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Coastal Dynamics and Management


Admission requirements

Recommended course(s):

  • Calculus

  • Earth Systems Science

  • Introduction to Statistics


  • Climate Change

  • Energy and Resource Management

  • Earth Science Dynamics, Cycles & Timescales


With almost forty percent of the Earth’s population living within 100 km of the coast, there is a lot of pressure placed on coastal environments (e.g. deltas, estuaries, and beaches) as well as coastal ecosystems (e.g. salt marshes, mangroves, and coral reefs). Competition for space and resources makes this one of the most important battlegrounds in the coming decades, especially considering the expected effects of climate change.

In this course, students will learn about fundamental dynamics of coastal sedimentary systems from a scientific point of view, and learn how natural changes in coastal areas impact human development (and vice versa). As society braces for impact, students will also learn what are some of the different ways in which we can manage coastal issues, and effectively plan interventions that work in favor of both the natural and human environments.

Course Objectives

The main learning outcomes of this course are for students to be able to:

  • Understand and quantify basic coastal physical processes,

  • Analyze different types of coastal datasets,

  • Understand how models are used for predictions,

  • Assess potential coastal interventions,

  • Develop and present a well-reasoned coastal management plan.

  • Students will pass through several steps during the course, each building on the previous. The course is designed to be interactive and engaging, and will challenge students to develop a broad range of skills, including:

  • Analysis of oceanographic data

  • Use of simple shoreline models

  • Decision making

  • Presentation and debate

  • It therefore helps if students are extra motivated and (especially for the first two learning outcomes) have a strong foundation in math, physics, and earth system science.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course will be taught both in and out of the classroom. In the first half of the course, lectures will be largely instructional and will present students with the required theoretical foundations. In the third or fourth week, a field trip will be planned, allowing students the possibility to experience performing simple field measurements (an outdoor lab where students interact with nature). The following weeks thereafter, we return to the classroom with more open discussions on how we can effectively assess and manage various coastal issues.

Assessment Method

Students will work individually and in groups. Different types of assessment are required in order to judge student performance, as follows:

  • Class Participation – 19%

  • Mid-term Quiz – 19%

  • Field Report – 19%

  • Group Project – 24%

  • Final Exam – 19%

Certain assessments will evaluate the student’s ability to perform simple calculations and predictions (e.g. Mid-term Quiz). Other assessments will evaluate how well students work as a group (e.g. the Field Report and Group Project will be done in groups of ~4 students). Groups will be assigned in the first class of the course. The different types of assignments allow students to be continuously evaluated as the course progresses through the semester, and puts less weight on the final

Reading list

Bosboom and Stive, 2021, Coastal Dynamics, TUDelft Open
ISBN: 978-94-6366-370-0, DOI 10.5074/T.2021.001,

Further readings and learning materials will be provided throughout the course.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Chris Daly,