Sustainability Science

Masters Programme

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 Masters programme Sustainability Science.

Sustainability Science – the programme

  • Content and Idea
  • Course Structure
  • Overview
  • Subject-Specific Schedule
  • Programme Director

Sustainability Science – the programme

Content and Idea

A distinctive feature of the Sustainability Sciences programme 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.

Course Structure

The programme begins with an introduction which is themed to the disciplines of environmental and sustainability sciences. Common foundations of natural and social 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 Masters Forum & Research Perspectives. During one module per semester, the Masters 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 Masters studies in the fourth semester by writing their Masters dissertation.

Subject-Specific Schedule

Programme Director

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Schomerus

Career Prospects

The Masters programme 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 study programme, students are awarded the Master of Sciences (M.Sc.) degree.


The Masters programme is targeted at graduates with a bachelors 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, adequate knowledge of the English language.

Proof of 30 credit points related to sustainability

In the list of consecutive subjects, you can see that you have to prove that you have at least 30 credit points with sustainability relevance. The term "sustainability" can be interpreted here in ecological, economic, social and cultural terms. No practical experience from your job can be recognized in the examination of the consecutive subjects. Only achievements for which you have received credit points at an university or similar institution will be recognized.

In order to prove the credit points with sustainability relevance, we ask for a separate, informal list of all modules with sustainability relevance. If the reference to sustainability is not directly evident from the name of the modules, please briefly explain to the selection committee where you see the reference. If you are still missing credit points, there is no possibility of obtaining admission and making up for the missing credit points during the Master's programme. Please note that there is no examination of consecutive modules before the start of the Master's programme.


At a glance

Degree awarded: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Application period: April 1 - June 1
Type of programme: Thematic relevance
Study places: 38
Start date: October 1
Extent: 120 CP according to ECTS
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: English
Semester contribution: approx. EUR 360

Apply now

If you have made your choice, please apply here


First contact point

Con­sult the Information Office in or­der to gain fur­ther in­for­ma­ti­on

  •  on the pro­ce­du­re of ap­p­li­ca­ti­on
  •  on the stu­dy pro­gram­mes at the Leuphana University
  •  or to make an ap­point­ment of student counselling in the Graduate School aside the open consultation hours 
     Tuesday 2 - 4 pm and Thursday 4 - 6 pm

Information Office

Building 8, Ground Level
Fon +49.413.677-2277

Opening Hours
Mon - Thu 9 am - 4 pm
Fr 9 am - 12 noon

Student Counselling

Graduate School

Tuesday, 2 – 4 pm
Thursday, 4 – 6 pm
Building 14, Room 026

Due to the measures against the spread of the corona virus, we can only answer your questions by phone or via video conferencing. Please contact the Infoportal by phone or e-mail.