Environmental Management & Sustainability Science

Why choose Aalborg University?

Inaugurated in 1974 as the youngest of Denmark 's five universities, Aalborg University (AAU) is currently Denmark 's third largest university. It enrolls approximately 14,000 students in its Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, and its Faculty of Engineering, Science and Medicine. Aalborg University's emphasis on interdisciplinarity, problem-oriented and project-organized studies, and the interaction of theory and practices gives it a profile very different from the traditional university.

The Environmental Management & Sustainability Science Programme at Aalborg University offers a number of advantages:

  • An interdisciplinary approach to study and research creates a stimulating and challenging academic work environment.
  • Problem-centered project allows students to research integration problems of interest to them.
  • Traineeships at relevant industries throughout the world give students practical work experience and insight into real problems.
  • Denmark’s welfare system, its mild winters and temperate summers, and its multilingual population make it a comfortable and interesting place to live and work.

A Different Experience

Both research and teaching at Aalborg University are based on inter-disciplinary and problem-centered studies organised around group work. Furthermore project work generally accounts for 50% of the study time, while the other 50% are devoted to lectures and seminars. The projects take their starting points in real life problems and are often prepared in conjunction with local companies, authorities or organisations. Projects are normally pre- pared in groups of 3 to 5 students who work together throughout the entire semester under the supervision of one or more teachers.
Problem-centered learning is described by the rector of Aalborg University in this video (link) giving his view upon problem-centered learning and its advantages.


The entire third semester is devoted to a traineeship. Each student will be assigned to a company or an organisation, where he/she will analyse specific problems that may be identified in the company/organisation, applying the theoretical knowledge from the courses. This project work provides the students with the abilities of improving their understanding of theories as well as applying theoretical insights in practical contexts. For more information about the traineeship, click here


In standard university programmes, students are primarily evaluated through written final exams, for which they must memorise and recall what they are taught throughout the semester. Most of the skills that this process develops are really only useful in an educational setting. Through its emphasis on group project-work, Aalborg University takes a more practical approach to learning, giving priority to students experience from addressing real-world problems, thus providing them with skills that they will use in real life. While many universities incorporate groupwork and projectwork into their curriculum, Aalborg University takes this a step further. With half of the term devoted to the project, and the remainder being divided between project-related courses and courses related to the theme of the semester, the project experience is an integral part of the curriculum, rather than just another course. By spending most of their time solving real-life problems, students do not just learn about the subject matter, they learn how to use the knowledge. This process makes applying skills after graduation easier, whether in doctoral studies or in an occupational setting

Student Centered

Students are given a great deal of flexibility in completing their projects. This is particularly important in the context of an international programme, where students come from different cultural backgrounds and may have different ways of working. Some prefer to write alone; others thrive on being surrounded by others. As the university does not specify how the projects must be completed, other than that they must be done well, students organise themselves and their work however they want, in order to achieve their goal. Thus, over the course of a semester, students not only create a project, but a way of creating a project. In completing their projects, students are provided with a number of services that facilitate their work. One or two experienced supervisors are assigned to each group, advising the group as it progresses through the project. Each group is also provided with a particular 'group room,' equipped with a computer connected to the department network and the Internet. These rooms provide an ideal setting for group discussions and meetings with supervisors. Other computer rooms and printing facilities are accessible in the same building, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that students are able to complete all of their project-work at the university, if they so choose. Another useful facility on campus is the Aalborg University library, which has an extensive collection of books, journals, and electronic journals. In particular it has extensive collection of business and environmental electronic journals useful for finding information for projects. This collection is also accessible to students from off-campus. Overall, the time at Aalborg University provides a unique opportunity to develop analytical and research skills, gain experience working with people from different cultures, and explore subject areas that are of interest. The focus on group problem solving is a key to this experience, as it provides flexibility and practicality, both of which contribute to a highly enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Listen to a students experiences about project work at AAU in the video below.

Social life in Aalborg

In the video below, a student shows the social life in Aalborg. Aalborg is described as a cosy minor city with many possibilities for enjoying life outside university.


Contact EMSS

Contact EMSS


Environmental Management & Sustainability Science
Aalborg University
Rendsburggade 14
9000 Aalborg, Denmark