Two students working together on one labtop

Programme Structure

Teaching is in the form of lectures, seminars, practical and theoretical exercises, and there will be a good deal of project work. You will be working both independently and in project groups.

During your first year of study, you follow the thematic course "Ecology and Ecosystems Science in relation to Environmental Economics" as well as five compulsory courses:

  • Applied Econometrics, where you learn how to carry out empirical studies.
  • Natural Resource Economics, where you learn optimum use of limited natural resources such as oil compared with renewable natural resources such as forests, which can be replanted.
  • Incentives and Regulation, where you learn about economic regulation of environmental problems.
  • Economic Valuation Methods and Cost Benefit Analysis, where you learn methodologies for evaluating the benefits and costs of environmental initiatives.
  • Applied Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, where you will work on a practical project based on the knowledge and competences gained in the previous courses, either in groups or individually. Examples of topics from previous years’ project assignments are: Economic valuation of ecosystem services, International environmental agreements in relation to contract theory, Pollution mitigation by means of organic farming, Externalities from windmills.

Thematic course

The thematic course in "Ecology and Ecosystems Science in relation to Environmental Economics" is placed in blocks 1 and 2 of the first year. It is based on lectures, classroom discussions, theoretical and practical exercises, excursions, and project work involving written assignments.

The thematic course will give you a basic understanding of natural science specifically in relation to ecosystems and the services they provide to society, and you will also acquire an understanding of how our use and management of natural resources impacts on these ecosystem services.

The focus is on ecosystem structures, functions and processes that are of special importance to the practical application of economic theories, methods and instruments taught in subsequent economics courses. The thematic course will thus give you a basic foundation in natural science which is necessary to work with a large part of the practical cases that are used in the subsequent courses.

Elective and restricted elective courses

The elective and restricted elective courses offer you the opportunity to personalise your study programme with courses within, for example, biology, management, law or economics. This may be courses offered at the Faculty of Science or from other faculties at the University of Copenhagen as well as from Copenhagen Business School. Some students also take courses at the University of Southern Denmark or at other international universities.

Do a Project in Practice or study abroad

You may choose to use some of your elective courses to do a project in practice with a company or an organisation or to study abroad as part of your programme.


The programme is concluded with a thesis that gives you the title Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (in Danish: cand.scient.oecon.).

In your thesis, you will be working independently on a theoretical or empirical project. As you can see from some of the thesis subjects from the last few years, the issues range widely from Danish agriculture to tropical rainforest and climate change:

  • Cost effectiveness analysis of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS).
  • Nitrogen contracts – an economic assessment of an environmental policy instrument.
  • Willingness among Danish consumers to pay for certified timber products.
  • Economic assessment of ecosystem services in a Tropical Rainforest.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.
  • Assessing consumer acceptance of using insects as feed in food production.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of alternative renewable and non-renewable energy sources
  • Using eyetracking technology to assess consumer preferences for environmentally friendly products.

Programme Structure

The structure of the programme depends on whether you choose to write a thesis worth 30 ECTS or 45 ECTS. The different programme structures are shown below:

Thesis 30 ECTS

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1

Ecology and Ecosystems Science in relation to Environmental Economics Incentives and Regulation Restricted elective course
Applied Econometrics Natural Resource Economics Economic Valuation Methods and Cost-Benefit Analysis Applied Enviromental and Natural Resource Economics
Year 2 Restricted elective course Elective course Thesis
Restricted elective course Elective course

Thesis 45 ECTS

Restricted elective courses

Choose your restricted elective courses from the list below. Click on each course for a detailed description.