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One of the major challenges to the implementation of the overall concept of sustainable development concerns effective governance processes between various stakeholders regarding the wise use of environmental resources within companies, administrations, organisations, and society at large.
The MSc programme "Environmental Governance" (MEG) addresses this special need. Unique on a worldwide scale, its focus is on facilitating the institutionalisation of context-effective environmental governance arrangements that combine the regulation of market, state and civil society for sustainable development.
The study programme comprises:
- Development of a sound knowledge base on the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet and their underlying social causes
- Comparative discussion of different analytical frameworks from social, economic and political science perspectives
- Provision of methodological knowledge and skills for the context-sensitive design and management of the environmental governance process
The programme does not limit itself to a special regional context, but rather focuses on environmental governance processes in a representative, worldwide perspective, from local to international level.
Educational organisationAll teaching modules are divided into blocks of three weeks to facilitate in-depth coverage and exploration of the topics. The modules are classified as either core or elective. In addition, students can take up to two selected topics instead of a regular elective to conduct individually supervised research projects. Students earn five ECTS credits upon successful completion of each module. In total, 120 credits are required. Included is a practical training of at least seven weeks (10 ECTS) and a Master's thesis of six months (30 ECTS).
Modules of the first semester:
Sustainability and Governance
Global Environmental Changes
Global Societal Changes
Managing Human-Environment Interaction
Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning
Regional Studies (Integrated Case Study I)
Modules of the second semester:
Economics, Institutions and the Environment
Environmental Policy Analyses
Sociology and Psychology of Environmental Knowledge
Sustainable Planning and Assessment (elective)
Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (elective)
Urban Transformation and Planning Responses (elective)
Semester break: Internship
Modules of the third semester:
Rural Development (Integrated Case Study II)
Environmental Conflict Management and Participation (elective)
Environmental Movements and NGOs (elective)
Technology Assessment and Sustainable Development (elective)
Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (elective)
Study abroad unit(s)None, but most of the students go abroad for their internships.
InternshipsAn internship lasting for a minimum of seven weeks is to be completed during the summer break between the second and third semesters (10 ECTS credits). The MEG internship supervisor will assist students in finding an appropriate internship.
Forms of assessmentWritten exams at the end of each module and/or papers and oral presentations (5 ECTS credits per module)
Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits)
Course objectivesGraduates will be in a position to reflect critically upon the manifold relationships between humans and the natural environment, as well as on the various methods and approaches for careful handling of natural resources as the basis of feasible development for the future. Where appropriate, graduates will be able to work towards enhancing these natural resources. They can plan, implement and evaluate social negotiation and decision-making processes in a context-sensitive manner, i.e. they are sensitive to space, structure and culture. The objective is to provide students with the opportunity to obtain an exceptional education in the field of environmental governance. Upon their return to their native countries, the acquired knowledge can be implemented in concrete actions, exercised from central positions.
Language requirementsApplicants must provide proof of their English skills: TOEFL iBT 100 (internet-based); IELTS band 7 or Cambridge Advanced Certificate of English (CAE)
Academic requirementsBSc (or equivalent first degree) well above average in the fields of social sciences, environmental sciences, economics, law, or engineering. At least some of the courses taken in the aforementioned degree must be relevant to Environmental Governance.
Applicants for DAAD scholarships from developing countries must have two years' of work experience.
Enrolment feesApprox. 150 EUR per semester
Costs of livingParticipants must make sure in good time that sufficient funds are available to finance their participation in a course of study. The average cost of living in Freiburg for one month is currently approx. 800-900 EUR. Some details:
- Student accommodation costs approx. 280-450 EUR (monthly).
- Private expenses amount to around 350 EUR (monthly).
- Health insurance is available for approx. 45-90 EUR (monthly).
- Transport: A special student fare for regional transport costs approx. 89 EUR (per semester).
Job opportunitiesAs a student, you are allowed to work up to 120 days per year and 85 hours per month. A limited number of positions as a student research assistant or tutor are available in the department.
Arrival supportPre-departure information available on the programme's website
Pick-up service on request
Support in finding accommodation and with administrative procedures
Three orientation days prior to the start of the programme (introduction to the programme, administrative issues, workshop on intercultural communication and German culture)