Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology  fulltime programme

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You want to solve problems like climate change and plastic soup. Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology turns you into an environmental professional.

Stopping climate change is a major challenge for now and the future. Just like protecting valuable ecosystems or tackling bad air quality in cities. We teach you how to develop solutions for this. You use a combination of biology and chemistry, also management and technology.

Research the habitat of dolphins in Greece. Manage a company's CO2 emissions. Produce bioplastic from wastewater. These are examples of assignments that you can carry out with the competencies, skills and knowledge gained through our programme.

Starting from year 1 you choose between project assignments focusing on biology and nature-based solutions, or chemistry and innovative technology. 25% of your study programme is free of choice, so you can further design your study path, suited to your interests and strengths.

You study in an international environment. This is reflected in the content of projects and the internships abroad. But also in collaboration with students and teachers of different nationalities.

You will gain valuable career-oriented experience through projects for real clients, international field trips and 2 work placements.

You will graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.

Breda • Top rated programme
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Breda • Top rated programme
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Programme features

A practical, hands-on and challenging programme rooted in the natural sciences
Internationally oriented programme, in both content and student/lecturer population
Career-oriented, offering real-world, project-based education and two work placements

More about this study programme

What will you be trained to do

Your job

The job opportunities after you graduate are excellent. You could, for instance, join a government agency where you would develop and implement environmental policies. Or you might target an Environment, Health and Safety job in industry. Or maybe you would prefer to work in an environmental consultancy where assignments range from technical solutions to environmental licensing or policy-making.

Potential careers after the programme

Consultant at an engineering firm

You provide science-driven and cost-effective advice to a wide range of clients on topics such as soil remediation, climate change adaptation, energy use reduction and air quality.

Policy development officer in a government agency

You work for a government agency where you have to determine how the government can achieve certain environmental goals. You also have to monitor implementation of the policy proposed and check whether you achieve the goals.

Environmental licensing officer in a government agency

Many industrial activities require an environmental licence. You work for the government to produce the environmental licence for a specific company. Or you check the company to see whether it meets the licensing requirements.

ESG Officer: Environment, Social, Governance Officer

You work in industry. You are responsible for a safe working environment for the employees of the company. You also have to make sure the company works within the boundaries of its environmental licence. You keep pushing the company to develop more sustainable production techniques.

Water Board enforcement officer

You work for a government agency or a water board. You may be involved in water treatment techniques or in managing water quality and quantity.

Junior Engineer

You work in a company's R&D department. You mainly assist colleagues with their projects but also do research into new technological developments that will lower environmental impacts.

What is expected of you

You want to keep the planet safe for future generations. You are concerned about climate change, biodiversity loss, plastic waste and water pollution. You are interested in science subjects and are open-minded towards other cultures. You are a team player and, at the same time, self-motivated. You are adventurous, independent and enthusiastic about studying and working abroad. If you recognise yourself in one or more of these qualities, then the ESSET (Milieukunde) programme is something for you

Follow-up education

After the ESSET (Milieukunde) programme you can apply for the Avans hbo Master Materials & Energy Transition to obtain a Master of Science degree (MSc).  Or you can apply for a Master's programme at other universities, for example in Wageningen, Utrecht or Maastricht. Possible subjects are sustainable development, industrial ecology and environmental technology. Depending on the programme, you might need to take a preparatory semester or year before you can be admitted.

Stories about the programme

Ioana Cotos

ESSET really opened the door for me into the world of sustainable fashion

Alumni Ioana Cotos tells more

Student ambassador Feline Dirkx

As an international student ambassador, I love to share helpful tips and experiences about the ESSET program. Please don't hesitate to reach out!

Read more

Claudia Berenice Cortina Castro

It stands out from all other Environmental Sciences programmes. The practical and personal approach makes it very unique.

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Petko Marinikov

Teamwork is essential and the group work is really enjoyable.

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Valeria Schwartz Quappe

The programme has so many different subjects in each quarter, which are super interesting and informative.

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Julia Lascano Piazzo

I really enjoy working on group projects where I team up with students from all over the world.

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Liam Geschwindt

I wanted to study a programme with the objective of preventing and mitigating the effects of climate change.

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Programme structure Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology

Study programme

ESSET is a versatile and practical study programme. Starting from year 1 you choose between projects focussing on biology and nature-based solutions, or chemistry and innovative technology. In class activities you focus on developing your skills. We offer options to make choices in year 2 (choice module) and year 4 (minor programme), to develop your personal profile. In year 3 you choose between 2 programmes: Sustainable Energy & Resource Recovery or Water Management, Ecosystems & Climate Change

Year 1

In the first year, you will be challenged with relevant themes such as climate change and plastic soup. In four quarters, you will work on these themes and various practical assignments, combining theory and practice. You will also conduct experiments in the lab, do field research in nature and process environmental data with mathematical models. You will also work on your communication and intercultural skills, and discover your strengths, under the guidance of a personal coach.

Important courses:

  • Environmental chemistry
  • Laboratory skills
  • Microbiology
  • Sustainable energy
  • Ecology

Year 2

In the second year of ESSET, you will deepen and broaden your knowledge and skills. You will work on sustainable products, circular economy and nature-based solutions. You will have the opportunity to specialise further with modules in sustainable technology or ecosystem management, or you can follow modules taught together with other programmes within Avans. This freedom of choice allows you to connect to what motivates you and what you want to become good at.

Important courses:

  • Climate change
  • Lifecycle analysis
  • Water management
  • Environmental technology
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Year 3

In the third year you do an internship and you can choose between 2 semester programmes: Sustainable Energy and Resource Recovery, or Water management, Ecosystems and Climate Change.

Internships vary from working for an environmental consultancy to doing research at an institute. You are in the lead when finding and selecting an appropriate internship opportunity.

Important activities:

  • Internship
  • Project Sustainable Energy and Resource Recovery (option specialisation 1)
  • Project Water management, Ecosystems and Climate Change (option specialization 2)

Year 4

In your fourth year, you can take the minor Biobased Technology & Business Development, Disruptive Events, or a minor in another programme at Avans. Or at our partner universities. This allows you to pursue new or interdisciplinary topics and further enrich your professional competencies. During the second half of the year you will complete a graduation assignment within a company, agency or organisation. You can choose between the graduation projects we have available or find one yourself.

Important activities:

  • Exchange programme Avans or partner university (interdisciplinary)
  • Graduation assignment

Freedom of choice in your study programme

For the first 1.5 years of your full-time programme at Avans, you will take courses within your own study programme, so that you have a steady home base and gain the necessary fundamental knowledge. After that, you have the opportunity to customise a quarter of your remaining programme by opting for elective modules from your own programme or other programmes that are best suited to what you want to learn.

You can also opt for more depth in your own field by charting a course that closely follows your home programme. You do not have to make these decisions alone; you will receive guidance from study and career counsellors and lecturers.

Admissions requirements Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology

  • Exam

  • Score

  • IELTS overall band
  • TOEFL computer based
  • TOEFL internet based

Read the detailed information on English language admissions requirements.

More about admission requirements

Prior education

The level of your prior education has to be equivalent to a Higher General Secondary Education level (Dutch havo) with science profile (chemistry and mathematics) and English or Pre-University Level (Dutch vwo) with science profile (chemistry and mathematics) and English.

Additional knowledge of science subjects like biology and physics is useful, but not a requirement.

If you are unsure whether you meet the admission requirements, please send us an email. If we are not familiar with your foreign diploma, NUFFIC, the Dutch organisation for international recognition of diploma, will check the level for us.

Read more about international secondary education diplomas.

Minimum knowledge

Naast wiskunde A of B, scheikunde en Engels is het handig om biologie of natuurkunde in je pakket te hebben. Het is niet verplicht, maar helpt je bij het succesvol doorlopen van de opleiding.

Volg je nu een mbo-opleiding? Dan raden we je sterk aan om wiskunde A en scheikunde op havoniveau te behalen, bijvoorbeeld via het Keuzedeel Doorstroom hbo Wiskunde voor Techniek of de vavo. Als er op jouw opleiding al veel aandacht voor wiskunde is, vraag je docent dan of het keuzedeel nuttig is voor jou.

Assessment interview

You will be invited for an introductory interview after completing an online assignment. Interviews with Dutch students take place at Avans. Interviews with foreign students are conducted via Skype or telephone.

Entrance examination

Only if prior knowledge does not seem sufficient.

Short tracks

With a diploma equivalent to a Dutch pre-university level diploma you are eligible to follow the short track programme, in which you will graduate as a BSc in 3 years. Your diploma will need to include Chemistry, Math and English as subjects. If you are unsure whether you meet the admission requirements for the short track programme, please contact us. If we are not familiar with your foreign diploma, the Dutch organisation for international recognition of diploma (NUFFIC) will check the level.

Practical Information Environmental Science for Sustainability, Ecosystems and Technology


Note: If you want to apply for this study programme, please search for 'B Environment' to find this programme in Studielink.

If you have decided to pursue this study programme you will need to register for it. Before you do, make sure you have informed yourself about our rules and regulations. Please apply via our Dutch website if you are a Dutch student.

Application procedure

You must apply for this bachelor's degree programme via the Studielink website. In addition to the application procedure via Studielink you must also send us several documents.

Be sure to keep an eye on the enrolment deadlines.

Start month Location Application deadline
September EEA 31 August 2024
September Non EEA 1 May 2024

Apply for this programme

Please note: applicants with a Dutch diploma must have applied by the 1st of June. Non-EEA students with a non-Dutch diploma apply by the 1st of May. The deadline for EU students with a non-Dutch diploma is 31 August. When you meet the deadline you give Avans enough time to process your application and, if applicable, apply for a visa.

After application we will contact you to inform you on the further procedure.  


Scholarships are much sought after nowadays: nearly every student who decides to study abroad considers applying for one. Information about scholarships specific to Avans University of Applied Sciences can be found on our scholarship page

More information

For more information please contact Student Info on +31 (0) 88 525 75 50 or via this contact form.

Tuition fees

In the overview below you will find the tuition fee amounts that have been set for new students at Avans University of Applied Sciences.

Which of these 3 fees applies to you depends on the category you are in. In general, students from the European Economic Area (EEA) pay the statutory fee, while other students pay the institutional or non-EEA fee. Exchange students generally pay their tuition fees to their home institution and not to Avans.

Please check the tuition fees page for detailed information.

Fee Amount Year
Statutory fee € 2,314,- 2023 - 2024
Non-EER fee € 8,852,- 2023 - 2024
Institution fee € 8,852,- 2023 - 2024
Statutory fee € 2,530,- 2024 - 2025
Non-EER fee € 9,680,- 2024 - 2025
Institution fee € 9,680,- 2024 - 2025


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Lovensdijkstraat 61-63
4818 AJ Breda

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