Programme of Earth and Environment

The MSc Earth and Environment is a two year programme. Starting in September, the first year consists of 40 weeks of coursework. The second year is divided into an academic internship (16 weeks) and the thesis research (26 weeks). The programme is individually tailored to your interests and requirements.

Your tailor-made masterprogramme

In the first year, you take a number of compulsory courses (CS), restricted optional subjects (RO) and optional subjects (O). Together with your Study Adviser, you put together and agree a personal Master programme that suits your knowledge, skills and interests.

All Wageningen University Master programmes have six teaching periods in the first year. You start your studies with two common courses ‘Interdisciplinary Topics in Earth and Environment’ and ‘Environmental Data Collection and Analysis’ (8 weeks). In period two till six you take courses from your chosen specialisation, free choice courses and choose one from three Academic Master Cluster courses.

Gaining work experience

Academic Master Cluster

Depending on your specialisation, you take an Academic Master Cluster in the 5th or 6th period in the first year. You either work on a project for a client, as part of the ‘Academic Consultancy Training’, in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team, or you participate in a specific climate change module ‘Impact, Adaptation, and Mitigation’. The third option is to take the Research Master Cluster and follow a module on academic research proposal writing.


The 16 week internship is a required element of the Master programme. In your second year you work at an institute outside Wageningen University or even outside the Netherlands. Your internship is a unique learning opportunity, where you can apply your academic skills in a professional environment, preparing you for your future (academic) career. In some cases, the internship can be replaced by a minor or a second thesis.


The Master Earth and Environment offers a choice of different thesis subjects at ten Wageningen University Chair Groups. The thesis consists of 26 weeks of research and writing. Your choice of thesis and Chair Group depends on your chosen specialisation in the first year. You receive individual supervision from a Chair Group staff member. You agree the research topic with your study adviser and your thesis supervisor. You can choose from a range of subjects offered by your Chair Group, other institutes, or even a subject based on your own research interests.

Your resulting thesis is graded by your supervisor and another, independent, staff member. You are also required to present your results during a seminar, the ‘colloquium’.

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