by Martina Forbicini
Course: MSc in Environmental Management and Policy (EMP)
Level: Postgraduate, Master of Science (MSc)
University: The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Lund University (LU)
Length: 2 years
Summary of the course:
Environmental Management and Policy (EMP) is a 2 years International Master Programme with the aim to enable students to develop their capacities to evaluate, design, and implement both management and policy responses to pressing environmental issues. The structure comprises 5 main blocks:
1. Courses teaching knowledge and skills fundamental for all sustainability professionals
2. Courses related to Corporate Environmental Management
3. Courses related to environmental policy at urban, regional, national, and international levels
4. Elective courses that allow students to choose between going deeper into environmental policy or environmental management, including team-based consulting or an internship
5. Capstone courses that allow for a focused specialization built on applying all preceding learning in the programme to specific tasks and circumstances
What did you like most about the course?
Being in a small group of 30 students is one of the biggest pros of the programme: it’s easy to get to know each other and build up those relationships that go beyond being simply classmates. Interactive and dynamic learning are made possible thanks to such a small-sized class. Also, multiculturality represents a great aspect: in my year, Batch27, there are more than 15 nationalities represented. It’s really a giant melting pot where you can learn so much about each other’s culture. It’s very insightful to see how different sustainability issues are tackled in different parts of the world: it really gives you a more comprehensive picture.
I’m really happy about the professional skills, competences, knowledge and networks we have a chance to develop in close collaboration with industry and society. Study visits, guest lectures, and engaging in projects with external clients are also part and parcel of the daily life of an EMP student. They prepare you for professional life outside an academic context and allow you to have hands-on experience.
What did you do before this course? Are there any specific requirements for being able to apply to and take this course?
I graduated in 2019 from a BA in Global Governance from the University of Rome Tor Vergata. I’ve always been involved in environmental-related activities. After graduation, I decided to take a full year to deepen my knowledge in terms of environmental solutions. I won a scholarship for the International Summer School “Environment, Energy and Global Changes” at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. I carried out an internship at Bioversity International, IO focused on research about agricultural biodiversity. After that, I moved to Portugal, to volunteer for the NGO Plantar Uma Arvore, in a project of environmental preservation, within the European Solidarity Corps.
Overall, the course is designed to build on the knowledge that students have acquired during the first cycle of education: throughout the programme, peer-to-peer sharing of experience and perspectives are very much encouraged. Therefore, the possibility of bringing your experiences to the table is valued significantly so that everyone can benefit from interdisciplinary exchange.
However, some entry requirements apply:
1. An undergraduate degree (BA/BSc) of at least 180 credits or the equivalent foreign degree from an internationally recognized university.
2. English 6/English Course B.
3. Academic grades and relevant work experience in addition to the statement of purpose written by the applicants and recommendations given.
What sort of work are you doing (e.g. more group work/more individual work; more project-based work/more essay writing etc.)?
For each course, there are several assignments of different natures. Teamwork is fostered through a multitude of group presentations and group reports. You also get to write your own individual essays and carry out student-led seminars. At the end of each course, you need to pass a written final examination.
Is there anything you would change about the course?
I’m very much satisfied with the course overall. Nevertheless, the course is very intense and time-consuming: you need to dedicate yourself to it as if it were a full-time job! Often, the time you can dedicate to deepen your knowledge about the topics you’re more interested in – in a specific course – is limited. Later on in the programme, you can certainly specialize in what you like the most but at the very beginning it might seem very challenging to grasp everything! Nevertheless, you learn how to improve your time management skills and what/how to prioritize.
Why did you choose this course over other courses you may have been considering?
I fell in love with its interdisciplinarity, practical approach, and its international nature and location. Sweden has been a pioneer country in terms of environmental management and policy. Plus, the Swedish society is known to be environmentally conscious and the natural landscapes in the surroundings are breathtaking.
What is life at this university like?
With the current pandemic, I haven’t been able to live university life to the fullest. However, Lund is a student city: 40,000 students are enrolled at Lund University. As a student, you can join one of the several “Nations” which organize many activities throughout the year.
EMP is part of a smaller Institute – The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics: when times allow, students gather together, cooking in the Institute’s kitchen, singing, and grabbing drinks. All of these extracurricular activities help both students and teachers to build up a tight group.
What are you planning on doing after you’ve graduated?
I still have one year ahead of me and I’m not particularly sure about what I want to do next. It would represent a wonderful opportunity to keep doing what I love – protecting the environment- as part and parcel of my job, while focusing on doing so through sustainable business management.
What are typical jobs graduates do after completing the course?
Graduates from EMP usually end up working within both the realms of public policy and corporate management. Alumni have taken positions in industry, consultancy, government, EU bodies, NGOs and international organizations such as the UN, World Bank and OECD. Others have continued as entrepreneurs or have enrolled in PhD programs to pursue academic careers.
Martina is a first year student in the International Master of Environmental Management and Policy at Lund University, Sweden. She is from Italy but has been living in Australia, Spain, and Portugal in the last few years. She holds a BA in Global Governance. She is currently collaborating with the social and environmental campaign Hummustown, which delivers Middle Eastern meals, prepared by Syrian refugees, in Rome. She is also leading the “YEE Interviews” campaign as the Communication and Project Support Officer for YEE, Youth and Environment Europe.