Master Program: “Economics – Sustainability – Social Design”

Today, the economy and society are closely intertwined. How can a sustainable transformation of both succeed at the same time? What goal should and can economic activity be oriented towards today? What would a vital economy in society and nature look like? Our course of study “Economics – Sustainability – Social Design” enables students to deal with precisely such questions. It therefore focuses on transdisciplinary teaching and learning. This is based on a broad interdisciplinary foundation, which is oriented towards the social sciences and philosophy and focuses on pluralist economic theoretical approaches.

We live in a world of uncertainty and major challenges. As a result, instead of conveying purely abstract specialist knowledge, our aim is to teach how to make scientifically and ethically sound decisions for a sustainable economy that is embedded in society and nature. In the midst of complex and often unpredictable crises, what scope for decision-making do political, institutional and individual actors have? How can their actions be guided to more socially and environmentally viable directions? How can necessary processes of rethinking and transformation be conveyed in a theoretically sound manner, and responsibly initiated in practice?

At its core, the Master Program “Economics – Sustainability – Social Design” seeks to tackle these and similar questions over the course of its two-year curriculum. The study program is conducted in the German language.

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Study Course Profile

World and Problem Orientation

The program conveys a broad and critical understanding of the social-ecological challenges of the present and the role of economic processes in them in a transdisciplinary, i.e. problem and reality based manner. The focus is on a critical understanding of complex and, in principle, unpredictable processes of change in an economized society.

Sustainability and New Economic Thinking

Specifically, our students increasingly and independently acquire a multi-perspective and constructive understanding of innovation processes in economic thinking, of different concepts of sustainability and other normative orientations for action, as well as of new economies and their contributions to shaping society. In doing so, they learn to make independent judgements and decisions.

Research Projects

In projects that move in different ways between theory and practice, our students independently develop relevant questions and theoretically based solution processes – also and especially in uncertain and unstable situations. For this purpose, they acquire a comprehensive transdisciplinary research toolkit and develop the ability to adopt and justify their own standpoint.

Dialogue with Societal Agents

Already during their studies, our students bring practitioners and theoreticians into dialogue with regard to topics of sustainable social design, and mediate between different points of view in a solution-oriented manner.

Philosophical Social Reflection

We integrate philosophical reflection, including not only social philosophy and ethics, but also epistemology and phenomenology, into our examination of processes of social transformation. In this way, questions of responsibility, ethical self-reflection and value orientation are not just a decorative appendage of this program, but an integral part of its contemporary analysis and action orientation.

Personal Development

In the course module studia humanitatis we provide our students with the opportunity to develop independent thought and become reflective personalities, for instance with regard to questions of meaning and community spirit as well as responsibility and creativity.

New Forms of Academic Teaching

With us, a traditional course of study that concentrates on the self-presentation of a subject is a thing of the past. Instead, in each module we allow students to acquire a specific ability so that they comprehensively develop skills as researchers and reflected personalities.  Our interdisciplinary pedagogy/didactics, which is oriented towards concrete issues and fields of action, is guided by this principle, as are the examination forms in all modules. For example, our students write essays, document their progress during their studies or present their research results to a broad audience.