Sustainable development is one of the major social challenges facing the twenty-first century—this much is beyond dispute. Yet, it still remains unclear in which direction, within which social and ecological framework, and by means of which strategy sustainable development can move forward. These questions form the starting point of our inter- and transdisciplinary research-oriented, and problem-focused master's program Sustainability Science.
Content and idea
A distinctive feature of the Sustainability Sciences program is its balance between sustainable natural sciences and sustainable humanities. Our goal is to look at social-ecological systems in an academically grounded and interdisciplinary manner. We will examine the processes which form the material and energetic basis for environmental sustainability problems as well as potential practical solutions from the perspective of sustainable natural sciences. In complex social-ecological systems these material processes are closely interconnected with economic, juridical, political, and cultural contexts as well as with strategies and practices of important social actors. These immaterial prerequisites and conditions of environmental sustainability problems and the way these problems are addressed are the subject of sustainable humanities.
The program begins with an introduction which is themed to the disciplines of environmental and sustainability sciences. Common foundations of natural and human sciences are provided in the first semester’s introductory modules. In the following semesters, students can select two modules to further specialize in individual disciplines of environmental and sustainability sciences.
In compliance with the profile of Leuphana University of Lüneburg and, in particular, of the Faculty of Sustainability, the disciplinary course offerings of the program’s area of integration are extended to include a transdisciplinary and problem-focused perspective: the two areas of specialization are combined into interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary modules in the form of project studies.
The course offerings are complemented by a cross-disciplinary Complementary Studies program, in which students learn about general academic foundations reflecting on science, as well as by the area of Master’s Forum & Research Perspectives. During one module per semester, the Master's Forum & Research Perspectives area prepares students for their own independent research work and provides them with fundamental methodological knowledge in sustainability sciences. Based on this intensive preparation phase, students complete their master’s studies in the fourth semester by writing their master’s thesis.
The master's program in Sustainability Sciences provides an academically grounded education in environmental and sustainable research on the master level. The goal is to provide the theoretical, methodological, organizational, and communicative skills that are necessary to develop, realize, and reflect on one’s own disciplinary and interdisciplinary research work and projects in the field of environmental and sustainability sciences. In addition, the degree program aims at enabling students to function as change agents and initiate, promote, and manage processes of transition towards sustainable policies in economic, scientific, political, and civil organizations as well as to evaluate the processes’ results and impacts.
Depending on their individual academic profile, graduates will have a wide range of career options in sustainability-focused research (particularly in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research contexts). They will also have access to leading positions in business and consulting, public administration, national and international third sector organizations as well as political advising.
Upon completion of the graduate study program, students are awarded the Master of Sciences (M.Sc.) degree.
The master's degree program is targeted at graduates with a bachelor’s or equivalent degree, who wish to expand their academic knowledge of environmental and sustainability sciences. It is not required that your previous degree was completed in environmental or sustainability sciences, nevertheless basic knowledge in at least one of the fields of sustainability sciences is necessary. The basic modules offered in the first semester have a convergence function and, therefore, students must be willing to collaborate at interdisciplinary level. Admission requirements include, among other aspects, an above average transcript from the previous degree as well as adequate knowledge of the English language.
Leuphana University of Lüneburg also offers the management-focused part-time degree program Sustainability Management (MBA). To learn more, please see the Centre for Sustainability Management website.
For further information about admission requirements, please click on the “Application” button.
For further information about application and admission requirements, please click on the Application button.
Prof. Dr. Harald Heinrichs
Scharnhorststr. 1, C11.226