Zum Titel springen


Sustainable Development, Spezialisierter Master

Master UH

Universität Basel UNIBAS


Basel (BS)


Englisch - Deutsch


Universitäre Hochschulen UH

Zeitliche Beanspruchung



Geisteswissenschaften, Geschichte, Philosophie - Umwelt - Wirtschaft, Wirtschaftswissenschaften


Betriebswirtschaftslehre BWL / Betriebsökonomie - Politikwissenschaft - Umweltwissenschaften - Volkswirtschaftslehre VWL

Swissdoc - 6.731.8.0 - 6.616.2.0

Aktualisiert 31.05.2022


Beschreibung des Angebots

Contributing to sustainable development is a contemporary challenge that must be approached in an interdisciplinary manner. Thus, in addition to specific disciplinary competences, the Master's Degree in Sustainable Development (MSD) draws on concerns of sustainability that are generated by the natural, social and economic sciences.

Methodological aspects of the curriculum include the analytical and integrative skills and knowledge necessary to work on complex questions relevant to sustainability, together with reflexive skills and proficiency in dealing with a broad range of instruments. Considerable importance is placed on competences facilitating and providing constructive work in interdisciplinary and research-based settings.

Focal area of teaching and research

The special feature of the MSD is its three-faculty-structure, formally recognizable by the three supporting faculties, but also by the equal treatment of the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic. Although the master's thesis is written in one of the three offered focus areas, it may be interdisciplinary in its orientation. This guarantees that students can approach sustainability issues from different perspectives.

The research focuses of the three professorships and their research groups anchored in the MSD are incorporated into teaching, and offer students the opportunity to write a master's thesis within the framework of a current research project; for example on microplastics, invasive species, energy management, environmental ethics, inter- and intragenerational justice, resource use, resource economics, etc.

By interrelating the supporting faculties, the three research groups, the responsible professorships and their teams, a very large network within and outside the University of Basel to cooperation partners is ensured.

Course structure

The MSD is a postgraduate degree that requires a successfully completed bachelor. The program awards 120 ECTS credits in total. It is a so called «monocourse». At the beginning of their studies, students choose one of the three focus areas with corresponding master's thesis.

Aufbau der Ausbildung

Preparation Master's Thesis in Economics module

One ECTS credit point roughly equals 30 hours of study.


Curriculum Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development ECTS

Focus area Natural Sciences

Complementary Knowledge in Social Sciences module 12
Complementary Knowledge in Economics module 12
Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainability module 24
Core Competences in Natural Sciences module 15
Preparation Master's Thesis in Natural Sciences module 15
Master's Thesis Natural Sciences 30
Focal Areas in Sustainability Research module 12

Focus area Social Sciences

Complementary Knowledge in Natural Sciences module 12
Complementary Knowledge in Economics module 12
Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainability module 24
Core Competences in Social Sciences module 15
Preparation Master's Thesis in Social Sciences module 15
Master's Thesis Social Sciences 30
Focal Areas in Sustainability Research module 12
Focus area Economics
Complementary Knowledge in Natural Sciences module 12
Complementary Knowledge in Social Sciences module 12
Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainability module 24
Core Competences in Economics module 15
Preparation Master's Thesis in Economics module 15
Master's Thesis in Economics 30
Focal Areas in Sustainability Research module 12
Total 120



There is no possibility to combine this master with other master programs.




To be admitted to the MSD, students must provide evidence of a university bachelor's degree worth at least 180 credit points (according to ECTS), or another academic first degree recognized in accordance with the guidelines of the University of Basel. Evidence of at least 100 credit points from one, or at least 150 credit points from two, of the following branches of study must be provided: Business administration, Economics, Geography, Communication and Media Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Social Work and Politics, Sociology, Applied Biosciences, Biology, Earth Sciences, Forestry, Environmental Sciences, or Environmental and Geomatics Engineering.


Further admission requirements:

  • A bachelor's degree with an average grade of at least 5.0/unrounded (Swiss scale) in the degree relevant for admission (formula for the conversion of grades awarded by foreign institutions: https://www.unibas.ch/en/Studies/Application-Admission/Admission/Conversion-of-the-final-grade---the-grade-point-average-of-degrees-awarded-by-foreign-higher-education-institutions-into-the-Swiss-grading-system.html;
  • Evidence of basic knowledge in mathematics, and in statistics or methods of empirical social research at university level in the form of at least 10 CP;
  • at least 3 CP in mathematics and
  • at least 3 CP either in statistics or in methods of empirical social research.

See study guidelines for more details.


As an alternative to these conditions (a and b), current test results from the Graduate Record Examination® General Test (GRE® General Test) can be submitted. More details are explained in the study regulations or guidelines (on msd.unibas.ch/msd-2017).


Details concerning admission requirements are to be found on: msd.unibas.ch/study-programs/msd-2017admission-application-msd-2017/

Binding information under: http://www.unibas.ch/admission



Application under http://www.unibas.ch/application; the application fee amounts to CHF 100.-. Application deadline for the fall semester is April 30, for the spring semester 30 November.



The letter of admission informs students on procedure of enrollment.


Universität Basel UNIBAS > Interfakultäre Master-Studiengänge


Die Anmeldegebühr von CHF 100.- wird nicht rückerstattet, falls das Studium nicht aufgenommen wird.
Begründete verspätete Anmeldungen erfordern eine Zusatzgebühr von CHF 150.-


Pro Semester (auch für Prüfungssemester) ist eine Pauschale von CHF 850.- (+ CHF 10.- freiwilliger Beitrag für die Studierendenschaft skuba) einzuzahlen.
Hinzu kommen je nach Fachrichtung noch Auslagen für Studienliteratur sowie Lebenshaltungskosten.


  • Master Universitäre Hochschule UH

Master of Science in Sustainable Development


Doktorat / PhD

The MSD qualifies students for a doctorate in natural, social, or economic sciences.

Praktische Hinweise

Ort / Adresse

  • Basel (BS)

Coordination Office MSD
Vesalgasse 1/2nd floor, room 02.07, 4051 Basel, T +41 61 207 04 20

Zeitlicher Ablauf


Students can begin their studies in fall or in spring semesters; although starting in fall is recommended.


The program lasts four semesters (full-time study/30 CP each semester). An optimal course progression plan is available: https://www.msd.unibas.ch/en/services/downloads/msd-2017/
Part-time studying with a longer study time is possible and according to individual progress plan.

Zeitliche Beanspruchung

  • Vollzeit


  • Englisch
  • Deutsch

The language of instruction is English; no language certificates are expected, although a good command of English is required (level B2 or higher).


Guidelines (English and German) and study regulations (only in German) of the Master's Degree in Sustainable Development are available as downloads on:


Detailed course directory, medium-term syllabus and timetable are also available as downloads on the same site.

Universität Basel UNIBAS > Interfakultäre Master-Studiengänge

Tag der offenen Tür

Im Januar findet ein Infotag für Schulklassen statt.
Jeweils im September stellen sich die einzelnen Fächer an den Informationsabenden für Maturand/innen ("Live aus der Uni Basel") vor.
Weitere Informationen


Auskünfte / Kontakt

Coordination office MSD, Camelia Chebbi, MA/MAS ETHZ/MAS NPPM FHNW (head)

Appointments for study counseling etc. are possible on agreement via: coordination-msd@unibas.ch

Opening hours of the coordination office according to information on the website: msd.unibas.ch/coordination-office

Universität Basel UNIBAS > Interfakultäre Master-Studiengänge

Studienberatung Basel

Steinengraben 5, 4051 Basel
T +41 61 207 29 29/30


Studiensekretariat der Universität

(Anmeldung und Zulassung)
Petersplatz 1, 4001 Basel
Anfragen über www.unibas.ch/studseksupport (Kontaktformular)