Master programme

Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary programme that deals with processes that control the earth system and the impact of human activities on this system. The programme emphasises a rigorous process level understanding of important problems in environmental science to learn how to analyse the complex earth system. Therefore, scientific methods of earth sciences, physical geography, life sciences, chemistry, physics and mathematics are used.

The workload of the master’s programme comprises 120 ECTS credits, which is equivalent to a period of four semesters, and consists of the following (groups of) modules:

  • MES 1: Introduction to Environmental Science (15 ECTS)
  • MES 2: Introduction to Environmental Chemistry (15 ECTS)
  • MES 3: Environmental Systems Laboratories (30 ECTS)
  • MES 4: Individual Research Projects (10 ECTS)
  • MES 5: Individual Specialisation (20 ECTS)
  • Master Thesis (25 ECTS + 5 ECTS Defensio)

After getting an overview of the field of study of Environmental Sciences in a ring-lecture and a seminar, students focus on basic issues in environmental chemistry and geochemistry, environmental biology, pollutants and element cycles. They get acquainted with a process oriented view on environmental systems including marine systems, ground and surface water systems, atmospheric and terrestrial systems. Students learn to integrate mathematical models into various processes. Courses in legislation, policy and economics focus on the implementation of the process level understanding of natural systems into these fields.

After this first part of the curriculum, students deepen their knowledge by either studying pre-defined fields of specialisation or by exploring their own combination of subjects within the environmental sciences. Fields of specialisation include ‘Biogeochemical Cycles and Global Change’ and ‘Environmental Pollution and Remediation’.

The degree programme is completed with a master’s thesis and an oral public defence.