In our Master's course, students will be trained to conduct problem-driven transdisciplinary environmental research.


Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development

Our 2-year Master’s programme in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development will introduce you to the complexity of interactions between humans and nature. The programme starts every autumn term and application deadline is 15 January each year for all applicants

It is a research-focused programme where you will learn how to use resilience thinking as an approach to understanding and managing social-ecological systems, contributing to the research in this field as well as helping solve real-world problems. You will be doing so in an international and highly interactive learning environment.

The programme is a 2-year, full-time study where you attend four mandatory courses the first year that provide broad training in concepts, theories and methods for studying the complexities of social-ecological systems. In the second year, you will develop and conduct your own research during the second. This research will form the basis of your Master’s thesis which will relate to one or more of the research themes at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and usually compliments on-going research.

Our ambition is that your research will be publishable in peer-reviewed journals.

The programme is hosted by the Department of Biology Education at Stockholm University.

Eligibility

The programme attracts top international students. In order to ensure a high quality, spaces are limited to 18 students per year. We aim to achieve a student group with diverse backgrounds, because this creates the best environment for learning about sustainability.

Applications require a Bachelor's Degree, or the equivalent, from an accredited university and a very good command of English that may require certification. Please see this page for detailed information regarding English Proficiency tests and requirements.

Career prospects

The programme serves as good preparation for continuation to PhD studies within social-ecological systems and sustainability science. It opens up potential careers in governmental ministries and local administrative authorities, NGO’s and research institutes, or working with indigenous rights.

In the private sector, job possibilities exist in consulting agencies and companies worldwide.

How to apply

1. Register and start your application on www.universityadmissions.se. This process can be done between 15 October until 15 January.

2. Once your application is registered you must upload all necessary documents and pay your application fee (if required) by 1 February. This includes uploading a motivation letter and research ideas using this template and the instructions therein. Note that all has to be written in English!

For research ideas, we are looking for your ability to formulate a research question that fits within the programme study field and at least one of the centre's research themes and streams. We also want you to identify a project(s) and/or researcher(s) at the centre that you would like to work with.

3. Applications will be screened for meeting the requirements and reviewed in March at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Decisions will be communicated in April.

Please click here for information about fees and scholarships.

For information on residence permit, please contact www.migrationsverket.se

Watch video below where researcher and lecturer Tim Daw provides you with a brief overview of what you can expect from the Master's programme:


Programme details

The courses run full time and back-to-back. There are no other breaks other than those listed below under Term dates.

First year activities

The first year kicks off with an introduction week 24-28 August for all new students. It includes an introduction to the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Stockholm University as well as providing essential study skills to begin work at the Master’s level.

Course 1: Social-Ecological Systems: Challenges and Approaches, 15 ECTS

This course introduces students to the concept of the Anthropocene, the new geological era in which humanity is the dominant force structuring the planet. Students then reflect on the role of theory in sustainability science and explore concepts and methods for understanding how ecological processes support human wellbeing. Read more

Course 2: Systems Theory and Resilience Thinking, 15 ECTS

This course introduces qualitative and quantitative approaches to the analysis of systems. Students apply these methods to real cases to understand system resilience and potential transformations towards sustainability. Read more

Course 3: Governance and Management of Social-Ecological Systems, 15 ECTS

This course will explore alternative approaches for analyzing how people make choices, use rules, and learn to manage and govern social-ecological systems. Read more

Course 4: Resilience Reflections and Applications, 7.5 ECTS

This course will reflect on how resilience thinking methods can be applied to study social-ecological systems, building students’ research skills in anticipation of their thesis year. Read more

On completion of the above courses, students have 7.5 ECTS for optional courses or a traineeship (see below). Optional courses need to be given at a university and approved by the SERSD programme director.

Traineeship in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development, 7.5 ECTS (optional) Note: This is for SERSD Master’s programme students only. If interested in doing a traineeship at the SRC as an independent student please go to: Independent Courses.

Second year activities

Students will execute and write their Master's thesis (60 ECTS). The students' theses are all related to one or more of the research themes at Stockholm Resilience Centre, and are often contributing to on-going research projects.

We strongly encourage students to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals.

Click here to read previous Master's theses

Term dates for the academic year 2020/21

Introduction week: 24-28 August 2020

Autumn term: 31 August 2020 — 15 January 2021

Spring term 2020: 18 January 2021 — 5 June, 2021

Watch video with programme director Miriam Huitric answering some of the most important questions she usually gets from potential students:


In my work as a Social Scientist at WWF I develop different types of evidence and knowledge to inform decision-making and adaptive management. I also work hard to bring a systems and resilience lens to the work we do!

Former student Shauna Majaha

I am doing a PhD at the Natural Resources Institute in Finland. SERSD provided me with an excellent introduction to issues of sustainability science and transdisciplinary research. This inspired and encouraged me to pursue a PhD within similar topics.

Former student Viola Hakkarainen

Related info

Programme summary

Duration: 2 years full-time (daytime)

Degree: MSc in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development

Language: English

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Application deadline: 15 January

Begins: 31 August

Apply for the programme here: www.universityadmissions.se

Meet our current students

For information about the programme or the SRC, please contact:

Miriam Huitric
Master's programme director
miriam.huitric@su.se

Cornelia Ludwig
Education administrator
cornelia.ludwig@su.se

For information about your application, please contact:
Jessica Slove Davidson
jessica.slove@su.se

Elisabet Weingartner
elisabet.weingartner@su.se

 

REFLECTIONS FROM FORMER STUDENTS

In my work as a Social Scientist at WWF I develop different types of evidence and knowledge to inform decision-making and adaptive management. I also work hard to bring a systems and resilience lens to the work we do!

Shauna Mahajan

I am doing a PhD at the Natural Resources Institute in Finland. SERSD provided me with an excellent introduction to issues of sustainability science and transdisciplinary research. This inspired and encouraged me to pursue a PhD within similar topics.

Viola Hakkarainen

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Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
SE-10691
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70
info@stockholmresilience.su.se

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201