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Course content

MSc Climate Studies

The question is no longer if our climate will change, but how will it change and how will we adapt to these changes? Adaption and mitigation to global warming, the greenhouse effect and climate change all form the basis of the Master Climate Studies programme at Wageningen University.

Students will gain a broad overview of climate change during this two-year programme. As changes and challenges crystallise, the demand for scientists able to understand and investigate them will rise. This master programme is specifically targeted at students who wish to focus on the scientific insights into climate change and on the social and economic implications of climate change in the broadest sense.

Programme summary

The MSc Climate Studies programme focuses on an improved understanding of climate change across the earth and its impact on ecosystems and society. The debate in science no longer revolves around whether our climate will change, but how it will change, how we can cope with the impact (adaptation), and how we can limit climate change in the long term (mitigation). These issues are important for the entire world and fuel a range of new challenges to natural and social sciences. Society needs answers to questions such as: How will climate change affect ecosystems and how will these in turn affect the climate system? What will the effect be on the availability of water and food? How will climate change issues set national and international political agendas? How will citizens, consumers, companies and other social actors respond to climate change? What will the economic costs be of the impact and measures related to climate change, and how will these costs be distributed globally? Will new social and economic opportunities emerge in the process of adaptation?

As these changes and challenges become ever more apparent, the demand for scientists who are able to understand and investigate them will rise. Wageningen University has therefore bundled expertise from several disciplines in a Master study programme specifically designed for students who wish to focus on the scientific insights into climate change and its implications for nature and society. Climate Studies does not only cover the most important geophysical and biogeochemical processes involved in climate change (the mechanisms), but it also covers the socio-economic aspects of causes and effects; as well as adaptation and mitigation as the main categories of societal response.


Climate Studies gives you a broad overview of climate-change related issues. You can specialise in a topic of your choice during your thesis research. We offer a wide range of thesis tracks:
• Meteorology
• Air Quality and Atmospheric Chemistry
• Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
• Crop and Weed Ecology
• Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
• Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality
• Earth System Science
• Environmental System Analysis
• Integrated Water Management
• Environmental Economics and Natural Resources
• Environmental Policy

You future career

Graduates from this programme are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to continue their academic training as a PhD student or to start a career as a scientific professional at universities, research institutes, and environmental and governmental organisations. Applied climate change researchers and experts are sought after by banks, insurance companies, construction, power companies and government.

Student Lennart Pompe.
"Climate Studies and the specialisation Integrated Water Management are the perfect combination for me where science and society come together to tackle the challenges the water sector faces. I took the opportunity to enrich my master with the label of the Climate-KIC, a European knowledge and innovation community. I joined several Climate-KIC activities, among others, the inspiring 5-week summer school ‘the Journey’ aimed at developing your own business plan. My thesis focussed on climate change and human development in the Bengal delta and the related salinisation issues. I am excited to enter the Dutch-leading water sector."

Related programmes:
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc Earth and Environment
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies

Visit the MSc Climate Studies page on the Wageningen University & Research website for more details!






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