Study Programme

Sustainable Development is a two-year Master’s programme (120 ECTS) taught in English and consisting of courses, projects, and research.


You will be taking courses throughout the whole first year and the beginning of your second year. The remainder of the second year is devoted to Master Thesis research. There are three kinds of courses in the programme: general courses, track courses, and elective courses.

Outline of degree structure

Bold  = mandatory SUSD
Normal = mandatory track course
Italic  = mandatory elective within track
[ ]  = free elective

Year 1    
Period 1 (A+B) Perspectives on Sustainable Development, GEO4-2301 EM: (C) Tools for Energy & Materials Analysis, GEO4-2326
ECE: (C) Environmental Change Theories, GEO4-2310
ESG: (C) Foundations of ESG Research, GEO4-2306  ID: (D) Development Themes,  GEO4-3510
Period 2 (C) Systems thinking, Scenarios & Indicators for SD (GEO42331) EM: (B) Energy Supply Technologies, GEO4-2312 ECE: [Free elective]
ESG: (B) Governance Theories,  GEO4-2332
ID: (B) Advanced Methods & Techniques Development Studies, GEO4-3518
Period 3 (C) Research Design,  GEO4-2314 EM: [Free elective]
ECE: (A+B) Environmental Systems Analysis, GEO4-2303
ESG: (D) Research Strategies ESG, GEO4-2304  ID: [Free elective]
Period 4 EM: (C) Policies for Energy and Materials Transitions, GEO4-2311
ECE: (A+C) Research project ECE, GEO4-2335 
ESG: (C) Analysing Governance Practices, GEO4-2328
ID: (A/B/C/D) Internship ID,  GEO4-2336
EM: [Free elective]
ECE: (A+C) Research project ECE, GEO4-2335 
ESG: (B) International Governance for SD, GEO4-2305
ID: (A/B/C/D) Internship ID,  GEO4-2336


Year 2    
Period 1 (D) Transdisciplinary case study, GEO4-2302 EM: (B) Energy & Material Efficiency, GEO4-2324
ECE: [Free elective]
ESG: [Free elective]
ID:  [Free elective, e.g. (C) Development Theories,  GEO4-3505]
Period 2/3/4

Master’s thesis SD, GEO4-2321 + Extended thesis, or extra free electives (15 EC)

Detailed information about courses 

Possibly interesting electives Copernicus Institute:
GEO4-2323: Environmental Ethics (1A)
GEO4-2327: Climate System and Adaptation (2B)
GEO4-2325: Current and Future Geo-Energy Resources (3A)
GEO4-2513: Photovoltaic Solar Energy Physics (4A)

Master's thesis

Students also go to countries all over the world to do fieldwork for their Master’s Thesis, see overview below. 

Educational methods

  • Lecture – 30-120 people
  • Seminar – 20 people
  • Case study – work in a small group on a project assigned by a real-life company
  • Master’s thesis – independent research
  • Optional internship