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Governance of Sustainability (MSc)

In the Governance of Sustainability programme you will learn to become a future ‘change agent’ who can develop and inform governance solutions to complex environmental sustainability challenges.

What does this master’s programme entail?

This programme focuses on environmental sustainability. You will obtain in-depth knowledge of both the governance perspective (social science) and the natural sciences. You will learn how to integrate these perspectives to develop governance solutions to complex environmental sustainability challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the transition to a circular economy. In addition, you will learn a variety of skills required to cope with complex sustainability problems and to develop yourself into a future ‘change agent’ – someone who can apply and communicate natural science insights, while also understanding the governance context.

Read more about our Governance of Sustainability programme

Yannick Kooman

Student (BSc Science & Innovation Management at Utrecht University)

Yannick Kooman

Coming from the field of Innovation Sciences, I wanted to follow a master's programme that was a bit closer to making societal impact on sustainability problems. And, since many people look toward governance actors for initiating change, this master's came to my interest. The programme has enabled me to get a complete understanding of the full range of sustainability problems, while also being able to place these into political and societal context. Throughout the programme, being able to collaborate receives considerable attention. We learn how to effectively work with peers, professional actors, and other societal actors. So, if you're looking for a master's that broadens your view on sustainability problems, combines it with ideas on how to address them, and want to join an enthusiastic group of students, be sure to consider this one!

Remya Radhakrishnan

Student (BSc Honours Governance, Economics & Development at LUC The Hague)

Remya Radhakrishnan

I was keen on following a master that blended different disciplines to tackle complex challenges under sustainability, which is why I chose this master. This programme allows me to gain a deeper understanding of the main pillars of sustainability from a natural sciences lens, while simultaneously engaging with these issues through governance theories and frameworks. Being able to collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds is insightful and rewarding, especially through group projects where we apply our knowledge to real-life case scenarios. I also appreciate how this master challenges me to tackle the feasibility and socio-economic context of implementation while developing solutions.

Alexander van Oudenhoven

Education director and Lecturer biodiversity & ecosystems, GofS, Leiden University

Alexander van Oudenhoven

"Nature and society are closely intertwined. Biodiversity is being lost at unprecedented rates, and this is leading to increased food insecurity, flood risk and climate mitigation. In our course, students learn how to assess the state of biodiversity and ecosystems, and also consider the consequences for human wellbeing. When thinking of potential causes and solutions, the analysis of stakeholders plays a central role, with a particular focus on leadership and collaboration. In the end, students are able to succinctly summarise their findings and defend their commissioners’ interest during a UN-style plenary debate."

Why study Governance of Sustainability at Leiden University?

  • Our teaching is aimed at creating a transdisciplinary environment in which you are constantly challenged to combine perspectives, reflect on those and take ownership of your learning process.
  • You will collaborate with (international) students coming from different disciplinary backgrounds and design and execute integrative research projects, combining concepts, theories and research methods of both governance and natural sciences.
  • Our programme collaborates with important institutes, ministries and other stakeholders in terms of guest lectures, excursions and integrated group projects.
  • You will be confronted with real-life sustainability challenges to make the appropriate connections between the mechanisms and the governance thereof.
  • Be inspired by professors from two leading institutes, who are at the forefront of the field of sustainability and public administration.  

Find out more reasons to choose Governance of Sustainability

Governance of Sustainability: the right master’s programme for you?

Do you want to be an intermediary between the scientific experts, policy makers and politicians in the domain of sustainability? Do you want to tackle environmental sustainability problems by combining knowledge on natural sciences with an understanding of governance? Are you keen on contributing to the development of governance solutions needed to work towards a sustainable society and contribute to the implementation of these solutions? And do you want to study and work together with students coming from different disciplinary backgrounds? Then our Governance of Sustainability programme is designed for you.

Read more about the entry requirements

Chat with a student

Do you have a question about studying at Leiden University or student life in Leiden? Do you want more information about the Governance of Sustainability programme? Chat with a current student for answers to your questions!

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