Master’s Minor in Sustainable Development

The Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) offers a Master’s Minor in Sustainable Development (MSc Mi SD). This innovative programme, worth 30 ECTS credits, aims to equip graduates with the skills needed to tackle real-world challenges in an inter- and transdisciplinary way. Students will learn to independently identify and describe global societal challenges, drawing on the latest sustainability-related research as well as inter- and transdisciplinary theories and approaches to transformation. An important focus of the programme is on enabling students to integrate discipline-specific knowledge from their majors into transformative approaches to promote a sustainable and just society. Students learn to apply sound theoretical and methodological approaches to analyse and develop solutions to complex problems. They also learn to communicate and disseminate their findings in a targeted way to different audiences.

To sign up for the MSc Mi SD, you must be enrolled in a Master’s programme at the University of Bern or at another Swiss university.

Learn more about the Master’s Minor in Sustainable Development in this flyer.

Explore CDE’s website here.

Questions? Ask the Student Advisory Service.

Basic information
Degree: -
Degree programs: Minor 30 ECTS credits
Combination possibilities: several; see master's major
Duration: The period of study is in line with the master's major
Languages: 90% English / 10% German
Beginning studies: Fall


The Master’s Minor in Sustainable Development equips students with a comprehensive education in the scientific principles underlying sustainable development. This foundation, spanning natural, social, and human sciences, enables graduates to tackle sustainable development challenges scientifically and collaboratively through inter- and transdisciplinary approaches. In a special feature of the programme, students apply and build on discipline-specific knowledge from their major to develop transformations to a sustainable and just society. Graduates of the MSc Mi SD are able to independently identify and describe global and societal challenges of sustainable development, taking into account the latest research, different perspectives, and inter- and transdisciplinary theories and transformation approaches. Rigorous theoretical and methodological training sharpens the students’ ability to analyse complex problems and develop well-founded solutions. Students also hone their skills in presenting findings in a tailored manner to diverse audiences.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the programme, you will be able to

  • Address the challenges of sustainable development in an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary manner, using transformative approaches for a sustainable and just society and contributing knowledge and skills from the study of your major discipline.
  • Independently identify and describe the global social challenges of sustainable development, the current state and perspectives of research, and inter- and transdisciplinary theories and transformation approaches to sustainable development.
  • Use sound theoretical and methodological approaches to answer questions on complex problems and develop solutions.
  • Present the results in a targeted way, tailored to your audience.

The Master’s Minor in Sustainable Development consists of 30 ECTS credits, of which 24 are for compulsory and 6 for elective courses. The programme corresponds to the workload of four semesters (two years) of full-time study.

The study programme consists of three modules.

  • Module A: Foundations of sustainability transformations
  • Module B: Challenges of sustainable development in practice
  • Module C: Envisioning and implementing sustainable futures

The following figure provides an overview of the structure of the study programme.

Current course overview

Course overview AT2024 / ST2025

Current course schedule

Course schedule AT2024 / ST2025

Course overview autumn term 2024 / spring term 2025

The course overview AT2024 / ST2025 according to the new study plan is here.

Course overview autumn term 2023 / spring term 2024 (FS2023 / SS2024)

The course overview FS2023 / SS2024 according to the old study plan is here (in German).

Notice board study programs Sustainable Development

You can find information about events, job postings, announcements, and a "Diverses" section on the notice board for the students (in German).

Information video Master’s Minor in Sustainable Development

Find out more about the content and structure of the study program in this video:

Specific prerequisites

Entry to the MSc Mi SD does not require any specific studies or achievements in Sustainable Development at Bachelor’s level.

Language requirements

Most of the courses are taught in English. Depending on the audience, courses may also be taught in German. Students are expected to have advanced English language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing).

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Once you have completed the graduation formalities required for your discipline, you can apply for the completion of your degree programme at the Dean’s Office. The graduation procedure is described here.