Specialisation Tracks

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Utrecht University

Energy & Materials

The track Energy and Materials deals with the production and consumption of energy and materials in society, and the possibilities for sustainable development within energy and material systems. One area of research concerns the description and explanation of historical developments; another looks towards the future and concerns possible technological and societal developments, including technological opportunities and policy development. To a large extent, this track makes use of a conceptual framework derived from the natural sciences, and also of knowledge and methods derived from the social sciences. Some courses build on specific foreknowledge. Students lacking this are responsible for acquiring this knowledge independently before entering such courses.

Graduates will be able to apply the knowledge, methods, and techniques of the natural sciences, and to a lesser extent those of the social sciences as well, when analysing energy systems and materials systems and the possibilities for a sustainable development of these systems. Furthermore, graduates will have insight in the importance of both the natural science and the social science aspects of sustainability issues and will have the skills needed to work in a multidisciplinary work environment.

Environmental Change and Ecosystems

The track Environmental Change and Ecosystems is concerned with the interaction between human activities and the quality of the physical and biotic environment. The multidisciplinary character of the programme appears from the integration of knowledge from the fields of physical geography, hydrology, landscape ecology, toxicology, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Some of the relevant priority areas are the following: land use; dispersal of substances in water, soil, and air; impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity; possibilities for remediation; and the value assigned to the quality of nature and the environment. Some courses build on specific foreknowledge. Students lacking this are responsible for acquiring this knowledge independently before entering such courses.

Graduates will be able to apply the knowledge, methods, and techniques (for instance, mathematical simulation models) of the natural sciences in an effort to improve the quality of the environment and ecosystems by way of changes in human activities. Furthermore, graduates will have insight in the importance of conducting social science analyses of sustainability issues and will have the skills needed to work in a multidisciplinary team.

Earth System Governance

The track Earth System Governance deals with the management of sustainable development by integrating knowledge from the fields of policy science, sociology, human geography, planning, economics, and law. Students are taught research and intervention skills that they will need in their future professional career.  Some courses build on specific foreknowledge. Students lacking this are responsible for acquiring this knowledge independently before entering such courses.

Graduates will be able to apply paradigms, concepts and theories from the social sciences to analyse and explain issues of sustainable development and to design socially acceptable solutions for those issues. Furthermore, graduates will have insight in the importance of conducting both social science and natural science analysis of sustainability issues and will have the skills needed to work in a multidisciplinary team.

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University of Graz

Corporate Sustainability Management

Within this module, students will

  • acquire in-depth knowledge about corporate sustainability management
  • gain an understanding of complex relations between economic and ecological aspects of management
  • learn how to develop and implement sustainability and environmental programmes in organizations 
  • critically analyse and reflect different approaches and concepts within this fied
  • train their competences in team work and project oriented tasks, also within international settings

 

Innovation and Transition Management

Within this module, students will

  • Get to know concepts and theories of innovation and transition management
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge on methods of environmental, sustainability and technology assessments
  • Learn to analyse and understand  societal transitions
  • Learn about social and public acceptance of innovations and understand the role of psychological aspects in the perception of climate change and sustainability problems
  • critically analyse and reflect different approaches and concepts within this field
  • train their competences in team work and project oriented tasks, also within international settings

 

Climate Change

Within this track, students will

  • gain knowledge on the Earth’s physical climate system and anthropogenic climate change
  • get insights into the physical principles governing large- and meso-scale atmospheric flow and atmospheric thermodynamics
  • learn to describe important processes influencing the oceans and the oceans’ role in the climate system
  • learn to apply the principles and methods of climatology, oceanography and hydrology
  • acquire basic understanding of meteorological, climatological and hydrological processes in mountains 
  • train data analysis skills

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Leipzig University

Environmental and Resource Economics

The track aims at developing a fundamental understanding of the principles and instrument in energy and environmental policy.

By taking this track, students:

  • Understand the economic causes and consequences of environmental damages (biodiversity losses, climate change…)
  • Understand the functioning of deregulated and regulated markets and their interconnections
  • Know the most important optimization models in the field of energy and climate policy and can identify pertinent tools for decision-making support.
  • Are familiar with the main instruments of environmental policies and can identify appropriate ones for different environmental damages according to their effectiveness, macroeconomic efficiency and allocative effects

Upon completion of this track, students will possess competences and skills to support economic-sound decision making in the field of environmental and energy policy.

 

Environmental and Resources Management

The track aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the management of natural resources including water, energy, soil as well as land area. By taking this track, students:

  • Understand the fundamental objectives and principles of resources and energy management;
  • Are familiar with the different legal, policy and economic instruments at the local, national and European levels for the management of natural resources and energy;
  • Understand characteristic resource conflicts and can apply methods and procedures for their evaluation and prognosis with special attention given to public participation;
  • Can identify appropriate decision-making criteria for conflict situations;

After the completion of this track the students will possess competences and skills to prepare and bring about complex decisions on the management of natural resources and energy systems and to communicate them. The implementation of the theories and concepts presented in the lectures will be demonstrated by means of current best practices and the students will apply the gained knowledge in tutorials and practical seminars.

 

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Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Environmental Assessment

The track is designed to give to students a comprehensive view about the most relevant issues concerning environmental processes, the main methodologies for monitoring the quality of the environment and relevant remediation technologies.

In particular, courses be focused on:

  • acquiring knowledge on GIS; a tool for evaluating, study, analyzing and representing every kind of geographic/spatial phenomena, including the archeological one.
  • basic concepts of environmental economics including elements of microeconomics and the policy instruments to address environmental issues
  • main chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere and their implications for the urban air quality, human health and climate of the planet.
  • Understanding the climatic conditions of the past at different spatial and temporal scales.
  • analysis of energy systems and technologies, with particular focus on the impact of energy extraction, conversion and use on the emission of green-house gases

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Hiroshima University

Science and Technology for Sustainable Development

The track Science and Technology for Sustainable Development covers fundamental theories and basic functions of natural and ecological systems and the technologies that can use for development of the society. In particular, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 13: Climate Action, SDG 14: Life below Sea, and SDG 15: Life on Land are the primary target areas and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production are the secondary target areas. The track also emphasizes hands on and practical research experiences in developing countries of Asia and Africa, where further integration with economic development, local realities and policy and institutional issues are pursued.

With completion of the track, the students will obtain basic knowledge on Ecosystem Science, Environment Monitoring, Transportation & Urban Engineering, Energy Engineering and Risk Management Technology. The students also be able to identify problems related to science and technology for sustainable development and translate them into a research design in the targeted social contexts. At the end, the students will also be able to propose a scientific and engineering solution based on the research conducted as a part of master thesis.

Global Development Policy

The track Global Development Policy covers fundamental theories and basic functions of public policy and their practical applications to development issues at both local and global perspectives. In particular, SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 4: Quality education, and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, are the primary target areas and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production are the secondary target areas. The track also emphasizes hands on and practical research experiences in developing countries of Asia and Africa, where further integration with science and technologies, local realities such as natural and geographical conditions are pursued.

With completion of the track, the students will obtain basic knowledge on public policy and management, and governance for poverty alleviation and economic development including SME development and industrialization, human resource management and education, health and welfare, agricultural and rural development, environmental and climate policy and urban and transportation policy. The students also be able to identify problems related to social systems and institutions for sustainable development and translate them into a research design in the targeted social contexts. At the end, the students will also be able to propose a policy and institutional solution based on the research conducted as a part of master thesis.

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University of Basel

Sustainability: A social science perspective

After successful completion of this module students

  • know social and societal driving forces for (un)sustainable development;
  • are familiar with key concepts for analyzing e.g. governance of change, individual consumption, actors and institutions;
  • know about justice related aspects relevant in the field of sustainable development.

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University of GrazOffice of International Relations


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