Three periods: courses, case studies, graduation thesis

The course includes lectures, group discussions, group work, site visits, case studies and a final research project. Assessments are based on exams, assignments, project reports and the final research thesis. The programme offers students the possibility to specialise in three directions: Environmental Management, Water Management or Energy Management.

The one-year Master’s programme Environmental and Energy Management is divided into three periods.

  • From September to February you will follow mandatory courses (24 EC) and develop your research skills (4 EC). The three main themes in this course work are: Sustainability Management (environment, energy and water), Governance & Law in a socio-technological context (you can learn more about the courses).

  • From March till mid-April you will work in a team on a real-life or lifelike problem in one of the three sustainability domains (environment, energy or water) – often with cross-linkages. This case study project (10 EC) allows you to apply the knowledge and competences you gained in the courses and to develop your organisational and managerial skills. You will work full-time in a team and your activities will centre on a key question raised by a company or a private or public organisation. For example, a previous case study was on the analysis and development of circularity in industry, energy and water in the province of Friesland. The product of the case project can be knowledge, a design or a tool for the client.

  • From mid-April till the end of August you will do your Master’s thesis research (18 EC). Your research topic is in one of the three domains of sustainability (environment, energy or water), or may span all three. You can choose your own topic or join ongoing research at the sustainability institute of the University of Twente (CSTM). You may also do thesis research in your home country. Two supervisors and senior staff members of the University of Twente will guide you in this phase.

Specialise in one of the three domains of sustainability

One of the benefits of taking this Master’s is that it offers you the opportunity to gain leading-edge expertise in one of three crucial domains in the wider realm of environment, energy and water, such as on issues of climate change mitigation & adaptation, resilience and circular economy in urban and rural (‘rurban’) areas. Many of our students enter the programme knowing which track they want to pursue. Others choose during the programme, or remain interested in all three, combining them in their thesis.

The specialisation you choose will be explicitly mentioned in your Master of Science diploma supplement. Employers in government, industry and NGOs will attach a lot of value to your specialised expertise. At the same time, the MEEM programme has been designed to ensure that you develop solid expertise in the other areas of specialisation as well. The vision behind this is that all of these areas are increasingly interconnected.

  • Environmental Management & Governance

    The Environmental Management & Governance specialization comes with a focus on circular & social entrepreneurship towards Sustainable Development Goals and teaches you:

    • To understand the problems and challenges involved in the greening of industry strategies regarding the environmental and social sustainability;
    • To analyse the management strategies at different scales (firm, supply chain, sector and region) towards a more socially inclusive (stakeholders engagement) and greener industry;
    • To design environmental and socially inclusive management systems that cope with the industrial challenges of delivering sustainable products and services;
    • To manage the greening of industry transition by engaging systematically the relevant stakeholders and by implementing the adequate sustainable management strategy. 
  • Energy Management & Governance

    The Energy Management & Governance specialization comes with a focus on the energy transition and climate change mitigation towards Sustainable Development Goals and teaches you:

    • To understand the problems and challenges involved in the transition to sustainable energy supply at different scales (market, region, community or organization);
    • To analyse energy supply chains at different scales in their transitional problems and needs;
    • To design adequate sustainable solutions for sustainable energy supply at different scales;
    • To manage the transition to sustainable energy supply at a different scale.
  • Water Management & Governance

    The Water Management & Governance specialization comes with a focus on resilience and climate change adaptation towards Sustainable Development Goals and teaches you:

    • To understand the problems and challenges involved in reaching out for sustainable water resources and safe and affordable water supply (such as pollution, droughts, floods, salinization, soil subsidence, increased water demand, infrastructure and governance).
    • To analyse the governance of water systems and water supply services and to assess the potential for improvement, the potential for innovation and restricting and supportive conditions.
    • To design options for improvement, based on promising key concepts, design approaches and design principles in water governance, applying multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral perspectives, focussing on strategies, plans, measures and instruments.
    • To manage the implementation of strategies, plans, measures and instruments and continuation of good water governance.

Examples of graduation thesis topics

The topics our students deal with in their graduation theses are a good indicator of both the depth of knowledge you will acquire in this programme and the breadth of application areas. Here are just a few of the many examples we could present:

The potential of high potentials in water system based sustainable power generation in the Netherlands: ‘blue energy’, wave power, tidal power and hydropower. Water footprint of dairy food companies in the province of Friesland. Governance strategies for enhancing nature-based solutions for flood risk in upstream-downstream perspective for Dutch rivers. Dealing with new hotspots in water pollution, technology and strategies for micro-plastics and medicine residues in Dutch and European water policies. Comparing urban flood resiliency strategies in metropolitan areas. Assessing whether Dutch wastewater treatment plants can become self-supporting. Governing irrigation in Ethiopia (a case study of one village); energy recovery from municipal wastewater in Kathmandu, Nepal; the voluntary carbon market: its current state and future perspectives; the effects of a kerosene-to-liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) conversion programme in Indonesia on women’s livelihoods; achieving environmental targets through energy policy in Palestine; energy-efficiency in residential buildings in China; the role of government and private sector in adapting to rising sea levels: a case study of tourist hotels in Dar Es Salaam; energy efficiency innovation in the Bolivian manufacturing sector; the environmental impact of the European Union’s trading scheme on the greenhouse gas emissions of its industrial sectors; pushing the resource-efficient and low carbon growth frontier in the Zimbabwe tourism industry: the utility of stakeholder involvement; municipal solid waste management in the African context in light of zero-waste to landfill: the case of Asmara, Eritrea; CSR influence through the supply chain in China. 

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