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Masters Degrees in Environmental Geography, Netherlands

We have 10 Masters Degrees in Environmental Geography, Netherlands

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Teaching you to become a spatial planner who can engage with EU policies, cooperate with planners across borders and coordinate with other sectors like environment and economic development. Read more

Overview

Teaching you to become a spatial planner who can engage with EU policies, cooperate with planners across borders and coordinate with other sectors like environment and economic development.

The influence of the European Union on spatial and environmental planning in the member states and regions is ever increasing. The Master’s in European Spatial and Environmental Planning (ESEP) offers a solid theoretical foundation to analyse the EU policies for environment, renewable energy and regional development and to understand how they influence spatial planning policies and practices. This programme also offers training in research methodology and teaches how to conduct meaningful comparisons.

Although the main focus of ESEP lies on the European Union and its policies and influences, the programme also addresses international policies and legislation that influence spatial planning, notably in relation to climate change. We look at the different positions member states and influential global players have on contemporary themes and critically discus how solutions can be found that would benefit all. You’ll better understand the multi-level system of governance in the integrated European Union, how EU policies are made and the influence they have on spatial planning systems, and how professionals can engage in European policy debates.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/esep

Why study European Spatial and Environmental Planning at Radboud University?

- This programme looks beyond domestic policies and beyond spatial and environmental planning within one country, and acknowledges the significant role the EU nowadays plays in our policies and practices.
- This programme focuses on the influence of the EU and international policies and how to cooperate with planners in other countries. It also teaches you how different sectors are interlinked in the field of spatial planning.
- This is an interdisciplinary programme as it is jointly offered by the Master’s programmes in Spatial Planning and of the Political and in Social and Political Sciences of the Environment. This also means you can choose with which MSc degree you would like to graduate (programme outlines are identical).
- You can mould this programme to suit your interests and future career plans through the choice of assignment topics and your Master’s thesis and a possible internship in the second semester.
- This programme is policy-oriented with links to planning practice. There are opportunities to prepare the thesis during an internship or to combine it with a stay abroad. We already have a wide network of partners for those wanting to go abroad.
- This Master’s challenges and stimulates students, who work in small groups on contemporary themes and learn to think critically about new developments.

Career prospects

There is great demand for spatial and environmental planners with a thorough knowledge of the European and international policy context. Our graduates work in European institutions, national and regional public authorities, consultancies and NGOs dealing with spatial planning, regional policy and environmental policy. They work in positions as researchers, consultants, project managers and policy advisors. Because of the international orientation and the thorough academic foundation of the Master's programme, graduates are also well prepared to pursue a PhD degree in the Netherlands or another European country.

- Choosing your expertise
During your application process you’ll choose whether you want to do this specialisation as one of the following Master’s programmes:
- Master’s in Spatial Planning
- Master’s in Environment and Society Studies

This means that you will graduate with an MSc in either Spatial Planning or in the Social and Political Sciences of the Environment, even though the study programme is identical. The diploma supplement accompanying your degree certificate will state that you have followed the ESEP specialisation and the courses you passed.

Experience shows that the choice of MSc degree will likely reflect your personal preferences, but because the programme outlines are identical it does not influence your career prospects.

More important for your future career aspirations are the topic of your Master’s thesis and possible internship. We therefore offer our students a large amount of freedom in choosing their thesis topic within the field of spatial and environmental planning. We also have a broad European network which allows us to help you go abroad if that will help you acquire the knowledge you need and the expertise you desire.

Our research in this field

The Radboud University department in Geography, Spatial Planning and Environment has developed its own profile, which is supported with internationally recognised research. The emphasis is on the social science and policy studies approach to environmental policy and spatial planning. We use approaches from EU studies, governance studies, political sciences, economics, sociology and other related approaches in our research.

All researchers of our department are affiliated with the Institute for Management Research (IMR). Central to the IMR research are six Multidisciplinary Research Groups bringing together expertise from different disciplines and addressing complex societal issues. In these groups, interaction with societal actors takes place, needs for both fundamental knowledge and knowledge from society are articulated, and both conceptual and empirical research undertaken. The Multidisciplinary Research Groups in which researchers from Geography, Spatial Planning and Environment participate are:
- Europeanization of Policy and Law
- Gender and Power in Politics and Management
- Global-Local Divides and Connections
- Governance and innovations in social services
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Ecosystems
- Responsible Decision Making

Thesis topics
As a Master’s student of European Spatial and Environmental Planning you have plenty of freedom to choose your own Master’s research topic in order to create your own expertise.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/esep

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Studying the way issues of complex global sustainability are addressed by international governance arrangements, rules and organisations, both public and private. Read more

Master's in Global Environment and Sustainability

Studying the way issues of complex global sustainability are addressed by international governance arrangements, rules and organisations, both public and private.

Environmental hazards and natural disasters are not restricted to national borders. The consequences of climate change, depletion of the world’s natural resources and other environmental problems are felt by all countries. And all countries contribute to it. Solutions therefore need to be made at an international level.

Yet, the challenges are more complex than merely finding the right ecological solution to an environmental problem. The three pillars of sustainability need to be considered: people, profit, planet. There are various, sometimes conflicting interests involved. Can a country that struggles with extreme poverty be asked to invest time and money in environmental issues? The question arises if a fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens is even possible.

See the website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/global

Complex problems and numerous players

In the Master’s specialisation in Global Environment and Sustainability you’ll gain the required knowledge of the economic, political, ethical and societal dimensions shaping environmental problems and possible solutions in a globalising world. You’ll be introduced to the latest scientific insights, which will be illustrated with numerous examples of how countries all over the world tackle these problems and the various interests at play.

This specialisation focuses on the relationships between global players like international institutions, multinational companies, environmental organisations and the regimes that govern over the world’s natural resources. Of course, this involves understanding what the major environmental treaties like the Treaty of Lisbon and the Kyoto-protocol are based upon as well as how these climate policies are developed. But it also includes understanding how agreements and partnerships between, for example, NGOs and corporations operate.

See the website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/global

Why study Global Environment and Sustainability at Radboud University?

The specialisation strongly focuses on the global level of sustainability transformations and the international agreements and policies intended to make big strides towards a sustainable future.
You’ll gain a broad view of the problems and possible solutions. Among the pressing issues addressed are those related to climate change, biodiversity, water quality, the quality of ecosystems and supply of natural resources.
Related aspects of human geography will be incorporated in this specialisation. You can also take courses from the Master’s in Human Geography as electives for a multidisciplinary perspective.
Due to the knowledge and skills gained in international governance and policy, this specialisation will prepare you for an international career.

You’ll also benefit from the advantages of the Master’s programme in Environment and Society Studies in general.
See the website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/ess

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How can we work towards a sustainable future? There are plenty of new sustainable technologies, smart governmental instruments and new ideas on organising the market to become more sustainable, but very often we don’t use them. Read more

Master's in Environmental and Society Studies

How can we work towards a sustainable future? There are plenty of new sustainable technologies, smart governmental instruments and new ideas on organising the market to become more sustainable, but very often we don’t use them. Why is that? What can we learn from successful examples of societal change in other countries?

This programme focuses on the way society deals with its physical environment. We’ll look at experiences of countries all over the globe, at good and bad practises and at the role of markets and governments as well as society itself. You’ll become part of the quest for sustainability. How can we green our economies and change daily behaviour? With the help of other disciplines like sociology, psychology, political science and administration, you’ll gain the complete picture.

Our multidisciplinary programme allows you to look beyond country borders and you’ll discover what is needed on different levels, from the United Nations to Europe, from individual countries to the local level. What is the role of the EU in promoting the 20-20-20 Agenda? And what can be done by people themselves, through, for examples, citizens’ initiatives? In short, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to guide and influence societal transformations towards sustainability.

See the website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/ess

Why study Environment and Society Studies at Radboud University?

More than many other Master’s programmes, this programme focuses on the political transformations needed for societal change. Scientific insights are illustrated with numerous social and political issues from all over the world.
All lectures, seminars and literature deal with internationally comparative studies on environment, sustainability and social and political change.

Theory is put into practice. During the programme, you'll be in close contact with the professional field by means of guest lecturers and practical assignments, allowing you to assess how well key theories and dynamics perform in practise.
Seminars are interactive so you can acquire the needed skills. For example, participation in negotiation games and debates will strengthen your ability to match the interests of various stakeholders in environmental planning.
There is an obligatory internship (chosen from a list of well-established (inter)national organisations) that will help you to expand your professional network.
For a multidisciplinary perspective, we cooperate with other groups within the department of Geography, Planning and Environment and other departments of the Nijmegen School of Management.

Specialisations

You can choose a specialisation that best reflects your passion for the environment, sustainability and governance. Radboud University offers the following five specialisations in this field:

Global Environment and Sustainability

In this specialisation, you'll study the way complex global sustainability issues are addressed by international governance arrangements, rules and organisations, both public and private. Among the pressing issues are those related to climate change, biodiversity, water quality, the quality of ecosystems and natural resource suppliers.

Corporate Sustainability

The private sector plays a crucial role in shaping our sustainable society. In this specialisation you'll study innovative environmental partnerships, specifically focusing on the role of the societal and ethical responsibility of business and the market with regards to the environment.

Local Environmental Change and Sustainable Cities

In this specialisation you'll focus on the local level of sustainable transformations, in particular the development of sustainable cities and regions. You'll analyse and reflect on sustainable futures, measures and instruments with regard to waste, energy, water, transport and climate-proofing cities and regions.

European Spatial and Environmental Planning

This specialisation will teach you to become a spatial planner who can engage with EU policies, cooperate with planners across borders and coordinate with other sectors like environment and economic development.

PLANET Europe

The aims and objectives of PLANET Europe are similar to those of European Spatial and Environmental Planning. With PLANET Europe you’ll gain two diplomas in two years from different universities if you successfully complete the programme.

See the website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/ess

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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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Together with its partners TU Dresden and University of Lisbon, UNESCO-IHE conducts the Joint Erasmus Mundus Programme in Groundwater and Global Change - Impacts and Adaptation (GroundwatCH). Read more
Together with its partners TU Dresden and University of Lisbon, UNESCO-IHE conducts the Joint Erasmus Mundus Programme in Groundwater and Global Change - Impacts and Adaptation (GroundwatCH).

Groundwater and Global Change - Impacts and Adaptation seeks to offer a distinctive curriculum built on the cornerstones of hydro(geo)logy, climatology, impacts and adaptation, within a framework of human pressures, global change and feedbacks, around the following academic focal areas:

General Hydrogeology
Groundwater Data Collection
Interpretation and Modelling
Climate Processes and Modelling
Integrated River Basin and Water Resource Management
Groundwater and Environmental Impacts
Groundwater, Society and Policies
Groundwater, Climate and Global Change Impacts and Adaptation

With this curriculum GroundwatCH aims to address the current gaps in higher education with regard to the understanding of the interactions between groundwater, surface water, climate and global change, and how we need to consider and can benefit from these interactions when dealing with adaptation.

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The MSc Programme in Urban Water and Sanitation educates professionals in the fields of water supply, sanitation and integrated urban engineering, particularly in urban areas.. Read more
The MSc Programme in Urban Water and Sanitation educates professionals in the fields of water supply, sanitation and integrated urban engineering, particularly in urban areas.

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You will study various dimensions and aspects of globalisation, notably as this relates to socio-economic and spatial development for different parts of the world, the Global South in particular. Read more

Master's specialisation in Globalisation, Migration and Development

You will study various dimensions and aspects of globalisation, notably as this relates to socio-economic and spatial development for different parts of the world, the Global South in particular. Core issues on which this master specialisation will focus include: changing relationships of global and local societies through the rise of new social and spatial inequalities brought about by global processes, migration and mobility and the emergence of transnational identities versus local interpretations in so-called multicultural societies. Overall we give particular emphasis to the relationship with urban contexts of these issues, but do also link it up with rural domains, e.g. in studying sustainability of livelihood strategies and development policies in different regions.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/gmd

Career prospects

Our graduates are employed in a wide range of jobs in- and outside the Netherlands. To give some insight in the scope of the work they do we have categorised this as follows, adding that this list is not exhaustive:
1. Working for the Dutch government at local, regional, national and international levels regarding development issues such as poverty, livelihoods, social exclusion and empowerment:
- Policymaker / programme researcher for city municipalities focusing on integration and multi-cultural issues, especially in the low-income neighbourhoods;
- Policy development expert for Provincial Governments in The Netherlands;
- Policy expert or programme/field officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- Programme officer with Nuffic (Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher education)

2. Working as an NGO practitioner in development cooperation:
- Field officer for Max Havelaar or Fair Trade, visiting developing countries to establish business contracts with local farmer organisations;
- Research officer for the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (http://www.cbi.nl/) promoting and facilitating entry of entrepreneurs from developing countries in the European market.
- Researcher/programme officer with development aid related organisations such as: Cordaid, VSO, SNV, Novib/Oxfam, Hivos and COS (Association of Centres for international cooperation at the provincial level), or a migrant (umbrella) organisation.

3. Pursuing an academic career (research and education) with one of many research institutes studying migration, globalisation, integration or development issues in the Netherlands and abroad:
- Conducting highly innovative PhD research on migration and development, health and urbanisation, the rural impact of globalisation, etc. (see http://www.nwo.nl/ for past research proposals)
- Working for a research institute/organisation involved with migration and globalisation: e.g. MPI, IOM, Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/gmd

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Managing water resources, river catchments, and coastal zones are outstanding challenges of today and tomorrow!. Global Changes ask for a comprehensive scientific approach, an international multidisciplinary orientation and require a new mind-set towards water and coastal management problems. Read more
Managing water resources, river catchments, and coastal zones are outstanding challenges of today and tomorrow!

Global Changes ask for a comprehensive scientific approach, an international multidisciplinary orientation and require a new mind-set towards water and coastal management problems. We train you to become an international expert in Coastal and Water Management, with two Master degrees one from the Carl-von-Ossietzky-University of Oldenburg and one from the University of Groningen! Be one of this new breed of water and coastal managers!

The Master of Science in Water and Coastal Management offers you an innovative and versatile opportunity of advanced academic education, ready to be put into practice. Taught by outstanding experts highly conversant with environmental, socio-economic, and spatial sciences, you will be trained to manage the water and coastal resources of future societies in a sustainable way.

Degree: MSc in Environmental and Infrastructure Planning

Why in Groningen?

You have the unique opportunity to study abroad, in an international atmosphere and in a familiar surrounding. Get to know the two Universities Groningen and Oldenburg, find the organising institutions FRW and the ICBM, Learn more about the innovative WCM-master, about the enthralling curriculum, and about the outstanding perspectives and how to enrol.

Job perspectives

The double Master of Science degree in Water and Coastal Management opens many doors. You will be prepared to work in public organizations that are directly or indirectly responsible for water management and/or the management of coastal resources, i.e. national, regional and local authorities.

Furthermore your educational background will be suitable for finding a job at various governmental and non-governmental agencies that have special responsibilities for the coastal area and/or water management. In addition, consultancy firms with different specializations and/or research institutes will be interested in a student who has completed this ambitious double degree program.

Research

The DDM Water and Coastal Management program is closely connected to the research agenda of the Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, more specifically to the agenda of the research group 'Coastal Resilience'.

Coastal Resilience Research Group (CRRG) conducts research on a wide range of water and coastal management, coastal sustainability, governance, wellbeing and regional decline related issues. The starting point of CRRG research is the realization of the high level of complexity and nuance of the problems emerging in vulnerable areas in times of changing climate, population and economic conditions. The ambition of the CRRG is to contribute to strengthening coastal regions and establishing sustainable communities. By doing that CRRG contributes to the university-wide research focus area Sustainable Society and to the Faculty of Spatial Sciences research mission tWIST (Towards well-being, innovation and spatial transformation) .

CRRG research covers a variety of issues: adaptive governance for flood prone areas; resilience of rural communities; governance of protected landscapes; ecosystem- and coastal vulnerability; the role of arts in building community resilience; tourism in vulnerable coastal regions; risk communication and disaster recovery. Please visit our 'people' or 'projects' link for more details on our individual research projects.

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Studying innovations and socio-economic transformations that enhance an environmentally sustainable economy, in particular the role of business and the market. Read more

Master's in Environmental and Society Studies

Master's specialisation in Corporate Sustainability

Studying innovations and socio-economic transformations that enhance an environmentally sustainable economy, in particular the role of business and the market.

The private sector plays a crucial role in shaping our sustainable society. Products and services and the way they’re developed, produced, and distributed put a considerable amount of pressure on the world’s resources. The private sector is therefore key to solving structural resource scarcity and environmental problems, notably related to fossil energy use and climate change.

More and more businesses believe they have a responsibility to tackle environmental challenges and, indeed, do so. But how can all businesses be gotten to think of both planet and profit? Does it work best when the pressure comes directly from governance in the form of economic sanctions and legislation? Or is it better that the pressure comes from consumers demanding sustainability? If so, how can public opinion be swayed in favour of the environment?

See on our website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/corporate

Innovations and socio-economic transformations

In the Master’s in Corporate Sustainability, we’ll look at all these aspects. Therefore, you can expect to learn about behavioural economics, organisational studies and innovation management as well as about different environmentally sustainable economies. Examples of sustainable economy include the we-economy, the bio-economy, the circular economy and the sharing economy. Another crucial question is whether these can exist in the current market where the main focus lies on economic growth.

You’ll be introduced to the latest scientific insights, which will be illustrated with numerous examples from the private sector: from cars and light bulbs to second-hand item web shops to coffee and chocolate. Because of the attention given to both strategy and policy, you’ll be able to work as an advisor for both the private and public sector. You could help governmental organisations and NGOs stimulate companies and consumers to make the needed change. Or you could work for a company in any sector and show them the power of environmental innovation.

Why study Corporate Sustainability at Radboud University?

The specialisation strongly focuses on the corporate level of sustainability transformations and corporate social responsibility.
There’s particular attention for innovation: not just technological innovations but also on innovating manufactory processes and new business models.
The main focus is on policies and the social-organisational aspects surrounding innovations rather than the concrete innovations themselves.
Related aspects of business administration will be incorporated in this specialisation. You can also take courses from the Master’s in Business Administration as electives for a multidisciplinary perspective.
You’ll also benefit from the advantages of the Master’s programme in Environment and Society Studies in general.

Environment and Society Studies: Towards a sustainable future

See on our website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/corporate

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This programme trains you to do research in the Spatial Sciences. economic and cultural geography, spatial planning and demography. Read more
This programme trains you to do research in the Spatial Sciences: economic and cultural geography, spatial planning and demography. The programme is aimed at people who want to become successful researchers in the field.

The two-year Research Master in Spatial Sciences (before September 1, 2016 called Regional Studies) is interdisciplinary. Spatial sciences, regional studies geography and spatial planning constitute an interrelated, inherently broad and multi-disciplinary field. A field not only rich in theoretical variety but also encompassing both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, from ethnographic to case study to statistical and econometric approaches. You will develop real competences in all of these areas, in order to choose your own area of research, and become a successful researcher in the Spatial Sciences field in general.

You will participate in research projects under supervision of experienced staff members, within the Faculty's Research Program tWIST: Towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. Regular personal coaching, guidance and monitoring will help you to identify your own preferred learning trajectory and develop your individual research agenda. You are required to gain some international experience, by doing research in a foreign context, and by participating in international workshops or conferences. You can also choose to study abroad.

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