Master’s studies

Syllabus for Master Programme in Sustainable Development

Masterprogram i hållbar utveckling

A later update of this programme syllabus has been published.

  • 120 credits
  • Programme code: THU2M
  • Established: 2011-11-10
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2013-11-21
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Reg. no: TEKNAT 2013/89
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2014

Entry Requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish degree of at least 180 credits (i.e. three years of full-time study), within the natural sciences, technology, the social sciences, jurisprudence or the historical/philosophical subject areas.

Proof of skills in English to a level corresponding to English B in the Swedish secondary school. This is normally attested by means of an internationally recognised test 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

Decisions and Guidelines

1. Decision to offer two-year Master programmes
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. Furthermore according to a decision taken by the Vice Chancellor 2008-06-07 a Master programme in bioinformatics from 2009-07-01.

2. Objectives for a Degree

2.1 Objectives for a Degree of Master (One Year) (Magisterexamen)

Objectives for a Degree of Master (One Year) according to the Higher Education Ordinance, System of Qualifications.

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding in their main field of study, including both a broad command of the field and deeper knowledge of certain parts of the field, together with insight into current research and development work; and
- demonstrate deeper methodological knowledge in their main field of study.

Skills and abilities
For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must
- demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge and to analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, even when limited information is available;
- demonstrate an ability to independently identify and formulate issues and to plan and, using appropriate methods, carry out advanced tasks within specified time limits;
- 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; and
- demonstrate the skill required to participate in research and development work or to work in other advanced contexts.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (One Year) 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.

2.2 Objectives for a Degree of Master (Two Years) (Masterexamen)
Objectives for a Degree of Master (Two Years) according to the Higher Education Ordinance, System of Qualifications.

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (Two Years) 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.

Skills and abilities
For a Degree of Master (Two Years) 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.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (Two Years) 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.

Layout of the Programme

4.5.1 Description of the programme
The courses in the programme are given at the advanced level. Successful studies lead to a recognised Master of Science Degree in Sustainable Development. After one year the student may, if he or she wishes, finish with a “Magister” degree.

4.5.2 Comprehensive aims of the programme
The studies form a basis for pursuing a career in many different sectors of society outside the academic world – both nationally and internationally. The studies also give the necessary knowledge for post-graduate studies towards sustainable development in a subject determined by the orientation of the student’s previous studies.

4.5.3 Aims as expected results of the study
Within the frame of objectives stated in the Higher Education Ordinance (see chapter 2) graduated students should show

Knowledge and understanding
• both broad and in-depth knowledge within certain parts of the sustainable development field together with an in-depth insight in research and developmental work. This is acquired during the first three terms but is shown first and foremost in the final thesis project,
• knowledge concerning methods within the field of sustainable development.
• knowledge concerning natural and societal constraints and premises towards a sustainable development.

Skills and abilities
• apply qualitative and quantitative methods for managing natural resources at different spatial and temporal scales
• apply specific tools to identify and analyse complex problems, and suggest methods and solutions within the limits of a sustainable development.
• suggest methods and solutions aiming at reaching a sustainable development.

Ability to value and relate
• an awareness regarding global and long-term dimensions of sustainability and a capacity to identify sustainability issues at local, regional and global scales, and
• the power to appreciate and discuss sustainability discourses and their assumptions from different points of view.

4.5.4 Programme outline
The subject “sustainable development” in the present context is built upon interdisciplinary and holistic views of its economic, societal and environmental dimensions. Knowledge concerning basic biological and environmental conditions, and how these can limit and render economic and social development, together with knowledge and a deeper understanding of economic and social influences on our possibilities to utilise natural resources are central. The programme therefore includes several disciplines.

During the first term focus is on the natural and societal constraints and premises towards a sustainable development. The skills and abilities that are to be developed during the rest of the programme, i.e. the ability to work efficiently in a group, to communicate orally and in writing are introduced. Also scientific methods and theory is included in the first term.

During the second term a variety of methods and their principles are in focus, e.g., as computer models and interdisciplinary collaborative methods. During the whole of the first year, two seminar series run in parallel with the above-mentioned to give the student possibilities for discussions, thought, and critical thinking within the field of sustainable development.

The third term is open, with optional courses. The student can take courses to get a more in-depth knowledge in sustainable development within the field of earlier studies, or in another field. There is also a possibility to do an internship of 15 or 30 ECTS credits. To prepare for the thesis project the following term there are a number of courses that could be suitable (contact the programme head). The student is thus very much in charge of the content and direction during this term.

The fourth and final term is for the thesis project solely.

Degree

3.1 Regulations according to Higher Education Ordinance
A Degree of Master (One Year) 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.

Exceptions may be made to the requirement of a previous qualification for a student who has been admitted to the educational programme without having had basic eligibility in the form of a qualification. However, this does not apply if in the admissions process an exception has been made under Chapter 7, Section 28, second paragraph on the grounds that there has been insufficient time to issue a qualification certificate.

A Degree of Master (Two Years) 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.

Exceptions may be made to the requirement of a previous qualification for a student who has been admitted to the educational programme without having had basic eligibility in the form of a qualification. However, this does not apply if in the admissions process an exception has been made under Chapter 7, Section 28, second paragraph on the grounds that there has been insufficient time to issue a qualification certificate.

Independent project (degree project)
For a Degree of Master (One Year) 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.

For a Degree of Master (Two Years) 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.

3.2 Local regulations
Main fields for a Degree of Master (One Year) and a Degree of Master (Two Years) at the Faculty of Science and Technology are Biology, Computer Science, Physics, Earth Science, Sustainable Development, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computational Science and Applied Biotechnology.

A Degree of Master (one year ) 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 ( two years ) 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 (Two Years) 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.

4.5.7 Grade and examination
Unless otherwise prescribed in the course syllabus, a grade is to be awarded on completion of a course. A student who has taken two examinations in a course or a part of a course without obtaining a pass grade is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are special reasons to the contrary.

4.5.8 Courses together in a degree
Some courses cannot be considered in a degree together. Which courses this concern will be pointed out in each course syllabus.

4.5.9 Qualification and diploma
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 (One Year) 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 Sustainable Development. For a Degree of Master (One Year) students must have completed an independent project (degree project) worth at least 15 higher education credits in Sustainable Development, within the framework of the course requirements.