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Bachelor of Science

Sustainable Development

Do you want to stop being a bystander and actively make your own contribution to a better world? We are facing significant challenges: global climate change, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, social inequality and economic instability are just some of them. On the Sustainable Development degree programme, we tackle these complex challenges, question existing structures and look for innovative solutions. This is how you learn to make a difference and help shape sustainable change!

At a glance

Bachelor of Science
Standard period of study:
7 semesters
Programme start:
Winter semester
Instruction language:
Credit points:
210 credit points
Type of programme:
Full-time studies
Type of admission (NC):
Restricted admission (with NC)

Understanding and coping with climate change, shaping cities of the future, strengthening developing countries and rethinking development cooperation, transforming companies and making them fit for the future - all this and more awaits you on the interdisciplinary Bachelor's degree programme in Sustainable Development. You will learn to understand the complex problems of our time and develop strategies to tackle them. Together, we take a holistic view of the topic of sustainability from the perspectives of natural sciences, economics, engineering and social sciences. During the course of your studies, you can specialise in one of the three areas "Building - Space - Environment", "Engineering" or "Economics" and deal with topics such as Sustainable Infrastructure Planning and Land Management, Sustainable Design of Technical Solutions or Sustainable Economics and Sustainable Management. During your studies, you will gain a permanent insight into practical work and realise your own projects. In the project studies in the 5th and 6th semesters, you will be actively involved in current sustainability-related research and transfer projects.

For documents such as the module handbook, study plan and examination regulations, please visit the German page.

Career prospects

A wide range of professional opportunities are open to you once you have successfully completed your bachelor’s degree in “Sustainable Development”:

  • You work in a company or the public sector as a sustainability expert and develop solutions in the context of ecology, economics and social affairs.
  • You help public and private organisations to transform their internal workflows and structures in a sustainability-oriented way.
  • You advise political institutions, especially at local government level.
  • You work for non-governmental institutions (NGOs), associations, consumer bodies, foundations, etc. that are concerned with sustainability issues.
  • You engage in sustainability research and compile studies and scientific papers on sustainability topics.
  • A subsequent master’s degree is also possible, e.g. the master’s programme in “Sustainable Development”.

Admission conditions

1. Higher education entrance qualification

Admission to the programme is conditional on a higher education entrance qualification.

You require one of the following:

  • Higher education entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulreife)
  • General higher education entrance qualification: German Abitur
  • An entrance qualification recognised as equivalent

In the case of the entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences, a differentiation is often made between the academic part and the practical part. The academic part is completed at school. The practical part can be a completed training course (e.g. apprenticeship) or a 6 or 12-month guided work placement. As a rule, which type of work placement you require in order to be entitled to study is indicated on your certificate. If you are unsure, please contact your school.

If you have obtained your entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences in a federal state other than North Rhine-Westphalia, please check your certificate to see if it is also valid here.

2. Subject-related work placement:

Not required.

Programme structure

The path to the bachelor’s degree in “Sustainable Development” leads from basic knowledge of the fundamentals to specialisation in this field. In the second and third year of the programme, sustainability science questions are examined more closely in the three specialisations “Construction – Spatial Planning – Environment”, “Engineering Sciences” and “Economics”. In this way, students acquire the specialist skills needed for meeting the challenges of professional practice later on. They earn half their credit points (ECTS) in the specialisations from the third to the sixth semester, the other half in the general modules.

Subjects covered:

  • Economic principles of sustainable development (first year)
  • Natural science and technical principles of sustainable development (first year)
  • Personal development and key skills (first and second year)
  • Topics, aspects and action fields in sustainable development (first to third year)
  • Sustainability science approaches and methods (first to third year)
  • Specialisations: “Construction – Spatial Planning – Environment”, “Engineering Sciences” and “Economics” (second and third year)
  • Project studies (third year)
  • Practical phase, bachelor’s thesis and colloquium (7th semester)

At the beginning of the second year, you choose one of three specialisations:

Specialisation “Economics”

Students who choose this specialisation learn the fundamentals of business administration and economics, whereby the focus lies consistently on a sustainable approach to economic thinking and acting. The challenges of sustainable management in different areas, such as sustainable production and logistics, sustainability-oriented HR management, sustainable corporate governance, sustainability marketing, economic policy as well as energy and environment, are then tackled in greater depth and illustrated by means of examples.

Specialisation “Construction – Spatial Planning – Environment”

This specialisation centres on the key topics of transport and environment in the construction sector. Building on students’ basic knowledge of transport systems, planning fundamentals and geoinformation systems as well as hydraulic engineering and urban water management, advanced knowledge and skills in the areas of spatial planning, sustainable land management, sustainable mobility as well as water, energy and environment are taught.

Specialisation “Engineering Sciences”

Regenerative energy production as well as efficient energy distribution, storage and use are key elements of technical sustainability. Students who choose this specialisation acquire the technical knowledge and an understanding of technical processes and procedures needed to develop new solutions or improve existing technologies in this field by themselves.