M.Sc. Minor Environmental Sciences and Humanities
The Master Minor in Environmental Sciences and Humanities educates generalists in environmental sciences with a special competence in environmental humanities and ethics. All modules consist of course units providing a general overview or introduction to the fields of studies and allow for specialization in specific fields of environmental sciences and humanities. The program is based on an interfaculty and a humanistic approach. Within this highly interdisciplinary setting, students acquire key competences in relevant fields of environmental sciences ranging from biology, geosciences to economics and law while achieving a key focus in the environmental humanities with a special emphasis on ethical decision-making in environmental practice.
Structure of classes and lectures
The Master Minor study programme in Environmental Sciences and Humanities spans over four semesters, corresponding to a minimum of 30 ECTS credits.
All course units of this program make true interdisciplinarity possible as they are followed in their faculties and departments of origin together with students from the respective fields. The minor program is divided into three teaching blocks, a compulsory block, a compulsory elective block and an elective block:
- The compulsory teaching block consists of the environmental humanities module consisting of courses in the fields of the environmental humanities and in ethics. Examples are courses in environmental ethics, methods of ethical decision-making and courses in environmental history and political ecology. (15 ECTS)
- The compulsory elective teaching block consists of the geosciences module and environmental biology module deepening knowledge in methods and theory of earth sciences, human and physical geography as well as knowledge in ecology and biological evolution. (6 - 15 ECTS)
- The elective teaching block consists of the sustainable economy, environmental law, and the humanities and theology modules providing background in economic thinking in the context of sustainability, public law at national, European and international levels and extending humanist background to environmental challenges. (0 - 9 ECTS)
The environmental humanities block aims at building in-depth competences in humanist approaches to environmental challenges while a special focus lies on ethics and ethical decision-making. The geosciences and environmental biology modules provide the necessary natural sciences background. The elective modules consisting of courses in economics, law, theology and the humanities introduce basic economic and legal aspects of environmental issues and provide complementary competences to those acquired in the environmental humanities module.
Skills aquired and career opportunities
The aim of the studies leading to the award of a Master Minor in Environmental Sciences and Humanities is to deepen knowledge and to acquire competence in the field of Environmental Sciences with a focus on environmental ethics and ethical-decision making. At the end of the programme, a student will have shown that they understand the basic background of environmental issues and they can apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to practical problems. The award of the degree requires creative and self-critical talents as well as the ability to communicate ideas and work both in English and one’s native language.
Master's degree programmes are built on the knowledge and abilities that were acquired when obtaining a Bachelor's degree. Applicants require a Bachelor of Science from the University of Fribourg in Biology, in Geography, or in Earth Sciences or any other Swiss University including a BSc in Environmental Sciences or related fields of studies. The same holds for candidates in possession of a Bachelor from the University of Fribourg or any other Swiss university in Anthropology, Economics, Law, Political Sciences, International Affairs, Theology, or Philosophy accompanied by a minor in Environmental Sciences and Humanities, Biology, Geography or Geology or an academic degree judged equivalent by the Faculty of Science and Medicine. The same applies to holders of a Bachelor's degree awarded by a foreign university, provided that the Bachelor's degree is recognised and considered equivalent by the University of Fribourg.
Students not holding one of the relevant titles of Bachelor, a Bachelor accompanied by a relevant minor or a title judged equivalent by the faculty must follow and successfully complete at least a complementary programme in all relevant fields to the Master Minor in order to be awarded the Master Minor in Environmental Sciences and Humanities. Relevant courses followed and successfully completed during former studies can be admitted if they are judged equivalent. Complementary courses must be completed in parallel to the Master Minor programme.