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Leiden University MSc in Governance of Sustainability
Leiden University

MSc in Governance of Sustainability

The Hague, Netherlands

2 Years


Full time

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EUR 19,600 / per year *


* Dutch, EU/EEA, Swiss and Surinamese students: €2,314* per year | Second Dutch master’s programme: €15,400 per year


In the Governance of Sustainability programme you will learn to become a future ‘change agent’ who can develop and inform governance solutions to complex environmental sustainability challenges.

What does this master’s programme entail?

This programme focuses on environmental sustainability. You will obtain in-depth knowledge of both the governance perspective (social science) and the natural sciences. You will learn how to integrate these perspectives to develop governance solutions to complex environmental sustainability challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and the transition to a circular economy. In addition, you will learn a variety of skills required to cope with complex sustainability problems and to develop yourself into a future ‘change agent’ – someone who can apply and communicate natural science insights, while also understanding the governance context.

Why study Governance of Sustainability at Leiden University?

  • Our teaching is aimed at creating a transdisciplinary environment in which you are constantly challenged to combine perspectives, reflect on those and take ownership of your learning process.
  • You will collaborate with (international) students coming from different disciplinary backgrounds and design and execute integrative research projects, combining concepts, theories and research methods of both governance and natural sciences.
  • Our programme collaborates with important institutes, ministries and other stakeholders in terms of guest lectures, excursions and integrated group projects.
  • You will be confronted with real-life sustainability challenges to make the appropriate connections between the mechanisms and the governance thereof.
  • Be inspired by professors from two leading institutes, who are at the forefront of the field of sustainability and public administration.

Governance of Sustainability: the right master’s programme for you?

Do you want to be an intermediary between the scientific experts, policy makers and politicians in the domain of sustainability?Do you want to tackle environmental sustainability problems by combining knowledge on natural sciences with an understanding of governance? Are you keen on contributing to the development of governance solutions needed to work towards a sustainable society and contribute to the implementation of these solutions? And do you want to study and work together with students coming from different disciplinary backgrounds? Then our Governance of Sustainability programme is designed for you.

Why Leiden University?

We offer a unique master’s programme where we bring knowledge of natural and social sciences together.

The concept of Sustainability

Over the past three decades, the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development have evolved in response to increasing global ecological and social challenges. Nowadays the field of sustainability has gained significant institutional momentum. To be solved, each of these (interrelated) aspects of sustainability demand a transdisciplinary approach, bringing together knowledge of natural and social sciences. Hence, we need to educate ‘brokers’ or ‘change agents’ to make the transitions to a sustainable society happen.

Collaboration between two faculties

The master programme Governance of Sustainability is offered as a collaboration between two institutes: the Institute of Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science) and the Institute of Public Administration (Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs). The Institute of Environmental Sciences is a centre of excellence for strategic and quantitative research and education on sustainable use and governance of natural resources and biodiversity. The Institute of Public Administration combines a solid international academic reputation with a central position among the international, national and regional and local governance institutions of The Hague.

Education in The Hague

The Governance of Sustainability programme will be based at the campus The Hague. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch Government and is known worldwide as the international city of Peace and Justice. As such, it hosts a number of UN institutions, as well as a number of important international organisations. These conditions render The Hague the best location to study Governance of Sustainability.

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is a first-class research faculty with an excellent position in the basic disciplines of science. The current research and education programmes span the entire spectrum of science ranging from Mathematics and Statistical Science, Computer Science and Data Science, Astrophysics, Physics, Chemistry and Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences to Biology and Environmental Sciences. Our science community is driven by their curiosity and desire to increase basic knowledge, for science and to contribute to the great societal challenges of today and tomorrow. Core values are scientific impact, technological innovation and relevance to society.

Study at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs

The Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) is Leiden University’s youngest faculty, launched in response to increasingly urgent socio-cultural issues. The FGGA is an internationally acclaimed academic knowledge hub that studies world-wide issues from the perspectives of governance, politics, law, sociology and economics. FGGA is active in its quest for multidisciplinary academic networks; through its academic institutes and knowledge centres, FGGA contributes to far-reaching socio-cultural debates.



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