Sustainability Science: Resources, Materials and Chemistry (M.Sc.)

Masters Programme

Several billion tons of chemical products and materials are produced per year. These products can enable our high standard of living and health. While these products offer benefits, their production and use also pose complex and severe impacts on the planet. Essentially, there is a critical need for greener, more sustainable chemicals, materials and products to address these challenges responsibly. Chemistry both as a science and an industrial sector can transform matter, being key to change the material basis of societies towards more sustainability. The production and use of chemicals, materials, and products significantly impact downstream users and have complex implications for the planet, human welfare, justice, and health, both positively and negatively. To address these challenges, a move towards greener chemicals, materials, products, and their more sustainable application is necessary, offering effective solutions to the needs of humankind and societies in a responsible manner. At the same time, achieving sustainable development requires a reduction and transformation of resource use and material flows. This shift is essential for a society and economy to operate within the safe space of planetary boundaries. The types of resources and materials used, and how they are used, have significant implications for the social foundations of humanity. This involves a shift towards dematerialisation – significantly cutting resource extraction and material throughput – and replacing toxic and persistent materials with benign alternatives.

Do you want to load external content supplied by Youtube?
With your consent, further personal data will be transmitted to, among others, Google in the USA in order to show you Youtube videos. However, the European Court of Justice has deemed the level of data protection in the USA, measured against EU standards, to be insufficient. There is also the possibility that your data may then be processed by US authorities. If you click on “Yes“, the data will only be passed on for the display of this video. If you click on “Always“, the data is generally passed on when Youtube videos are displayed on our site. For more information, please refer to our Privacy policy.

Resources, Materials and Chemistry – The Programme

  • Content
  • Structure

Resources, Materials and Chemistry – The Programme


In a full life cycle and systems thinking the significance of resources, material flows and chemical products in various sectors as industry and in society is set out at the earliest stages of this Master Course. After successful completion students will be able to understand the resources required for a particular product, related issues as well as possible alternatives, including non-chemistry-based alternatives such as alternative business models. Students will learn how to contribute to long-term sustainability.  This requires to be familiar with metrics for greenness and sustainability assessment, (e.g., E-factor or life cycle assessment), benign design of chemicals, materials, products and processes such as recycling and sustainable separation and circularity in the scope of sustainable chemistry as a background, aligned with vanguard references, as well as relevant legal regulations and directives.

Thus, concepts of sustainable chemistry along the full life cycle of chemical substances, materials and complex products will be explained, highlighting the importance of resources and their extraction, opportunities and limitations of green chemistry, materials and products, specifics of renewable (i.e., bio-) and non-renewable ressources (e.g. metals and other chemical elements) including their flows, recycling, loss of resources by dissipation, safe and sustainable by design, and other topics such as new business models, international substance, material, and chemical management.


In this course, common foundations of natural and social and sustainability sciences as well as ethics and economics are provided in the first semester’s starting modules, as Sustainability Science, Transdisciplinary Methods together with an introduction to the concept of Sustainable Chemistry and Green Chemistry looking at Resources, Chemicals, Materials, Products, Recycling and related international regulations.

In the following two semesters, modules related to LCA and Non-Renewable Resources, Renewable Resources, Circularity and Recycling, and Benign by Design will deepen and add to this. The students can select elective modules to further specialize in their individual disciplines according to their interests. The fourth semester will be dedicated to developing, writing and defending the Master's thesis.

The programme core is complemented with Leuphana’s complementary studies courses, organised in the three modules ‘Engaging with Knowledge and Sciences’, ‘Reflecting on Research Methods’ and ‘Connecting Science, Responsibility and Society’.

Here you can find further information on the course content of the Masters programme Sustainability Science: Resources, Materials and Chemistry soon.

Study Regulations and Subject-Specific Schedule

The following link provides access to documents which set out the general conditions for examinations, an overview of the curriculum, as well as detailed and legally binding regulations.

General Assessment Regulations and the Subject-Specific Schedules

Overview of Modules Sustainability Science: Resources, Materials and Chemistry (M.Sc.) ©Leuphana
Overview of Modules Sustainability Science: Resources, Materials and Chemistry (M.Sc.)

Teaching Personnel

Programme Director

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Vânia Zuin Zeidler

Deputy Programme Director

  • Dr. Ing. Oliver Olsson


  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Kümmerer (Sustainable Chemistry and Material Resources)
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Vânia Zuin Zeidler (Sustainable Chemistry and Renewable Resources)
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Möller (Life Cycle Analysis)
  • N.N. Material Science
  • Dr. Oliver Olsson
  • Dr. Marco Reich
  • Dr. Svenja Schloss

Studying Abroad

Students of this Masters programme have the opportunity to spend a semester of their studies abroad. For that, we recommend the third semester. For any questions or to apply, please contact the International Center. The International Center will provide all further information on Erasmus+ funding, and on preparing for and organising your semester abroad.

Career Prospects

In a challenged and increasingly complex world, chemistry plays a key role to promote sustainable development, especially focusing on resources, chemicals, materials, products, their flows, processes, and end of live issues. Such knowledge will be indispensable for the transition to a sustainable future including the necessary transformation of the related industrial sector itself. Professionals with disciplinary, inter-, and transdisciplinary background related to both chemistry and sustainability at the same time are urgently needed  and thus have a wide range of career options open to them – in research, in institutions and non-governmental organisations, politics, public authorities and businesses - even beyond chemical industries, and in related fields.

Graduates who would like to continue their academic career are welcome to apply for our doctoral research group on Sustainability Science.

As a student of our Master's programme, you also have the opportunity to start your doctorate at an early stage via the Doctoral Track.

Doctoral Track

As a student in our programme, you have the opportunity to start your doctorate early via the Doctoral Track. Thus, you to become part of the scientific community of our doctoral research groups at an early stage, giving you the unique opportunity to combine your Master's and doctoral studies and, with your doctorate in sight, to obtain your Master's degree en-route.

Admission Requirements and Application

You can find all information about the admission requirements, the application and the selection procedure on our "Apply" page.

International Students

The study programme matches your interests? Then you will find further information for prospective international students on residence and social matters, such as visa, residence permit, health insurance or finding accommodation, on the following pages. Please note that the information for incoming exchange students and international degree-seeking students differs slightly.

Information for incoming exchange students

Information for international degree-seeking students

At a Glance

Degree awarded: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Application deadline: EU degrees: 1 June / Non-EU degrees: 1 May
Type of programme: consecutive, restricted admission
Study places: 25
Start date: October 1
Extent: 120 CP according to ECTS
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: English
Semester contribution: ca. 320 EUR

Contact and Counselling

First contact point

The Information Office (Infoportal) is your contact point for

Information Office

Building 8, Ground Level
Fon +49.4131.677-2277

Campus opening hours
Mon - Thu 9.00 am - 4:00 pm
Fr 9.00 am - 12 noon

Student Counselling

To make an appointment with our Student Counselling Service, please use our booking tool on our website.