The courses below are 7,5 EC (unless indicated otherwise). The period (1/2/3/4) and time slot (A/B/C/D) are stated in parentheses per course, see schedules. You take 15 EC per period from different timeslots. You have to register for courses yourself. 

Major

The major consists of compulsory courses (75 EC) and optional courses (45 EC). The optional courses are divided into four tracks. At the end of your first year you choose one track. This allows you to deepen your expertise and to focus on a theme that really interest you and best fits your talents. In the third year you also have to write a Bachelor's thesis (15 EC).

The compulsory courses of the major provide you with the necessary background knowledge in sustainability science, a thorough training in research methods and techniques to further develop your analytical skills, and integration projects in which you apply your knowledge and analytical skills to sustainability problems.

You take the following courses (75 EC):

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

The track Water, Climate & Ecosystems focusses on the consequences of climate and land use changes for humans, animals and plants. Climate change has a big impact on the availability of water. The same applies to changing land use – for instance, when a plot of land is drained or is used to cultivate biofuels. The behaviour of humans and animals as well as government decisions, all impact natural systems. What does the past and today’s situation teach us? And what can we expect in the future?

Balance between various courses

  • Natural science: 45%
  • Social science: 10%
  • Interdisciplinary courses: 45%

You take the following courses (22,5 EC): 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Choose three courses (22,5 EC): 

This track addresses the societal origins of sustainability questions, the transformations that are needed to make society more sustainable, and the strategies required to achieve this objective. This involves examining the role of government, international organisations, companies, social organisations and citizens.

Balance between various courses

  • Natural science: 20%
  • Social science: 30%
  • Interdisciplinary courses: 50%

You take the following courses (22,5 EC):

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Choose three courses (22,5 EC): 

Our current energy and resources system is not sustainable. A transformation to a sustainable energy and resources system that is affordable, safe, environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable is needed. This transformation is one of the greatest challenges of our society due to the sheer size and complexity of the energy and resources system and due to the profound impact of the energy and resources system on almost all processes in society.

Balance between various courses

  • Natural science: 50%
  • Social science: 10%
  • Interdisciplinary courses: 40%

You take the following courses (22,5 EC):

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Choose three courses (22,5 EC): 

Technological development and innovation are important in solving a number of sustainability issues. Organisations play an key role here. Not only do they contribute to the development of innovative solutions, they themselves have an impact on the environment. Organisations and innovation, in the context of sustainability, are the core of this track.

Balance between various courses

  • Natural science: 25%
  • Social science: 40%
  • Interdisciplinary courses: 35%

You take the following courses (22,5 EC):

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Choose three courses (22,5 EC): 

These courses are possibly interesting to take in your optional course profile. The courses with Dutch titels are taught in Dutch, the ones with English titels in English. See the Course Catalogue for all Utrecht University courses.

You also take courses in the optional course profile.

  • At least 37,5 EC of the major must be level 2 courses.
  • At least 45 EC of the major must be level 3 courses.
  • Entry requirements may be set for each course, which means that a detailed description is given of the preliminary knowledge that is required for the course. You have to meet the entry requirements to participate in the course. 
  • Please take the entry requirements of the Master's programme you wish to do into consideration. 

If you wish to deviate from the rules for choosing courses, you have to ask for approval beforehand from the Board of Examiners via boardofexaminers.geo@uu.nl. Please motivate your choice and mention your student number in the email.

The Bachelor's programme Global Sustainability Science prepares you well for the following Master's programmes at the Faculty of Geosciences:

Other Master's programmes at Utrecht University that could be interesting are:

Read more on how to choose a Master

If you have any questions about choosing courses or if you have trouble with your study planning, please contact the Study Advisor.