Academic content

Academic content

Studying the Master’s programme in Environmental Science, you learn how to understand and solve complex issues in relation to environmental and climate issues – both locally and globally. The programme is cross disciplinary, which means that you will combine knowledge from e.g. biology, technology, chemistry, engineering, environmental planning and environmental management.

You will work with topics such as:

  • Environmental soil science
  • Geostatistics
  • Global change biology
  • Human impact on the environment
  • Experimental hydrology
  • Ecosystem analysis
  • Conservation biology
  • Marine pollution

The teaching combines lectures, laboratory work and project work. During the first two semesters, you will split your time equally between three 5 ECTS courses and one 15 ECTS project. The courses will provide you with the basic knowledge, and the projects will allow you to use this knowledge in combination with a topic that interests you.

The study programmes at AAU are based on problem based learning and project work. This gives you the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and competences at a high academic level in an independent manner. You get to apply theory to practice in your semester projects, which will prepare you better for your future career.



On the first semester, you will investigate, measure and model the effect of e.g. land use change or increased load of chemicals on natural and artificial ecosystems. You and your project group will explore about how land-use change and increased load of chemicals may affect selected ecosystems and suggest actions relating to remediation technologies and management to prevent and alleviate the ecosystem distresses.


  • Global Change Biology (5 ECTS)
  • Environmental Soil Science and Geostatistics (5 ECTS)
  • Experimental Hydrogeology (5 ECTS)


  • Human Impact on the Environment (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Comparison of organic vs. conventional farming. The effect of household chemicals and pesticides on urban recreational areas
  • Impact of biodegradation on pollution reduction
  • Green approach to the management of material and waste streams from ship dismantling areas


On the second semester, you will acquire tools to analyse environmental impacts and evaluate how the most important environmental impacts affect surrounding environments, on local as well as on global scales. In your semester project, you will focus on a natural environment where management aspects of the natural resources are an integral part of the ecosystem function.


  • Marine Pollution (5 ECTS)
  • Electives (5 ECTS): Modelling the Aquatic Environment / Wastewater Treatment / Environmental Management / Danish Biotopes


  • Ecosystem Analysis and Management (15 ECTS)

examples of pROJEcT topics

  • Comparison and modelling of enhanced biological phosphorus removal with different substrates
  • Investigation of biocide biodegradation in wastewater under laboratory set-up in anaerobic, aerobic and aerobic with substrate conditions
  • Research on chemical removal of hydrogen sulphide from sewer systems using hydrogen peroxide as oxidising reagent


On your third semester, you usually start to work on your Master’s thesis.


On the fourth semester, you write your Master’s thesis, where you draw on all the knowledge, experience and skills you have acquired during your studies. Depending on your topic choice, the thesis will be in the nature of developmental work, further development, or actual research.

master’s thesis

  • Topic of own choice (30 ECTS)

examples of thesis topics

  • Advancing the use of passive gravity flow samplers for storm event pollution Characterisation
  • Analysis of removing organic sulfur compounds from sewer-off gas by activated carbon
  • Biocides in stormwater pond sediments. soprtion, degradation and microbial inhibition

job and career

More about the programme

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

The study method at AAU is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). Together with your fellow students you will work with real life problems by way of problem based project work.

learn more about Pbl at aau