Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management (SINReM)

  • Application for 2021-22 is closed.
  • Application for 2022-23 opens early October 2021.

Consortium website: SINReM

labelled by:


European Union

supported by:

EIT Raw Materials



The increasing demand for raw materials, their price volatility, the production concentration and the market distortions imposed by some countries, confront Europe and other world regions with a number of challenges along the entire value chain. To tackle this supply risk challenge and to deal with environmental problems arising from too large emissions of waste (such as CO2), technological innovation is required with respect to exploration of new resources and sustainable primary mining, sustainable use of resources in specific products and production processes (e.g. substitution of critical metals in materials), prevention of waste generation, valorisation of secondary (alternative) resources and recovery/recycling of resources from end-of-life products.

The International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management (SINReM) aims at educating a new range of professionals with a holistic overview on resource management and up-to-date processing technologies, who are familiar with sustainability concepts and possess an innovative mind-set to boost the economic importance of this sector.

Students will be acquainted with the different (technological) options for optimizing flows of natural resources in the different parts of the chain, ranging from resource exploration over sustainable materials use and use of resources in production processes to recovery/recycling of resources from end-of-life products. The focus is on developing ground-breaking technologies, engineering and re-inventing the value chain to make it more sustainable. Students will get a broad view on the entire value chain in its different aspects.

Networking and exchange of knowledge and experience between different nationalities, between academic and non-academic partners and between scholars and students will be promoted.

SINReM is offered by a consortium consisting of 3 Institutes of Higher Education:

  • Universiteit Gent / Ghent University (UGent, Ghent, Belgium);
  • Uppsala University (UU, Uppsala, Sweden);
  • TU Bergakademie Freiberg (TUFreiberg, Freiberg, Germany).

The SINReM programme is (co)financed by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology within the EIT Raw Materials programme.  EIT forms unique partnerships, called Knowledge and Innovation Communities (Innovation Communities) that develop innovative products and services, start new companies, and train a new generation of entrepreneurs.

SINREM obtained an EIT label. EIT-labelled educational programmes foster students to become more creative and innovative entrepreneurs.


Learning Outcomes

The International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management (SINReM) educates a new range of resource engineer professionals by focusing on developing concepts and technology along the value chain of raw materials to make it more sustainable. The graduates will be T-shaped professionals with a holistic view on the entire value chain with deep knowledge on one particular aspect and a highly entrepreneurial mind-set with a strong focus on innovation.


This 2-year programme contains 120 ECTS credit units and leads to the joint diploma of International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management.

In order to expose all students to different institutional settings, student mobility within Europe is an integral part of the programme.

  • Semester I 26 ECTS - Ghent University and TU Freiberg
  • Semester II 25 ECTS - Uppsala University
  • Summer Course 9 ECTS - TU Freiberg
  • Internship 10 ECTS
  • Semester III 30 ECTS - choose a one of the following majors containing (elective) courses in combination Literature Study and Business Plan:
    1. Georesource Exploration (Uppsala University)
    2. Entrepreneurship (Uppsala niversity)
    3. Sustainable Processes (TU Freiberg)
    4. Resource Recovery and Sustainable Materials (Ghent University)
    5. Circular Societies (Ghent University)
  • Semester IV 30 ECTS – Master Thesis

All students will be moving as one cohort to Gent, Freiberg and Uppsala during the first year. This approach has significant networking and social cohesion advantages.

During this first year, students are introduced to the value chain, management of natural resources, the circular economy, its economic, policy and legal aspects, inventory techniques, the clean technology concept and life cycle assessment tools to assess sustainability of products, services and processes. Moreover, students are exposed to a basic training in the different technological tools that can be used to intervene in different parts of the value chain (georesource exploration, sustainable (chemical) extraction processes, sustainable materials and resource recovery technology).

In the second year students have the option to further specialize by selecting a major, performing an internship, and conducting thesis research. They interact with the professional sector through cooperation in thesis research, internship work, lectures and seminars.

Several integrated and integrating courses throughout the programme stimulate the exchange of knowledge and experience between the students, lecturers and non-academic stakeholders who are active in the value chain, and challenge students to develop and apply multidisciplinary and creative problem-solving techniques. Each of these courses is coordinated by one academic partner, but involves active contribution of the other educational and non-academic partners, e.g. Introduction to the circular economy, economics and management of natural resources; Problems and innovations in the process chain of rare resources; Raw Materials Network Seminar; Innovation management, entrepreneurship and IPR; Project Management and Business Plan Development; Resources Chemistry; Master Dissertation.

The SINReM programme also provides complementary skills training to teach students to assess the environmental and societal impact of interventions in the value chain and to be creative and innovative not only in an academic research environment, but also in business environments. These courses include language courses, a course on Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship and a course Literature Study and Business Plan that prepares the students for their Master Thesis research.

Elective specialisation courses, an elective Internship and the Master Thesis allow the students to deepen their knowledge and choose a Major in the second year, thus specialising in the field of their choice. According to the expertise and specialisation of the institutes and lecturers involved, students can choose between Georesource Exploration, or Entrepreneurship in Uppsala, Sustainable Processes in Freiberg and Resource Recovery and Sustainable Materials, or Circular Societies in Ghent.

The Master Thesis is an original piece of research work and a requirement for every candidate to obtain a master degree. It aims to develop and strengthen the research capacity skills of the students. The student selects a topic and is given guidance by a promoter or supervisor. The Thesis consists of a literature review part, a theoretical reflection and an original analysis of the topic. The involved research is conducted at one of the partner institutes and with one of the non-academic (industrial) partners.

Course programme

All course details can be found in our programme catalogue

Admission Requirements

SINReM is particularly suited for (but not limited to): bioscience engineers, biotechnology scientists, chemical engineers, chemists, environmental scientists and engineers, geologists, geophysicists, mining engineers, mineralogists, materials scientists, metallurgists and process engineers.

To be admitted to the SINReM programme, you need to:

  • hold a Bachelor degree (equivalent to at 180 ECTS) in a discipline closely related to the SINReM scope (see above for examples);*
  • have a strong background in science (equivalent to at least 15 ECTS in mathematics and/or physics and 10 ECTS in chemistry);*
  • have completed your previous degree(s) with good or very good grades (typically top 30% of the students);
  • submit a convincing motivation letter with your application, which shows that the SINReM scope matches your previous education and future goals;
  • fulfil the English language requirements listed below.

* If you do not fully meet criteria 1 and 2, you may still be admitted if you have excellent grades (typically top 10% of the students) in your previous degree(s). Please note that in this case you will have to invest more time within the first year to catch up with fundamentals of science and engineering.

Accepted official language test certificates (the certificate cannot be older than 5 years):

  • TOEFL IBT (at least total score of 86 out of 120)
  • TOEFL PBT (at least total score of 570)
  • Academic IELTS (overall band score of at least 6.5 with at least 6 for writing)
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)

If you have obtained at least 60 ECTS credits with English as the language of instruction, you can provide a stamped and signed certificate of English proficiency issued by your home university. Only for nationals of: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, UK, USA, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Academic admission (and Letter of Admission) is given by the SINReM Selection Committee, based upon the strength of the academic profile and motivation. The full application procedure needs to be completed in order to be granted admission.

Application procedure

Complete the SINRem form before 1 March 2021 to be taken into account for a scholarship!

Apply for admission to the consortium and a scholarship via the eConsort online platform.

  1. First you need to register to the platform
  2. You will then receive an email with a link where you can complete the application form.

For all questions in relation to the scholarship procedure and other questions regarding tuition fee, accommodation, visa matters, etc. please contact

After having submitted your application file in EConsort, your academic admissibility to the programme will be assessed. In case the outcome is positive, you will have to complete your file by sending legalised copies of your Bachelor degree and Transcripts of Academic Records, as well as a valid language certificate to our offices. You will be informed throughout the application process on how to proceed.

More information about the legalisation procedure can be found here.

Mind that without legalised documents your file cannot be processed whatsoever.

Programme cost and scholarships

The programme cost is set at 12.000€/year for non-European students (i.e. students from outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland), and 6.000€/year for European Students.

Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) scholarships

A limited number of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) scholarships is available for both European and non-European students. Click here for eligibility criteria and more information.

EIT Raw Materials programme cost waiver

European students can request a waiver from the Management Board (supported by EIT Raw Materials) to reduce the programme cost to as low as 2,000 €/year (including insurance) and be considered for additional travel/accommodation support.

Practical Information

The three academic partners of the SINReM Consortium were specifically selected because of their expertise and ability to deliver this specific didactical sequence. The courses have been carefully reviewed and selected to minimise repetition and overlap, and to build upon the previously acquired knowledge in a logical sequence. The teaching requirements and engagement of all three educational partners are balanced and on the same level.

All partners are complementary and each have specific expertise in particular aspects of the material cycle and can thus provide the necessary multidisciplinary approach to cover the complete value chain. Uppsala University brings to the table its expertise in the exploration of novel (geo-)resources, innovation management and entrepreneurship training and TU Bergakademie Freiberg its expertise in chemical raw material recovery processes and sustainable and environment-friendly extraction technologies (such as bio-hydro-metallurgical processes). Ghent University is a leading centre of knowledge in environmental technologies, biotechnology, the design and use of sustainable, environment-friendly materials and recovery of resources from waste.

The academic partners collaborate closely with non-educational partners from both the public and private sectors. Associated Partners have a structural regular commitment towards the programme, whereas the Supporting Partners are involved on an irregular basis, through ad hoc opportunities, offers or requests (e.g. providing Master Dissertation subjects, positions for Internships and guest lectures etc.).