Islands and Sustainability (MSc)

the Netherlands

For more information about Islands and Sustainability at University of Groningen, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSc

How long you will study
24 Months

Domestic course fees
EUR 2209 per year

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
February, September

International course fees
EUR 16201 per year

All study options

About Islands and Sustainability at University of Groningen

Islands and Sustainability is a track within the Research Master in Spatial Sciences. It combines a thorough training in scientific research with a thematic specialization on Islands and Sustainability.

Islands are relatively isolated and 'on their own' compared to other areas. Islands as a society often have unique social strengths and yet they are also more fragile and dependent compared to mainland areas. Sustainability is particularly challenging for islands. They face economic and social development problems related to (small) scale and (limited) connectivity while also being confronted with environmental issues due to climate change and sea level rise. Furthermore, islands are among the most appreciated recreational and touristic areas, underlining their importance to urban well-being.

Islands thus provide unique sustainability laboratories and allow for seeing the big picture of complex globalization-fueled spatial transformations in a small place. From a spatial science perspective, this makes islands ideal cases for studying sustainability in a wider sense.

Being part of the regular Research Master in Spatial Sciences, the programme provides a thorough and multi-faceted training of research skills for social science and environmental research. It includes Individual Research Training by senior staff, training to work in a multi-disciplinary research group, it involves taking a series of qualitative, quantitative and multi-method courses, as well courses on Scientific Reading Debating and Reflecting, Scientific English Writing and Research Process.

Unique for the track Islands and Sustainability is that students do (continuous) reading and debating of Islands and Sustainability literature, while they also partake in three distinct Islands and Sustainability research experiences at (generally) three different islands or groups of islands. Students start with Joint Multidisciplinary Research Project involving the international Wadden area in the Netherlands and Germany together with our partner the Wadden Academy. Next, they do a research internship at an island of 15 ECTS. Generally, this will take place with one of our partner institutes on for instance Malta, Lesvos (Greece) or Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain). They end their two years of study with a 30 ECTS Master thesis related to islands and sustainability which commonly involves on-site empirical island research in cooperation with one of our partners.

The graduates from the programme are well trained for a career in academia, business consultants, tourism planners and managers, environmental/sustainable management consultants, environmental tourism consultants, local economic development consultants, careers in international organizations/NGOs in the fields of environment and sustainability.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study24 months
    Course startsFebruary, SeptemberDomestic course feesEUR 2209 per yearInternational course feesEUR 16201 per year

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Students should have a Bachelor's degree in a discipline related to Regional Studies, such as Human Geography and Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Planning, or Urban Studies. Students with a Bachelor's degree in the social or economic sciences also have direct access, preferably with a Minor worth 30 EC in human geography and/or urban and regional planning and/or demography and / or development studies. For those with a different Bachelor degree, the possibilities for admission are discussed with the coordinator The direct access is conditional on sufficient English command, the knowledge minimum and the required grades.

What students think about University of Groningen

    If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    Ana Quintana, Mexico, Strategic Innovation Management

    I gained a Bachelor's degree in Management & Marketing in Mexico City before I came to the Netherlands to undertake my Master's programme. During my Bachelor's studies, I spent a semester in Canada and I wanted to expand my international (study) experiences before starting work. I was keen to focus on innovation which is not usually offered in Mexico hence the combination of Innovation and Strategy in one programme directed me to Groningen.

    My Master's thesis dealt with Innovation in family businesses and I now benefit from the intense research modules offered during the programme. Now I am working as a Promotion Manager in charge of the several customer loyalty programs offered by one of Mexico's biggest hotel chains. Although the Master's program was rather theoretical, I feel that it prepared me very well for my current job. 

    There was nothing about Groningen that I did not like: the city is just beautiful. I especially enjoyed going everywhere by bike, the variety of offers for students and, of course, the Queensday (now Kings Day) celebrations. Groningen has everything to make (foreign) students feel at home.

    Looking back a year after my return to Mexico, I feel that I especially enjoyed getting to know Dutch culture. In addition, the courses offered and the beauty of the city made my stay in Groningen an unforgettable experience. If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law

    Lejla Terzimehic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Global Criminal Law

    Thanks to the European Commission Scholarship and the Talent Grant from the University of Groningen, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law that I am most passionate about, at one of the oldest and most prestigious European universities.

    Being very intellectually challenging, the master programme truly met my expectations. Sharing knowledge with my colleagues, all coming from different legal traditions, and learning from inspiring professors enriched me with the skills I hadn't attained during my previous education.

    What I found to be the most beneficial is that the Dutch education system which, taught us to develop a critical opinion on law-related issues. Moreover, this master programme had a unique approach in tackling controversial contemporary legal issues. Due to its strong comparative emphasis, it encouraged us to keep at constant track with our national law, which is of a huge significance.

    Both the master and a 6-month long internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for The Former Yugoslavia strengthened my belief in Justice. Furthermore, besides this academic benefit, I believe that studying abroad unequivocally broadens our horizons and tests prejudices we even are not aware of.

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