During the two-year MSc programme in Forest and Nature conservation you will learn about forest management, deforestation, forestry, ecosystem conservation, wildlife management, social aspects of nature and more.
This programme focuses on policy, sustainable management and conservation of forest and nature; i.e. understanding and predicting the effect of phenomena such as global climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, ecotourism, timber production, hunting and animal reintroduction. Insights into all aspects of forest and nature conservation are required to address these issues with emphasis on both ecological and social aspects. The MSc Forest and Nature Conservation programme represents an integrated approach to natural resource management that can be applied at different scales, to diverse ecosystems and in varying political and social contexts. A tailor-made structure, an outstanding research environment and three comprehensive specialisations contribute to making the programme challenging for undergraduates from both the natural and social sciences.
Policy and society The central study object is the dynamics between people, organisations and institutions within policymaking and policy innovation processes, referred to as `governance'; relative to forest and nature conservation issues, including spatio-temporal aspects. Issues in the field of economics, public administration, communication and strategic planning are addressed in order to conserve and manage forests and natural areas in a sustainable way. Examples are: recreation, communities and natural resources, deforestation, forest governance, sustainable forestry and certification schemes.
Management This specialisation aims to design and assess realistic and feasible management options for forests and natural areas. The approach is based on specific knowledge and understanding of wildlife management, management of forests and other terrestrial vegetation. Special attention is given to the following questions: What is the best option for wildlife conservation? Do populations need to be managed or not? How does one determine an optimal population level? How should the effects of various management activities, at different spatial and temporal scales, be evaluated? How should the perceptions of different people be dealt with? What are the best options in forest management for a specific area? How to manage nature? How to deal with abiotic, biotic and social bottlenecks in restoration ecology? What is the role of N and P pollution? How to restore shallow lakes? How to restore tropical forests? It is also possible to focus on specific aspects of natural resource management.
Ecology The emphasis is on understanding the ecological processes that form the basis for the structure, composition and functioning of forests and natural areas. You can specialise in tropical forestry, landscape ecology, animal ecology, forest resource management, plant ecology, biodiversity conservation or tropical nature conservation.
Your future career
The programme provides excellent preparation for Dutch as well as European and non-European jobs. Career possibilities include positions at research institutes and universities, government ministries and local authorities. Positions are also available at state and private forestry, nature conservation services, and environmental assessment agencies. Examples include the European Forest Institute, Birdlife International, and landscape and animal protection organisations such as RAVON or WWF. In the private sector, graduates find jobs at engineering and consultancy bodies, such as Royal Haskoning, the National Fund for Rural Areas or forestry companies. Graduates often begin their career by carrying out research, computer analysis and modelling of ecological systems, working in knowledge transfer or preparing policy documents. Eventually, their careers usually shift towards advisory work, consultancies, research coordination and project management.
Alumnus Wouter Wubben He works for the municipality Westland and is responsible for matters concerning ecology, landscape and water quality. “When I just started working I could directly apply the ecological knowledge from my master, and I was able to pick up missing knowledge very quickly”. Wouter went to the USA to work on forestry for his internship. “During my internship I worked in the field with a lot of different teams, this experience now helps me to communicate with people involved with the implementation of municipality plans. I have a constantly changing job, I started with executive work but I am now responsible for the development of issues in ecology, landscape and water.”
Related programmes MSc Animal Sciences MSc Biology MSc Development and Rural Innovation MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning MSc Geoinformation Science MSc International Development Studies
Enrolment in the MSc Forest and Nature Conservation requires:
- At least a BSc degree (or equivalent) in a field of science relevant to the
specific programme selected
- A GPA (Grade Point Average) for the BSc of at least 70% of the maximum grade
- Fluency in English, both written and spoken
- Good skills in mathematics and/or statistics
- Basic computer skills
Last updated January 6, 2016