ICP-Master of Sustainable Development (Leuven et al)
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The master’s programme is research driven and mindful of ethics, gender and diversity. It offers a transversal core programme on sustainable development and two tracks of specialisation: a Space & Society track and an Ecology track. The distinctive strength of this master’s programme is an interdisciplinary character that bridges societal and ecological sustainability challenges while engaging with real-world settings, localities and communities.
The common core involves the building up and integration of fundamental expertise in sustainable development, including theory, methodology and practical applications in both ecology and social science. It comprises academic levelling training, courses covering different sustainability aspects, the formulation of an individual research portfolio, as well as a field trip in the Global South, an internship and a thesis.
The Space & Society track focuses on the societal component of sustainability transition, including social, economic, political and cultural dimensions.
The Ecology track focuses on both the conser vation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biodiversity at all organisational levels (species, genes and ecosystems). Integration between both tracks will mainly be done through sustainable development practice at the local community level.
A major methodological innovation introduced by this programme is the Sustainable Development Living Lab, a mobile platform through which the ICP community applies sustainability knowledge to problems of the Global South. The Living Lab is designed as a space of dialogue and co-learning between different agents and institutions involved in the creation, implementation, governance and assessment of sustainable development. The lab connects students, staff from the KU Leuven and Global South partner institutions from Africa, Asia and Latin America, but also practitioners and policy-makers, NGOs, representatives of the private sector, among others.
This active research-driven education model has five main pillars:
- Pillar 1: Consists of research-based teaching, taught by experts in different sustainability domains.
- Pillar 2: Training in research practices, stimulating critical learners, systemic thinking, and creativity in the solution of complex socio-ecological problems.
- Pillar 3: Is informed by the needs of regions in the global south, addressing the economic, social, and ecological challenges.
- Pillar 4: Is based on the active integration of fieldwork in the Southern hemisphere, internships, thesis, and portfolio development.
- Pillar 5: The KU Leuven Sustainability Living Lab is the real-world platform where the outcomes of the Master will be tested and implemented.
You choose between two specializations: ‘Space and Society’ and ‘Ecology’.