Admission requirements for SSE

Sustainability, Society and the Environment

Prerequisites for admission to the Master’s degree programme are:


A first degree (usually a bachelor's degree) qualifying for a professional career which combines parts of study programmes in the fields of environmental, natural, business, economic and social sciences and a passing bachelor's examination or a comparable university degree with a minimum of three years of studying, 180 ECTS and a final grade of 2.5 or higher.

Please check whether your first degree equips you with sufficient knowledge for the master's areas of specialization. The following list gives you an indication of the level of previous knowledge that we generally expect students to have for each area of specialization. 

B1 - Society, Development and Governance
You should have studied 60 ECTS in one of the following disciplines: geography; social sciences; political sciences; urban or rural planning; development studies; cultural sciences or communication. 

B2 - Sustainability Economics
You should have studied 60 ECTS in economics. You should have completed introductory courses in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and on quantitative methods (analysis, algebra statistics, and econometrics). 

B3 - Environmental Management
You should have studied 60 ECTS in one of the following disciplines: geography; environmental sciences; ecology; environmental planning; environmental management. 

B4 – Coastal Systems
You should have studied 60 ECTS in one of the following disciplines: geography; environmental sciences; ecology; environmental planning; environmental management; coastal sciences; oceanography.

Please note: Individual modules may have specific requirements of previous knowledge. For details on the courses in each area of specialization please refer to the course descriptions.


Assessment of applications ("entrance test")

This programme targets students with a track record of commitment to sustainable development, students with leadership capabilities who are passionate about and committed to promoting sustainable development.Therefore, in addition to the eligibility of your first degree, the examination board will assess your subject-specific achievements and extracurricular qualification in the field of sustainable development within the past five years prior to the application deadline.

Please complete the following questions:

For this assessment please provide information and complete all questions listed below. You will need to provide proof for questions 3-7, for example certificates or letters of reference.


1. Project Outline

The Master Sustainability, Society and the Environment is strongly focused on students undertaking independent projects (modules "Project 1" and "Project 2"). These projects can be either a research project or they can be a change project focusing on social innovation and sustainable development. Please outline a project idea which you would like to implement in Kiel or local surroundings. It should be possible to implement this idea with a small team of students within the module "Project 1". Please note that this is a first project idea; during the master you will develop team projects in cooperation with fellow students.  

The project outline must follow the following structure.

a. Is this a research project or a change project?

b. What is the aim of the project?

c. How would you reach the aim?

d. Which resources would you need to implement the project?

e. Which results would you expect from the project?


2. Modules

Which modules would you like to study at Kiel University to complement your project? Read the module descriptions on the course website:

Indicate 5 modules in the Areas "B - Knowledge and Analysis" or "C - Communication and Empowerment" of the master which you would like to study (enter the module title only). Please note that you will be able to change your selection of modules after your arrival at Kiel.


3. Voluntary work

Have you done any voluntary work relevant to sustainable development or social innovation? Describe the year and duration of the activity as well as your responsibilities.

Please list only experiences in the past 5 years.


4. Entrepreneurial experience

Have you ever founded a project, a non-governmental organization or a company?


5. Work experience

Have you worked in an area relevant to sustainable development or social innovation? Describe the year and duration of the employment as well as your responsibilities.

Please list only experiences in the past 5 years.


6. Academic achievements

Are there any academic achievements relevant to sustainable development or social innovation that are not reflected in your degree certificate, for example scholarships, awards, scientific publications or research funds which you have raised?

Please list only achievements in the past 5 years.


7. International experience

Have you worked or studied abroad during the past 5 years?

Please list only stays of at least 3 months duration.


8. Personal presentation 

In order to introduce yourself to the programme directors we ask you to briefly present yourself, focusing on the following question:

The Master Sustainability, Society and the Environment encourages students to take an active role in teaching. How would you like to contribute to the learning experience of your group?


In the application process you will only have a limited number of characters including spaces to answer these questions.

Language requirements for application

All applicants are expected  to  provide  evidence  of  a  sufficient  command  of  English  in  the  form  of  an  IELTS/TOEFL  test  or  a  comparable  examination.  Please choose one of the following options:

  • IELTS: overall score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each of the four components)
  • TOEFL (paper-based): overall score of 580 with a Test of Written English score of 5.5
  • TOEFL (internet-based): overall score of 90 with component scores of at least 20 points
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): grade A
  • Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English (CPE): grade B
  • Only for German applicants: Ich habe eine Bewertung im Prüfungsfach Englisch im Abitur (Hochschulzugangsberechtigung) von mindestens 11 Punkten oder der Note 2,0 und werde das entsprechende Zeugnis hochladen.


Please note:

  • No other proof of language proficiency will be accepted for this master's programme.
  • Evidence of proficiency in English will not be accepted after the application deadline.
  • It is not possible to submit any documents after the deadline.
  • Do not send any application documents by post or email as they will not be processed!


The application period for the academic year 2019/20 (start of the programme in October 2019) will be March 15th until April 30th 2019.


Applications must be submitted through
our online application portal
>> here <<


Attachments you are going to be asked for are:
- Scan of passport
- Proof of English language proficiency (i.e. language certificates)
- University degree certificate (bachelor's degree)
- Official transcript of records listing all classes
- Curriculum vitae - max. 1 page!
- Proofs of special achievements and qualifications mentioned in the entrance test (aspects 3-7; see above) (i.e. voluntary work, work experience, scholarships, etc.)
- Applicants from  China, Vietnam and Mongolia only: APS Certificate

Important note: For documents in languages other than English or German you need to provide officially certified translations!

All provided documents must be of high-quality and in the correct order (e.g., transcript of records). All incomplete applications and un-readable copies of certificates will be rejected.

For further information please check: Information for applicants