Master in Sustainability Science – Environment and Decision Making 120 cr

The program comprises 120 higher education credits and leads to a Master's degree in Environmental Science. There is also the opportunity for the students to finish their education after 60 higher education credits and thus graduate. For this, the two final courses of the second semester are required to be replaced with a thesis of 15 higher education credits.

About the studies

The study form is distance and the study rate is 100%. The full-time studies are arranged in such a way that the students sequentially read courses of 7.5 higher education credits throughout the program, apart from the master's thesis, which comprises 30 higher education credits. All courses except one course are in the main area of ​​Environmental Science and give the students broad and deep knowledge, skills and attitudes within the main area in which they graduate. In addition, the program provides broad and in-depth knowledge of the concept of sustainability and tools and strategies for achieving change at various levels, both at individual, group, organizational and community levels. Special emphasis is given to decision-making throughout the program, both directly and indirectly. Students gain knowledge and skills in decision-making, the conditions of decision-making, processes and tools, especially in relation to sustainable development.

The program also provides students with tools and capabilities to measure, change, and track environmental impacts from people, objects, and systems. In addition, the program provides students with an understanding of psychological processes that influence decision-making, at the individual level and in groups. Students are also given knowledge in group processes, social psychology, leadership, as well as the ability to lead projects for sustainable development.

Throughout the program, generic abilities are trained, in particular decision making (to make decisions for yourself, to apply decision making tools, and to understand the background to systematic errors in decision making), critical thinking, analytical skills (through scientific methodology and training in intellectual abilities), leadership and project management. , the scientific writing and to express themselves well in text and dialogue. The latter part of the training deepens the knowledge within the above-mentioned knowledge and skills areas.

During the first year of the program, the student reads an introductory course related to sustainability science and systems analysis, which is followed by scientific method, behavior and attitude change, and natural resource management and social-ecological systems. Then there will be courses on strategic management for sustainable development and complex problems in a sustainability context, where the students also receive decision-making tools that are specially adapted to solve complex problems. During the first year, the student will also receive tools for strategic environmental assessment and the ability to measure and follow up on change work. The first year ends with a course on group decision-making, social psychological processes that affect groups and group development and leadership for sustainable development.

During the second year of the program will be in-depth courses in life-cycle analysis and measurement of environmental impact, in-depth courses in psychological perspectives on decision-making, as well as in-depth knowledge of scientific method, science theory and governance of organizations and communities that prepare the student for thesis work.

After the studies

After graduation, students should be well prepared for a career in the public and private sectors. The focus of the program is on applicability and providing students with problem-solving skills that are useful in a professional life outside the academy. The education also provides good conditions for a further academic career.


  • Master of Arts/Science (120 Credits)

More information

Education plan

Application information


In order to be eligible for the program, a degree is required at the undergraduate level, comprising at least 180 higher education credits Special eligibility To be eligible for the program, the student must have completed at least 60 higher education credits in the major area of sustainability science, environmental engineering, technology, psychology, industrial design and natural resource management or other relevant major area. In addition, knowledge of English is required corresponding to what is required basic eligibility for Swedish university education at undergraduate level.


University credits


Application *
Autumn 2023
Distance learning
2023 - 2025
Number of participants: 30
Location: Ortsoberoende
Application code: HIG-19709
Language: English
Pace: Full-time
Autumn 2023
Distance learning
2023 - 2025
Number of participants: 15
Location: Ortsoberoende
Application code: HIG-19714
Language: English
Pace: Full-time

*) The online application at opens approximately one month before application deadline.

Published by: Maria Åstrand Swenneke Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2021-08-10
Högskolan i Gävle
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