of South Brittany (UBS) or ST GeoVIS – Palacky University Olomouc (UPOL), offered by the Consortium.

Students will move to the selected joint programme specialization track partner for the second academic year.

No. Study must take place in at least two of the CDE Programme countries partner universities in AT, FR or CZ.

Yes, students may move to another mobility (HEI) partner in the final semester, in a Partner country. Students stay admitted at Programme Country universities, Please see list of CDE associated partners.

Yes, the CDE Study Programme consists of a compulsory internship at any organization or at an associated industry partner. Please see list of associated partners.

All MSc theses will be co-supervised by academic faculty from at least two different partner universities – depending on the chosen Specialization Track – , and/or mobility partner. This approach not only tightly connects faculty within the consortium, but also offers students a plurality of scientific views. This jointness aims at securing high quality Master Thesis research.

No. Scholarship holders cannot transfer university credits from courses taken prior to their enrolment in this CDE EMJMD for the purpose of reducing their mandatory activities in the joint programme.

Admission and Application Criteria

The Consortium will only accept online applications for the Copernicus Master in Digital Earth (CDE) programme. You can apply as a self-funded student or you can apply for an EMJMD Programme country or Partner country scholarship.

See the CDE How to Apply webpages for full details.

Yes, an applicant for admission shall hold the equivalent of an academic bachelor’s degree from a recognized academic higher education institution, corresponding to at least 180 ECTS (6 semesters), or a master’s or diploma degree with excellent grades in a ‘spatial’ discipline (see below: Which disciplines are eligible to apply for admission?) and computer science.

You already have completed an undergraduate degree (like a Bachelor or equivalent) or will shortly graduate. You are wondering, if the discipline of this degree qualifies for admission?

Clearly, the answer is – ‘it depends’ 😉

The curriculum states as a requirement ‘a bachelor’s degree in a geospatial discipline or from an equivalent programme at an internationally recognised tertiary educational institution‘. A ‘geospatial discipline‘ is where you do a lot of work with maps, spatial data, measuring/analysing/planning the real world – if your degree is from Geography, Cartography, Surveying/Geodesy, Environmental or Resouces Management, a Planning discipline or even Geoinformatics or Remote Sensing, you should give an application further consideration.

In addition, you are expected to have done substantial coursework with digital geospatial technologies – like Geographic Information Systems, Computer Cartography, Data Acquisition and Remote Sensing Image Analysis. Plus, some programming experience will be an essential asset.

A first degree in Computer Science might be eligible as long as you have experience in geospatial applications like GIS, visualisation or remote sensing image analysis; or are working towards building this background.

In short – you need to be prequalified in a ‘spatial perspective’ and ‘digital tools’. The name of your first degree only allows a limited assessment, we therefore will consider your full transcript of prior studies together with your motivation for a career orientation with ‘Copernicus’ and ‘Digital Earth’ as guiding lights.

First degrees in any geospatial discipline or closely related programme from an internationally recognised tertiary educational institution, such as: Geography, Geoinformatics, Geology, Computer Science, Data Science, Cartography, Remote Sensing, Ecology and Conservation, Surveying and Mapping, Agriculture, Resource Management, Urban/Regional/Landscape Planning, Public Administration, Infrastructure Management, Civil Engineering.

As far as you outline your prior qualifications, these would in principle meet the expectations between a background in a ‚spatial‘ discipline. Please be aware that this does not preempt any assessment and decision by the selection committee based on your complete application. You are definitely encouraged to apply once this process is opened.

You are not allowed to apply for an E+ Scholarship. Master students wishing to enrol in this EMJMD must have previously obtained a first higher education degree or demonstrate a recognised equivalent level of learning according to national legislation and practices. However, you might be allowed to apply as self-funding student, as a student in the last year of your first higher education degree. if the call is extended, please see call information on the CDE website.

Yes, you are eligibe to apply for a scholarship.

Student/Candidates can apply for an EMJMD scholarship to any of the Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus courses of their choice (EMJMD catalogue) but are limited to a maximum of three different joint programmes per academic year.

This is meant to encourage students to focus their choice. To this purpose applicants are required to specify in their application whether they have applied to other courses. The Commission will verify if students have been selected on more than one course and notify the relevant EMJMD consortia of such cases.

The application procedure is divided into three steps: (1) Application, (2) Selection of Candidates, and (3) Registration for Admission. For Self-Funded Students the same procedure shall apply as for funded students.
STEP 1 – Application. Interested candidates submit their application. The submitted files are first screened on a technical basis (eligibility test) by the Coordinator and Selection Committee Members, within two weeks after the application deadline.
STEP 2 – Selection of Candidates. The selection procedure is established according to the minimum requirements set by the European Commission. It guarantees the transparency of the selection process and an equitable treatment of individual applications. Information to an appeal procedure will be available to all CDE scholarship applicants.
STEP 3 – Registration for Admission. The CDE Programme Office together with partner universities admission offices will facilitate admission as degree-seeking students.

Foreign documents (e.g. original university diplomas and official transcripts of study results from your university, Certificate of special qualification for University studies) must be certified by the Foreign Office (State Department) and, in a second step, by the Austrian Embassy/Consulate in your country of origin. For some countries, the certification can also be simplified within a “Haager Apostille”.

Yes, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting standardized English/instruction language test scores, if prior degree studies have not been entirely conducted in English language. We accept B2 equivalence – see Europass CV.

No. EMJMD scholarship holders cannot at the same time be beneficiaries of a grant for student or staff mobility in the framework of other higher education programmes funded by the EU budget, and vice versa.

Housing, Visa, Insurance

The CDE Consortium covers the health insurance costs for all scholarship students. Self-funding students should arrange their own health insurance. Erasmus+ approved insurers such as EXPAT & CoMarsh or IPS-Lippman are recommended to obtain the minimum health and accident insurance coverage.

Student’s Responsibilites and Duties

Yes there are! Students must:

  1. sign an acceptance letter. Successful candidates receive a letter of acceptance and are requested to respond with a confirmation. Offers of ERASMUS+ SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS are communicated separately and are subject to immediate confirmation by the recipient. The acceptance letter sets out all rights and duties concerning full admission and scholarship conditions; it includes a grant payment table. Duties e.g. include that students shall report on their activities as agreed upon individually (e-portfolio). All periods of absence must be reported to the host institution and the coordinator, etc.
  2. sign a learning agreement. The learning agreement is describing the programme of study. This document defines all classes and credits to be taken during the study period, any teaching obligations as well as research to be done. Furthermore. selected candidates must:
    • commit themselves to actively participate in the planned course activities,
    • study according to the CDE curriculum in at least two different Programme Countries of the EMJMD consortium, and spend the minimum of agreed months at the host institution,
    • undertake an internship,
    • contribute, after their studies, to the promotion and dissemination of Erasmus+ and EMJMD in general, and the CDE study programme in particular by  joining the Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association and other activities.

E+ Scholarship Holders receive:

  1. a scholarship covering their tuition, travel and living costs, as well as
  2. health and accident insurance.

They are awarded a fully recognised double degree (comprising a Joint Diploma Supplement) after having successfully completed their master.


Once you have submitted your application the Selection Committee checks it is:

  1. admissible (complete and properly put together) and
  2. eligible.

Before applications are ready for evaluation, they are checked for admissibility requirements, eligibility and for completness. Please note that we can only process duly completed applications. Eligibility checks include basic checkings: if they meet standard and eligibility conditions according to Erasmus+ scholarship eligibility rules, set by EACEA and CDE required academic qualifications for admission.

latest update: November 17, 2018