Education Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA)

The Earth Systems and Global Change Group offers a divers educational programme in the fields of ‘Environmental Systems Analysis’ and ‘Water Systems and Global Change’. On this page you will find the educational programme in the field of Environmental Systems Analysis. Besides the BSc and MSc courses, it is also possible to do your thesis or internship under supervision of a staff member of our group.

Course overview

Courses offered in Environmental Systems Analysis:

  • ESA-10309 Environmental Sciences and Society
  • ESA-11306 Environment & Tourism
  • ESA-11806 Tourism Geographies
  • ESA-20506 Introduction to Environmental Systems Analysis
  • ESA-20806 Principles of Environmental Sciences
  • ESA-22303 International Study Visits Environmental Sciences
  • ESA-22806 Environmental Systems Analysis: Methods and Applications
  • ESA-23806 Tourism Systems Analysis
  • ESA-31306 Regional Environmental Management
  • ESA-31806 Environmental Assessments of Nutrient and Pollution Management
  • ESA-32306 Engaging and modelling with stakeholders to solve environmental problems
  • ESA-60312 European Workshop Environmental Sciences and Management

Courses offered in Environmental Systems Analysis are in the Study Handbook.

Educational programmes

Environmental Systems Analysis contributes, among others, to the following educational programmes:

BSc programmes

English MSc programmes

PhD programmes

General information about PhD programmes

MSc thesis

You can obtain thesis credit points in Environmental Systems Analysis within MES, MUE, MCL and MBI. The prerequisites for a thesis depend on your MSc program. In principle and for most master programmes, the prerequisites (in total 12 credits) for a thesis of 30 EC or more are:

  • Compulsory course for all MES, MUE and MCL students is ESA-22806 Environmental Systems Analysis: Methods and Applications, unless the student has graduated the BSc Environmental Sciences (BES) program;
  • MES students must also have passed one of the following three courses: ESA-31806 Nutrient and Pollution Management, ESA-31306 Regional Environmental Management or ESA-32306 Engaging & Modelling with Stakeholders; 
  • MUE students must also have passed one of the following two courses: ESA-32306 Engaging & Modelling with Stakeholders or ESA-31306 Regional Environmental Management; 
  • MCL students must also have passed one of the following three courses: ESA-31806 Nutrient and Pollution Management, ESA-31306 Regional Environmental Management or ESA-32306 Engaging & Modelling with Stakeholders;
  • MTO students following the thematic trajectories Tourism & Natural Resources and Tourism & Global Change must have passed the course ENP-31006 Governance of Tourism & Natural Resources;
  • Other MSc students should contact the ESA thesis coordinator.

For additional information, please consult the programme details in the study handbook and/or contact the thesis coordinator.

Students who would like to do their MSc thesis in Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA) can contact one the thesis coordinators: Dr Jana Verboom ( or Aritta Suwarno PhD ( to plan an orientation meeting. Please do so well before the planned start-date of your thesis (i.e. preferably at least two months, also take into account that most lecturers take holidays in July or August). To prepare for this meeting you send an overview of the courses you followed, including the grades, to one of the thesis coordinators with whom you want to make an appointment. In addition, you should have taken a look at the ESA research topics and possible thesis subjects available at our website (possible thesis subjects). It is also possible to do a thesis on your own topic. However, you must already have elaborated such topic in a short one-page proposal, so that we can judge if it fits within the domain of Environmental Systems Analysis. Also keep in mind that ESC staff, who have to supervise you, do not have expertise in all topical and methodological areas. Please discuss the suitability of your proposed topic with the thesis coordinators during the orientation meeting. Depending on the outcome of this meeting, you may have a second meeting with a potential supervisor of the ESC Group before deciding on the topic of your thesis.

Once you have made contact with a potential supervisor, you will further select and specify the final research topic. Before starting your thesis work register for the ESA thesis ring by sending an email to the thesis ring coordinator Ir Sverre Vink (

During the first meeting with your supervisor, you will obtain further information about the thesis trajectory and requirements. Together with your supervisor you will complete your thesis agreement form. To read more about how to get started on a MSc thesis in ESA, download the Information brochure for ESA students starting a thesis. See below all necessary brochures and forms.

More information

Brochures and forms

Other forms you might need.

MSc internship

The internship is meant to gain experience with the potential professional environment in which you could work after your graduation.

Most of the MSc students who do a major thesis in the field of Environmental Systems Analysis will also do an internship in ESA.

There are two ways to arrange your ESA internship:

1. If you already know a host organisation where you would like to do your internship, you can make an appointment with the internship coordinator to discuss whether this organisation and the activities you are going to do meet the requirements for an ESA internship. After approval by the internship coordinator and the selection of your internship supervisor (if you did not have a supervisor already), you can start making arrangements for your internship with your host organisation.

2. If you want to do an ESA internship, but do not yet know in which organisation, there are several places where you can look for inspiration:

  • Have a look at the internship opportunities at the ESA website
  • You can use the possible thesis subjects list to see the different research projects in which the ESA is involved. In that list you will probably find an interesting topic and internship provider
  • Search for interesting internship vacancies or interesting job vacancies at possible host organisations
  • Consult the Student Career Services webpages and follow them on Facebook for internship positions, information on events and companies etcetera
  • Consult the career platform Jobteaser for internships, vacancies, career events and information about partner organisations

Internships can be carried out at a host organisation, such as a company, public institution, consultancy firm, research organisation, another university or a nongovernmental organisation, as long as the internship at these institutions is related to environmental systems analysis. The organisation may be a Dutch organisation, an organisation in another country or an international organisation.

One major requirement that should be met by the internship provider is that there is guaranteed supervision on an academic level by at least one staff member of the organisation.

If you want to discuss the possibilities for internships, please contact our internship coordinators Wichertje Bron ( or Keith Williams (

After you have come to an agreement with your host organisation and with the internship coordinator, you will need to arrange your internship contract. After that you can arrange your internship learning agreement together with you WU supervisor, see below for the downloads.

Please read our Course guide MSc Internship. Here you can find all the information you need to start, do and complete your internship. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the internship coordinator Wichertje Bron.

NB You can only start your internship after a clear approval of both the host organisation AND the internship coordinator of ESA!

More information

Brochures and forms

Other forms you might need.

Contact persons