Master's programme in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability
The society within the biosphere is to its nature a much complex system. To achieve success in this system, i.e. a sustainable society, knowledge of how success is defined and how it can be achieved is required. On the basis of a fundamental vision of a sustainable society, one can through “backcasting” formulate a strategy to reach the desired aim.
This programme extends over two semesters and concentrates on two integrated themes. The first of these themes is an internationally recognized and scientifically reviewed model (framework) of systematic work towards an attractive and sustainable society (strategic sustainable development). This is a universal model which can be used to work with sustainable development within many different fields globally, nationally, in companies, in municipalities, in whole societies and on the individual level.
This model gives a systematic method for: analysis of the present, visualization of solutions, finding strategies to reach sustainable solutions, choosing and developing general and supplementary tools to develop indicators for a sustainable development.
The other theme in the education consists of concepts related to organizational learning and leadership. These concepts are developed through studies of how different groups of people (for example organizations and societies) can use the framework that is described above to identify strategies to reach sustainability.
The above aspects and concepts will not only be described theoretically but will also be practiced during the programme. In addition to this, the students will find new paths to knowledge by using the framework.
The aim of the study programme is achieved through the courses that are included in the higher education qualification. Assessment and examination take place at course level, and details concerning examination and grading are found in respective course syllabus.
In addition to the nationally regulated aims the following aims apply to the education. After completion of the education, the student should:
- have knowledge about and be able to apply the framework for sustainable development that is taught in the courses of the programme.
- have developed leadership skills and ability to inform and explain through an increased consciousness of organizational and personal learning.
- have developed his/her presentation, facilitation and coaching skills.
- be able to apply the two themes of the programme in different situations to analyze problems, create solutions and choose or develop supplementary tools and concepts.
By helping the students to reach these aims, the programme will contribute to create a worldwide network of professional actors within strategic sustainable development.
Mode of delivery
The implementation of the education follows the “non-linear approach”. This means that the five system levels that the programme is built up around and which build on principles for organizational learning will be presented during the first day of the programme. A gradual deepening of these will then take place during the following 4½ months. This leads to a learning method as the programme progresses. The concluding 4½ months of the programme will be primarily devoted to a degree project where the students in small groups obtain the possibility to apply their knowledge of the framework in a real company, in an organization or another project.
This non-linear method also gives a certain possibility to adaptation of how the courses are carried out through a continuous dialogue with the students. As the programme progresses, the students will obtain the possibility to specialize in all the levels of the framework while a connection of how the five levels are connected with each other will be discussed. Extensive group assignments and learning in groups will be encouraged.
Learning takes place primarily through application of concepts instead of through traditional lectures. Through this working method, the students are urged to mutually exchange knowledge and experiences with one another which also is a part of the assessment of the students' achievements. Simply expressed, powerful traits of character such as optimism and creativity will be openly encouraged as being a fundamental aspect in the development of leadership.
The programme will use the following methods for learning:
- Introductory lectures - which comprise lectures, break-out groups and informal insights and discussions about concepts and their usages.
- Both self-organized and structured group assignments and role play.
- Individual studies
- eLearning and reviews of relevant material.
- Supervision and workshops.
- The students teach one another and evaluate one another.
The students will take both compulsory and elective courses which are listed below. The programme is divided into four study periods of the same length. The two first study periods contain courses, of which the second period also contains elective courses, and the two last study periods a degree project.
In the case of more qualified applicants than available positions for the current programme start, a selection is made. This is done in the following way: METHOD 9 Master’s Programme in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability
This method is intended to assess the applicant’s motivation and preconditions for studies at the programme ”Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability”.
- Curriculum Vitae
- An essay explaining the applicant’s interest in the programme, providing information about her or his relevant personal or professional experiences (maximum 5 pages, font size 12, double-spaced)
- 2 letters of reference (recommendations from two people who are familiar with the applicant’s ability and skills)
- Higher education grades
SPECIFICATION OF SELECTION CRITERIA
Ranking of the applicants will be based on the relative qualification level as regards:
- Academic results at prior higher education studies
- Relevance of degree (and of courses included) for scientifically based studies at Master’s level in strategic sustainable development
- Relevant professional experience
- Demonstrated interest in ”Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability” (e.g. through choice of work, voluntary work, other community services or in other way)
Last updated March 10, 2016