Master in Toxicology and Environmental Health


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Become an Expert in Health Risk Assessment

We come into contact with a vast number of chemical, biological, and physical agents that could do us harm. These agents are present in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and even the food we eat. We encounter them when we travel, when we work or when we use consumer goods such as cosmetics or electrical equipment. Determining the source of these risks, and quantifying their effects, requires collaboration by experts across a host of different disciplines.

Toxicology and Environmental Health trains you to become an expert in the fundamentals of toxicology, environmental epidemiology and exposure assessment. Learn to assess the risks present in everyday life. Gain the knowledge and skills needed to identify chemical, biological, and physical hazards, as well as the risks associated with exposure to these agents.

Compose your Own Master Programme

The multidisciplinary nature of our programme means that you will have the possibility to specialise in a particular field or undertake more generalist training in risk assessment. Decide to take part in experimental laboratory research within various fields of toxicology such as neurotoxicology, immunotoxicology or endocrinal toxicology. Interested in undertaking practical fieldwork? Select an environmental or occupational exposure assessment and engage in activities such as collection and in-depth analysis of samples taken from a variety of sources or exposure modelling.

Why you Should Study Toxicology and Environmental Health at Utrecht University

  • Gain the knowledge to perform a multidisciplinary risk assessment by making use of toxicological and epidemiological data;
  • Learn to understand the biological, chemical, and physical environmental health hazards, both indoors and outdoors, as well as their potential impact on human health;
  • It provides the freedom to define your own Master’s programme. Choose your own internships and electives in any subject;
  • Follow your Master’s programme at UMC Utrecht, one of the largest academic medical centres in the Netherlands with state-of-the-art facilities.

Career Prospects

Completion of this Master’s programme will provide you with a strong research background and a broad basic knowledge in both toxicology, environmental epidemiology, exposure assessment, and risk assessment. These will enable you to pursue a career in academia (a PhD) or in more applied directions including R&D (research and development), communication, or consultancy.

The fact that you have had the chance to acquire extensive experience in doing research independently in a major and minor research project will make you an attractive candidate for a position in the field of toxicology and environmental health or life sciences in general anywhere in the world.

Possible Prospects

Depending on your choice of discipline and exit profile, you will be prepared for further PhD studies in fundamental or applied research or for a post at an academic level. The programme also aims to serve as a basis for the post-academic recognition and registration of students as toxicologists or epidemiologists.

There are many possible career opportunities varying from scientific research, journalism, and education to jobs in the private, public, or non-profit sector.

Academic Careers

About 60% of our graduates pursue a career in academia and continue after completion of their Master’s programme onto a PhD position. Some of them stay with Utrecht University and enrol in the PhD programme Toxicology and Environmental Health. PhD positions with other Utrecht University groups are also quite common. Currently, graduates are working on their PhD research with a wide range of Dutch and international universities.

Professional Careers

  • Toxicological risk assessor
    European legislation demands that risk assessments are available for all new and existing chemicals imported, produced, and applied in Europe. Risk assessments focus on the general population, consumers, workers, and the ecosystem. With an MSc in Toxicology and Environmental Health, you can work with industry, governments, and consultancies on these risk assessments.
  • Environmental risk assessor
    Current and emerging sources of environmental contamination may lead to effects on the general public, environment, and ecosystems. Assessment, analysis, and modelling of this contamination are done by some of our graduates, either in research institutes or private consultancies. Risk communication may be an important part of their job.
  • Environmental health specialist
    In municipal and regional public health services, experts are needed with a background in environmental health. Graduates from our programme hold positions with these health services both in the Netherlands and abroad.
  • Occupational hygienist
    Some of our graduates work as occupational hygienists with regional or national occupational health services and institutes. They work on the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and prevention of hazards from work that may result in injury, illness, or affect the well-being of workers.

Facts & Figures

Examples of where our MSc graduates work:

  • PhD positions - Utrecht University, Wageningen University, Erasmus University, University of Amsterdam, Radboud University, Maastricht University Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Aarhus University, University of Queensland etc.
  • Toxicological risk assessors - Akzo Nobel, RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health the Environment), European Chemical Bureau (ECB, Italy), Penman
  • Researchers in environmental health - Municipal health services, RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment), Dutch and international consultancy companies
  • Occupational hygiene consultants - Occupational health services and institutes

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less