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Description of Master's specialisation Science, Management and Innovation

Preparing for a professional future to address complex societal challenges

The world faces many societal challenges, which are summarised by the United Nations in the Sustainable Development Goals. Problems range from climate change and the need for energy transition to novel disease outbreaks and declining biodiversity. Addressing these challenges requires in-depth knowledge of the natural and computing sciences, but cannot do without knowledge of other disciplines such as public policy, management and innovation. For example, the energy transition relies on human behaviour and policy intervention, and improving global healthcare relates to innovation and change management. Developing and implementing innovative and realistic solutions to such challenges requires academics with an in-depth understanding of societal aspects and social science approaches as well as the analytical skills that are central to the Master’s programmes at the Faculty of Science.

The Science, Management and Innovation Master’s specialisation allows you to apply your science background to a societal theme and enables you to make a difference in your future field of work. You graduate in your original Master’s discipline but are also taught how innovation is managed in companies, how policy is made in government, and discuss several approaches to today’s societal challenges. You will improve your ability to cooperate with actors from other disciplines. This combination of science, policy and business, and the capability to work in multi-disciplinary teams is in high demand, not only in companies but also in non-profit organisations and the public sector.

The Master’s programme consists of two parts, each with a duration of one year. In the first year you will deepen your knowledge of your discipline by following the courses in your Science programme. In the second year you will start with the generic part of the Science, Management and Innovation specialisation. In the final half of the second year you will do a research project addressing a real-life problem, usually carried out in a host organization.


When you start with the Master's Specialisation, you will first select your specialisation theme. We offer two themes that are available to all students in this specialisation: Climate and Energy, and Health.

Climate and Energy

Human interference with the climate system is deeply intertwined with our energy system. Through courses on the bio-economy, sustainable consumption and energy modelling, you will learn what the transition to a sustainable energy system entails.


In many parts of the world, health has been improving but new diseases threaten progress. Moreover, new forms of organisation and modern IT developments are changing the face of the health sector.

For information please contact: SMIcoordinator@fnwi.ru.nl