Urban, Energy and Environmental Planning, Master

Academic content

Academic content

The Master of Science Programme in Environmental Management & Sustainability Science combines a theoretical orientation with practical project work. This means that you achieve hands-on experience with a range of practical techniques in areas like:

  • environmental planning
  • environmental policy
  • environmental management systems (EMS)
  • corporate social responsibility
  • life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • energy analysis and planning.

You will be able to use different tools for project design, environmental monitoring, quality control and evaluation as well as planning. Furthermore, you will be trained in using cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness methods.

The programme will also provide you with an understanding of the social and political implications of planning and management within the environmental field. This includes an understanding of the relationships between companies and stakeholders, the environmental challenges facing businesses operating on international markets, and an introduction to various types of environmental regulations.

These are just some of the topics that are integrated in the Master of Science Programme in Environmental Management & Sustainability Science.

The courses and the project work are carried out in English. Therefore, the programme is open to Danish as well as international students with a relevant Bachelor of Science degree in engineering or equivalent.



The semester begins with an introduction sequence consisting of work in project groups and introductory lectures presenting different approaches to environmental management.

The focus of this semester is on the company level. Each project group conducts an in-depth analysis of a company’s environmental strategies and performance and suggests improvements in relation to production processes, the product life cycle, or management policies. At the end of the semester, a project report is submitted, presenting relevant theories and an analysis of the case study.


Project: Sustainability Management in Organisations (15 ECTS)


2ND SEMESTER: Sustainability Management in a Societal and
Institutional Perspective

This semester focuses on policies, politics, institutions, and organisations. You will learn how the political, organisational, and institutional contexts in different nations and cultures have an influence on environmental management, as well as how to analyse policies, discourses, institutions, and political strategies within the field.

Each project group chooses a topic for their semester report within the theme of the semester. The topic can be primarily theoretical or empirical and usually takes its point of departure in a specific policy, organisation, or an environmental problem.


Project: Sustainability Management in a Societal and Institutional Perspective (15 ECTS)




The student can choose between one of the listed items:

1. Professional Development

  • This semester will provide you with the option of applying the theoretical and methodological knowledge gained during the 1st and 2nd semesters into practice in real life situations in Denmark or abroad. This could take form as a internship within a private planning consultancy firm, a public planning department or a private NGO.
  • A student who has followed one 1st semester under the Urban, Energy and Environmental Planning master’s programme may choose to follow another 1st semester under UEEP or Geography. In that case the student follows the course and project modules at this semester and acquires the knowledge, skills and competencies which are stated in the curriculum for the concerning semester. A 5 ECTS assignment must be prepared as replacement for the course module “Theories of Science and Research Designs” to meet the 30 ECTS semester load.
  • An alternative option is to enrol at another (Danish or foreign) university in order to undertake a semester’s study there.

2. Prolonged Master's Thesis

  • Finally there is an option for adding the 3rd and the 4th semester into a ‘prolonged project period’, if for instance the research question of the master thesis demands more time and energy for collecting data or conducting field studies.


4th semester: Master's Thesis

In the final semester the main focus is on the writing of the Masters thesis. Students work individually or in small groups, under the guidance of supervisory staff. The Master's thesis, being the highest level of work undertaken, should aim at synthesising theories and methods in order to perform a potential solution for real life environmental planning and management problems.


See examples of project reports here:


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