The achievement of sustainability, or ‘the requirement of our generation to manage resources such that the average quality of life that we ensure ourselves can potentially be shared by all future generations’ (Asheim and Brekke, 1993) can be considered one of the main challenges of our times. For sustainability to be achieved, environmental, social and economic aspects all need to be in balance. However, the application of such an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability can be hindered by the mono-disciplinary approach of today’s highly specialised world. In this major, you will acquire the tools to think critically about the most pressing challenges of our time and the skills to find creative solutions for such challenges. Each course is embedded in an interdisciplinary framework that will guide you through different perspectives, from Life Sciences and Social Sciences to Economics and Humanities. In this major, you will develop research-oriented skills with a strong focus on solving complex multi-perspective and multi-disciplinary current issues. In particular, thanks to the emphasis given to the intrinsic relationships between humans and the natural environment, you will learn how natural and ecological systems work, how cities can be smart and sustainable, how policies and organisations contribute to sustainability, how the current ethical and historical perspectives influence the climate crisis, how plants are a foundation for people and life on our planet, how to generate prevention plans for health problems, how to include multiple perspectives when developing solutions and, finally, how laws and policies to protect the common environmental are generated.

Entry requirement

Students are allowed to enter this major when they either have successfully completed a general biology course prior to entering EUC or have passed the EUC course LSC214 General Biology in the first year.

Coordinator: Dr A. Vasques

Mandatory courses at 200 level (35 EC)

  • Principles of Ecology (LSC)   
  • Applied Game Theory (INT)
  • Food & Nutrition (LSC)
  • The Climate Crisis (ECB/HUM)
  • Plant Biology & Diversity (LSC)
  • Political Institutions & Public Governance (SBS)
  • Intermediate Statistics I (INT)

Mandatory courses at 300 level (25 EC)

  • Epidemiology & Global Health (LSC)
  • Additionally choose at least 20 EC at 300 level from:
    • EUR Minor Think Green: Ecological & Economic Perspectives for a Sustainable Environment (15 EC; Q1) or a minor in the field of Sustainability that is approved by the Head of the Life Science Department (e.g. Sustainable Development at Leiden University)
    • Plant Physiology & Sustainable Agriculture (LSC) Q2
    • Off campus / exchange courses approved by the Head of the Life Sciences Department and the Examination Board (200 / 300 level)

The major Sustainability needs to be concluded with a Capstone of 15 EC.