Universiteit Leiden

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Governance of Sustainability (MSc)

In the Governance of Sustainability programme you learn to become a future ‘change maker’ who is able to develop governance solutions to major and complex environmental sustainability challenges.

What does this master’s programme entail?

In this programme focused 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 in order to develop governance solutions to major and complex environmental sustainability challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity 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 oneself into a future ‘change agent’ in a governance context.

Read more about our Governance of Sustainability programme

Rianne Berger

Student (formerly BSc Mathematics, the Netherlands)

Rianne Berger

I have always been interested in how the theoretical approach from the natural sciences can meet the practical approach of governing complex issues. Consequently, the combination of governance and sustainability is what attracted me to this master. The programme teaches the complexity of governing sustainability: a lot of the means are already invented, however we still have to find a way to put them to use. What makes it extra interesting to me is that we gather a lot of the knowledge and skills first hand through transdisciplinary work group assignments. For example, we develop policy advice for managing the North Sea on e.g. oil, dredging or windenergy; or we conduct a stakeholder analysis on sustainable timber procurement. I consider the experiences and teachings on how governance and sustainability do, and do not, come together as most valuable for my future pursuits.

Cristina Aguirre Yates

Student (formerly Business Management, 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.

Peter van Bodegom

Professor Environmental Biology, Faculty of Science, Leiden University

Peter van Bodegom

‘’We provide opportunities for societal transitions in Dutch landscapes threatened by soil subsidence in co-creation with stakeholders in the region’’

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

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