Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Students will gain insight into the socio-economic causes and the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, including the effects on human beings, the atmosphere, ecosystems and other organisms. This two-year programme is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn to develop analytical tools and models, as well as technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental and sustainability issues.
The Environmental Sciences MSc programme of Wageningen University is an international programme containing one year of course work and and one year of research. It is thesis-oriented with the individual research project (major) as its core. Compulsory elements are kept at a minimum, thus enabling the coursework to be tailored to the wishes and needs of the individual student. Study adviser and thesis supervisor both assist the student in selecting the most relevant courses from what Wageningen University has to offer. Read more about the background of the programme.
Within the master's programme you can choose from the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests:
Graduates find jobs at many different organisations. Professional job possibilities can be found as:
Read more about the career perspectives and opportunities.
The aim of the Option is to provide graduates with the skills to enter a wide range of environmental careers, with particular emphasis on environmental consultancy and regulatory job markets. The Option is designed to train students in analysis and assessment methods applicable to environmental contamination problems.
The Environmental Analysis and Assessment (EAA) Option comprises lectures plus two practical case studies, each with a different technical emphasis.
A large number of the lectures are from consultants, the regulators and industry professionals, many from alumni of the Option, providing the student with first-hand contact with live issues as well as the chance to discuss job opportunities with potential employers.
The Option lectures are supported by a number of site visits plus a five-day study tour to provide practical underpinning of the Option material.
The EAA Option is designed to train students from diverse scientific and technical backgrounds in assessment methods applicable to environmental contamination and pollution problems.
The emphasis throughout the course is on the use of quantitative environmental assessment methodologies, including:
A thorough grounding in physical, chemical and biological processes of contaminant behaviour in the environment is provided as the basis for understanding the impacts of chemical contamination. This is strengthened by the introduction to, and use of, predictive modelling techniques for assessing risks and impacts associated with either real or hypothetical contamination scenarios.
To complement and enhance teaching of quantitative aspects of environmental assessment techniques, classical EIA and auditing methodologies are also an important course component.
After completion of the course the students should be able to:
Environment and Health
Air Pollution and Climate Change
Waste and Resource Management
Environmental Decision Making and Tools
Integrated Land Management
Environmental Pollution and Assessment
The majority of the graduates enter environmental consultancy both in the UK and abroad usually within the risk assessment and contaminated land areas, but this is not an exhaustive list. A second path of graduates is to regulatory agencies/government bodies such as the Environment Agency of England & Wales and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Other paths have included further study, the retail sector and banking. To date, the Option has had an excellent track record of employment with over 90% of graduates employed within 12 months of completing the MSc.
One piece of fieldwork is undertaken in collaboration with the WM and Health and HGWEoptions of the MSc, and provides a "real-world" case study of contaminated land and water on Hounslow Heath, near Heathrow Airport, in close collaboration with Hounslow London Borough Council. The second piece of fieldwork is a waste management project in collaboration with Veolia Waste Management Services Ltd., providing an opportunity for students to work on a typical waste management problem.
At the end of the Option term the EAA students will spend a week on location at a city somewhere in the UK visiting a variety of industrial facilities, plants and operations.
MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction focuses on analysing past, present, and future dynamic environments, providing you with the skills for a career in environmental management or consultancy, and a firm grounding for research in the environmental sciences.
Concerns over the human impact on the environment have stimulated demand from governments and industry for the monitoring, analysis and modelling of natural processes in environmental systems. This is essential if we are to improve understanding of the interrelation of environmental variables in order to predict and manage their responses to anthropogenic perturbations.
Studying this course, you will gain:
We also use the proximity of Manchester to the upland areas of the Peak District; several past MSc students completed dissertation work in close collaboration with various organisations responsible for land management in the Peak District, giving their work direct policy relevance.
Teaching focuses on training in theory, concepts and research skills in the first semester, and practical applications and research experience in the second semester.
We teach course units in small-group interactive styles with a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals and presentations. A range of physical geographers provide training in their specialised fields, covering both content and practical research methods.
In a typical week, expect to spend some time in the library, preparing for seminars; in the laboratory, completing practicals; in the dedicated postgraduate computer laboratory, or writing reports; and in the classroom.
The second semester in particular gives you increased opportunities to go out into the field, both for practicals and to gain research experience by doing field research with members of staff. We maintain an intensively monitored catchment on the moors near the Snake Pass in the Peak District and this is the focus of several practical exercises, as well as a source of data to support dissertation work.
Field and laboratory research are essential to your learning process in environmental monitoring, and these form integrated parts of both the taught units and dissertation work.
Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months. There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.
Taught units comprise two-thirds of the course and are assessed by a wide range of project work, essays and presentations. There are no formal examinations. The remainder of your course consists of the dissertation.
CORE COURSE UNITS
These typically cover:
OPTIONAL COURSE UNITS
Choose three from the following:
Availability of course units may vary from year to year.
LEVEL 4 OPTIONS
Students are allowed to take up to 2 of the following level 4 options:
Typical course units comprise a minimum of a one-hour lecture per week, or seminar supported by supervised laboratory time. The exact balance varies, depending on the requirements of particular units. Additional contact time is arranged on an ad hoc basis by students to discuss assignments and other matters. By the end of the course, you will have an advanced level of theoretical knowledge and practical experience in:
The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an onsite café and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
The Master of Chemistry in Environmental Forensics programme is an exciting opportunity, using active learning and providing practical experience in close cooperation with industry and environmental researchers.
Environmental forensics is the systematic and scientific evaluation using various disciplines for the purpose of developing defensible scientific and legal conclusions regarding the source, age and history of chemical pollutants released into the environment. You, together with industry and leading researchers, have the opportunity to develop the knowledge needed for you to contribute to a future resilient society.
The programme offers insight into several disciplines including analytical and environmental analysis, in order to characterise the source and amount of chemical pollutants in the environment as well as describe their history. In order to facilitate a broad understanding of the specialities involved in environmental forensics, the curriculum will include a wide-range of multidisciplinary expertise within natural sciences such as environmental science, isotope chemistry, environmental sampling, human health, advanced statistics, and transportation modelling. To ensure that students gain practical field experience, real-life cases are provided in collaboration with industry. The programme uses problem-based learning (PBL) to encourage active learning and to develop problem solving abilities. These skills will be used to identify sources and history of environmental pollution.
It is a two-year programme, but can be finished after one year resulting in a 60-credit Master of Science in Chemistry. Year one deals with distribution of environmental pollutions, environmental toxicology, human exposure, sustainability and environmental regulations, and forensic analytical methods. Year two includes advanced statistical methods, research methodology and project management. Both alternatives conclude with project work in a research group and/or with industry.
The Pollution Management option focuses on the interface and interaction between science, technology, and policy in the environment. There is an emphasis on local issues, but these are inescapably set within the context of regional and global developments. We draw on best practice in the UK and Western Europe, applied not only here but also in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
In Western Europe and North America, many short-range pollution problems of past decades have been solved, but business and industry find themselves operating in an environment where the public and government demand ever more stringent environmental standards. Other parts of the world might be seen as following some way behind this trend and learning from it, including where examples of acute local and regional pollution remain in a context of a pressing need for rapid socio-economic development. Globalisation is an additional, external source of pressure on every nation to meet the highest environmental standards that are increasingly prevalent elsewhere. In many cases, however, developing countries have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. In particular, the trend of the past was for environmental protection to be an expensive luxury. Today, it is possible to find a different and more efficient path to a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future, by protecting the environment in a way that leads simultaneously to an increase in economic prosperity. There is therefore continued growth in demand for graduates with expertise in pollution management:
Responses to pollution at least must reassure the public it is safe, or allow adaptation to or protection from its effects. A better approach is to control concentrations of a pollutant in the environment, but the best solution is to prevent its formation in the first place.
Integrated Pollution, Prevention and Control is a major development in this area, pioneered in the UK and now led by the European Union, bringing together management, planning, and communication as well as end-of-pipe technological solutions. But this needs to mesh with other kinds of regulatory and voluntary initiatives, especially where non-industrial sources of pollution including transport and agriculture make an important contribution, in more and less developed countries alike.
The Option is divided into six modules, covering all the major areas of environmental concern, and there is a significant interdisciplinary element throughout, reflecting the philosophy of the MSc as a whole. They should not be considered as stand-alone, but should be seen as a closely integrated whole:
Environment and Health
Air Pollution and Climate Control
Waste and Resource Management
Environmental Decision Making and Tools
Environmental Pollution and Assessment
Water Technology and Pollution
The majority of the graduates enter environmental consultancy both in the UK and abroad usually within the risk assessment and contaminated land areas. A second path of graduates is to regulatory agencies/government bodies such as the Environment Agency of England & Wales and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Other paths have included further study, the retail sector and banking. To date, the Option has had an excellent track record of employment with over 90% of graduates employed within 12 months of completing the MSc.
• PhD, Technical University of Athens
• Projects Manager, British Council, Brazil
• Environmental Health Officer, London Borough of Newham
• Assistant Director, Science & Technology Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment Malaysia
• Field Engineer, Schlumberger (Angola)
• Senior Consultant, Arthur D. Little
• General Director, Environmental Management, Environment Ministry, Mexico
• Partner and Director of UK Environmental Services, Price Waterhouse Coopers
• Technical Director, Stanger Science & Technology
• Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University
• Quality Control Engineer, Chiyoda Corporation, Doha, Qatar
• Head of Environmental Audit, Body Shop International
• Head of Solid Waste Control, Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department
The Water and Environmental Management MSc provides training in the core scientific, technical and interdisciplinary skills that are essential in water resource and environmental management fields. You will acquire specialist knowledge and develop key analytical and scientific skills, particularly in the context of national and international environmental legislation.
Learning from and working alongside our world-leading academic researchers, you will benefit from expertise covering a range of disciplines relating to water resources and environmental management.
Our Aquatic Research Centre provides excellent facilities for your studies, including specialist water chemistry and microbiology laboratories, laboratory-scale water and wastewater treatment systems, an experimental river basin, a water efficiency laboratory, as well as a large pool of aquatic field equipment and computing facilities.
You have the choice from a wide range of option modules in order to tailor the course to your interests and career aspirations. As part of this, there are opportunities for our students to conduct a placement with organisations involved in water resource and environmental management, including industrial members of the Green Growth Platform.
This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators as meeting the requirements for further learning for a chartered engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng-accredited undergraduate first degree. It is also accredited by the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
You will study core modules and complete a dissertation. You will also choose option modules enabling you to specialise in the areas of the course that interest you the most.
As an MSc student, you will also undertake an individual dissertation project in an area of particular interest. Examples of subjects our students have completed their research project on include:
Water Resources Management
Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% exam
The module will be divided broadly into four distinct, but linked sections:
1. Introduction to the challenges of global and national water resource management;
2. Introduction to the fundamental hydrological processes (surface and subsurface) that influence water resource availability;
3. Introduction to the legal and policy framework of the water sector with a specific emphasis on Europe and the UK;
4. Introduction to potential future solutions to the challenges of global and national water
Water Treatment Technology
Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% exam
This module explores the links between drinking water characteristics and treatment plant design. It critically evaluates a variety of treatment technology options and suitable plans for treatment processes according to varying water characteristics and international drinking water quality standards.
It also investigates the principles governing disease control through sustainable water treatment technology in developing countries and explores the process of risk management through the application of Water Safety Plans.
Wastewater Treatment Technology
Assessment: 50% coursework, 50% exam
This module addresses the characteristics of wastewater and how variations in flow rate are dealt with. It explores wastewater treatment theory and practice, and the treatment and disposal of wastewater sludge.
It also considers both advanced wastewater treatment technologies and low-cost wastewater treatment and sanitation options for developing countries; it does so in the context of global and local societal and environmental needs.
Water Quality Analysis
Assessment: 100% coursework
This 20-credit module investigates the principles of safe and accurate environmental water sampling through a local field-based case study. It explores methods for the analysis of the physical, chemical and biological components of water quality and covers approaches to analysing complex data sets.
Graduates are well equipped to apply for jobs with water companies, government agencies and regulatory bodies, environmental/civil engineering consultancies, and international non-governmental organisations. Graduates are also well equipped to secure PhD studentships to further their research ambitions.
The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
If you want to protect species against decline and extinction by working in either research, consultancy or conservation professions this programme gives you advanced skills in Ecology and linked subject areas such as Environmental Science, GIS, EIA and Catchment Management Planning. You attend a field research trip at Bettyhill on the North coast of Sutherland followed by training in plant ecology, animal population GIS design and analysis. You learn applied Ecology and conservation in an interdisciplinary context. Many environmental consultancies and government bodies require Ecologists as part of their environmental teams, and there are further charities and activist organisations which require Ecologists as part of their teams. The degree provides many useful and overlapping skills within environmental science such as EIA Environmental Impact Assessments. These are reports and studies used to determine issues and challenges to the natural environmental from economic development of all types.
You learn relevant skills environmental policy, legislation, risk assessment models, environmental analytical instrumentation and implementing models. Employment options may be within consultancies, regulators and NGOs. Regulation of economic impact on the natural world has never been so highlighted across the worlds media as it is now in terms of how to protect species and highlight decline.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about international fees:
Find out more about fees on the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.
Find out more about:
Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs