Water and Environment

In this specialisation you will tackle environmental problems such as climate change, flooding, eutrophication, chemical pollution, habitat fragmentation and bio-invasions. We provide you with the laboratory, field and assessment tools needed to protect ecosystem and human health in the context of multiple environmental pressures. Apart from the Water and Environment specialisation we also offer a special double degree programme in Transnational Ecosystem-based Water Management (TWM).

Choose this specialisation if you are interested in

  • Environmental sciences
  • Water quality and water quantity
  • Wetland ecosystems

Why study this specialisation at Radboud University?

  • Students work closely together with top researchers from the Institute for Water and Wetland Research (IWWR).
  • You will have the opportunity to choose a subspecialisation Transnational Water Management (TWM), a double degree programme set-up together with the University of Duisburg-Essen (in Germany). After successful completion you will receive a double Master’s degree.
  • Teaching takes place in small groups and in a stimulating, personal setting.

Programme outline (2 years, 120 EC)

The programme of this specialisation consists of:

  • Compulsory courses (15 EC)
  • Specialisation electives (18 EC)
  • Philosophy elective (3 EC)
  • 2 Internships (2 x 36 EC)
  • Literature thesis 1 (6 EC)
  • Literature thesis 2 / Field course (6 EC)

Research internship

During your internships, you will be responsible for your own experiments, under the supervision of one of our top researchers from the Institute of Water and Wetland Research (IWWR). At Radboud University, the most relevant departments are:

Environmental Science
– Prof. Jan Hendriks

Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology
– Prof. Leon Lamers

Animal Ecology and Ecophysiology
– Prof. Henk Siepel

– Prof. Mike Jetten

Of course, you can also choose to do your internship at a company, government or NGO, or abroad. For suggestions, you can contact one of the professors above or the student advisor.


This specialisation contains five compulsory courses. You can compose the rest of the programme with specialisation electives.

Compulsory courses

  • Orientation in Biology and Environmental Sciences (3 EC)
  • Ecological and Environmental Concepts (3 EC)
  • Management of Ecosystems (3 EC)
  • Biodiversity and Ecological Assessment (3 EC)
  • Environmental and Ecological Modelling (3 EC)

Examples of specialisation electives

  • Sustainable Production and Consumption (3 EC)
  • Ecology and Management of Large Rivers (3 EC)
  • Population Ecology (3 EC)
  • European Vegetation (3 EC)
  • Estuarine Ecology (3 EC)

All courses and course descriptions are listed in the online prospectus.

Brand new greenhouse complex

In 2014, biologists of Radboud University opened a brand new greenhouse complex. It offers ideal conditions for studies into root growth, fruit development and the interactions between plants and insects. Apart from greenhouses, a root lab and test fields, it also contains a gene bank and a herbarium.

Your advantages on the labour market

This Master’s specialisation is an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university or at a company. However, many of our students end up in healthcare, business services, governmental organisations or trade institutions as well. Graduates work, for example, as:

  • Researchers
  • Consultants
  • Policy coordinators
  • Teachers

Admission requirements

You are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, or a closely related discipline. You must also have a sufficient proficiency in English. Students from a University of Applied Sciences (HBO) need to follow a pre-Master’s or minor in Biology. Other additional deficiency programmes are tailor-made. For details, please visit the website or contact the student advisor.

Application procedure

The programme starts in September. The application deadline is 1 April for students from non-EU/EEA countries and 1 May for students from within the EU/EEA. You apply for the Master’s programme in Biology. Dutch students can apply via studielink.nl and international students can apply via www.ru.nl/masters/application. After admittance to the Master’s programme, you can enrol for the specialisation of your choice.

More information

Student advisor Biology: Conny Mooren
biology@ru.nl, +31 (0)24 365 22 81
Prospectus: www.ru.nl/prospectus/sciencefaculty