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Master programme

Master Sustainability Science and Policy MSc SSP

There is an urgent need for scholars who are trained in interdisciplinary and integrative approaches towards sustainable development, enabling them to assess and deal with the complexity involved from a system’s perspective. Furthermore, there is a need for professionals that are able to cross ‘boundaries’ between different disciplines and domains, and that can operate at the interface of science, policy and society. The new Master of Science in Sustainability Science and Policy (MSc SSP) provides an intensive programme where students will acquire knowledge and skills (competences) to deal with one of the world’s most relevant and complex questions: how can we balance ecological, economic, and social developments for our present and future well-being?

The Master will create a unique opportunity for students to specialize in sustainability science and policy, and especially in sustainability assessment, through an interdisciplinary curriculum in an international ambience. The MSc SSP can be characterized as a ‘society oriented Master’, with a duration of one-year (60 ECTS).

The Master has its own unique character, composed of its integrative and interdisciplinary approach embedded in an international context, and its focus on methods and tools for integrated knowledge production and sustainability assessment (for policy). None of the already existing Master programmes on sustainable development in the Netherlands combine all these ingredients,  and the need for and value of this new Master programme is clearly expressed by different stakeholders in policy-making (all governance levels), representatives of the business community, non-governmental organisations, international scientific organisations and other institutions for higher education.

Maastricht University (UM) started this new Master programme on Sustainability Science and Policy in the academic year 2011/2012.

Please contact master-ssp@maastrichtuniversity.nl for more details and enrollment procedures. See also Maastricht University’s website.

Master Theses


Rachel Brochado Understanding the Development of Global Action Networks. ICLEI’s Development and its Complex Adaptive System
Soo-Kyung Shin Voluntary Sustainability Standard Schemes. Disparities and Governance Challenges
Alexander Göbler Enhanced weathering and mineral carbonation for CO2 sequestration in the Netherlands: a comparative assessment
Melissa Hayes Private Actor Contribution to Urban Development in Enabler-Driven Living Labs. The Case of Maastricht and Antwerp
James Elliot The sustainability of globalisation. Cultural perspectives and the social robustness criterion
Paulo Batistic Agroforestry as a solution for the dual challenge of food security and climate change
Ami Golland Shapes in the Sand: Exploring the Potential Impacts of Debt-money Systems on SES Resilience
Antje Blankemeyer The innovation effects of the EU Directive on End-of-life Vehicles and the EU Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment on the Dutch waste management sector
Dingena Verkerk Design for Sustainable Development. Participation as social practice in the Maastricht A2 project
Christian Twiehaus The effects of innovativeness in organisational structures on mission drift in social enterprises
Momo Chen Consumer’s perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility in China. A case study of Chinese melamine milk formula


Anna Bower Beyond certification: sustainable climate change adaptation analysis and recommendations for agricultural production
Anika de la Flor Finetti Water-related Ecosystem Services in the Environmental Impact Assessments of the Peruvian mining industry. A case study of the Conga project.
Vanessa Hofeditz Redemption: Exploring the Diversity of Glass Recycling Systems in the EU
Iva Horejsi Large combustion plants: Development of legislation in the Czech Republic between the communist fall and EU accession
Lucy Hunt Throwing caution to the wind: Assessing and countering obstacles to community-level wind farms in the UK
Chiara Lissandrello The role of Participation in Initiatives towards Sustainability – functions and typology
Michael Matuszak Sustainable urban development – Towards a framework for participation
Max Menkenhagen Discrimination in the European Higher Education Area Area and its Impact on the Sustainability of Micro-Level Student Mobility
Bienfaiteur Mutara The relationship between armed conflict, environmental degradation and peace building processes in the central African region. A case study of the South-Kivu region in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Basil Oswald Toward an Understanding of the Variation Between Deposit-Refund Systems for Glass Containers in Contemporary Europe
Jacopo Peirano Is C2C certification successfully driving the shift of innovation for sustainability from eco-labelling to competitive advantages for companies? A case-studies analysis in the pulp and paper industry sector
Melanie Stralka What are the merits of the Agonistic and Nudging Approach for the governance of urban greening – Case Frontenpark Maastricht?
Lise Swartz Assessing the factors impacting the potential of water partnerships to contribute to water resources management for sustainable development
Joe Thomas Making Maastricht’s Monumental Housing Stock Ecofriendly by 2030 – Municipality, Developer and Homeowner Perspectives
Juan David Guevara Vargas Multilateral Environmental Agreement CITES as potential facilitator for effective articulation of initiatives aimed at combating illegal logging at a global scale
Michael Veale Exploring eco-innovation systems and their boundaries through multi-level modelling
Tinsley  Wolfs Accountability mechanisms in the governance of climate change mitigation – The case of the European Covenant of Mayors
Liza Wood An analysis of certification and NGO strategies for climate change adaptation among agricultural smallholders


Leia Achampong Sustainable Maritime Governance of the North Sea. A sustainability analysis of EU maritime policies to determine theirs sustainability, using an MCA and Perspectives Analysis
Laura Bechthold Managing the Quest for Corporate Sustainability. Sustainability Maturity Models as Tools for Corporate Sustainability Assessment
Cecile Capo Ecovillages as models for making the transition to sustainable lifestyles?
Joaquim Demeyer Encouraging Private Corporations to Adopt Sustainable Practices: the theory and practice behind European Union policy incentives
Sophie von Gagern Improving the Sustainability in Value Chains through Private Meta-Governance. An Exploratory Research on the Structuring Capacity of the Common Code for the Coffee Community and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
Verena Hilgers Urban Agriculture as Growing Trend in Developed Countries. An Investigation of the Underlying Motives
Mischa Horning Sustainable Tourism Development at Destination Level. The case of Zuid-Limburg region, the Netherlands
Aishling McGrath Synergies between Education for Sustainable Development and Green Economy? An analysis of their relationship in Ireland
Floortje Mennen People, Planet & the Profitable Zoo: a boundary trilemma of the role of zoos as centers for sustainability and sustainability education. A case study of GaiaZOO, Kerkrade, the Netherlands
Jeffrey Ngari Points of intervention for poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability in the sub-Saharan Africa: A case study of Kenya
Kay Oebels Globalization and the Environment
Anneri Pretorius A Shift towards Sustainable Transportation in Cape Town, South-Africa?
Franziska Rieck What are the underlying principles, motives and claims of city planners when striving for sustainable urban development? On the role and beliefs of urban planners in Freiburg and Wuhan
Rebecca Scholten Sustainability Reporting. A Case Study Perspective on using the GRI Guidelines as Accountability Mechanism for NGOs
Hendrik Smid Towards systemic evaluation approaches in German development cooperation? Perspectives from science, clients and practitioners of evaluations
Mike Sporck Possible ways to improve the Ecological Footprint calculator as a learning tool for sustainable living
Yvette Sweringa How to become a Sustainability Professional. Sustainability Traineeship: necessity or luxury?
Camille Vandenkerckhove Moving towards sustainability in the event sector. Application in the context of Brussels
Franzis Wimmer Pathways of Transitions Towards more Sustainable Lifestyles in Germany. The Role of Cohousing
Ursula Zampieri Environmental NGOs pursuing access to justice in Brazil: Legal avenues and obstacles to implementation, inspired by the Aarhus Convention


Stefano Boi Measuring what? A Discourse Analysis of the adequacy of the GDP as an indicator of societal progress
Lieuwe Dragt Is Microfinance Shaking the Financial System? Developing an evolutionary perspective on microfinance to explore its potential impact on the incumbent financial regime
Savina Istas The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe. The underlying dynamics
Silke Jenssen Sustainability at Universities. An Explorative Research on Assessment Methods and Tools for Sustainability Implementation at Universities
Laura Kurth Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria – A Sinking Ship or the Gateway to Sustainable Tourism
Thijs Maartens The contribution of a transition experiment to a transition towards a sustainable system: a case study of the INZET project
Jane Prieto Communication for Sustainable Development. Role of communication strategies for sustainable development projects
Sofie Spijkers Together we can make it? The potential of local governance projects in energy transitions
Tassilo Stiller An Energising Drama – On the influence of policy interventions to stimulate energy efficiency in the residential housing sector