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MSc Urban Environmental Management

Course Description

MSc Urban Environmental Management

The Urban Environmental Management programme is an international and interactive programme providing a balanced curriculum of theory, tools and application. It aims to train students to guide the future along the path of sustainable urbanisation.

Programme summary

The world we live in is an increasingly urban one. Over the past century, a great population shift has occurred from rural to urban areas. Cities now hold half of the world’s population and it is estimated that three out of every five people will live in an urban environment by 2030. This development calls for measures to control the environmental impacts of urbanisation, such as growing traffic, increasing waste emissions, deteriorating air and water quality, and rising energy and resource consumption. Of particular concern are the speed and scale of urbanisation in the developing world as many Asian, African and Latin-American cities are incapable of providing adequate housing and basic urban services. Inadequate water supply, sanitation, waste collection and waste management systems are the cause of serious urban pollution and health hazards. Sustainable management of the urban environment has become one of the major challenges for the future.

The MSc Urban Environmental Management programme aims at equipping its students with the outlook, concepts and tools to manage the urban environment. The programme unites four essential perspectives on the urban environment: environmental quality and health, environmental infrastructure and technology, spatial planning, and governance. Besides integrated theories and views from several disciplines, urban environmental management requires technical and managerial competencies and skills for its implementation. Consequently, the programme provides a balanced curriculum of theory, tools and application. It emphasises the development of an interdisciplinary outlook, critical-thinking, analytical problem solving and practical decision making skills through a combination of teamwork, practical simulation exercises, field trips and an individual research project.


The internship programme offers a valuable opportunity to gain practical experience in a country and organisation as desired. Students can conduct their major thesis research within seven thesis tracks:
• Environmental Economics
• Environmental Policy
• Environmental Systems Analysis
• Geo-information Science
• Management Studies
• Land Use Planning
• Urban Systems Engineering

Experimental thesis research will usually be part of ongoing research programmes of chair groups or research institutes of Wageningen UR. Otherwise, thesis topics originate from the student's own research interests or from discussions with potential supervisors

Your future career

Graduates from the MSc Urban Environmental Management are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to continue their academic training as a PhD student or to begin careers as researcher, adviser or consultant in for example the utilities companies, the services or manufacturing industries, or in governmental organisations.

Alumnus Indra Firmansyah.
“The MSc Urban Environmental Management helped me a lot in acquiring knowledge of both environmental technology and management. After my graduation in 2011, I returned to my home country Indonesia where I worked for the firm Royal HaskoningDHV on a project that focused on urban sanitation development. Recently, I started a PhD at Wageningen UR on the topic of closing nutrient cycles by reusing treated domestic waste (water) in agriculture and aquaculture, taking the Caribbean island St. Eustatius as a case study. This research is interdisciplinary and requires combining the expertise of spatial planning, new sanitation, agriculture and aquaculture.”

Related programmes:
MSc Environmental Sciences
MSc International Development Studies
MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning.

Visit the MSc Urban Environmental Management page on the Wageningen University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Enrolment in a MSc Programme at Wageningen University requires: A BSc degree (or equivalent) in a field of science relevant to your selected programme +A Grade Point Average (GPA) for this BSc of at least 70% of the maximum grade +Fluency in English, both written and spoken +Good skills in mathematics and/or statistics + Basic computer skills (Microsoft Office: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook; use and structure of the Internet; RSI-prevention)

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