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What will I learn?

This two-year Master’s programme is aimed at students who want to contribute to the design of the solutions needed to achieve an environmentally and socially accountable society. In this programme, you will learn how to analyse the processes associated with change and will consider the short and long term management of these processes on local and global levels.

Specialise in one of four tracks

Following admission to this Master's programme you can choose one of four specialisation tracks based on your interests in the field. As well as working in your chosen track, you will work in research teams with fellow students from the other tracks.


Energy and Materials

The transition to the sustainable use of energy and materials

Environmental Change and Ecosystems

The suitable use of land and water

Earth System Governance

Governing the social changes needed for an environmentally accountable society

International Development

Sustainable development and living in the Global South

Programme Objective

Sustainable Development is the study of scientific solutions and societal interventions for an environmentally accountable society. This two-year Master’s programme educates the scientists of the future. As a graduate of this programme, you will be able to contribute to innovative environmental solutions and help build a sustainable society.

Energy and Materials

Energy and Materials is a multidisciplinary natural sciences track that focuses on the analysis of energy and materials systems. Current systems are clearly unsustainable as they have a significant negative impact on the environment and are based on finite resources. You will study cleaner and renewable production options and a more efficient consumption of energy and materials needed for sustainable development.

Possible Prospects

The world needs people with comprehensive knowledge of environmental challenges. In this Master's programme you will become familiar with analytical and practical research skills, as well as strategies for intervention. This combination prepares you for a PhD programme or an academic-level position at consultancies, at research institutes, in government, in business or at NGOs. Our graduates work as first-class researchers in the field of sustainable development in academic and professional organisations.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Geosciences

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
€20,473.00 (16,53,716) per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


Utrecht University

Heidelberglaan 8,

Utrecht Science Park / De Uithof,


3584, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants will be considered for admission to the Research Master’s programme in Religious Studies if you can demonstrate the following knowledge, insight, and skills: A relevant Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in the humanities or in one of the social sciences; Proven interest in Religious Studies, as evidenced in a minimum of 30 EC in a relevant field at the Bachelor’s level; Knowledge of basic concepts in Religious Studies and insight into relevant methods; A high standard of academic achievement, as evidenced in an overall grade point average and a Bachelor’s thesis grade equaling “good” or better in the applicable national system. (Typically, Dutch grade 7.5; US grade B; ECTS grade C.) English language requirements: ELTS, Academic Module. Minimum score: 6.5 overall band, at least 6 for writing. TOEFL, iBT. Minimum score: 93 with at least 24 reading, 22 listening, 20 speaking, 17 writing (internet-based test), institutional scores are not accepted. Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

For international students

Applicants should have acquired knowledge and theories relevant to sustainable development in prior studies. Your previous education may include:

  • a multidisciplinary academic Bachelor’s degree combining natural science and social science (e.g. Global Sustainability Science, Future Planet Studies, Earth and Economy) or
  • a natural science Bachelor’s degree with a clear sustainable development component (e.g. courses on sustainable development or societal processes relevant to the subject area) or
  • a social science Bachelor’s degree with a clear sustainable development component (e.g. courses on sustainable development, processes in the natural environment and on mathematics and systems analysis).

Other English language requirements: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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