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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

Sai Sanjith

Student (Civil Engineering BSc, India)

Sai Sanjith

"Having a civil engineering background I was trained to execute on-field works. I was always curious to find out how the decisions for such long term sustainable solutions are taken, and this master provided me the perfect answer. The association of science with social science is the key point of the course, and the transdisciplinary approach supported me to understand any given environmental issue from all angles. The concept of "Wicked Problem" excites me as it challenges me to not only provide a technical solution but also make sure that solutions are affordable, acceptable and viable. Such understanding is what the lecturers bring out in us and this has helped me provide better solutions with a higher chance of proper implementation."

Cristina Aguirre Yates

Alumna (Business Management BA, Mexico)

Cristina Aguirre Yates

"What is interesting about this programme is how it integrates the social and natural sciences to create a sustainable society bringing benefits to the communities and the environment in a competitive way. It gives you the opportunity to develop within an ideal environment of knowledge and to grow both professionally and personally. Once you are in the programme, you really feel the urge to become a “change agent” and make things happen."

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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