Master's Programme in Implementation, Transformative Learning and Sustainability

Academic year 2023/2024

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How can we contribute to a more sustainable future without exporting socio-ecological vulnerabilities to other sectors, societal intersections and future generations? The Master's Programme in Implementation, Transformative Learning and Sustainability (ITS) draws on principles of co-design to enable stakeholders, scientists and citizens to contribute real-world knowledge to minimise the risk of failure due to blind spots, designer bias, or the misinterpretation of context.

The programme is given online, with the exception of an obligatory on-campus introductory week in Uppsala at the beginning of the first and third semester.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Implementation, Transformative Learning and Sustainability (ITS) will provide you with knowledge and experience to design learning processes that support the implementation of sustainability actions and projects in complex (wicked) contexts. The programme also encourages students to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of learning for sustainable development and global health and critically reflect on this knowledge production in different research and development contexts.

Whilst reading the programme, you can expect to

  • gain a general understanding of the subject area of learning for sustainable development and global health;
  • acquire an in-depth knowledge of implementation science, transformation, governance, and the design of collaborative learning processes, including insights into contemporary research and development practice;
  • develop a capacity to apply critical systems thinking within socio-ecological settings, taking manifest complexity and goal conflicts into account and;
  • learn from course participants with diverse academic and professional backgrounds.

The programme prepares students to be change agents within qualified professions at the intersection between health and sustainability, international organisations, government administration, aid organisations, consultancy and the education sector.

Students with a Master's degree in implementation, transformative learning and sustainability will be eligible for PhD studies in learning for sustainable development and global health. The programme also qualifies students for PhD studies in several other transdisciplinary subject areas, such as environmental communication, human ecology and gender studies.

Student profile

You have a strong interest in sustainable development. You are interested in planetary and human health and want to implement change processes that contribute to a future characterised by social justice. Your social skills are good, and you can communicate well in written and spoken English. You can critically reflect on problems and have an interest in developing transformative innovations. A future PhD education is a possibility you might have considered, or working right after graduation.


The programme leads to a Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with Learning for Sustainable Development and Global Health as the main field of study.

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Read the interview
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Name: Carmen Guerrero
From: Spain

Why did you choose this programme?
I have always dreamed of studying a Master’s programme in Sweden, preferably Uppsala, but living far away made it nearly impossible. I spent many hours on the website to find an online Master’s that suits me, and I finally feel that I have found “the one” with this programme. I really appreciate how multidisciplinary the programme is and I love how sustainability and global health are merged. This merge also includes education and implementation and as a health project manager, I know how important this is.

What is your background?
I have a five-year degree in Political Science and Administration and a Master’s in international relations and diplomacy, as well as a Master’s in regional studies. I feel that my multidisciplinary background has been valuable in the programme. Besides my education, I have been volunteering for years with NGOs in different countries. I have experience as a project manager in Sub-Saharan Africa, where I have worked with education, gender, food security, resilience, rural development and migration fields. Nowadays, I work in Mali as a project manager for health and gender projects at AECID.

What is the best part of studying at an international programme?
The best part is definitely my classmates. During the introductory week, that took place in Uppsala, we had the opportunity to meet and share a week of lectures, assignments, activities and games together. It was a beautiful experience that I will never forget. I think this experience really keeps us active in the online format. I also think that an international programme enriches our minds and debates become more interesting as everyone can share different experiences. Another positive aspect is that I feel supported by this international team because I can find things in common with each member. 

What are your goals for the future?
I hope this programme allows me to reach more consciousness and knowledge about sustainable development that I can put into practice. I strongly believe that it will be very useful for my current position as well as my professional career. Furthermore, I consider myself a lifelong learner and I have always wanted to do a PhD, working with sustainability development, health, embodiment and transformative learning.

Spring 2023.

Register your interest


The Master's Programme in Implementation, Transformative Learning and Sustainability (ITS) is run over 4 half-year semester blocks and begins with an obligatory on-campus introductory week in Uppsala. During the first semester, you will gain a basic conceptual understanding of sustainability, global health, social learning, implementation and wicked problems. The last part of the semester deals with implementation challenges in contexts characterised by conflicts of interest, power asymmetries and inequities.

In semester 2 you will be trained to design and facilitate transformative learning for implementation mediated by way of various tools, approaches, and methods. During the second part of this semester, you will learn about the crucial elements in institutional governance design to enable implementation and transformative learning.

The second year of the programme is geared towards supporting your independent research project and begins with an obligatory on-campus week. Semester 3 includes a two-month internship within a relevant organisation (or freestanding courses relevant to learning for sustainable development and global health), followed by a course in research methods. During the last semester, you will undertake your independent research project.

Progression within the Master's programme consists of specialisation in learning for sustainable development and global health, leading to PhD studies and/or working life eligibility.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1

Introduction to Sustainable Development, 7.5 credits

Introduction to Implementation Science, 7.5 credits

Power, Equity and Transformation, 15 credits

Semester 2

Implementation Methods and Design, 15 credits

Governance for Sustainability, 15 credits

Semester 3

Elective period (internship or freestanding courses), 15 credits

Research Methods, 15 credits

Semester 4

Master's Thesis in Implementation Science, Transformational Learning and Sustainability, 30 credits

Learning experience

The teaching consists of online lectures, seminars, and assignments carried out individually and in groups. The programme begins with an obligatory on-campus introductory week in Uppsala. During the programme, students present their knowledge continuously during their education through oral presentations, discussions and writing of scientific papers. The design of the Master's programme draws on pedagogical principles, which include active student participation and close contact and co-creation of knowledge with the surrounding society.

The teaching draws on collaborative learning and student-activating pedagogy, where the student's previous experience of research perspectives and education are considered central. You will also be involved in co-creating assignments, and examinations and undertaking peer review. The language of instruction is English.


The Master's Programme in Implementation Science, Transformative Learning and Sustainability (ITS) prepares students to be change agents within qualified professions at the intersection between health and sustainability, international organisations, government administration, aid organisations, consultancy and the education sector. Students will also acquire knowledge to implement projects and programs that address complex (wicked) sustainability problems. Once you complete you might also want to continue with PhD studies.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one or two programme-specific documents: 1. an Application Summary Sheet (including your statement of purpose); 2. document(s) and/or letter(s) of recommendation certifying your previous experience (if applicable).

Master's Programme in Implementation, Transformative Learning and Sustainability

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Distance learning

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M3455 Application

Language of instruction: English


Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university, with 90 credits in technical-natural science, social science-humanities or medical-pharmaceutical fields.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies;
  • a statement of purpose; and
  • relevant work experience.

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72,500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290,000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


Neil Powell, Master's Programme Coordinator

+46 70 167 91 69

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of Womens's and Children's Health

MTC-house, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 14 B

Uppsala University Hospital, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden

Programme start and registration

If you are admitted to the programme, you need to register for the first course in the programme: Introduction to Sustainable Development. You register via Ladok during the registration period: 2023-08-01 - 2023-08-27. If you are admitted, but not able to register in Ladok, please send an email including your full name and birth date (year-month-day) to, no later than 14 August. Subject line: Registration to Introduction to Sustainable Development.

Last modified: 2022-10-27