International Environmental Studies

International Environmental Studies

Master of science (2 year) Full time

This program provides students with the skills needed to study local to global environmental problems and to formulate policies and strategies for sustainable development. They learn to engage with the issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Application deadline:

April 20th
International applicants:
December 1st

Number of students
Study start
Autumn 2022
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Study advisor(s)
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Contact info

Admission Office:
Phone:  67 23 01 11

The program consists of a set of core courses – Introduction to International Environmental Studies, Foundations of Sustainability Science, and Research Methods – a broad variety of electives, and a 30-credit master thesis.

The core courses present fundamental concepts and analytical tools in environmental and sustainability science, and provide knowledge on the use of scientific methods.

Elective courses include e.g., Agroecology and Development; Climate Change and Development; Environmental Governance; Global Environmental Change; Global Food Security; Linking Ecological and Social Resilience; and Political Ecology. Both the elective courses and the master thesis allow students to specialise and tailor their course plan accordingly.

Job opportunities

Graduates can work in national and international agencies, ministries and environmental organisations, development aid agencies, education, research organisations, media, consulting companies and international non-governmental organisations.

Learning outcomes

Students will learn about society and environment interactions related to climate and other global environmental changes, loss of biodiversity and ecological life-support systems, land degradation, water and natural resource extraction, unsustainable agri-food systems, energy and pollution.

The program provides an in-depth understanding of the relationship between social and natural processes, and how governance and economic structures influence current trends.

Admission requirements

Requirements: A Bachelor degree or equivalent in a relevant field. Depending on your planned specialization, your background may be from environmental sciences, ecology, resource management, agriculture, forestry, geography, economics, humanities, political science or a relevant social science.

Applicants must meet the university’s requirement for English language proficiency, and include a 1-page (A4) motivation letter.

I give support to our Congolese partners in their implementation of projects. My master program at NMBU was highly relevant for the job I have now.

Stefan Kistler, Rainforest Foundation

Study structure

The program is interdisciplinary and uses a socio-ecological approach, with courses that focus on both natural and social aspects of the environmental challenges of our time. Students with both natural and social science backgrounds are accepted into the program.

The role of international political bodies, nation states and state policies, intergovernmental organizations, markets and civil society are emphasised. Poverty alleviation, health, human well-being, and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources are core aspects of sustainable development that are extensively covered in the program.

The program has an international scope, with a curriculum that covers topics that are relevant for countries across the globe, and utilises research-based knowledge from a wide set of geographical contexts. The program also covers global environmental issues as well as international initiatives for sustainability, and attracts students from all over the world.


Programme structure

Showing programme structure for students starting 2022

Study year: 1

Semester: autumn

Programme variant: Core courses
Climate Change and Society 10 Choose at least 2 Courses
Programme variant: Compulsory Courses
Introduction to International Environmental Studies 5 Compulsory Course
Research Methods 15 Compulsory Course
Sustainability Science: Ecological, Social, and Economic Dimensions 10 Compulsory Course

Semester: spring

Programme variant: Core courses
Political Ecology 10 Choose at least 2 Courses
Global Environmental Governance 10 Choose at least 2 Courses
Agroecology and Development 10 Choose at least 2 Courses
Study year: 2

Semester: spring

Programme variant: Compulsory Courses
Master's Thesis 30 Choose one Master Thesis