Study programme

Sustainable and Circular Chemistry (SCC) is a two-year research Master's programme (120 EC) with research in the fields of Molecular chemistry, Materials science, Catalysis, and Sustainability. EC is short for European Credits, where 1 EC equals 28 hours of work.


The curriculum consists roughly of a 67.5 EC course part and a 52.5 EC research part. The exact EC size of your research part can fluctuate, to allow for flexibility in your selection of electives. The research project can be either 37.5 EC or 52.5 EC, doing a smaller project allows for more space in your secondary electives.

Course part (67.5-82.5 EC)

The course part consists of:

  • Mandatory courses (18.75 EC)
  • Elective courses (48.75 EC)

Research part (37.5 - 52.5 EC)

In our Master programme there is flexibility in the duration of your research project. You can choose to do a smaller project and have more space in your programme to choose different electives or do a larger research project. You can start your research project already in the second period depending on the courses that you choose. You can choose a research topic of your own interest within one of the groups affiliated with the Debye Institute or the Institute for Sustainable and Circular Chemistry. You will shape your own research project and participate as a group member in the group’s team meetings and discussions. Within the research part you will also write your master's thesis and learn to give presentations and discuss the progress and relevance of your research.

Thesis examples in the field of SCC

  • Structure Sensitivity in Catalysis
  • Spectroscopy and Microreactor Technology for Single Catalyst Particle Diagnostics
  • The Birth, Life and Death of Surface-Mounted Metal-Organic Frameworks
  • Manganese and Nickel Complexes as Catalysts for Aromatic Oxidation Novel Methodologies for Non-Noble Metal Catalysis
  • Bioinspired Model Complexes of Non-Heme Iron Enzymes, Modelling the 2-His-1-Carboxylate Facial Triad with a Family of N,N,O Phenolate Ligands

Educational methods

  • Lectures
  • Digital tools
  • Group work: challenge based projects
  • Self-study
  • Master research and internship


  • Research articles
  • Presentations
  • Poster presentation
  • Video pitches
  • Assignments
  • Writing assignment
  • Exams (oral/written)

Extra opportunities

Utrecht University offers several programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. These programmes are followed on top of your regular Master’s programme and go beyond the regular curriculum. Do you want to know more about extracurricular opportunities? 

Read more about the honours programmes