Sustainable Development is a two-year Master’s programme aimed at students who want to contribute to the design of the solutions needed for a transformation to more sustainable and just societies. During this Master’s programme you will learn how to analyse processes of change, considering both short- and long-term aspects across local and global levels.

Contribute to sustainable solutions

Sustainable Development is the study of scientific solutions and societal interventions for a sustainable and equitable society. This two-year Master’s programme is aimed at educating 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.

    A transformation to sustainable and just societies

    The programme aims to educate scientists who will be able to make a contribution in the transition and transformation to sustainable and just societies through their research and their professional skills. The programme is of particular interest to students who are willing to broaden their perspectives through collaboration and interaction with students who bring to the programme knowledge of other natural and social science disciplines.

    Specialise in one of four tracks

    In this Master's, you choose one of four tracks based on your interests in the field.

    • Energy and Materials
      The transformation to the sustainable use of energy and materials
    • Environmental Change and Ecosystems
      The sustainable use of land and water
    • Earth System Governance
      Governing the transformations needed for a sustainable world
    • Politics, Ecology and Society
      Exploring the political implications of ecology and the ecological basis of politics

    You’ll find different perspectives and critical reflection among students in every class.

    Joël, student Sustainable Development

    Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development

    This Master’s programme is closely affiliated with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, which is part of Utrecht University. The institute conducts research on a wide range of issues related to sustainable development. The cause and effect chains linking economic activities, ecological values and innovation serves as the point of departure for much of the research.
    Utrecht University’s extensive international network will make a wide range of research projects available to you. This network will also take you right into the heart of scientific practice. Your training will be informed by current research in the field and students are closely involved in research activities within the University.

    Why in Utrecht

    Studying Sustainable Development at Utrecht University has several advantages and benefits.

    • At the start of the programme, you can select one of four tracks to suit your specific interests which gives you the opportunity to tailor your own study programme. As the programme adopts a multidisciplinary approach, combining natural and social sciences, you will work in research teams with students from all four tracks.
    • As a Sustainable Development student, you will be joining a diverse cohort. This means that you will receive individualised support in order to help you to develop your talents to the fullest. You will study in a challenging environment, helping you to develop a well-informed opinion of sustainability issues while considering differing perspectives. 
    • More than 100 students from all over the world are welcomed into the programme each year. This international environment will help you acquire the specialised knowledge, professional attitude, and skills needed to become a first-class researcher working in sustainable development.
    • During the programme you are able go to countries all over the world to do fieldwork.
    • Utrecht University is a partner of the Joint International Master in Sustainable Development. This is an academic collaboration with six international partner universities.

    Key facts

    Environmental Sciences (MSc)
    Language of instruction: 
    Mode of study: 
    Study duration: 
    2 years

    Dutch & EU/EEA students: 1 June

    Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April

    Tuition fees: 
    Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530

    Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 23,765

    More information about fees
    Croho code: 
    Accredited by the NVAO
    Graduate school: 
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