Universiteit Leiden

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Sustainability in our teaching

In our teaching we give all our students the opportunity to become acquainted with sustainability themes and issues, where possible in line with the content of their programme.

Leiden University offers programmes and courses in which sustainability is a central theme, regardless of whether this is specific to the discipline. Sustainability themes are increasingly being integrated into existing courses or students choose this theme in their assignments, research or thesis. With inter- or multidisciplinary programmes, we teach them to work on sustainability issues that require a multidisciplinary approach. Lecturers receive support if they wish to integrate sustainability into their teaching.

Programmes in sustainability

Leiden University offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes as well as minors in sustainability. The Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) in particular offers a range of courses, electives and extracurricular opportunities for students who want to learn more about sustainability.

Bachelor’s degree programmes with a sustainability focus

  • Urban Studies, focusing on the theme of ‘the sustainable city’ (Faculty of Humanities)
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences: Global Challenges, with a specialisation in Earth, Energy, and Sustainability (Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs)
  • Molecular Science & Technology, with courses on the circular economy and corporate social responsibility (Faculty of Science/with Delft University of Technology)
  • Biology (Faculty of Science)
  • Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences)

A bachelor’s degree programme in sustainability is currently being developed (Faculty of Science/Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences).

Master’s degree programmes with a sustainability focus

  • Governance of Sustainability (Faculty of Science/Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs)
  • Industrial Ecology (Faculty of Science/with Delft University of Technology)
  • Heritage & Museum Studies (Faculty of Archaeology)
  • Biology – Biodiversity and Sustainability Track and Evolutionary Biology Track (Faculty of Science)
  • Chemistry - Research area Energy & Sustainability (Faculty of Science)
  • Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology – Specialisation in Sociology of Policy in Practice (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences)

Minors with a sustainability focus

  • Advanced Life Science and Technology (Faculty of Science)
  • Biodiversity (Faculty of Science)
  • Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development (Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities)
  • Geo-Resources for the Future (Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities)
  • Responsible Innovation (Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities)
  • Smart and Shared Cities (Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities)
  • Sustainable Development (Faculty of Science/Interdisciplinary)

Other programmes

The theme of sustainability is also covered in a number of other courses and programmes. Here is a selection:

  • The Faculty of Archaeology offers courses on landscape archaeology and how materials shape the world.
  • The extracurricular lecture Sustainability & Law series (Leiden Law School) examines the increasing legal influence on a sustainable future by looking at current issues, such as the nitrogen problem and plastic waste.
  • As part of the Master’s programme in Psychology, students have the opportunity to take the Environmental Psychology course. This course discusses questions such as: which psychological mechanisms drive environmentally relevant behaviour and how can interventions be designed to change behaviour?
  • The Environmental Philosophy course (Faculty of Humanities), which deals with issues such as how people view environmental ethics and ecologism as a political ideology, is available to bachelor’s and pre-master’s students.
  • The LDE partnership (Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities) offers several MOOCs* on sustainability, such as Circular Economy, Risk in Modern Society, A Circular Economy of Metals: Towards a Sustainable Societal Metabolism and Security & Safety Challenges in a Globalised World. A MOOC is a course designed for mass participation via the web so that participants are not tied to one location.
  •  The Honours Academy offers honours classes that focus on sustainability, such as Circular Economy: from Challenge to Opportunity and Planet in Peril: Exploring Human Relations with Nature.
  • Humanities Lab provides options to explore the theme of sustainability, for instance in the course Plastic: A cultural history or in a final capstone project
     
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