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Universität Basel

Sustainable Development Abschluss: Master

Contributing to sustainable development is a contemporary challenge that must be approached in an interdisciplinary manner. Thus, in addition to specific disciplinary competences, the Master's Degree in Sustainable Development (MSD) draws on concerns of sustainability that are generated by the natural, social and economic sciences.
Methodological aspects of the curriculum include the analytical and integrative skills and knowledge necessary to work on complex questions relevant to sustainability, together with reflexive skills and proficiency in dealing with a broad range of instruments. Considerable importance is placed on competences facilitating and providing constructive work in interdisciplinary and research-based settings.

Sustainable Development
Kraftwerk Birsfelden in Basel (IWB, Christian Flierl)

Focal area of teaching and research

The special feature of the MSD is its three-faculty-structure, formally recognizable by the three supporting faculties, but also by the equal treatment of the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic. Although the master's thesis is written in one of the three offered focus areas, it may be interdisciplinary in its orientation. This guarantees that students can approach sustainability issues from different perspectives.

The research focuses of the three professorships and their research groups anchored in the MSD are incorporated into teaching, and offer students the opportunity to write a master's thesis within the framework of a current research project; for example on microplastics, invasive species, energy management, environmental ethics, inter- and intragenerational justice, resource use, resource economics, etc.

By interrelating the supporting faculties, the three research groups, the responsible professorships and their teams, a very large network within and outside the University of Basel to cooperation partners is ensured.

Course structure

The MSD is a postgraduate degree that requires a successfully completed bachelor. The program awards 120 ECTS credits in total. It is a so called «monocourse». At the beginning of their studies, students choose one of the three focus areas with corresponding master's thesis.

Master of Science (120 KP)
Sustainable Development
120 KP

Combination of subjects

There is no possibility to combine this master with other master programs.

Career opportunities

The MSD teaches key competences in the field of sustainability and transdisciplinary project work. It is a science-based course of study that enables graduates to gain a foothold in the academic environment as well as in other professional areas. Whether at consulting firms, engineering offices, public authorities, large corporations, NPOs, political parties, banks or auditing firms - an enormous spectrum of job entry opportunities are offered to MSD graduates, which receive a challenging supplement through the foundation of start-ups.

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