BSc Earth Sciences, Economics and Sustainability


Bachelor        Dutch        3 years        Full time

Cooperation with Department of Earth Sciences and Department of Spatial Economics (SBE)

What’s the bachelor about?

The Bachelor programme focuses on the broader topic of how to keep our economies healthy while facing major environmental issues around the globe. To encounter this problem, the earth system and its changes must be well understood to be able to mitigate or adapt at a local scale. Climate change will impact large parts across the world, resulting in a large variety in local processes e.g. soil subsidence, heat islands, drought, flooding vulnerability and freshwater availability. Simultaneously, large-scale development in the economy, such as the continuing demand for new energy sources and raw materials, will become important challenges. Therefore, the bachelor’s programme tries to combine the knowledge of Earth Sciences with Economics. This unique combination of in-depth natural and social sciences in one programme enables to student to develop out-of-the-box solutions for these sustainability problems.

The aim is to find sustainable solutions to developments such as climate change, natural disasters and changes in demand for energy, minerals and fresh water. 

The promotional lecture 2/3-minute videos for BSc AED can be found below: 

AnsinkMarije SchaafsmaMuis

Curriculum / short description of study guide

  • First year constitutes of basic lectures, such as:
    • Earth system, Sustainability, Economics, Global Change, Human-Environment Systems and Sustainability Transformations, Methods and Preparation of Integral Fieldwork for the final Project of Integral Fieldwork Earth, Economy and Sustainability
  • Second year constitutes of further specializing courses, such as:
    • Statistics, Energy, Biodiversity, Remote Sensing, Hydrology, Landscape concepts and concepts/solutions for Sustainability; the year ends again with a fieldwork in Global change and spatial development in Austria.
  • Third year gives opportunity to choose minors and preparation courses for the Bachelor thesis.
  • Regularly field research in the Netherlands and abroad.
  • Practical experience during excursions and field research – for example at an energy producer or water authority.
  • The bachelor thesis can be combined with a fieldwork and/or an internship at a relevant industry, company, governmental organisation or NGO.
  • For detailed information about the courses and minor specialisations, check out the Study guide (in Dutch).

Excursion Limburg

Future prospects

Students will have learned how to find sustainable solutions to complex problems and how to approach them from a natural and social perspective. They will have knowledge of social and political interactions, natural processes and their time scales and are able to research independently. They also know the practical side of physical interventions related to sustainability due to the many field researches and excursions to participating organisations and companies during the studies. Most students choose to continue their studies after the bachelor’s degree and specialise with a master’s degree. Subsequent masters at IVM are Environment and Resource Management, Global Environmental Change and Policy (MSc Earth Sciences), Hydrology and Climate Econometrics (MSc Econometrics and Operations Research). Other subsequent master options at VU are Earth and Climate (MSc Earth Sciences) and Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics, apart from many other options at other universities in The Netherlands and abroad.

With or without a master diploma alumni Earth Sciences, Economics and Sustainability are qualified to work at engineering firms, governmental organisations like ministries or water boards, large companies in resource management or NGO’s in sustainability issues.

Contact person:Dr Mark Bokhorst

More information (in Dutch).