Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

Sustainable Transition (M.Sc.)

Master of Science (M.Sc.) - digital degree programme, taught in English


Flyer Sustainable Transition

Zur Illustration: Felder aus der Luft fotografiert.

Grafik: Till Schürmann

Englischer Studiengang

This course of study is taught in English.

Digital degree programme

Digital degree programme


Do you want to understand development and transition processes? Do you want to initiate social and technological change to make economic activities more sustainable? Are you interested in social, economic, political and natural sciences, especially in their interdependencies? Do you want to study from anywhere in the world at one of Germany‘s oldest universities? Then join us in working towards a more sustainable future, with a special emphasis on sustainable agricultural and food systems, and explore our international Master’s degree programme Sustainable Transition!

The Master‘s degree programme Sustainable Transition is the first fully online degree programme at Justus Liebig University Giessen, offered by the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences and Environmental Management (Faculty 09), a faculty with recognised expertise in the scientific analysis of agricultural and food systems. The standard duration of the programme is four semesters. All courses and examinations are offered online and can be taken remotely. If you wish to be physically present in Giessen during your studies, you can attend on-site courses during the summer vacations.



Target Group

As a student of our M.Sc. programme, you will

  • analyze and understand the concept of sustainability and the trade-offs involved through the lens of different disciplines,
  • comprehend the various areas of transition, including economic, legal, political, social, agricultural, and environmental aspects, and how they relate to sustainability,
  • gain knowledge as well as analytical competences in methods and strategies to enhance transition processes towards a more sustainable economy,
  • be skilled in evaluating transition processes from a sustainability perspective and developing solutions for sustainable transitions applicable to the private and public sector.

Composition of the Study Programme

Composition of the Study Programme


Master of Science (MSc)

Duration of Studies

4 semesters – 120 credit points (cp)


Composition of the Degree Programme

The study programme is organized in modules (courses). Our modules offer a wide spectrum of different teaching methods including synchronous online teaching such as lectures, seminars and group discussion as well as asynchronous elements such as videos and individual work tasks. Each module comprises four semester hours per week and is completed with a final examination as given in the module description. The final grade of the study programme is calculated from the achieved module grades.

The programme schedule consists of 11 mandatory modules (core modules), 5 optional modules (profile modules) and the Master‘s thesis. Having completed the core modules, the students are well equipped with a solid scientific education and ready to deepen their knowledge in specific research areas. By individually choosing their profile modules from a diverse range of study areas students shape their individual competence profile.


Structure of the Master's Degree Course

The Master’s degree course consists of 16 modules (120 credits):

Core Competence 11 mandatory modules 66 credits
Profile Competence 5 optional modules 30 credits
Master’s thesis    24 credits
Total 16 modules 120 credits


Core Modules (Mandatory Courses)

  • Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research (6 CP)
  • Theory and Practice of Economic Development (6 CP)
  • Global Food Markets (6 CP)
  • International Economics (6 CP)
  • Climate Change and Economic Development (6 CP)
  • Sustainable Food Systems (6 CP)
  • Resource Economics and Sustainable Development (6 CP)
  • Renewable Energy Transition (6 CP)
  • Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services (6 CP)
  • Food Politics (6 CP)
  • Scientific Working and Writing (6 CP)


Profile Modules (6 CP each)

Students tailor their individual profile by selecting 5 modules from the profile module catalogue for digital degree programmes. Among the modules for this study programme are the following:

  • The Economics of Nitrate Pollution
  • Python for Environmental Scientists
  • Land Use Chance Projection with QGIS
  • Agriculture, Ecosystem Functioning and Climate Change
  • Land Governance for Sustainable Land Use in Africa
  • Special Topics of the UN Sustainable Development Goals I
  • Special Topics of the UN Sustainable Development Goals II
  • Concepts of Ecological Economics
  • Sustainable Plant Protection


On-Site Courses during the Summer Vacation

Several profile modules are offered as block modules with physical attendance in Giessen during the summer vacation. These modules are optional and you can attend them if you wish to be physically present in Giessen during your studies. If you are interested in attending some of these modules, please contact the study coordinators of the Faculty 09 at studies for further information.



Master Thesis (24 CP)

Students dedicate the major part of the 4th semester to writing the Master's thesis. With the thesis, they prove their capability to investigate a given topic independently and scientifically within a given timeframe. The core module Scientific Working and Writing supports students in their research process.



Start WS-engl: Commencement of studies

Commencement of Studies

Only possible in the winter semester.



Application Procedure

Depending on where you obtained either your university entrance certificate or your Bachelor degree, we differentiate two application procedures:

Case A

You need to use JLU’s application portal if

  • you hold a completed Bachelor’s degree obtained at a German university (the country of origin of your university entrance certificate is of no importance).
  • your JLU Bachelor programme is not yet complete. Please provide a preliminary report. The country of origin of your university entrance certificate is of no importance.
  • you obtained your university entrance certificate in Germany and attended a Bachelor programme at a German university other than JLU. Please provide a preliminary report if your programme is not yet completed.
  • you want to change to another degree programme at JLU. The country of origin of your university entrance certificate is of no importance.

Case B

You need to submit your application to uni-assist if

  • you hold a completed Bachelor’s degree obtained at a foreign university (the country of origin of your university entrance certificate is of no importance).
  • you obtained your university entrance certificate abroad and attended but not completed yet a Bachelor programme at a German university other than JLU or at any other university within EU. Please provide a preliminary report.
Application: deadline, intake capacity, fees

Intake Capacity ("Numerus Clausus")

The intake capacity of this degree programme is not limited internally by the university.



Application for enrolment starts June.
Application deadline: June 15   



Giessen University does not charge study fees as such; it does, however, charge administrative fees. These fees currently amount to about 100 Euro per semester but they may vary from semester to semester. (details).

Further information-admission international

For further information please contact:

Registrar’s Office / Studierendensekretariat
Goethestrasse 58
Postal address: Postfach 11 14 40, 35359 Giessen
Tel.: 0641/99-16400
Application: Admission requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree with at least 180 ECTS-points and the grade good or very good (Minimum Grade of 2.6 German grading system) in one of the following scientific fields:

  • Agriculture
  • Nutrition
  • Natural or environmental sciences
  • Economics
  • Political science

Proof of sufficient knowledge in economics, and/or the social sciences, i.e. at least 60 ECTS points in at least one of these subjects.

The application includes a letter of motivation with 500 words (+/- 10%) outlining the candidate’s personal motivation and his or her subject-specific knowledge.

Applications will be examined individually as to whether the study requirements are fulfilled. A specialist commission at JLU will then finally decide on the admission. The criteria for the evaluation of the motivation letter are given in the examination regulations. We cannot provide information on the status of acceptance before the application process is fully completed.

Application: Language requirements

Language Requirements

As the entire degree course is taught in English, applicants must provide proof of sufficient knowledge of written and spoken English. Accepted proofs of language proficiency:

  1. either: TOEFL-Test ITB (internet-based test) with at least 95 points or IELTS-Test with at least grade of 7 in the academic test;
  2. or: Proof of obtaining a local higher education entrance qualification in one of the following countries: Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, USA, United Kingdom, South Africa;
  3. or: Proof of a Bachelor’s degree in English in one of the following countries: Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, USA, United Kingdom, South Africa;
  4. or: Proof of the UNIcert III certificate.
Application: Technical requirements

Technical Requirements

As students have to work with learning management systems, elaborate knowledge and submit several different written tasks, we expect the following technical requirements:

  1. Reliable internet connection,
  2. Computer with sufficient screen size (about 15 inches), camera and headset, whereas several different devices and combinations are possible, for instance: laptop with integrated camera or web cam plus headset and possibly an additional screen. Be careful about your choice of a tablet, as statistic programmes, for instance, do not run on every device. We therefore recommend to use a laptop or a classic workstation computer.


Please refrain from studying with only a smartphone, as you need to work with literature, complex statistic programmes, and to write term papers.

Career Options

Career Options / Career Opportunities

Career Options / Career Opportunities

Globally, there is a high need for qualified people who can scientifically address and shape social transformation processes in a sustainable way.

This study programme qualifies students to work in areas closely related to sustainable transition processes in agricultural and food systems, i.e. work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Our graduates work in leading positions such as executive managers and consultants in the private sector, public authorities, governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The degree also enables them to start a career as (junior) scientists in universities and non-university research institutions.


Graduate Centre for the Life Sciences (GGL)

Prospective doctoral students have the opportunity to apply as a member of the International Giessen Graduate Centre for the Life Sciences (GGL) to receive intensive support during their doctorate (in the form of seminars, internships, workshops, etc.). Information on the GGL and its internationally oriented doctoral programme, the requirements and the application procedure can be found here.


Course Specific Academic Counselling ("Studienfachberatung")

Sustainable Transition (englischsprachig)

Prof. Dr. Ramona Teuber

Department of Agricultural Policy and Market Research

Zeughaus, Senckenbergstraße 3, 35390 Giessen

Phone +49 (0) 641 99 37020

Office hours: by appointment

Further Information

Further Information: Dokumente

Examination regulations


Courses offered in the course catalogue

 Electronical course catalogue (in German)

 List module (Informationen in English)

Master's Degree Programmes of Faculty 09

taught in English


taught in German

Any more questions?

Any more questions?
Information and consulting services of the JLU can be found in the category "Contact" on this page!