Why Utrecht University

Broad and in-depth programme

Over the three years, you become acquainted with a number of subjects, organising your own research, working in teams and providing advice. You acquire a broad basis which will allow you to define what Master’s programme you’d like to pursue subsequently. But a broad programme does not mean that the knowledge you acquire is superficial. The levels at which the courses are given provide you with a solid groundwork for your Master’s. Moreover, after your first year, you’ll be choosing one of four tracks so as to acquire extra in-depth knowledge. 

The four tracks laid out for you are:

  • Water, Climate & Ecosystems - consequences of climate change for humans, animals and plants
  • Energy & Resources - solutions for the sustainable production and consumption of energy and resources
  • Governance & Societal Transformation -societal and policy processes and the influences on sustainable choice behaviour
  • Business & Innovation - innovation processes related to sustainability within and between organisations

A programme taught entirely in English

Global Sustainability Science is an English-taught programme. Sustainability is a global issue, in which communications are primarily in English. An English-taught Bachelor’s programme constitutes a good preparation for an English-taught Master’s and, of course, for a possible international career. The programme is open to international students and is taught by an international team of lecturers. If you meet the entry requirements, then your English level is more than satisfactory. You’ll find that within a couple of months you’ll feel fully at ease in English. Should you need any extra support, we can help you with your academic English.

Studying abroad

A period of study abroad can provide a huge stimulus for your academic and personal development. This programme allows you to conduct part of your studies (six months maximum) in a foreign country; for instance, through an exchange programme. Utrecht University collaborates with several partner universities all over the world. As an exchange student, you remain enrolled at Utrecht University and you pay no tuition fees to the foreign university. For Global Sustainability Science students there are exchange places at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)  and at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (amongst other destinations). Both universities offer a broad range of sustainability courses which fit well in your programme. Find out more on the Global Sustainability Science StudyAbroad website.

A new programme with a solid foundation

Global Sustainability Science stems from the Environmental Studies (MMW) and the Environmental Sciences (MNW) programmes. The field of environmental sciences has evolved at a rapid pace over the past ten years in the direction of sustainability sciences. The best solutions to sustainability questions can only be developed at the intersection of several different disciplines. This is why the programme’s set-up has been renewed. We took a thorough approach and created a good balance between the natural and social science subjects.

A programme under continuous development

Global Sustainability Science is an innovative programme, in which you learn to anticipate new developments and are exposed to the latest international themes and theories. Experimental teaching methods are also highlighted. For example, video conferencing, which allows you to ‘attend’ the lectures of pioneering international scientists at Harvard, Cambridge, Columbia or MIT: digital travel to the latest insights. The new, sustainable building, where you will often attend lectures, is fully equipped for this form of teaching. It has comfortable lecture and tutorial rooms, inspiring meeting areas and low-stimulus rooms where you can take a break. 

The best university in the Netherlands

In the 2015 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities, Utrecht University was ranked as the best university in the Netherlands. With over 30,000 students and more than 6,000 members of staff, Utrecht University is one of the largest general research universities in Europe.

The best research institute in the field of sustainability

Our scientists conduct sustainability research within the university’s Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. In 2014, international experts declared Copernicus to be the best research institute in the field of sustainability in the Netherlands and among the world’s top institutes in the field. Your lecturers are very active within Copernicus in carrying out research into topical sustainability themes. They are at the centre of societal concerns, have extensive contacts with international scientists, and are always abreast of the latest developments. As a student, you will thus be exposed to a number of international sustainability issues of current and future relevance. The questions being tackled today by the researchers of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development define those to be tackled in the future. You’ll find it exciting to be involved at an early stage with themes of future prominence.

Solar panel bench Utrecht University