The minor ‘Science for Sustainability’ is a minor programme (30 ECTS) for science Master’s students who are eager to apply their scientific knowledge and make a contribution towards a sustainable future for humanity. The minor combines scientific knowledge with insight into economics and politics.
Students are challenged to come up with strategies and innovations to support long-term change towards a sustainable society. The ultimate aim is to find science-based solutions to issues related to the global demand for energy, water and food, and the pressure this puts on our climate and natural resources.
Meeting the growing demand for energy, clean water and sufficient food without depleting natural resources and while maintaining the earth’s biodiversity - these are some of the most complex global challenges that we are facing today.
In order to ensure our future on earth, we need to deal with these challenges proactively and find innovative and sustainable solutions. In searching for these solutions, various kinds of knowledge need to be brought together:
Core programme (18 EC)
The minor has three core courses:
Elective (6 EC)
Besides this core programme, you can choose an elective from various courses on energy, climate change, environment, water and food issues. This elective can either have a pure scientific focus or a more interdisciplinary or socially oriented focus.
Project (6 EC)
In the final project, a comprehensive approach is adopted in order to clearly identify the problems and develop promising scenarios for the future. You will work with other students on a case study in which you bring all your knowledge and expertise together, integrating the available knowledge from both the natural and the social sciences to come up with a viable solution for that particular issue.
An example of a case is an imaginary project in which the Dutch government has hired you - a consultant in an advisory agency specialised in sustainability issues - to develop a strategy to cope with future phosphorus scarcity issues. You must develop your recommendations based on your knowledge of the science and technology of phosphorus and on quantitative considerations of sustainability. But you should also take into account uncertainties and risks related to the different technologies and strategies and how these weigh in the decision process of policymakers.
The minor is open to students enrolled in several two-year Master’s programmes at the Faculty of Science of the UvA.
Please, contact the coordinator of the minor and make an appointment to talk about your personal whishes and ambitions.
In order to ensure a good match between your individual learning goals and the aims of the programme, an interview is part of the application.