The Joint International Master's Program in Sustainable Development is a joint offer of the University of Leipzig with the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), the Ca' Foscari University of Venice (Italy) and the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz (Austria) as program coordinator.
The universities of Basel (Switzerland), Hiroshima (Japan), Stellenbosch (South Africa) and TERI University (India) are also involved.

Inter- and transdisciplinary teaching for sustainability

The Master's program enables participants to make substantial scientific contributions to societies’ transition toward sustainability. To this end, it focuses on sustainability-related research and intervention strategies and fosters skills in inter- and transdisciplinary scientific work.

The programme prepares students for doctoral studies and a research-oriented career. Furthermore,  its social orientation is a good starting point for positions that require a scientific qualification but are not directly research-related.

Informationen about the international program and the application procedure

Course of Studies

The current semester schedule can be found here

Basic in Sustainable Sciences (10 ECTS)

The module enables students to consider the decisions of economic actors and their interdependencies, as well as the effects of economic policies and instruments when analyzing sustainability problems and proposing solutions.

Language: English

Basics in Sustainable Development (10 ECTS)

The module teaches fundamental sustainability and systems theory concepts from different subject-specific perspectives. Using the example of climate change mitigation, complex cause and effect relationships between socio-economic activities and climate impacts are explained and analyzed with the help of integrated assessment modeling.

Language: English


International Studies (10 ECTS)

The module introduces different approaches from the humanities and social sciences to the discussion of globalization processes and development policy. The focus is on theories and approaches from the political science subfield of international relations, development economics, new urban sociology, global history, and new political geography.

Language: English

Water Resources Management

Using freshwater as an example, this course explores the question of by whom and with which instruments water resources can best be managed. Characteristic resource conflicts are highlighted, an overview of valuation issues and valuation procedures is provided, the importance of applying forecasting tools is addressed, and possible decision criteria for related conflict situations are discussed.

Language: English

Energy Engineering and Management

Short description: The module aims to provide a solid basic knowledge of the technological, environmental, and economic aspects of different energy technologies. Students will acquire the necessary skills to evaluate the comparative advantages of various energy supply options at the operational level.

Language: English

Further information: Chair of Energy management and Sustainability

Land Management

The module provides knowledge of land uses and instruments for sustainable management of this resource in urban contexts and landscapes.

Language: English

Sustainable Energy Economics

Short description: Participants will be able to understand the functioning of energy markets – especially liberalized energy markets – and evaluate the suitability of different approaches used today for national and international energy-related decision-making processes. Furthermore, they will learn to develop simple models and to select appropriate solution methods for critical decision problems in these areas.

Language: English

Further information: Chair of Energy Management and Sustainability

Environmental and Biodiversity Economics

The module enables students to analyze the economic causes and effects of environmental problems, evaluate current environmental and biodiversity policies using environmental economics concepts and methods, and develop sound economic solutions to environmental issues and biodiversity loss.

Language: English

Further information: Chair of Biodiversity Economics

Inter- or Transdisciplinary Case Study

This research-oriented module is designed to enable students to independently analyze and solve complex and conflictual sub-questions from a selected area of sustainable development in a multidisciplinary scientific approach.

Language: English

Project Management and Communication Skills

The module teaches standard project management tools as well as communication strategies and models to effectively promote transformation and change within an organization.

Language: English

Economics of Natural Resource Use and Conservation

The module teaches the main methods and concepts of modern resource and sustainability economics to calculate the optimal use of natural resources (e.g., forests, fisheries, biodiversity) and their conservation for future generations.

Language: English

Further Information: Chair of Biodiversity Economics

Material Flow Management

Short description: The module introduces the main theoretical and practical aspects and concepts of current methods for the appropriate management of material flows. In particular, it focuses on LCA as a primary method for assessing the potential impacts of products, processes, and services. The module provides a methodological basis for LCA according to ISO standards while providing practical examples of inventory analysis methods and impact assessment models.

Language: English

Further Information: Chair of Bioenergy System

Modelling in Resources Management (10 ECTS)

Short description: Students will be able to describe the main approaches to modeling energy systems and will be able to program simple computer models to analyze energy management and policy issues. They will also receive an introduction to agent-based modeling, which is becoming increasingly important in the field of sustainability management.

Language: English

Further Information: Chair of Energy Management and Sustainability

Sustainability Assessment of the "Energiewende"

The seminar intends to enhance students’ analytical skills to enable them to systematically assess future sustainability issues. The seminar incorporates sustainability analysis tools to evaluate the energy transition in the city of Leipzig.

Language: English

Further Information: Chair of Energy Management and Sustainability

Masterarbeit JIMSD

The master's thesis, with a workload of 30 ECTS, is usually written in the fourth semester. The processing time is 23 weeks. The thesis is assessed by two examiners: one teacher from the program at Leipzig University and one from a partner university (usually the student's mobility university).

Further Information about thesis

Study office

Joint International Master’s Programm in Sustainable Development

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