Master’s studies

Syllabus for Master Programme in Sustainable Development

Masterprogram i hållbar utveckling

  • 120 credits
  • Programme code: THU2M
  • Established: 2011-11-10
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2017-11-09
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Reg. no: TEKNAT 2017/120
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2018

Entry Requirements


Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the natural sciences, technology, medicine, the social sciences, law or the humanities.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
Exemptions for students from certain countries.

Decisions and Guidelines

According to a decision taken by the Vice Chancellor 2006-09-16, Uppsala University will offer two-year Master programmes in biology, computer science, physics, earth science, sustainable development, chemistry, mathematics, computational science and applied biotechnology, all from 2007-07-01.

Aim

Successful studies lead to a recognised Master of Science Degree in Sustainable Development. After one year the student may finish with a “Magister” degree in Sustainable Development. The programme is given in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Science.

The programme gives necessary knowledge, skills and abilities in sustainable development for a professional career, both nationally and internationally, in business, governmental agencies, organizations and academy. The programme links through to current research in the field. The degree also gives access to postgraduate studies with a focus on sustainable development in a subject area that is determined by the focus on the student's previous studies.

Learning Outcomes

According to the Higher Education Act, the following applies for second-cycle studies:
Second-cycle studies shall be based fundamentally on the knowledge acquired by students during first-cycle courses and study programmes, or its equivalent.
Second-cycle studies shall involve the acquisition of specialist knowledge, aptitudes and accomplishments in relation to first-cycle courses and study programmes, and in addition to the requirements for first-cycle courses and study programmes shall:

  • further develop the ability of students to integrate and make autonomous use of their knowledge,
  • develop the students' ability to deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, and
  • develop the students' potential for professional activities that demand considerable autonomy, or for research and development work. Ordinance (2006:173).
Objectives for a Degree of Master (120 credits) according to the Higher Education Ordinance, System of Qualifications.

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) students must
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in their main field of study, including both broad knowledge in the field and substantially deeper knowledge of certain parts of the field, together with deeper insight into current research and development work; and
  • demonstrate deeper methodological knowledge in their main field of study.
For the Master programme in sustainable development this means that the student particularly have shown
  • both broad and specialized knowledge in certain areas of sustainable development and a deeper insight into current research and development work,
  • knowledge of methods in the field of sustainable development, and
  • knowledge of the natural and social conditions as well as limits towards sustainable development.
Skills and abilities
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) students must
  • demonstrate an ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and to analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, even when limited information is available;
  • demonstrate an ability to critically, independently and creatively identify and formulate issues and to plan and, using appropriate methods, carry out advanced tasks within specified time limits, so as to contribute to the development of knowledge and to evaluate this work;
  • demonstrate an ability to clearly present and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments behind them, in dialogue with different groups, orally and in writing, in national and international contexts; and
  • demonstrate the skill required to participate in research and development work or to work independently in other advanced contexts.
For the Master programme in sustainable development this means that the student particularly have shown ability to
  • apply qualitative and quantitative knowledge and methods for managing natural resources at different spatial and temporal scales,
  • apply specific tools to identify, analyse and formulate complex problems, and
  • propose methods and solutions in order to promote sustainable development.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) students must
  • demonstrate an ability to make assessments in their main field of study, taking into account relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects, and demonstrate an awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work;
  • demonstrate insight into the potential and limitations of science, its role in society and people’s responsibility for how it is used; and
  • demonstrate an ability to identify their need of further knowledge and to take responsibility for developing their knowledge.
For the Master programme in sustainable development this means that the student particularly have shown
  • understanding of the international and long-term dimensions of sustainable development,
  • ability to relate sustainability issues to local, regional and global scales, and
  • ability to relate to and evaluate various sustainability discourse and their assumptions from different actors' perspectives.

Layout of the Programme

The subject ​​"sustainable development" is based on an interdisciplinary, holistic view of the economic, social and environmental dimensions. Knowledge of basic biological and environmental conditions and how these can limit and render economic and social development, together with knowledge and deeper understanding of the social and economic systems impact on our ability to use natural resources are central. The programme therefore incorporates several scientific disciplines.

During the first semester focus is on natural and social science conditions, opportunities and constraints for sustainable development. An introduction to the skills that will be developed over the next three semesters, such as the ability to work in groups, to communicate orally and in writing, as well as scientific methods and theories are also included in the first term.

The second semester focuses on interdisciplinary methods, models and decision-making that can be used in sustainable development. Throughout the first year, two seminar series are run with highly qualified lecturers where current issues in sustainable development are discussed and analyzed.

During the third semester students have the opportunity to take courses to immerse themselves in sustainability issues within the field of previous studies or in another subject area. The program offers an advanced course with thematic focus on energy, water and food security and this course is also preparatory for a thesis project in these areas. There is also the possibility to do an internship of 15 or 30 credits. Students take a personal responsibility for the content and focus of their studies during this semester.

The fourth and final semester is dedicated to a thesis project of 30 credits.
 

Instruction

Education in the Masters programme builds upon upon the prior knowledge and experience of the students. Students are expected to participate actively in their education and take responsibility for personal learning outcomes as well as contributing to the learning of others. Academic staff in the programme have the primary responsibility for establishing foundations for active individual and collective learning. Continuos educational development builds on a respectful dialogue between students and staff, through which everyone is empowered to contribute to educational evolution and mutual learning.
 

Degree

Upon request, a student who has received a pass grade in a course is to receive a course certificate from the higher education institution. Upon request, a student who meets the requirements for a qualification is to receive a diploma from the higher education institution.

A Degree of Master is a so called general degree, which means that the student achieve the degree in its main subject according to the criteria below, regardless of the courses being part of the program or not, therefore there is a possibility also to include single subject courses in the degree.

Regulations according to Higher Education Ordinance
A Degree of Master (120 credits) is obtained after the student has completed course requirements of 120 higher education credits with a certain area of specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, including at least 60 higher education credits with in-depth studies in the main field of study. In addition, the student must hold a Degree of Bachelor, a Degree of Bachelor of Arts in…, a professional degree worth at least 180 higher education credits or an equivalent foreign qualification.

For a Degree of Master (120 credits) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 30 higher education credits in their main field of study, within the framework of the course requirements. The independent project may comprise less than 30 higher education credits, but not less than 15 higher education credits, if the student has already completed an independent project at the second level worth at least 15 higher education credits in their main field of study, or an equivalent project in a foreign educational programme.

A Degree of Master (60 credits) is obtained after the student has completed course requirements of 60 higher education credits with a certain area of specialisation determined by each higher education institution itself, including at least 30 higher education credits with in-depth studies in the main field of study. In addition, the student must hold a Degree of Bachelor, a Degree of Bachelor of Arts in…, a professional degree worth at least 180 higher education credits or an equivalent foreign qualification.

For a Degree of Master (60 credits) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 15 higher education credits in their main field of study, within the framework of the course requirements.

Local regulations
A Degree of Master (60 credits) may, except for courses on advanced level, contain one or several courses on basic level comprising not more than 15 higher education credits. A degree of Master (120 credits) may, except for courses on advanced level, contain one or several courses on basic level comprising not more than 30 higher education credits. The course or the courses are meant to provide such additional competence as is needed for in-depth studies in the main field of study and cannot be included in the student’s basic degree.

For a Degree of Master (120 credits) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 30 higher education credits.

Other Directives

Students who, outside the programme, have acquired equivalent qualifications corresponding to at least 15 credits on advanced level in addition to the degree at Bachelor’s level, may apply to be accepted to a later part of the programme. The application deadline is for the autumn term May 1 and for the spring term December 1.