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Wageningen University & Research, Full Time MSc Degrees in Biological Sciences

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The two-year MSc Bioinformatics concerns a new scientific discipline with roots in computer science, statistics and molecular biology. Read more

MSc Bioinformatics

The two-year MSc Bioinformatics concerns a new scientific discipline with roots in computer science, statistics and molecular biology. Bioinformaticians apply information technology to store, retrieve and manipulate these data and employ statistical methods capable of analysing large amounts of biological data to predict gene functions and to demonstrate relationships between genes and proteins.

Programme summary

DNA contains information about life, but how is this information used? Biological data, such as DNA and RNA sequence information produced by next-generation sequencing techniques, is accumulating at an unprecedented rate. Life scientists increasingly use bioinformatics resources to address their specific research questions. Bioinformaticians bridge the gap between complex biological research questions and this complex data. Bioinformaticians use and develop computational tools to predict gene function(s) and to demonstrate and model relationships between genes, proteins and metabolites in biological systems. Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that applies computational and statistical techniques to the classification, interpretation and integration of large-scale biological data sets. If different data types are joined then complex interactions in biological systems can be studied. The use of systems biology methods to study complex biological interactions offers a wealth of possibilities to understand various levels of aggregation and enables control of biological systems on different scales. Systems biology approaches are therefore quickly gaining importance in many disciplines of life sciences, such as in applied biotechnology where these methods are now used to develop strategies for improving production in fermentation. Other examples include bioconversion and enzymatic synthesis, and in the study of human metabolism and its alterations where systems biology methods are applied to understand a variety of complex human diseases, including metabolic syndromes and cancer. The Wageningen Master programme focuses on the practical application of bioinformatics and systems biology approaches in many areas of the Life Sciences. To ensure that students acquire a high level of understanding of modelling and computing principles, the students are trained in the fundamentals of database management, computer programming, structural and functional genomics, proteomics and systems biology methods. This training includes advanced elective courses in molecular biology and biostatistics.

Thesis tracks

Bioinformatics
The bioinformatics track focuses on the practical application of bioinformatics knowledge and skills in molecular life sciences. It aims at creating and using bioinformatics resources to address specific research questions. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in many life science disciplines such as molecular & cell biology, biotechnology, (human) genetics, health & medicine and environmental & biobased technology.

Systems Biology
The systems biology track focuses on the study of the complex interactions in biological systems and on the emerging properties derived from these. Systems biology approaches to complex biological problems offer a wealth of possibilities to understand various levels of aggregation. It enables control of biological systems on completely different scales, ranging from the molecular cellular level to marine, plant, or animal ecosystems to a desired state. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in many life science disciplines including molecular & cell biology, applied biotechnology, genetics, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and biobased technology.

Your future career

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology are new fast growing biology based interdisciplinary fields of research poorly served by the traditional curricula of Life Sciences. As demand has outpaced the supply of bioinformaticians, the first job after graduation is often a PhD project at a research institute or university. It is expected that five years after graduation, about one third will stay employed as a scientist at a university or research centre, while the others choose for careers at research-oriented pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies.

Alumnus Tom van den Bergh.
"It is sometimes difficult for doctors to diagnose genetic diseases caused by missense mutations. A missense mutation does not necessarily mean that you have the gene-associated disease and will become ill since not all missense mutations lead to appreciable protein changes." Tom created a database for Fabry’s disease for his final thesis. He wrote a computer programme that reads publications and stores all information about Fabry mutations in its database. Genetic researchers can, in turn, quickly access this database to determine if the mutation they found in a patient has already been addressed in literature and what the effects were.

Related programmes:
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Plant Biotechnology

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The Molecular Life Sciences programme focuses on the molecular aspects of the fields of nutrition, health, nature and the living environment and works in close coordination with colleagues from different disciplines. Read more

MSc Molecular Life Sciences

The Molecular Life Sciences programme focuses on the molecular aspects of the fields of nutrition, health, nature and the living environment and works in close coordination with colleagues from different disciplines.

Programme summary

The Molecular Life Sciences programme focuses on molecules and their properties. It seeks to discover relationships between the physical and chemical properties of molecules, particularly the role of complex molecules in living systems. It is an interdisciplinary programme that combines chemistry, physics and biology. The aim of the programme is to enable students to conduct independent research at the interface of chemistry, biology and physics, or in an applied field such as medicine, the environment, food sciences or (bio) nanotechnology. The programme is tailormade and thesis-oriented, with the thesis being the culmination of the study.

Specialisations

Biological Chemistry
By combining the principles of chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, genetics and bioinformatics, this specialisation enables students to contribute new insights to the life sciences. Increasingly complex areas are studied, such as the molecular regulation of growth and cell differentiation, gene control during development and disease, and the transfer of genetic traits. Another important field is enzymology where enzyme mechanisms are studied with the aim of understanding and modifying their properties to make new compounds or biological membranes.

Physical Chemistry
This specialisation uses the most advanced technologies to focus on the chemical and physical properties of molecules and their behaviour in chemical and biochemical processes. The processes in nature are used as models for studying and synthesising new compounds with interesting chemical or physical properties for applications such as LCDs, biosensors or food science. Students can major in the fields of biophysics, organic chemistry or physical chemistry and colloid science.

Biomedical Research
This specialisation equips graduates with key skills in the natural sciences and enables them to use these skills as part of an integrated approach. Many recent breakthroughs in biomedical research have taken place at the interface between chemistry, biology and physics, so it is logical that many of our graduates enter careers in biomedical research. The explicit aim of this specialisation is to prepare students for careers at a medical research institute, academic hospital or a company in the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, students also complete their internships at such locations.

Physical Biology
Students in this specialisation learn to view biomolecules from a physical point of view. They use techniques in biophysics, physical chemistry, microspectroscopy and magnetic resonance (MRI) to contribute to areas such as cell-cell communication, transformation of light into chemical energy, and protein interactions. Students can major in fields such as biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, molecular biology, plant physiology, physical chemistry and colloid science.

Your future career

By combining the power of chemistry, physics and biology, graduates are able to make a significant contribution to fundamental and/or applied research in fields such as (bio) nanotechnology, biotechnology, environmental research, biomedical research, nutrition and the food sciences. Our graduates enter careers at universities, research institutes and industrial laboratories. The first job for many of our graduates is a four year PhD project at a university or research institute. This is not only an excellent preparation for a research career, but it also prepares you for management positions. Others become science journalists, teachers or consultants in government or industry.

Project Flu Vaccination for bacteria.
Together with his colleagues of the Laboratory of Microbiology, professor John van der Oost unravelled part of the working of the immune systems of bacteria that had been infected by a virus. Theoretically, this knowledge allows for other bacteria to be protected against specific viruses and, thus, may be considered to be a flu vaccination for bacteria. Understanding this process in simple organisms on a molecular level, is the first step in revealing the mechanism of viral infection in the human body. This can be the starting point for a whole new line of medicines.

Related programmes:
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Food Technology
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Nutrition and Health
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Biology

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Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences Master programme at Wageningen University has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Read more

MSc Environmental Sciences

Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences Master programme at Wageningen University 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.

Programme summary

We are facing a future with an increased demand for food, water, energy and other resources, which will have an enormous impact on our already heavily burdened environment. Environmental challenges for the future include using our resources efficiently, minimising our impact on nature, and creating and changing people’s awareness and behaviour towards their environment.

The MSc Environmental Sciences programme is designed for students who want to take up this challenge in finding innovative and sustainable approaches to secure and improve the state of the environment. This programme provides insight into the socioeconomic causes, the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, and their effects on human beings and ecosystems. By taking an interdisciplinary approach, students learn to develop analytical tools and models, environmental technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental problems.

To allow you maximum flexibility in your individual course of study, there are no formal specialisations and compulsory elements are kept at a minimum. This allows you to tailor the programme to your individual needs. Major thesis research can be conducted in one of the ten thesis tracks (major) and each major can be combined with a minor in Environmental Communication or Education.

Thesis tracks

The ten thesis tracks are clustered in 4 groups.

Environmental Quality
Investigates the physical, chemical and biological processes that influence the quality of the environmental compartments: Soil, Water and Air; and the effects of pollutants on humans and ecosystems. Students can choose the thesis tracks Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Air Quality and Atmospheric Chemistry, Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality, Soil Chemistry and Chemical Soil Quality, or Environmental Toxicology.

Environmental Systems Analysis
Studies the natural and social processes involved in environmental issues. It aims to develop integrative tools and methodologies and to apply these in strategic research. Students can choose to develop such an integrated approach via the thesis track Environmental Systems Analysis.

Environmental Policy and Economics
Covers the contribution of the social sciences to environmental research. The focus is on the social, political, legal and economic aspects of environmental issues and the goal is to provide students with the skills for studying, formulating and designing innovative forms of national and international environmental governance. You can choose a thesis track in the disciplines of Environmental Policy, Environmental Economics and Natural Resources, or Integrated Water Management.

Environmental Technology
Concentrates on biological, chemical and physical processes for water reuse and the recovery of nutrients, minerals and energy. The aim is to fully understand these processes in order to design and optimise innovative technologies for renewable energy, closing nutrient cycles and solving environmental issues. You can choose any of these topics via the thesis track Environmental Technology.

Your future career

Graduates from this programme are well-equipped to continue their scientific training in a PhD programme or to begin - or continue - a professional career requiring independent scientific performance. Students are taught the knowledge and skills needed to communicate with experts from different disciplines allowing them to play a key role in complex environmental and sustainability issues. Most graduates enter careers in environmental consultancy, research and management, while others are involved in policy development and higher education.

Alumna Charlotte Van Erp Taalman Kip.
Upon graduation, Charlotte started working as environmental consultant at MWH Global. Two years later, she continued her career at the water board Hollandse Delta as innovation engineer. She works together with different parties for implementing innovative and sustainable ideas. One project she is involved in is an initiative of all water boards that focuses on the recovery of valuable compounds in sewage. “It’s time to see our sewage not as a dirty waste stream, but as a valuable resource. We should not destroy this potential of sewage. On the contrary, it is our duty to recover and reuse all its valuable components.”

Related programmes:
MSc Climate Studies
MSc Urban Environmental Management
MSc Earth and Environment
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management.

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The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems. Read more

MSc Plant Sciences

The Plant Sciences programme has been designed to help meet the worldwide demand for scientific expertise in the development of plant and crop production and farming systems.

Programme summary

Plant Sciences deals with crop production ranging from plant breeding to the development of sustainable systems for the production of food, pharmaceuticals and renewable resources. It is linked with a professional sector that is highly important to the world economy. The programme focuses on the principles of plant breeding, agro-ecology and plant pathology and the integration of these disciplines to provide healthy plants for food and non-food applications. Technological aspects of crop production are combined with environmental, quality, socio-economic and logistic aspects. Students learn to apply their knowledge to develop integrated approaches for sustainable plant production.

Specialisations

Crop Science
Sound knowledge of crop science is essential to develop appropriate cultivation methods for a reliable supply of safe, healthy food; while considering nature conservation and biodiversity. An integrated approach is crucial to studying plant production at various levels (plant, crop, farm, region). This requires a sound understanding of basic physical, chemical, and physiological aspects of crop growth. Modelling and simulation are used to analyse yield constraints and to improve production efficiency.

Greenhouse Horticulture
Greenhouse horticulture is a unique agro-system and a key economic sector in the Netherlands. It is the only system that allows significant control of (a-) biotic factors through protected cultivation. The advances in this field are based on technological innovations. This specialisation combines product quality with quality of production and focuses on production, quality- and chain management of vegetables, cut flowers and potted plants.

Natural Resource Management
The development of sustainable agro-ecosystems requires understanding of the complex relationships between soil health, cultivation practices and nutrient kinetics. Other important aspects include the interactions between agriculture and nature, and competing claims on productive land worldwide. Natural Resource Management provides knowledge and tools to understand the interactions between the biotic and abiotic factors in agro-systems to facilitate diverse agricultural demands: bulk vs. pharmaceutical products, food vs. biofuel, conservation of biodiversity, climate change, and eco-tourism.

Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources
Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources ranges from the molecular to the population level and requires knowledge of the physiology and genetics of cultivated plants. Plant breeding is crucial in the development of varieties that meet current demands regarding yield, disease resistance, quality and sustainable production. The use of molecular techniques adds to the rapid identification of genes for natural resistance and is essential for accelerating selection by marker assisted breeding.

Complete Online Master
In September 2015, Wageningen University started the specialisation "Plant Breeding" as the first complete online Master of Science. For more information go to http://www.wageningenuniversity.eu/onlinemaster.


Plant Pathology and Entomology
The investments made in crop production need to be protected from losses caused by biotic stress. Integrated pest management provides protection by integrating genetic resistance, cultivation practices and biological control. This specialisation focuses on the ecology of insects, nematodes and weeds, and the epidemiology of fungi and viruses, including transmission mechanisms. Knowledge of plantinsect, plant-pathogen, and crop-weed relations establishes the basis for studies in integrated pest management and resistance breeding.

Your future career

Graduates in Plant Sciences have excellent career prospects and most of them receive job offers before graduation. They are university-trained professionals who are able to contribute to the sustainable development of plant production at various integration levels based on their knowledge of fundamental and applied plant sciences and their interdisciplinary approach. Graduates with a research focus are employed at universities, research institutes and plant breeding or agribusiness companies. Other job opportunities are in management, policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and (non-) governmental organisations.

Alumnus Maarten Rouwet.
“I was born in Germany and raised in the East of the Netherlands. After high school I applied for the Bèta-gamma bachelor at the University of Amsterdam where I majored in biology. After visiting the master open day at Wageningen University I knew that the master Plant Sciences had something unique to offer. In my master, I specialised in plant breeding, an ever so interesting field of research. I just started my first job as junior biotech breeder of leavy vegetables at Enza Zaden, a breeding company in Enkhuizen. One of my responsibilities is to identify resistances in wild species of lettuce and to implement these in breeding programmes of cultivated lettuce.”

Related programmes:
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Organic Agriculture
MSc Plant Biotechnology.

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The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. Read more

MSc Biology

The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The biosciences aim to understand living systems and to help preserve biodiversity and our environment and simultaneously produce sufficient healthy and safe food.

Programme summary

Biological issues are at the forefront of the technological progress of modern society. They are central to global concerns about how we effect and are affected by our environment. Understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The MSc Biology allows students to get a broad overview of the latest developments in biology, ranging from genes to ecosystems. They learn to critically discuss the newest scientific developments in the biological sciences. Within their area of specialisation, students deepen their knowledge and skills in a certain subject. To prepare for a successful international career, we strongly encourage our students to complete part of their programme requirements abroad.

Specialisations

The MSc Biology offers nine specialisations:

Animal Adaptation and Behavioural Biology
This specialisation focuses mainly on subjects as adaptation, mechanisms involved in these adaptations and behaviour of animals.

Bio-interactions
In this specialisation, you obtain knowledge about interactions between organisms. You learn to understand and interpret interactions on different levels, from molecular to ecosystem level.

Molecular Ecology
In this specialisation, you learn to use molecular techniques to solve ecological questions. You will use, for example, molecular techniques to study the interaction between a virus and a plant.

Conservation and Systems Ecology
This specialisation focuses initially on fundamental processes that play a key role in ecology. You learn to interpret different relations, for example, the relation between chemical (or physical processes) and bioprocesses. Furthermore, you learn to analyse different ecosystems. You can use this knowledge to manage and conserve these ecological systems.

Evolution and Biodiversity
The systematics of biodiversity in an evolutionary perspective is the central focus of this specialisation. Subjects that will be addressed in this specialisation are: evolution, genetics, biosystematic research and taxonomic analysis.

Health and Disease
This specialisation focuses on regulatory mechanisms that have a central role in human and animal health.

Marine Biology
Choosing this specialisation means studying the complexity of the marine ecosystem. Moreover, you learn about the impacts of, for instance, fishery and recreation on this ecosystem or the interaction between different species in this system.

Molecular Development and Gene Regulation
This specialisation focuses on gene regulations and the different developmental mechanisms of organisms.

Plant Adaptation
This specialisation focuses on the adaptations that different plants gained in order to adjust to various conditions. You learn to understand the regulation processes in plants that underlie these adaptations.

Your future career

Many graduates from the MSc Biology study programme enter careers in fundamental and applied research or go on to become PhD students. Some find a position as communication officer, manager or policymaker. Compared with other Dutch universities, many biology graduates from Wageningen University find a position abroad.

Alumna Iris de Winter.
"I work as a PhD student at Wageningen University. In my research, I aim to understand the effect of human disturbance on the parasites prevalence in lemurs. I also look at the potential risks of the transmission of diseases and parasites from lemurs to humans, but also vice versa, from humans (and their livestock and pets) to wild lemur population. I alternate my fieldwork in Madagascar with parasite identification, analyses and writing manuscripts in the Netherlands. With this research, I hope to gain more insight in the factors that increase parasite prevalence in natural systems and hereby to improve the protection of both lemurs and their natural habitat."

Related programmes:
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MSc Organic Agriculture.

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The two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role. Read more

MSc Biosystems Engineering

The two year MSc programme Biosystems Engineering is for students with an (agricultural) engineering background on bachelor level that are interested to pursue a MSc degree in a field where the interaction between technology and biology plays an important role.

Programme summary

During the master Biosystems Engineering, students are educated in finding innovative solutions. The programme combines knowledge of technology, living systems, natural and social sciences with integrated thinking using a systems approach. Solutions can be applied to either the field of food or nonfood agricultural production. During the programme, you develop independence and creativity while acquiring skills that enable you to analyse problems and work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Biosystems Engineering is a tailor-made, thesis oriented programme based on the specific interests and competencies of the student.

Thesis tracks

Farm Technology
This topic consists of four main themes, namely automation for bioproduction, greenhouse technology, livestock technology and soil technology. All these topics have the shared goal of designing systems in which technology is applied to the demands of plants, animals, humans and the environment. Examples of such applications include precision agriculture, conservation tillage, fully automated greenhouses and environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems that also promote animal welfare.

Systems and Control
Production processes and various kinds of machinery have to be optimised to run as efficiently as possible; and with the least amount of possible environmental impact. To achieve this, computer models and simulations are developed and improved. Examples include designing control systems for a solar-powered greenhouse to include a closed water cycle and designing a tomato-harvesting robot.

Information Technology
Information and communication play a vital role in our society. It is necessary to acquire, use and store data and information to optimise production processes and quality in production chains. This requires the design and management of business information systems, software engineering, designing databases and modelling and simulation.

Environmental Technology
Environmental technology revolves around closing cycles and reusing waste products and by-products. Processes have to be designed in such a way that they either reuse waste or separate it into distinct and reusable components. Examples include the production of compost, the generation of green energy or the design of environmentally friendly animal husbandry systems and greenhouses.

AgroLogistics
The goals of agrologistics are to get the right product in the right quantity and quality at the right time and to the right place as efficiently as possible while fulfilling the requirements of the stakeholders (such as government legislation and regulations). This requires the design of effective, innovative logistics concepts in agrifood chains and networks. Examples are the design of greenhouses developed for optimal logistics or designing a dairy production process with minimal storage costs.

Biobased Technology
The importance of biobased economy is increasing. Energy savings and the use of renewable energy are directions for achieving an environmentally sustainable industrial society. Biomass of plants, organisms and biomass available can be turned into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. In this track, you learn more about process engineering, biological recycling technology, biorefinery and how to abstract a real system into a physical model and analyse the physical model using dedicated software.

Your future career

Most graduates are employed in the agrofood sector, or related sectors of industry and trade, from local to international companies. They are project leaders, product managers, technical experts, sales specialists or managers at many kinds of companies including designers of agricultural buildings (animal husbandry systems, greenhouses) and bioenergy production systems. Others find jobs with IT companies (climate control computers, automated information systems) or firms in the agro-food chain that produce, store, process, distribute and market agricultural products. In the service sector or at governments, graduates enter careers as consultants, information officers or policymakers in the fields of technology and sustainable agricultural production, while others enter research careers at institutes or universities.

Alumnus Patrick Honcoop.
"I am working as a product manager at 365 FarmNet in Germany. 365FarmNet supports farmers to manage their whole agrarian holding with just one software application. I am responsible for the content of the software. I am the link between the farmers, the agrarian holdings and the software developers. I really enjoy these dynamics and variety within my function. Just like during my studies, when we visited farmers, companies and fairs during courses and excursions organised by the study association."

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Geo-information Science
MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications
MSc Organic Agriculture

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The MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management (MAM) is a two year programme, which comprises of 120 credits (ECTS). Students learn to manage living resources in all types of water bodies, natural or man-made. Read more

MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management

The MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management (MAM) is a two year programme, which comprises of 120 credits (ECTS). Students learn to manage living resources in all types of water bodies, natural or man-made. The programme provides understanding of the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms and water bodies.

Programme summary

Oceans, seas, estuaries and lakes are major providers of ecosystem goods and services such as food, tourism and coastal protection. In many cases, exploitation levels have bypassed the carrying capacity of these ecosystems, leading to devastating effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. To preserve marine biodiversity and its ecosystem functions, innovative and sustainable solutions are necessary. Therefore, there is a need for young professionals who know how to take an integrative approach to marine ecosystems management.

The MAM programme starts with courses that give a common basis on aquaculture and marine resource management. In these courses, you will learn the principles of marine ecology and the governance of marine systems, the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms and the role of science in public policy processes. Within the Aquaculture and Marine Resource master programme, you can choose one of three specialisations: Aquaculture, Marine resources and ecology, Marine Governance. Graduates are skilled in techniques and methods for analysing and solving biological environmental problems in aquatic systems by looking at the organisms and the communities including ecological, management and social aspects.

Specialisations

All students acquire a thorough understanding of processes governing life in any type of water body. In addition, students can choose to put more emphasis on any of the following aspects: ecology, natural resource management, capture fisheries or aquaculture. Depending on the specialisation the topics differ.

Aquaculture
This specialisation deals with the culture of numerous aquatic organisms (such as finfish, shrimp, shellfish, ornamental fish, corrals, sponges and algae) in a wide range of culture environments (from sea enclosures to semiextensive ponds and high-tech recirculation systems). Production methods should be sustainable, guarantee the health and wellbeing of the culture organisms, be economically viable, socially accepted, and result in safe and healthy products. This can only be achieved through knowledge and skills in aquatic production ecology based on knowledge of biological, physical and chemical integrity of water bodies and insight in economic and social driving factors.

Marine Resources and Ecology
This specialisation focuses on the sensitivity of marine communities in relation to human interventions, including climate change, fisheries and habitat destruction. You will learn to address limiting factors in order to be able to contribute to an improved biodiversity, environmental quality and sustainability of marine ecosystems. To do so, it requires insight into the ecological processes that form the basis for marine food chains, the interaction between species and the functioning of the different ecosystems.

Marine Governance
The main focus of this specialisation lies on the sustainable governance and economics of marine and coastal systems. The goals and strategies of commercial enterprises, non-governmental and governmental organisations and international institutions are analysed, and their effects are evaluated in relation to both organisations and ecosystems involved.

Your future career

The interest in sustainable management of the seas and coasts is booming, while there are only few professionals available with an integrated and specialised training in this field. Numerous types of specialists are needed, including technical specialists, researchers, consultants and project leaders in commercial, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Alumna Pascalle Jacobs.
"I had already graduated as a terrestrial ecologist before I started the Master Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management. I started the MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management mainly because I saw a lot of potential in marine research. I did my thesis at IMARES and after my graduation they gave me the opportunity to work there as a PhD on a research project. In my research, I look at if and to what extent big amounts of young mussels attached to ropes or nets (mussel seed collectors) change the environment. These young mussels eat a lot so one of my research questions is if this grazing affects the amount of food available for other animals."

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation.

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Are you interested in working on solutions for these and other environmental issues? The Wageningen University Master Earth & Environment was born from the necessity of helping the next generations of scientists find solutions for the issues confronting the way we look after our planet, now and in the future. Read more

MSc Earth and Environment

Are you interested in working on solutions for these and other environmental issues? The Wageningen University Master Earth & Environment was born from the necessity of helping the next generations of scientists find solutions for the issues confronting the way we look after our planet, now and in the future. Within the programme you can specialise in Hydrology and Water Resources, Meteorology and Air Quality, Biology and Chemistry of Soil and Water or Soil Geography and Earth Surface Dynamics.

Programme summary

Planet Earth is a complex, interactive and fascinating system. Protected by a thin layer of atmosphere, it provides all the essentials needed to sustain life and support living organisms. Natural processes and human needs often clash, leading to a wide range of environmental issues. Water scarcity and quality, soil degradation , food supply , loss of biodiversity, vulnerability to severe weather, and climate change are just a few examples of key issues that need to be addressed urgently.

As a Wageningen University geoscientist, you study Planet Earth and its ability to sustain life. Using tools from physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, you build a quantitative understanding of the composition, structures and processes of the Earth and its atmosphere; as well as its resources and the influence of human activity. Thus, you have an important role to play in improving natural resource management and in removing obstacles to sustainable development.

Your study of the Earth system largely focuses on gaining an understanding of the interdependent physical, chemical and biological processes, and developing models that describe these processes on relevant scales. You develop scenarios that describe expected local, regional and/or global changes and the time scale on which they will occur. The Wageningen MEE focuses on the Earth’s ‘Critical Zone’ -including the atmospheric boundary layer, where flows of energy and matter determine the conditions for sustaining life; hence its name: Earth and Environment.

Specialisations

• Hydrology and Water Resources
The focus of this specialisation is to study the effects of climate change and other influences on the water balance of catchments to support optimal land management when dealing with hydrological extremes.

• Meteorology and Air Quality
Would you like to contribute to further understanding of atmospheric processes and their relevance for weather and climate? In this specialisation you learn about physical-chemical processes, the composition of the atmosphere and the exchange between the atmosphere and earth's surface and meteorology.

• Biology and Chemistry of Soil and Water
This specialisation allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of chemical and biological processes and their interactions in soils and natural waters, and their role in the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in a world that faces increasing anthropogenic pressures. You learn how these insights can contribute to develop effective strategies for the preservation and restoration of soil and water quality, biodiversity, and the functioning of natural ecosystems and the services they provide.

• Soil Geography and Earth Surface Dynamics
This specialisation allows you to explore the spatial and temporal processes that are active in soils, landscapes and the wider earth system. It uses an integrative approach that combines biophysical and human elements to gain insight in past, present and future system dynamics.

The combination of specific discipline training and the Earth System approach prepares you for working on the scientific and societal questions of the future. You can also choose from a selection of elective courses, and we also offer a special variant in preparation for a PhD.

Your future career

The MSc Earth and Environment programme offers our graduate scientists excellent opportunities to develop their career in research or as a science professional at universities, research institutes and consultancies. Our graduates can be found all over the world, working as meteorologists, hydrologists, water quality scientists or soil scientists, to name but a few disciplines.

Are you interested in working on solutions for these and other environmental issues? The master programme was born from the necessity of helping the next generations of scientists find solutions for the issues confronting the way we look after our planet, now and in the future.

Alumnus Nick Gorski.
NIck Gorski came from Canada to Wageningen because of the excellent reputation the Netherlands has in the field of water. He conducted two thesis research projects during his time here. The first dealt with the fluxes of sediment-bound contaminants in a river basin in southwestern Turkey. The second involved the development of a new modelling methodology for heterogeneous flow and solute transport in unsaturated soils. “I had the opportunity to take classes, do field work and research in other countries. It was an excellent way to put theory into practice.” After graduating Nick went on to work for the KWR Watercycle Research Institute in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands.

Related programmes:
MSc Biology
MSc Climate Studies
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc International Land and Water Management
MSc Plant Sciences.

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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. Read more

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.

Specialisations

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

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Biotechnology is defined as the industrial exploitation of living organisms or the exploitation of components derived from these organisms. Read more

MSc Biotechnology

Biotechnology is defined as the industrial exploitation of living organisms or the exploitation of components derived from these organisms.

Programme summary

During the master Biotechnology you learn more about the practical applications of biotechnology, including age-old techniques such as brewing and fermentation, which are still important today. In recent decades, gene modification has revolutionized the biotechnology industry, spawning countless new products and improving established processes. Modern biotechnology has become an applied area of science with a multidisciplinary approach embracing recombinant DNA technology, cellular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, as well as process design and engineering.

Specialisations

Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the practical application of cellular and molecular knowledge with the aim of enhancing or improving production in micro-organisms or cell cultures. Possible majors: molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, virology, enzymology and cell biology. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in food biotechnology, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and bio-based technology.

Process Technology
This specialisation focuses on engineering strategies for developing, enhancing or improving production in fermentation, bioconversion and enzymatic synthesis. Possible majors: bioprocess engineering, food or environmental engineering, applied biotechnology and system and control techniques. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in food biotechnology, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and bio-based technology.

Marine Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the use of newly- discovered organisms from the sea in industrial processes. Applications include production of new medicines, fine chemicals, bio-based products and renewable energy.

Medical Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the use of modern biotechnology in the development and production of new vaccines and medicines. Advanced molecular and cellular techniques are used to study diagnostic and production methods for vaccines and medicines. Possible majors: molecular biology, microbiology, virology and cell biology.

Food Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the application from biotechnology to food processing. The approach includes microbial and biochemical aspects integrated with process engineering and chemistry. Possible majors: food microbiology, food chemistry and process engineering.

Environmental and Biobased Technology
This specialisation focuses on the design and development of biotechnological processes for solving environmental problems by removing waste products or by producing renewable energy. Possible majors: environmental technology, bioprocess engineering, microbiology and biobased chemical technology.

Your future career

Graduates in biotechnology have excellent career prospects. More than 60 percent begin their careers in research and development. Many of these Master graduates go on to earn their PhD degrees and often achieve management positions within a few years. Approximately 30 percent of our graduates start working for biotechnology companies immediately. Relatively few begin their careers outside the private sector or in a field not directly related to biotechnology. In the Netherlands, some graduates work for multinational companies such as Merck Schering Plough, DSM, Heineken, Unilever and Shell, while others find positions at smaller companies and various universities or research centres such as NKI and TNO.

Alumnus Sina Salim.
In America and Brazil, production of maize and sugar cane for bio ethanol takes up enormous swathes of arable land that could otherwise be used for food production. This leads to the well-known food versus fuel dilemma. An alternative method for producing biodiesel is the use of algae. Currently, too much energy is consumed during the growth and harvesting of algae, but huge efforts are being made to reduce these energy requirements. Sina Salim is trying to develop a cheap and energy efficient harvesting method to ultimately produce biodiesel from algae, a competitor of fossil fuel. Now he is operational scientist at Bioprocess Pilot Facility B.V.

Related programmes:
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Food Technology
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Environmental Sciences.

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If you are interested in the use of communication to improve the quality of life, then Wageningen is the place to be! In the MSc programme Applied Communication Science students learn to integrate communication science with problem solving and innovation in the domain of the life sciences, such as nature, environment, water, nutrition and health, biotechnology and food production. Read more

MSc Applied Communication Science

If you are interested in the use of communication to improve the quality of life, then Wageningen is the place to be! In the MSc programme Applied Communication Science students learn to integrate communication science with problem solving and innovation in the domain of the life sciences, such as nature, environment, water, nutrition and health, biotechnology and food production. Not only in the Netherlands, but in the whole world!

Programme summary

In this programme students learn to analyse and critically reflect on the role of communication in complex dynamic processes. They also learn to design communication strategies and programmes that are relevant to societal problem solving and innovation.

Specialisations

There are two specialisations that students can choose from:

Communication in Innovation
Students learn to analyse and strategically apply communication to deal with current societal issues, problems and challenges in life science domains such as nature conservation, nutrition and health, water management, environment and food production. Our students are trained to adopt an integrative approach that involves social science and technical innovations, fulfilling an intermediary role to enhance multidisciplinarity and interactive cooperation.

Communication is a basic element of change. Complex processes of change involve different perspectives and perceptions of the various people involved. Societal processes like climate change, poverty, disease or ecological degradation require appropriate solutions that integrate insights from all kinds of disciplines and stakeholders. Opportunities for enhancing mutual understanding and collaboration between science disciplines and society are explored. Special attention is paid to everyday life situations and how people actively deal with common issues related to the domains of the life sciences. There are no pre-defined thesis tracks.

Students compile their own thesis tracks by choosing, besides the compulsory communication science courses, a combination of closely linked courses; including a minor in a life sciences domain. An internship introduces students to professional practice. The major thesis allows them to become experts in a specific area within communication that is closely linked to their personal interests and future career.

In the thesis track of their choice, students link Communication Science to, for example, Nature Conservation, Nutrition and Health, Animal Production Systems, Ecology and Environment, Forestry and Rural Development, Land Use Planning, Organic Agriculture, Product Design and Quality Management, Food Technology or Water Management.

Health and Society
More information on this specialisation is available here: http://www.findamasters.com/search/masters-degree/i883d5908c20425/msc-health-and-society-specialisation

Your future career

Graduates are specialised in building bridges between various stakeholders, such as governments and citizens or laymen and experts. They work for communication consultancy organisations, government departments, hospitals, development agencies, commercial organisations, media and institutes of knowledge. Career prospects are: communication consultant (advising organisations on how to improve their communication processes); policymaker (formulating policy in cooperation with groups in society); process facilitator (managing conflict, negotiation and change); communication manager (organising internal and external communication processes of an organisation); project manager (managing the communication and collaboration between parties throughout the entire project lifespan); journalist (making scientific knowledge accessible to a broader public); communication researcher (making a systematic analysis of a communication issue).

Alumna Bette Harms.
"At 'International Union for Conservation of Nature' (IUCN) I am part of a booming platform called 'Leaders for Nature' where over twenty multinationals meet and learn to incorporate natural capital into their core business processes. I am the coordinator of the Leaders for Nature Academy where I develop and deliver training models to our network members. In my daily job I actively seek to develop cooperation between Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's), the government and private sector. The Master Applied Communication Science has given me the capacity to translate ecology into valuable and understandable knowledge for a range of professionals working in the private sector."

Related programmes:
MSc International Development Studies
MSc Development and Rural Innovation
MSc Management, Economics and Consumer Studies

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The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology. Read more

MSc Plant Biotechnology

The Plant Biotechnology programme is the combination of different fields of the classical plant sciences (e.g. plant physiology, plant breeding, plant pathology) working with a whole new range of techniques and possibilities opened up by modern molecular biology.

Programme summary

Due to rapid technological developments in the genomics, molecular biology and biotechnology, the use of molecular marker technology has accelerated the selection of new plant varieties with many desirable traits. It also facilitates the design, development and management of transgenic plants. At present, plants are increasingly used to produce valuable proteins and secondary metabolites for food and pharmaceutical purposes. New insights into the molecular basis of plant-insect, plant- pathogen and crop-weed relationships enable the development of disease-resistant plants and strategies for integrated pest management. A fundamental approach is combined with the development of tools and technologies to apply in plant breeding, plant pathology, post-harvest quality control, and the production of renewable resources. Besides covering the technological aspects, Plant Biotechnology also deals with the ethical issues and regulatory aspects, including intellectual property rights.

Specialisations

Functional Plant Genomics
Functional genomics aims at understanding the relationship between an organism's genome and its phenotype. The availability of a wide variety of sequenced plant genomes has revolutionised insight into plant genetics. By combining array technology, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics with bioinformatics, gene expression can be studied to understand the dynamic properties of plants and other organisms.

Plants for Human and Animal Health
Plants are increasingly being used as a safe and inexpensive alternative for the production of valuable proteins and metabolites for food supplements and pharmaceuticals. This specialisation provides a fundamental understanding of how plants can be used for the production of foreign proteins and metabolites. In addition, biomedical aspects such as immunology and food allergy, as well as nutritional genomics and plant metabolomics, can also be studied.

Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology
Molecular approaches to analyse and modify qualitative and quantitative traits in crops are highly effective in improving crop yield, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance. Molecular plant breeding focuses on the application of genomics and QTL-mapping to enable marker assisted selection of a trait of interest (e.g. productivity, quality). Molecular plant pathology aims to provide a greater understanding of plant-insect, plant-pathogen and crop-weed interactions in addition to developing new technologies for integrated plant health management.These technologies include improved molecular detection of pathogens and transgene methods to introduce resistance genes into crops.

Your future career

The main career focus of graduates in Plant Biotechnology is on research and development positions at universities, research institutes, and biotech- or plant breeding companies. Other job opportunities can be found in the fields of policy, consultancy and communication in agribusiness and both governmental and non-governmental organisations. Over 75% of Plant Biotechnology graduates start their (academic) career with a PhD.

Alumnus Behzad Rashidi.
“I obtained my bachelor degree in the field of agricultural engineering, agronomy and plant breeding, at Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. The curiosity and interest for studying plant biotechnology and great reputation of Wageningen University motivated me to follow the master programme Plant Biotechnology. I got a chance to do my internship at State University of New York at Buffalo, working on biofuel production from microalgae. Working with this small unicellular organism made me even more motivated to continue my research after my master. Now I am doing my PhD in the Plant Breeding department of Wageningen University, working on biorefinery of microalgae.”

Related programmes:
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Nutrition and Health
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Biology.

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The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife. Read more

MSc Animal Sciences

The two-year MSc programme Animal Sciences is a continuation of a BSc in Animal Sciences or an equivalent programme in the field of livestock, companion animals and wildlife.

The focus is to deliver skilled professional animal scientists who are well equipped to tackle problems related to sustainable livestock development as well as to the management of livestock and companion animals. The animal-human interaction plays an important role in this study programme. Themes like animal nutrition, animal health, animal welfare, levels of management, genetic diversity and socio-economic factors are all widely discussed.

Programme summary

Humans interact with animals in many different ways, ranging from raising livestock for food to keeping pets for companion. Animal husbandry and livestock development are not only constrained by technical factors, such as feed supply, animal health, management and genetics, but also by infrastructural and socio-economic factors. Consequently, today’s animal scientists need in-depth scientific training combined with a critical attitude towards all factors that limit the sustainable development of animal husbandry. Our individually tailored programme trains students to become expert animal scientists, well-equipped to tackle relevant issues of livestock and animal management.

Specialisations

Within the MSc Animal Sciences you can choose from various specialisations. Each of the specialisations trains you to become an expert in the field. The specialisations in MSc Animal Sciences are:

Animal Breeding and Genetics
Understanding how genetic differences work and how they can be used in a sustainable manner in a wide range of species plays a central role in this specialisation. Students learn how breeding and genetics can contribute to safe and healthy food from animal origin and how it contributes to the health and welfare of animals.

Animal Nutrition
This specialisation deals with the interaction between animals and their nutrition. Students learn about the way animals digest and convert food by studying the nutrient flows and the physiology of the animals in relation to the composition of feeds. They also learn about the effect of feed in relation to health, welfare and behaviour of the animal.

Applied Zoology
Understanding the relationship between structure and function of all systems within the body is the main focus of this specialisation. Students look at organ structures, hormones, bone structure or the immune system of animals and learn how these systems respond to external influences.

Animal Health and Behaviour
Knowledge of the adaptive capacity of animals is required to be able to determine how to keep an animal healthy and how changes affect the animal. Students learn to study behaviour, stress or immune parameters or energy metabolism to determine e.g. which housing system or feed regime is best for animal health and welfare.

Animal Health Management
How can the risk of transmission of infectious diseases be quantified between and within groups of animals? And which factors are of influence on this process? In this specialisation, students learn to combine animal health management at population level with socioeconomic aspects by studying aspects of veterinary epidemiology.

Animal Production Systems
In this specialisation, students will look at animal production systems in relation to the environment worldwide. Students learn about human and animal interaction. They will also study the environmental, economical and social impact that animal production has on the world.

Professional Tracks and International Programmes
In addition to a specialisation, students can choose a professional track that leads to a specific type of career. You can focus on Research, Education, Communication & Policy, or Business & Management. We also offer international programmes that lead to a double master degree, i.e. in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Sustainable Animal Nutrition & Feeding, European Animal Management, or Animal Welfare Assessment.

Your future career

Our graduates work as nutritionists, policymakers, breeding specialists, advisors, managers, researchers or PhD students. They work for feed manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical companies or breeding organisations but also within regional and national governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations or research institutes and universities.

Alumna Linda van Zutphen.
"I work as a Communication Officer for the Research & Development and Quality Affairs department of Nutreco. This company is a global leader in animal nutrition and fish feed. I am involved in marketing and group communication about innovations, quality and sustainability. During my MSc Animal Sciences, I did my internship at Nutreco’s research facility in Spain. The MSc programme provided me with multidisciplinary knowledge on animal production and the skills to apply this. My job gives me the opportunity to combine my scientific background with my passion for communicating about the applications of our research in products for animal health."

Related programmes:
MSc Biology
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MSc Biosystems Engineering
MSc Organic Agriculture.

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During the two-year MSc programme in Forest and Nature conservation you will learn about forest management, deforestation, forestry, ecosystem conservation, wildlife management, social aspects of nature and more. Read more

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation

During the two-year MSc programme in Forest and Nature conservation you will learn about forest management, deforestation, forestry, ecosystem conservation, wildlife management, social aspects of nature and more.

Programme summary

This programme focuses on policy, sustainable management and conservation of forest and nature; i.e. understanding and predicting the effect of phenomena such as global climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, ecotourism, timber production, hunting and animal reintroduction. Insights into all aspects of forest and nature conservation are required to address these issues with emphasis on both ecological and social aspects. The MSc Forest and Nature Conservation programme represents an integrated approach to natural resource management that can be applied at different scales, to diverse ecosystems and in varying political and social contexts. A tailor-made structure, an outstanding research environment and three comprehensive specialisations contribute to making the programme challenging for undergraduates from both the natural and social sciences.

Specialisations

Policy and society
The central study object is the dynamics between people, organisations and institutions within policymaking and policy innovation processes, referred to as `governance'; relative to forest and nature conservation issues, including spatio-temporal aspects. Issues in the field of economics, public administration, communication and strategic planning are addressed in order to conserve and manage forests and natural areas in a sustainable way. Examples are: recreation, communities and natural resources, deforestation, forest governance, sustainable forestry and certification schemes.

Management
This specialisation aims to design and assess realistic and feasible management options for forests and natural areas. The approach is based on specific knowledge and understanding of wildlife management, management of forests and other terrestrial vegetation. Special attention is given to the following questions: What is the best option for wildlife conservation? Do populations need to be managed or not? How does one determine an optimal population level? How should the effects of various management activities, at different spatial and temporal scales, be evaluated? How should the perceptions of different people be dealt with? What are the best options in forest management for a specific area? How to manage nature? How to deal with abiotic, biotic and social bottlenecks in restoration ecology? What is the role of N and P pollution? How to restore shallow lakes? How to restore tropical forests? It is also possible to focus on specific aspects of natural resource management.

Ecology
The emphasis is on understanding the ecological processes that form the basis for the structure, composition and functioning of forests and natural areas. You can specialise in tropical forestry, landscape ecology, animal ecology, forest resource management, plant ecology, biodiversity conservation or tropical nature conservation.

Your future career

The programme provides excellent preparation for Dutch as well as European and non-European jobs. Career possibilities include positions at research institutes and universities, government ministries and local authorities. Positions are also available at state and private forestry, nature conservation services, and environmental assessment agencies. Examples include the European Forest Institute, Birdlife International, and landscape and animal protection organisations such as RAVON or WWF. In the private sector, graduates find jobs at engineering and consultancy bodies, such as Royal Haskoning, the National Fund for Rural Areas or forestry companies. Graduates often begin their career by carrying out research, computer analysis and modelling of ecological systems, working in knowledge transfer or preparing policy documents. Eventually, their careers usually shift towards advisory work, consultancies, research coordination and project management.

Alumnus Wouter Wubben.
Wouter Wubben works for the municipality Westland and is responsible for matters concerning ecology, landscape and water quality. “When I just started working I could directly apply the ecological knowledge from my master, and I was able to pick up missing knowledge very quickly”. Wouter went to the USA to work on forestry for his internship. “During my internship I worked in the field with a lot of different teams, this experience now helps me to communicate with people involved with the implementation of municipality plans. I have a constantly changing job, I started with executive work but I am now responsible for the development of issues in ecology, landscape and water.”

Related programmes:
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Biology
MSc Development and Rural Innovation
MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning
MSc Geoinformation Science
MSc International Development Studies.

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