Admission requirements for SSE

Sustainability, Society and the Environment

The application period for the M.Sc. SSE for the academic year 2022/23 (start of the programme in October 2022) approx. February until March 2022.

The following information about the admission requirements for the M.Sc. SSE is only a summary of the official information which you find in the examination regulation (FPO 2020).

General requirements for admission to the M.Sc. SSE are:
  • A degree with a standard period of study lasting at least three years at a German university or comparable foreign institution of higher education, which was (usually) completed with a Bachelor’s examination or equivalent final examination with at least 180 ECTS credit points and a grade of 2.5 or better.
  • Content from the following two fields of study must have been integrated into the degree programme:
  1.  Field of study 1: social sciences, economics and business, media and communication.
  2.  Field of study 2: environmental sciences, natural sciences. 
  • Evidence of modules with at least 90 ECTS credit points must be provided in the field of study 1. Evidence of modules with at least 30 ECTS credit points must be provided in field of study 2. 
If the degree certificate is not yet available at the time of application, a transcript of records with at least 120 ECTS credit points issued by the respective institution of higher education needs to be submitted. The transcript of records must state a provisional overall grade.

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.  We accept the following options as proof of language proficiency:

  • IELTS: overall score of 7.5
  • TOEFL (internet-based): overall score of 110
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English of the English Department of the University of Kiel with C1 level in all four categories (1. listening; 2. speaking; 3. reading/grammar; 4. writing)


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.


Prior to your application your eligibility for admission to the M.Sc. SSE will not be checked by the SSE programme coordinators!

Assessment of applications ("entrance test")

The M.Sc. SSE 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.

In the application tool you will have to complete the following questions:

For this assessment please provide information and complete all questions. You will need to provide proof for questions 3-5, for example certificates or letters of reference.


1. Project Outline

The M.Sc. SSE 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. In your project outline you should show the ability to develop and clearly describe a project idea that can be further developed into a detailed project plan within the framework of "Section A - Sustainability Lab" in the first semester and then implemented in the form of a project in the second and possibly also the third semester. 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. Please be aware of the following criteria:
i.    The project idea should contribute to sustainable development. 
ii.    It can be planned and implemented by teams of three to four students.
iii.    It can be implemented in Kiel or from Kiel without incurring travel costs. 
iv.    It takes up around 40 percent of the team’s working hours in the respective semester.
v.    If necessary, the funds required to execute the project can be obtained by the student team.

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. 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.


3. Leadership experience

Setting up or leading a company, a non-profit project or a non-profit organisation or comparable leadership experiences.


4. Professional or comparable practical activities

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.


5. Evidence of stay abroad

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

Please list only stays of at least 3 months duration.

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



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 3-5; see above) 
- 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


If you have any questions, please contact the relevant student advisory service.
The link at the bottom of this page refers only to the technical support of this website - NOT TO CONTENTAL QUESTIONS!