Environmental Sciences (MES) / MSc


The Environmental Sciences MSc programme has been designed for students who want to take up the challenge of finding innovative approaches to improve the state of the environment and sustainable solutions to the threats it faces. To these ends, the Environmental Sciences programme provides insight into the socio-economic causes, the characteristics and the impact of pollution and degradation of the natural environment. By taking an interdisciplinary approach, students learn to develop analytical tools and models, environmental technologies, socio-political arrangements, and economic instruments to control and prevent environmental problems.
The programme provides students with an opportunity of advanced academic training, emphasising the development of a critical attitude and analytical and problem-solving skills, and of gaining more in-depth knowledge of a wide range of environmental disciplines. Its target groups are recently qualified BSc graduates with basic academic training as well as mid-career environmental professionals. The programme is thesis-oriented with an individual research project as its core. Compulsory elements are kept at a minimum, thus enabling the programme to be tailored to the wishes and needs of the individual student. Study adviser and thesis supervisor will both assist the student in selecting the most relevant courses from what Wageningen University has on offer. Ten different disciplines offer the possibility of major thesis research within this programme. They relate to the fields of:
- environmental systems analysis;
- environmental quality (aquatic ecology and water quality management, soil biology and biological soil quality, soil chemistry and chemical soil quality, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, and environmental toxicology);
- environmental management and policy (environmental policy, environmental economics and natural resources, integrated water management);
- environmental technology.
In addition, students have the opportunity of acquiring knowledge of, and experience in, environmental education or communication (minors).
Experimental thesis research will usually be part of on-going research programmes of WUR departments or research institutes. Otherwise, thesis topics are the initiative of the student or the result of discussions between the student and potential supervisors.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this MSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- draw up an integrated analysis of perceived or potential environmental and sustainability issues, based on insight in the environmental causality chain, linking driving forces in society, pressure on the environment, changes in environmental quality, effects on nature and public health, and social response;
- define the scientific issues ensuing from such an integrated analysis, taking account of relevant spatial and time scales;
- independently formulate and execute environmental research in accordance with academic standards, thus contributing to the development of the body of knowledge in the field, or to the development of creative and innovative solutions to environmental and sustainability issues;
- design strategies to deal with environmental and sustainability issues in the practice of policy development and management;
- cooperate with stakeholders and specialists from other disciplines so as to arrive at a common identification, analysis and solution of the issues involved;
- work as a consultant, advising (non-)governmental organisations and commercial corporations on how best to improve current and future activities with regard to the environment.
In order to perform these tasks, graduates from this programme are able to:
- clearly present, both orally and in writing, research proposals and results, as well as plans for measures and interventions, taking into account the nature of the target group;
- formulate and manage projects in the fields of research, consultancy and management;
- support working parties and committees, negotiate, and act as a mediator in matters involving experts from different disciplines, or experts and laymen;
- reflect on the ethical aspects of their research and plans for measures and interventions.

The graduate from this MSc programme is well equipped to continue academic training (PhD) or to start - or continue - a professional career requiring independent scientific performance.

Programme Director

Ir Th.M. Lexmond
Phone: 0317-(4)83304
Email: theo.lexmond@wur.nl

Study Adviser(s)

- Drs A.R. van Amstel
Phone: 0317-(4)84815
Email: andre.vanamstel@wur.nl
- Dr J. van Leeuwen
Phone: 0317-(4)82984
Email: judith.vanleeuwen@wur.nl
- Drs M.J. Lexmond
Phone: 0317-(4)82023
Email: marjo.lexmond@wur.nl
- Dr R.M.M. Roijackers
Phone: 0317-(4)84419 Email: rudi.roijackers@wur.nl

Programme Committee

Chair: Prof.dr ir H.H.M. Rijnaarts
Secretary: Ir Th.M. Lexmond



Study Association

Aktief Slip
Forum Building, room 112
Droevendaalsesteeg 2
6708 PB Wageningen
Email: aktief.slip@wur.nl
Internet: http://www.aktiefslip.nl