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Sustainable Transition (MSc)

Master of Science (MSc) - digital degree programme, taught in English


Flyer Sustainable Transition

Zur Illustration: Felder aus der Luft fotografiert.

Grafik: Till Schürmann

Englischer Studiengang

EnglishThis 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 changes in order to make economic activities more sustainable? Are you interested in natural sciences as well as current social, economic and political challenges and their interdependencies? Then join us in order to work on a more sustainable future and explore our international Master’s Degree Programme Sustainable Transition!

The Master Degree Programme Sustainable Transition is the first fully Online Degree Programme of Justus Liebig University Giessen, offered by the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences and Environmental Management (Faculty 09). The study programme has a standard period of study of four semesters. All courses and examinations are offered online and can be taken remotely. If you wish physical presence in Giessen during your studies, you can attend courses of the summer school.


Target Group

As a student of our MSc programme you will

  • analyze and understand the concept of sustainability and the involved trade-offs through the lens of different disciplines;
  • comprehend the various areas of transition, including economic, legal, political, social, agricultural, and environmental aspects and their interlinkages with sustainability;
  • possess knowledge as well as analytical competences in methods and strategies to enhance the 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 degree programme

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. Students complete each module with a final examination and the individual module grades determine the final grade of the entire study programme.

The programme schedule consists of eleven mandatory modules (core modules), five optional modules (profile modules), and the Master Thesis. Having completed the core modules the students are well equipped with a solid scientific education and ready to broaden 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.


Core Modules (Mandatory Courses)

  • Applied Statistics (6 CP)
  • Theory and Practice of Economic Development (6 CP)
  • Global Food Markets (6 CP)
  • Sustainable Food Systems (6 CP)
  • International Economics (6 CP)
  • Climate Change and Development (6 CP)
  • Resource Economics, Sustainability & Environmental Management (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

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


  • The Economics of Nitrate Pollution
  • Python for Environmental Scientists
  • QGIS
  • Insects for Food and Feed Production Systems
  • 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


Summer School

Several profile modules are offered as block modules with physical attendance in Giessen in form of summer schools. These modules are optional and you can attend them if you wish physical presence in Giessen during your studies.

  • Empirical Research Methods for Natural Resource Analysis
  • Farming Systems in the Tropics
  • Gender and Development


Master Thesis (24 CP)

Students dedicate the major part of the 4th semester to writing the Master 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.


Disclaimer Studienaufbau

Irrtümer und Änderungen vorbehalten.


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 a Bachelor programme at a German university other than JLU. Please provide a preliminary report if your programme is not yet completed.



Application: deadline, intake capacity, fees

Intake capacity ("Numerus Clausus")

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



Enrolment starts at the beginning of June. Please note that the application via uni-assist opens in May.
Case B applicants are advised to apply as early as possible AND should remember to hand in hard copies of their documents during the uni-assist application process.

Application deadline: July 15, 2021

  iwichtig | byBen Kahl/JLU
Please note that the application period has been extended: deadline this year is August 31.


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 requirement

The admission requirements shall apply subject to the consent of the Justus Liebig University Senate

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 iBT (inter-net-based test) with at least 80 points or IELTS test with a minimum grade of 6 in the academic test;
  2. or: proof of university entrance qualification awarded for one of the following countries: Australia, Ireland, Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand, the USA, the UK, South Africa
  3. or: proof of completion of an English-language Bachelor’s degree course
  4. or: proof of the UNIcert II 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 skilled people dealing with social transformation processes on a scientific basis and sustainably shaping those.

This study programme qualifies for working in areas that are closely related to sustainable transition processes in agricultural and food systems, i.e. working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

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

Moreover, the graduation also allows starting a career as (junior) scientist at universities and non-university research institutions.


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

PDF documents for the courses of study


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 German

taught in English

Any more questions?


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