MSc in Science for Sustainable Development, 120 credits

Four happy students

Be part of the solution for a sustainable future!

The future needs sustainable solutions to societal challenges. This programme offers a holistic interdisciplinary approach to current societal problems, such as climate change, natural resource exploitation, increasing energy demand and inequality. 

Science for Sustainable Development, master's programme

Autumn 2019, Full-time, Linköping

Science for Sustainable Development, master's programme - First and main admission round

Autumn 2020, Full-time, Linköping

Closed for late application

Science for Sustainable Development, master's programme - Second admission round (open only for Swedish/EU students)

Autumn 2020, Full-time, Linköping

The future needs sustainable solutions to societal challenges. This programme offers a holistic interdisciplinary approach to current societal problems, such as climate change, natural resource exploitation, increasing energy demand and inequality. The master’s programme allows you to explore the complexity of creating sustainable societies in alignment with the principles of sustainable development and Agenda 2030.

The programme addresses global environmental changes and societal transformations. It will challenge you to undertake critical analysis of present and future environmental concerns, apply scientific knowledge across academic disciplines, and develop interdisciplinary competence. Your training will enable you to develop skills to interpret, design, communicate, and implement solutions to sustainability and environmental challenges, which will be indispensable for your future career as a sustainable development expert.              

Core courses

"The courses cover a broad range of topics – from climate change and biodiversity loss to feminism and colonisation. Also, the students are from all over the world – it’s not only fun to be exposed to such a huge diversity of cultures, but in the class, it actually feels like a global cooperation in tackling these issues!" Karolina Gurjazkaite, Student

Core courses have been designed to give you a wide perspective on environmental issues, and at the same time, provide opportunities to deepen your theoretical knowledge and practical skills on specific scientific fields. Field trips, laboratory and GIS exercises, spatial analysis in the Norrköping Decision Arena, role-play activities, study visits to authorities and businesses in the environmentally-progressive Östergötland province are just some of the ways in which you will learn about sustainable solutions in practice. You will have the opportunity to undertake internships at businesses, organisations or research institutes in Sweden or abroad and develop skills in multidisciplinary research together with our teaching staff. Our teaching profile is integrated with advanced research in sustainable development and environmental sciences and researchers at our institute will guide you individually to design, plan and perform your master’s thesis project.

Syllabus and course details
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The programme runs over two years and encompasses 120 credits, including a thesis.

Semester 1

The focus of this semester is on environmental challenges and how sustainability science can address them. Students undertake case-work on sustainability work in theory and practice and assessing and analysing environmental issues, role-play exercises of international climate negotiations and practical skill training (GIS, modelling, environmental monitoring, etc).

Semester 2

This semester focuses on common theories and analytical approaches to environmental issues as well as applications for sustainable resource management.

Semester 3

This semester starts with focus on the design of environmental studies to lay the foundation for the students’ theses as well as for their future professional work. The remaining time is devoted to specialisation courses, where we offer a range of options to deepen the students’ knowledge and skills in, for example, climate change visualisation, urban sustainability and water management. We also have unique courses where students work closely with senior teaching staff to train specific research skills. 

Students can also perform an internship either in Sweden or abroad where they carry out a specific task which links to the activities of the chosen organisation and the students’ future professional interests. Besides these courses there are also possibilities for studies at other universities in Sweden or abroad.

Semester 4

In the final semester students write their Master’s thesis. They select their thesis topic, research methods and forms of analysis in consultation with a thesis supervisor and the MSc programme coordinator.

Further information

A detailed syllabus, curriculum, and information on the courses you may take can be found in our study information database via the link below. Entry requirements and tuition information can be found by selecting the drop-down ''Admission requirements'' available under the Autumn 2020 tab.

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Webinar about the master’s programme in Science for Sustainable Development at Linköping University.

Science for Sustainable Development
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MSc Science for Sustainable development - Laboratory work, GIS exercises, spatial analysis, interview workshops and political negotiation role-plays are just some of the ways through which you will learn how to tackle real world problems.

Career opportunities
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Sustainability issues bridge academic disciplines and require diverse expertise. Few universities offer such an interdisciplinary perspective in environmental sciences as LiU does, with the teachers from academic backgrounds ranging from the humanities and social sciences to natural sciences and engineering. The programme is the only one in the environmental sciences category to be awarded the highest quality ranking by the Swedish Higher Education Authority.

The programme provides a strong basis for a career related to sustainable development and environmental sciences. Our graduates have positions in research institutes, universities, environmental organisations, businesses, NGOs, river basin commissions, consultancies, power companies, intergovernmental environmental agencies, and PhD programmes.

Alumni insights
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Zhong Li – China – Start-Up Creator

International alumni for Science for Sustainable Development master's programme.

''My study experience at LiU has dramatically influenced my values, my career and my life. All the jobs and projects I have been doing since then are somehow related to environment and sustainability issues.

I think it is very challenging especially in China, a country currently facing serious environmental problems. It is huge self-satisfaction when you see that you have influenced some people and made a little positive change.'' 

Stories from the programme
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Layla Nunes Lambiasi

Science for Sustainable Development

Hej! My name is Layla and I have just started my masters in Science for Sustainable Development. I am a researcher and for me that means to be curious. My curiosity keeps me going and takes me further. Join me while I talk about the Swedish experience with a Brazilian twist.

Learning environment
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Our programme contains the following characteristics:

  • Unique environment: We are one of few universities to offer such broad cross-disciplinary perspectives on Environmental Science ranging from humanities to social- and natural sciences. Courses are also designed in close dialogue with potential employers as well as students to ensure that the contents address both current environmental problems and also future challenges.
  • Strong research links: The connection between the programme and research is strong, as all teachers also engage in environmental research. This ensures up-to-date theoretical and methodological knowledge and the latest research results.
  • High-quality teaching: The teachers continuously work on improving the quality of their courses with close feedback and work with student representatives in a Programme Council.
  • High teacher-student ratio: This high ration ensures rapid and personal feedback from teachers, close interaction between teachers and students in small-groups, student-active learning.
  • Strong professional links: Through casework and activities that foster meetings and links to individuals in close-lying environmental authorities and research institutes, students can concretely face and relate to real-world problems and societally relevant issues.
  • Problem-based activities: Students work a lot with a problem-based approach and acquire a broad set of competencies. They can also specialise towards social sciences, natural sciences or humanities. A vast majority of our students have an environment-relevant job within a year of graduation or continue within academia.
  • Student-centred/active learning: Educational student-learning activities include exercises in the Norrköping Decision Arena that use visualisation as a strong tool for interaction and decision-making role-play where students represent organisations with different perspectives and interests in actual issues, various types of communication techniques.

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The Master’s degree Science for Sustainable Development provides candidates with the opportunity to broaden their academic and research experience through research collaborations at Linköping University.

The Department of Thematic Studies - Environmental Change is also known as conducts research, doctoral studies and undergraduate education on current environmental challenges and the changing nature of the environmental condition. Research and education focuses on the impact that society and the individual have on nature.

Tema M builds on the strong tradition of interdisciplinary environmental studies that have permeated the division of Water and Environmental Studies (Tema V) since 1980 and the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR) since 2004. Tema M further develop and profile these studies in relation to contemporary environmental science and environmental policy development. Current research is conducted within and between these interdisciplinary long-term focus areas.

Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR) has rapidly established itself as a prominent reference point for studies related to climate science and policy research. The research is interdisciplinary and puts problems related to climate change in context with other measures for sustainable development, such as limiting environmental impact and responsible management of natural resources.

Application & admission
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Contact Us
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