*OLD* Degree structure - SSE

Sustainability, Society and the Environment

The table below provides an overview of the degree structure. Further details about courses offered in different areas of specialization can be found with the modules

Please click the following overview-scheme to enlarge.


*OLD* Module systeme SSE

Sustainability, Society and the Environment


Most modules are awarded with 6 credit points (ECTS) which is equivalent to a workload of 180 hours. However, a few modules in our catalog differ. Please read the provided module descriptions for detailed information.

*Listed courses are tought in English unless stated otherwise*
A - Core modules

All students take the following 3 mandatory modules :

  • MNF-Geogr-201: Concepts of Sustainable Development and Environmental Management (taught in winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-207: Project 1 (scientific project or change project) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-208: Project 2 (scientific project or change project) - Details


B - Knowledge and Analysis

In Section B we offer 4 areas of specialization:

      B1 - Society, Development and Governance

      B2 - Sustainability Economics

      B3 - Environmental Management

      B4 - Coastal Systems


B1 - Society, Development and Governance

In the specialization area B1, the societal aspects of sustainable development are discussed in detail. Societies are complex systems that differ in their capacity to learn from and adapt to changing circumstances. In this area, students will deal with different concepts from economic, social, political, and developmental theory that will provide them with the ability to identify social mechanisms of collective action and whether they lead to sustainable or unsustainable paths of development.

Furthermore, the differences between late industrialized and developing societies are addressed in detail. Students will learn about the geography of sustainable economic dynamics as well as about the specific challenges for sustainable development in the context of our rapidly growing urban agglomerations. Additionally, development economics deal with the role that migration and globalization play in development and with the various approaches to poverty alleviation under different circumstances. Political ecology addresses questions of power, emancipation, and conflict in our relation to nature.

We offer the following modules:

  • MNF-Geogr-141: Urban Development and Governance (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-142: Political Ecology (summer semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-105: Economic Geography and Sustainability (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-211: Human Geography of Climate Change (summer semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-212: Socio-environnmental conflicts and local approaches for sustainability (winter semester)
  • MNF-Geogr-215: Energy System Transformation (summer semester)
  • VWL-MiFi-PED: Poverty, Equity and Development (summer semester) - Details (page 13)
  • FE-PO-CS: Corporate Sustainability
  • FE-PO-IS: Issues of Sustainability
  • PHF-phil-sust1: Theories of Human Relationship to Nature (winter semester) - Details


B2 - Sustainability Economics

Sustainability economics addresses the questions of how human action depends upon and affects nature. Students learn about the many ways human action and nature are related to each other, how sustainability in the relationship between humans and nature can be achieved and how policies for long-term sustainability could be designed.

We offer the following modules:

  • VWL-MiFi-SuEc: Sustainability Economics (winter semester) - Details (page 19)
  • VWL-EnRe-ReEc: Resource Economics (summer semester) - Details (page 38)
  • VWL-Res-Sem: Seminar in Resource Economics - Details (page 56)
  • VWL-EnRe-EnVa: Environmental valuation - Details (page 23)
  • VWL-EnvVal-Sem: Seminar in Environmental Valuation - Details (page 55)
  • VWL-EnRe-EnEc: Environmental Economics (winter semester) - Details (page 21)
  • VWL-EnvEcon-Sem: Seminar in Environmental Economics - Details (page 54)
  • VWL-EnRe-DiJu: Theories of Distributive Justice and Sustainability - Details (page 40)
  • VWL-Jus-Sem: Seminar in Theories of Distributive Justice and Sustainability - Link
  • VWL-EnRe-CliEn: Climate and Energy Policy - Details (page 15)
  • VWL-EnRe-CliEn-Sem: Climate and Energy Policy (winter semester) - Details (page 57)
  • BWL-SocEntre-SSE: Social Entrepreneurship (summer semester) - Details (page 23)


B3 - Environmental Management

The modules in this section are tailored to provide information and skills required in various fields of environmental management.

The required socio-economic background is addressed in the module AEF-EM009. Important skills on how to acquire and to manage environmental data on variant spatio-temporal scales are trained in the modules AEF-EM013, MNF-Geogr.-332 and MNF-Geogr.-333.

The resolution ranges from local and site specific data acquisition during field work (modules MNF-eco-110 and AEF-agr078) up to the analysis and interpretation of satellite images.

Having attended either the module offered during the first term (AEF-EM009) or being equipped with the respective knowledge already during preceding studies students have the opportunity verify their theoretical background during the field trips offered in the summer term (MNF-eco-110 and AEF-agr078) and/or to advance their methodological skills advanced modules on remote sensing (MNF-Geogr.-333) and/or other application areas (e.g., AEF-EM022, AEF-EM019, AEF-EM018).

We offer the following modules:

  • AEF-EM009: Principles in Environmental Economics and Environmental Planning (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-307: Integrated Environmental Management (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-eco-110: Terrestrial Ecosystems - Field Studies (summer semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM013: Digital Spatial Analysis - Practical Exercises (summer semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-332: Remote Sensing and Environmental Modeling (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-agr078: Integrated Management of Rural & Woodland Regions (summer semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr.-333: Remote Sensing Applications (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM011: Principles of Ecosystem Analysis (summer semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM022: Ecological Indicators (summer semester) - Details
  •  AEF-EM019: Advanced Ecosystem Analysis in Environmental Management (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM033: Ecosystem Development and Ecosystem Protection (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-agr076: Integrated Management of River Basins (winter semester ) - Details
  • AEF-EM018: Integrated Management of Wetlands (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM001: Principles in Ecology for Environmental Sciences (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM006: Principles in Ecosystem Protection and Management (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM031: Modelling Ecosystems - Practical Exercises (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-eco-101: Geo-ecological Regional Processes (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-eco-107: Terrestrial Ecozones and Ecosystems (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-eco-115: Planning and Construction of a Wind Farm - Details


B4 - Coastal Systems

The coastal zone is an area directly affected by physical, biological and biogeochemical processes with aquatic and terrestrial mechanisms. This area usually comprises the coastal waters as well as the hinterland adjacent to the coast that influences the coastal area. Coastal systems are highly productive areas, offering a wide variety of habitats and ecosystems services. The beauty and richness of coastal zones have made them major settlement areas and tourist destinations as well as important business zones. The modules in this section provide the necessary background to analyse abiotic and biotic aspects as well as the impact caused by variant anthropogenic land and sea use activities (MNF-Geogr.-341, AEF-EM012, MNF-ftz-geo-S125, MNF-ftz-geo-S129). Furthermore, the module MNF-Geogr.-342 provides an in depth training in relevant methods to create the needed data basis to develop integrated management options for the coastal zone (AEF-EM032).

We offer the following modules:

  • MNF-Geogr-341: Coastal Zone Dynamics (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-342: GIS and Remote Sensing Applications in Coastal Zones (summer semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM012: Coastal and Marine Ecosystems - Field Studies (summer semester) - Details
  • MNF-ftz-geo-S125: Abiotic and Biotic Interactions in the Wadden Sea (summer semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM032: Integrated Coastal Zone Management (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-ftz-geo-S129: Wind Energy: Technological Challenges and Environmental Impacts (winter semester) - Details
  • Ftz-geo-S174 Decision Support Systems for the Governance of Coastal Ecosystems - Details


C - Communication and Empowerment

Students learn how to create their own innovative solutions for challenges of sustainable development and how to use media, communication and education to empower other people to solve such problems. The study area integrates the "yooweedoo changemaker programme" that enables students to plan and implement an own "change" project as part of their master's programme. The following elements are offered:

- The module "Changemakers and Social Entrepreneurs" is offered in the winter semester (October - January). It allows students to plan their own change project. Projects are planned in teams of 2-4 students. Each team develops a detailed concept for a six months project which can be implemented in the summer term in the Kiel region.

- The "yooweedoo idea contest" takes place at the end of the winter term (February - March). Students can submit the project concept developed in the module "Changemakers and Social Entrepreneurs" to the idea contest for funding. Projects can gain up to 2.000 Euro in support.

- Teams who are successful in the yooweedoo idea contest will implement their project in the module "Change Project" in the summer term (April to September). Project implementation is supervised by the yooweedoo team. Students can participate in further workshops on aspects such as project management, fundraising or business plan development. These workshops are offered in German language so it is worthwhile to develop your German language skills. Teams who want to develop their change project into a non-profit organization or a social business will be supported through coaching.

- Change projects can be further developed into a master's project or within the scope of the modules "Project 1" and "Project 2".

- The modules "Sustainability Communication and Marketing" and "Introduction to video production" allow students to develop media and communication strategies related  to change projects or with an independent focus.

- The module "Planning and Managing Science Projects" allows research focused students to learn methods for planning and managing research projects.

- Students of the Master in Sustainability, Society and the Environment can expand an interest in social innovation, communication and empowerment with the modules         "Volunteer Work" (6 or 12 ECTS) and "Internship" (6 or 12 ECTS) in the study area E - Open Studies.

Further information on the yooweedoo changemaker programme is available in German language at: http://yooweedoo.org/

Students study 2 modules of the following:

  • MNF-Geogr-202: Changemakers and Social Entrepreneurs (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-216: ChangeBox - Education for Sustainable Development (summer semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-271: Change Project (summer semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM029: Planning and Managing Science Projects (winter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-209: International Development Cooperation Practice (summer semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-214: Planning Research Projects (winter semester) - Details


D - Complementary Methods

Students take 1 of the following modules:

  • MNF-Geogr-205: Spatial Data Handling (winter semester) - Details
  • AEF-EM030: Statistical and Mathematical Tools (twinter semester) - Details
  • MNF-Geogr-206: Social Research Methods (winter semester) - Details


E - Open Studies

Students can take 3 further modules of their choice equivalent to 18 credit points.

Alternatively students can receive credits for the following items, if approved by the examination committee:

  • MNF-Geogr-272: Internship - Details
  • courses studied abroad
  • other courses offered by Kiel University including language studies