The unsustainable management of natural resources hampers human development and exacerbates inequalities in wealth and welfare. Pollution, the depletion of natural resources and the disintegration of ecological functions are matters of local, regional and global concern. Economic development and rising living standards in the developing world contribute to the urgency of these important issues.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the management of our precious water resources, environmental conservation, sustainable development and the alleviation of poverty are high on the agenda of global concerns.
It is now widely acknowledged that, to prevent the continued degradation of the environment and consequent damage to human society, interactions between man and the environment have to be sustainable.
Sustainability depends on a delicate balance between use and conservation of our environmental resources. The challenge to sustainable development is to stimulate further expansion of living standards worldwide, while minimising and counteracting the negative impacts on the environment.
To find sustainable solutions and improve the quality of human life, we must first understand the processes that sustain natural systems, how these systems function and how they interact with one other and with human society.
The Environmental Science programme equips professionals with the necessary capacities, by offering a systems approach, which investigates subsystems and their interactions at global, regional and local scale, without losing sight of the overall picture. The programme balances a thorough knowledge of the disciplines taught and the added value of bringing these disciplines together in one coherent programme.
Aim of the Programme
The aim of the Environmental Science programme is to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute, directly or indirectly, to the conservation and prudent use of
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natural resources for the benefit of society.
Successful participants will develop the capacity to carry out independent scientific and technical research and assessments on environmental issues. They will also learn to analyse and assess environmental systems and problems; be able to propose sustainable solutions to environmental problems; and contribute to the development of policies and strategies for environmental planning.
The programme is intended for mid-career professionals with an interest in environmental sciences and in maintaining environmental integrity in relation to human development.
Participants should have a BSc or equivalent degree in natural sciences, chemistry, environmental science, agriculture, geography, environmental economics or engineering, preferably combined with at least three years of working experience at, for example, a university, a multilateral agency, a government environmental agency (national or local), an NGO, a consultants office, or in industry.
Knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry is a prerequisite. Computer literacy is a valuable asset. Good conversational, reading and writing capabilities in the English language are essential in order to successfully complete the study.
Specializations within the MSc Programme are: