MSc Earth Sciences: Global Environmental Change and Policy

GEC&P cover photo

Master         English         2 years         Full time

What’s the master programme about?

Humanity has entered the Anthropocene, a new period in Earth history characterised by the unprecedented impacts of human activities on the Earth’s systems; if you want to help create sustainable solutions to these challenges, this programme is for you. GEC&P is one of the specialisations in the master’s programme, Earth Sciences, with an emphasis on developing research skills. The GEC&P programme is interdisciplinary: it combines a wide range of disciplines, including earth science, climate science, environmental economics, and governance and policy making. This programme is taught in English.

In the videos, teachers explain important themes that will be covered in the programme.

Dim CoumouM SchaafsmaJ Dell'AngeloV Seufert
J BlaschP WardA van Loon


  • First year: study Earth Sciences, Environmental Economics and Environmental Policy and Governance, exploring integrated approaches to solving global sustainability challenges. Students learn to conduct sustainability fieldwork in Tenerife.
  • Second year: you will deepen your studies in one of the three streams: energy, water or ecosystems and biodiversity.

Future prospects

Graduates are able to pursue advanced careers in research, consultancy, international organizations and companies, and governments. Graduates can also qualify for national and international sustainability PhD programmes.

Contact person: Dr Marleen de Ruiter

Contact information: 

Please download the extra information.

More information


Unsure whether to decide on the Environment and Resource Management Master, or rather go with Global Environmental Change and Policy?

What is the difference between the Master programmes in Environment and Resource Management and Global Environmental Change and Policy? While these two programmes may initially appear to cover similar themes, the two programmes take different approaches. We want to outline the main differences for you:

The Environment and Research Management Master is a one-year programme with a more management focus and is open to students from all different disciplinary backgrounds. The study is about finding solutions for societal problems related to natural resource depletion and environmental change. Because of its wide range of different students, the ERM curriculum is designed to first provide the fundamental knowledge and skills on climate change and sustainability, assuming that students have no prior knowledge. The study then focuses on fundamental environmental problems of our time, notably the provision of sustainable energy and the sustainable governance of water, climate, food systems and ecosystems. By choosing one of four specialisations, from Global Food Challenges, Energy and Climate, Global Water Challenges, or Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity, the master’s programme enables students to focus on exactly those topics that are of interest to the respective student and thus enables a unique deepening of knowledge in the field.

After completing the programme students are able to find future job prospective in the fields of becoming consultants, work as NGO leaders, entrepreneurs, work in ministry officials or international civil servants.

The Global Environmental Change and Policy Master programme is designed as a two-year programme with a focus in research. The study outline is about to create sustainable solutions to challenges caused by human impacts on the Earth’s geological and environmental systems through sound interdisciplinary research. The aim is to contribute to sustainable solutions by analysing science in conjunction with the broader social, political and economic aspects of global environmental change. There is a greater emphasis on developing research skills through courses teaching research methods and how to design interdisciplinary research. Courses include climate and earth sciences, environmental economics and governance and policy making. By choosing different elective courses in the second year, students are able to deepen their knowledge in either energy, ecosystems and biodiversity, or water.

Future job prospective for graduates of this programme are becoming a PhD researcher, working at a research institutes, international organizations, NGOs, national government or in think tanks.