Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technologyfulltime programme

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The planet needs problem solvers. The Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology programme will transform you into an ambitious environmental professional.

After finishing the Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology (ESSET) programme you will be able to find solutions to complex sustainable challenges.

For example, a municipality wants to be carbon-neutral by 2040. As a consultant you find ways to reduce their energy consumption and implement sustainable energy sources. You research solar panel yields and develop strategies to reuse CO2 for efficient food crop growth. Your solutions are financially viable and accepted by both industry and the public, taking into consideration future developments, technologies and policies.

Through internationally oriented projects, training and courses, during this study you will learn about subjects like sustainable energy technologies, bio-based waste management, biomimetics, clean-up technologies, cost-benefit analysis and environmental policy and law.

The ESSET programme is rooted in the natural sciences, tackling real-world problems and offering project-based solutions. 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.

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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

Clients ranging from municipalities to industries and companies want to have a problem solved. Possible issues include soil investigation, energy reduction and air quality management.

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.

Environment-Health-Safety 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 developments. You may also be in charge of correctly carrying out a specific procedure.

What is expected of you

You want to keep the planet safe for future generations. You are concerned about issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, plastic waste and water pollution. You are interested in science subjects and have an open mind 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 these qualities, then the ESSET programme is something for you.

Follow-up education

After this programme, you can apply for a programme leading to a Master of Science degree (MSc) at universities in Wageningen, Utrecht or Rotterdam for example. Possible subjects are sustainable development, industrial ecology and soil science. Depending on the MSc degree programme, you might need to take a preparatory semester or year before you can be admitted. The ESSET department has excellent links with various universities and the programme is recognised by them as outstanding.

Stories about the programme

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

Study programme

Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology (ESSET) is taught in English. The academic year is divided into 4 quarters, with each quarter lasting 10 weeks.

You can specialise by choosing one of 2 study tracks, enabling you to pursue a career in sustainable energy & resources recovery or water management, climate & ecosystems.

Year 1

The first year focuses on basic skills like math, chemistry, physics and biology, and on language, intercultural sensitivity and professional communication skills. We also introduce the main environmental issues. You will learn to work in projects on environmental challenges, sharing the skills and knowledge of fellow students to jointly find a solution.

Important courses:

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

Year 2

In the second year, you do advanced coursework and work on more complex projects. New environmental areas of interest are introduced, like biodiversity, bio-based economy and climate change. Starting from quarter 3 you will be encouraged to carve your own career path. This will start by selecting one of two tracks: Sustainable Energy & Resource Recovery or Water Management, Ecology & Climate Change.

Important courses:

  • Climate change
  • Lifecycle analysis
  • Water management
  • Environmental technology
  • Statistics

Year 3

In the third year you do a work placement and take the track-specific specialisation. During the track-specific specialisation you will gain in-depth understanding of specific environmental themes and do research and advisory projects for real clients. The work placement can 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.

Year 4

In the fourth year, you can take the minor Biobased Technology & Business Development, Disruptive Events, or a minor in another programme at Avans University of Applied Sciences 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.

Specialisations

Studying at Avans offers you the opportunity to specialise. Some programmes require you to choose your major before you start. All study programmes give you the chance to follow a minor in year 3 or 4. This will help you broaden or deepen your knowledge. Below you find the majors and minors for this study programme. You can also opt for a minor from a different programme, unless your programme has a compulsory minor.

Specialisation Sustainable Energy & Resource Recovery

This specialisation, one of the two tracks offered in year 3, focuses on environmental consultation, encompassing advanced courses, client-based projects and professional development skills.

This year 3 semester programme trains you to become a multidisciplinary professional, capable of fostering links between different disciplines while keeping a helicopter view on the whole project.

The topics of the programme will differ, based on the study track you have chosen in year 2. This track will focus on the themes resource recovery and renewable energy, offering advanced projects and courses on these themes.

The credit rating of this programme is 30 ECTS.

9 ECTS are covered by various in-depth courses, such as Energy analysis and Advanced water treatment.

18 ECTS are awarded for 2 projects in which groups of 4 to 5 students work on a specific topic. Workshops and field trips are included in these projects. The projects relate to the zero carbon transition and biopolymers from wastewater.

3 ECTS must be earned through the professional and personal development module. This module includes elective courses and the individual profile.

The target groups for this semester programme are Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology (ESSET) students and students on the fast-track ESSET programme or the exchange programme of ESSET year 3.

Specialisation Water management, Ecology & Climate Change

This specialisation, one of the two tracks offered in year 3, focuses on environmental consultation, encompassing advanced courses, client-based projects and professional development skills.

This year 3 semester programme trains you to become a multidisciplinary professional, capable of fostering links between different disciplines while keeping a helicopter view on the whole project.

The topics of the programme will differ, based on the study track you have chosen in year 2. This track will focus on the themes water management, ecology and climate change, offering advanced projects and courses on these themes.

The credit rating of this programme is 30 ECTS.

9 ECTS are covered by various in-depth courses, such as Sustainable soil management and Advanced water management.

18 ECTS are awarded for 2 projects in which groups of 4 to 5 students work on a specific topic. Workshops and field trips are included in these projects. The projects relate to regional climate adaptation and ecosystem services.

3 ECTS must be earned through the professional and personal development module. This module includes elective courses and the individual profile.

The target groups for this semester programme are Environmental Science for Sustainable Energy and Technology (ESSET) students and students on the fast-track ESSET programme or the exchange programme of ESSET year 3.

Minor Disruptive Events

This year 4 multidisciplinary minor will investigate how external events (disasters) impact nature and society, and teach you how to respond and act.

Each year more people are on the move because of disasters and conflict. Due to climate change, every year the number and impact of disasters is increasing. Migration flows raise questions about terrorists in our society and in Europe this is a vivid topic of debate. Within and between cities and countries an increasing polarization is seen. You will familiarize and analyse different approaches and think about the resilience of societies.

Gain experience in analysing complex challenges and providing sustainable solutions for inter(national) disaster contexts and become a leader in risk and resilience with your own professional background! You will learn through experiments, simulations, projects, field trips, lectures and literature.

This programme is framed around 2 modules comprising several projects and courses equal to 30 ECTS. The first model focuses on natural disasters and responses, aiming to reduce the impact of natural disasters around the world. In the second module, you will learn to understand the main European issues that have caused disruption in recent years: migration and migration-related issues. Part of this module are two study trips within Europe.

Minor Biobased Technology and Business Development

The climate is changing and resources are depleting. Join this international minor in year 4 and discover the possibilities of biobased technologies and business developments to address these issues.

The body of the broadening minor Biobased Technology and Business development consists of a multidisciplinary group project. In this project you work for a client that wants to become more sustainable and/or introduce a new sustainable product on the market. It is your task to come up with a business plan for your client looking at the technical aspects, marketing and finances. To be able to do this, your group will consist of four international students with different backgrounds (engineering, environmental science, financial, marketing).

To help you to participate in discussions on biobased technology and business development and realize an excellent plan and advice for your client, your group will have weekly meetings with your group tutor. You will also be able to confer with technical, financial and marketing specialists. Additionally you will get several skills workshops, guest lectures and take several courses and trainings (depending on your educational background).

Here you can find more information about the courses and trainings.

Admissions requirements

  • Exam

  • Score

  • IELTS overall band
    6
  • TOEFL computer based
    213
  • TOEFL internet based
    80

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.

In addition to the minimum diploma requirements, adequate knowledge of mathematics and chemistry is required. Additional knowledge of science subjects like biology and physics is preferred.

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.

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.

Language test

If there are doubts about language ability.

Questions about the programme

If you have a question about this programme, please send us an email. We will be glad to help you.

Short tracks

If your diploma is equal to Dutch vwo with a science subject cluster you may be eligible to transfer into the second year. In this case, you will follow a modified programme that leads to a bachelor's degree in 3 years.

If you have completed at least 2 years of university education in a subject related to the environmental sciences you may be eligible to enrol on the two-year programme. This means you will join the programme in the third year and obtain your bachelor's degree in 2 years.

Practical Information

Apply

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. ESSET students: please search for 'B Environment' to find your programme in Studielink.

In addition to the application procedure via Studielink you must also send us several documents.

Be sure to keep an eye on the enrolment deadline. You will find the deadline on the page 'Admissions requirements' of this programme.

Start month Location Application deadline
September EU 1 August 2022
September Non EU 1 June 2022

Please note: the mentioned deadlines are advised deadlines. When you meet them you give Avans enough time to process your application and, if applicable, apply for a visa. The formal deadline for students with a non-Dutch diploma is 31 August. Applicants with a Dutch diploma must have applied by the 1st of May.

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

Scholarships

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 € 1,084,- 2021 - 2022
Non-EER fee € 7,212,- 2021 - 2022
Institution fee € 7,212,- 2021 - 2022
Statutory fee € 2,209,- 2022 - 2023
Non-EER fee € 8,452,- 2022 - 2023
Institution fee € 8,452,- 2022 - 2023

Location

Discover location Lovensdijkstraat

Lovensdijk

Lovensdijkstraat 61-63
4818 AJ Breda

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Contact

International Office

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