International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management


This 2-year programme contains 120 ECTS credit units and leads to the joint diploma of International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management.

In order to expose all students to different institutional settings, student mobility within Europe is an integral part of the programme.

  1. General Entrance Module – Semester I  – Ghent University
    including field trip for the Winter School – TU Freiberg
  2. Advanced Module – Semester II  – Uppsala University
  3. Field trip – Summer School – TU Freiberg
  4. Advanced Module II – Semester III and master thesis – choose one of the following majors containing (elective) courses in combination with master dissertation research:
    – Geo-resource Exploration (Uppsala)
    – Sustainable Processes (Freiberg)
    – Sustainable Materials and Resource Recovery (Ghent)

Each student will incorporate 15 ECTS of interorganisational mobility to the non-academic sector – e.g. as internship and part of the work on the master thesis.

All students will be moving as a cohort to Gent, Freiberg and Uppsala in the first year, which approach has significant networking and social cohesion advantages.

During this first year, students are introduced to the value chain, management of natural resources, the circular economy, its economic, policy and legal aspects, inventory techniques, the clean technology concept and life cycle assessment tools to assess sustainability of products, services and processes. Moreover, students are exposed to a basic training in the different technological tools that can be used to intervene in different parts of the value chain (geo-resource exploration, sustainable (chemical) extraction processes, sustainable materials and resource recovery technology).

In the second year students can opt to further specialize by selecting a major and conducting thesis research. They interact with the professional sector through cooperation in thesis research, internships, lectures and seminars.

Several integrated and integrating courses throughout the programme stimulate the exchange of knowledge and experience between the students, lecturers and non-academic stakeholders who are active in the value chain, and challenge students to develop and apply multidisciplinary and creative problem-solving techniques. Each of these courses is coordinated by one academic partner, but involves active contribution of the other educational and non-academic Associated and Supporting Partners, e.g. Introduction to the circular economy, economics and management of natural resources; Problems and innovations in the process chain of rare resources; Raw Materials Network Seminar; Innovation management, entrepreneurship and IPR; Project Management and Business Plan Development; Resources Chemistry I and II (Summer school); Master Dissertation and the Joint Master Dissertation Event at the end of the two-year programme.

Developing entrepreneurial mindset

The SINReM programme also provides complementary skills training to teach students to assess the environmental and societal impact of interventions in the value chain (e.g. resource assessment) and to be creative and innovative not only in an academic research environment, but also in business environments. These courses include language courses, a course on innovation management, IPR and entrepreneurship and a course Project Management and Business Plan Development that prepares the students for their Dissertation research and for the start of a future start-up or spinn-off . The latter two courses include contributions from Associated and Supporting Partners.

Elective specialisation courses, an elective Internship and the Master Dissertation allow the students to deepen their knowledge and choose a Major in the second year, thus specialising in the field of their choice. According to the expertise and specialisation of the institutes and lecturers involved, students can choose between Geo-resource Exploration in Uppsala, Sustainable Processes in Freiberg and Resource Recovery and Sustainable Materials in Ghent. The selection of elective courses, by each individual student enables the build-up of a strong competence profile and needs to be approved by the SINReM Management Board (MB) to avoid any repetition or overlap of courses within each individual curriculum. Students will also be guided by the SINReM local and coordination secretariat and the lecturers during selection of elective courses.