Master in Environment and Resource Management


Program Description

Application deadline update

  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 May (the original deadline of 1 April has been extended due to COVID-19)
  • EU/EEA students and students who do not need a study visa/residence permit through VU Amsterdam*: 1 June (the original deadline of 1 May has been extended due to COVID-19)

Master in Environment and Resource Management

The Master’s program in Environment and Resource Management is organized by the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), which is one of Europe’s oldest and most respected research institutes in the environmental sciences. The IVM receives high evaluations for its excellent research quality by external quality reviews and also scores very well in a citation analysis of reviewed journal articles.

Our research projects range from the analysis of local challenges such as funding environmental services to farmers, the use of civil juries to facilitate public participation in water management, adaptation to climate change in the Netherlands, national challenges such as greening the gross domestic product, to global challenges such as analysing international negotiations and North-South financial mechanisms.

The primary aim of the Environment and Resource Management program is to build a critical mass in key disciplines and research themes by training multi-disciplinary, independent and entrepreneurial researchers with a passion for combining excellence in science with societal engagement.

The program in a nutshell

The Master’s on Environment and Resource Management is a one-year program that combines exposure to a multidisciplinary theoretical understanding of environmental issues as well as a thorough grasp of different tools to assess environmental problems. Workshops and individual and group assignments play an important part. In many cases, you are free to choose subjects that suit your personal interests and ambitions.

The master’s program provides four compulsory courses, introducing sustainability and growth, environmental economics, environmental policy, and tools for environmental research. It provides an opportunity to specialize in one of the four specializations and to write a thesis at the end.

You can opt for four specializations:

  • Energy and Climate
  • Water and Society
  • Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity
  • Environmental Studies

Career prospects

The Environment and Resource Management Program offers excellent career prospects in the field of the environment, policy, and management. Our graduates find jobs as consultants, policymakers or continue their careers as Ph.D. researchers or employees at ministries, NGO’s and other institutions in the Netherlands and abroad.

Spending part of the study time in external traineeships and research projects is a good way to prepare for and familiarize oneself with the labor market. Through its network, the Institute for Environmental Studies assists its students in finding opportunities for external traineeships. The Alumni network also assists students in finding traineeships and helps them become oriented toward the labor market.
In addition, the faculty and GeoVUsie (the student association of the Faculty) organize business days. Seminars are also provided by professionals from trade and industry at IVM and the faculty.

Admission requirements

New applicants must at least hold a Bachelor's degree from a university or an institute of higher vocational education (with a minimum of three years of full-time study). Please note that a Bachelor’s degree with lower Second division does not meet the requirements. All applications will be assessed by the Examination Board. Students from all disciplinary backgrounds will be considered, but the following subjects provide a particularly relevant basis for participating in the ERM program:

  • Economics, Social Sciences (especially Political Science, Law, and Policy Studies)
  • Natural Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Studies and Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Law

The criteria for evaluating applications include:

  • Quality of former study programs
  • Results obtained in former studies
  • Writing/speaking skills in English
  • Disciplinary knowledge and skills
  • Academic motivation
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Basic knowledge of environmental issues
  • Pre-Master assessment outcomes (see below)
  • Publications
  • Working experience (including voluntary)

English language proficiency requirements.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam requires international applicants to pass an English language proficiency test. The Master’s program Environment and Resource Management has special requirements concerning the subscores of the various language tests.

N.B. Students who need a visa (MVV) to enter the Netherlands must have passed the test and submitted the original test certificate before 1 June. All other students have to submit the test certificate at the latest before 1 September.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to over ... Read More

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 150 English taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to over 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 122 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community. The University distinguishes itself in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes: Human Health and Life Sciences, Science for Sustainability, Connected World and Governance for Society. Curious about student life at VU Amsterdam? Click here to ask our International Student Ambassadors. Read less