MSc in Energy and Environmental Sciences


Program Description

What are the causes of the various large scale global environmental issues like climate change? Can we identify options to solve these issues? Are options different in different countries?

The global challenges with respect to environment and sustainability are huge and can only be addressed in an interdisciplinary approach. Since it is impossible to address all these issues equally in a Master's degree program, specialization is essential. The Energy and Environmental Sciences (EES) program specializes in energy and is treating it from a natural science perspective. However, it trains the students that the natural sciences/technical approach to and solution of problems is only a part of the story and collaboration with other scientific disciplines is vital.

As the program has a strong focus on the natural sciences; a bachelor’s degree in one of the natural sciences is an entry requirement. The exact background, however, can be very different, both in disciplines (for example, Marine Biology, Engineering, Nuclear Physics, Astronomy, etc.) and nationality and culture (60% from abroad, over 10 nationalities is no exception). This educational and cultural mixture provides a very interesting and challenging learning environment, in which you can benefit and learn from each other’s knowledge and background and get used to working in interdisciplinary/intercultural groups. Together, you (learn to) develop strategies to deal with the current issues in the field of EES.

Lecturers of the program are staff members of the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG). Research groups within this institute are Center for Isotope research, Geo Energy, Centre for Energy and Environmental Sciences, Combustion Technology, Ocean Ecosystems, and Science and Society. Research within this institute covers a wide range of topics, from isotopes research to social acceptance of windmills, and staff members have a background in various natural science disciplines. You can conduct your master’s research project in one of the research groups of ESRIG, this means that an enormous variety of subjects is available and it rather likely that one of them fits you.

Around their graduation, our students find jobs that suit their education and fit their interests. Universities (PhDs), energy companies, environmental consultancies, environmental NGOs, industry, and government are typical first employers. These employers mention that the combination of strong natural science fundaments and the ability to work in an international/interdisciplinary context provide our students with extreme value.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • Energy is one of the main societal themes of this university;
  • Located in the modern Energy Academy Building;
  • Excellent career prospects in and outside academics;
  • Strong focus on working in interdisciplinary/intercultural teams;
  • Tailor-made study programs fitting students interest;
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa.


Year 1

This is a 2-year research master's degree program. The first year includes about 30 ECTS obligatory courses, addressing the relevant theories and methodologies in our research field and 30 ECTS electives. These electives can also be courses from other faculties, like economics, psychology or spatial sciences.

Year 2

The second year focuses on doing research and consists out of 2 options, two research projects of 30 ECTS each or a larger research project (40 ECTS) and an internship (outside the university, even abroad). The research projects are carried out within the ESRIG research institute. This implies that a lot of options and subjects are available. Your tutor will help you to design a tailor-made study program that fits your interests and matches your future career wishes.


2-year program; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programs offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, the UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programs have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Knowledge minimum

Sufficient English proficiency on VWO level is required.

Previous education

University Bachelor's degree in (Applied) Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Astronomy, or a degree in natural sciences if you choose the theme Systems studies.

International diploma

Specific requirements More information
Additional subject The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on your application, after which the board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of the general level of previous education and specific background knowledge.
Previous education

A Bachelor's degree in the natural sciences (chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, pharmacy), in computing science or in engineering disciples such as industrial, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering.

This is merely an indication of the required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master program for which you applied.

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer-based 237
TOEFL internet-based 92

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree program. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

01 May 2021

01 September 2021

EU/EEA students

01 May 2021

01 September 2021

non-EU/EEA students

01 May 2021

01 September 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 17500 full-time

Job prospects

Energy and Environmental Sciences graduates from the University of Groningen are renown for their in-depth systems-approach and/or specialized experimental skills. Within months after graduation almost all (> 90%) graduates obtain suitable jobs in:

  • Research (institutes or universities)
  • Industry
  • Consultancy
  • Government


Interdisciplinary and Experimental Research Programs

The Master's degree program is connected to the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG). The mission of ESRIG is to contribute to worldwide energy supply for the next century, for more people in a sustainable way, by:

  • Research: fundamental, applied and "contemplative"
  • Education: B.Sc, M.Sc, and Ph.D.

The main themes of research are Energy supply and conversion, and Transition towards Sustainability. ESRIG participates in the Energy Academy Europe (international center of excellence).

Research subjects include:

  • Renewable energy systems
  • Second and third-generation biofuels, land, and ocean-based
  • Energy scenario’s and models
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Air pollution modeling
  • Greenhouse gas cycles and fossil fuel verification
Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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