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Master studies in Environment and Natural Resources

The MSc in Environment and Natural Resources will make you into an environmental expert and a sustainability specialist. Choose your specialisation from agroecology & food systems, biodiversity & ecosystems or ecological engineering & renewable energy.

Check out this video about the Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources: This is what it’s like to study at the ZHAW in Wädenswil (2:56min)

Why pursue a Master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources?

The individual master study for your passion

Careful land use and a sustainable economy are the key societal challenges of the coming decades. How can we bring about change that leads to sustainable development? What strategies, methods and conditions will make this transition possible? These questions form the starting point for the inter- and transdisciplinary Master's in ENR programme.

The goal of the new consecutive MSc is to provide in-depth, disciplinary training. Simultaneously, graduates of this environmental Master's programme, which is unique among universities of applied sciences, possess strong skills in combining technical, scientific and social science disciplines.

«For me, the Master's degree in Environment and Natural Resources was the logical step to deepen my knowledge of the scientific working methods after my Bachelor's degree. What appealed to me was the interdisciplinary approach to problems that are tackled in the specialist modules. A wide range of modules also enabled me to customise my education according to my interests.»

Valerio Volpe, Technical-Scientific Assistant in the Soil Quality and Land Use Research Group at Agroscope

Join us! Good reasons for a Master’s study in Environment and Natural Resources in Wädenswil

 "The world is in need of unconventional interdisciplinary solutions, which can be found at the intersection of society, nature and technology. Our Master’s programme produces the experts and specialists that are needed in the fields of sustainability and the environment!"

Martina Weiss, MSc programme director at the Institute of Environment and Natural Resources

Your specialisation

  1. At the beginning of the programme you choose your personal specialisation (Master Research Unit, MRU). 
  2. Additionally, you choose a research group at the institute where you will complete your Master's Studio (Project Work 1 and 2 as well as Master’s thesis).

The integration into a research unit, where half of your studies are completed, enables you to pursue an individual specialisation and provides you with an in-depth insight into research and development work. In addition, this model also provides you with the opportunity to develop a professional network of partners from industry and research during your studies. To strengthen your methodological competence, you choose either the scientific or the socio-economic research profile in order to be able to analyse scientific questions from an appropriate perspective.

"I chose this Master's program because it takes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing environmental challenges. The scientific modules allow me to strengthen my scientific skills, and I can bring my professional and academic experience into play when examining socio-economic questions. In my opinion, networked thinking makes it possible to take vital action in the field of sustainable development."

Sebastian Bradford, Agrofoodsystems, Life Cycle Assessment Research Group

Choose your specialisation:

Agroecology & food systems: Explore the issues of sustainable food production and the associated challenges of climate change, landscape development and resource consumption.

"One of the highlights of my Master’s experience was the many interesting discussions with students from other disciplines." Ennio Mariani, MRU Agroecology and Food Systems, Geography of Food research group

Biodiversity & ecosystems: Examine and explore interactions and connections in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

"This Master’s programme gave me the opportunity to gain in-depth expertise in the field of data analysis through international exchange." Adrian Hochreutner, MRU Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Environmental Planning research group

Ecological engineering & renewable energy: Research and develop sustainable energy, sustainable mobility systems and the role of eco-technologies as key elements of a sustainable society.

"The ecological engineering & renewable energy specialisation in this Master’s programme allowed me to customize my studies so that I could specialise in building energy simulation." Manuel Hunziker, MRU Ecological Engineering and Renewable Energy, Renewable Energies research group

Module overview

"For my Master’s thesis, I got to work on something that is very close to my heart: I travelled to Bolivia on a freighter and studied the impact that the ageing population of cocoa farmers has on the long-term development of their businesses. My findings were used in a project of the research group."

Aline Roth, Student Environment and Natural Resources


The Master’s is based on close cooperation in the form of a double degree with the University of Ljubljana. This allows ZHAW students to complete a 4th semester in Slovenia, gaining a university degree (120 ECTS) and qualifying them to begin a Ph.D. programme.

Working with these collaboration partners makes for a more diverse curriculum. There is also collaboration in research and teaching with the Agroscope and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape (WSL).

There is also close cooperation with the following institutions:

Do you have any questions?

Please contact us ...