Geographies of Sustainable Development, Master's, 2 years

Our planet faces environmental, social and economic sustainability challenges that must be addressed through a knowledge-based approach. People experience challenges locally, but causes and solutions are interconnected with global processes beyond the North-South divide. This programme gives you the framework, theories and skills to constructively engage with global sustainability issues.
  • TuitionFor non eu/eea citizens
  • Years2 Years
  • Intake8
  • Grade requirementsMinimum C
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ECTS120
  • StartAutumn

Main content

Welcome to the Master's Programme in Geographies of Sustainable Development at the Faculty of Social Sciences. 

Starting time: Welcome meeting at The Faculty of Social Sciences Wednesday 14 August 10:00 in Egget, Studentsenteret

ProgrammeHere you can find the programme for the opening week

Checklist for new students: Follow the steps in our checklist to make sure you are on track. 

Students with special needs: If you have a disability and need special arrangements, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can find good solutions for you. 

Questions? You will find useful information on the student pages. You can also contact the Faculty Information Centre at 55 58 98 50 or send an email to studieveileder.svfa@uib.no.

What will you learn? 

This programme will introduce you to ongoing scientific discourses on human-environment relations and development. You will learn about theoretical approaches to important current issues and be trained in using appropriate methods for researching and evaluating factors affecting both the environment and people’s livelihoods.   

You will learn about current topics such as:   

  • Globalisation and sustainable development  
  • Food security and sustainable land use  
  • Political ecology   
  • Environment and development discourses   

You will develop your skills in critical thinking, analysis and academic writing. You will have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork abroad or in Norway. You will learn how to plan and carry out collection and analysis of empirical data to form the basis for your Master’s thesis.   

You will learn how to write a research report within given time and resource limits, and apply geographical terminology and good academic writing, with exact, updated and systematic use of references, and due credit to secondary sources.   

Full list of learning outcomes

Student life 

Master’s students are an important element of the social and work environment of the Department of Geography. We have hosted international programmes for more than 20 years, and you will be integrated into the activities and courses of the larger group of geography Master’s students. 

You will typically be expected to attend 2-4 lectures and seminars per week and to follow them up with reading to broaden your understanding of the issues. This will help improve your discussion, presentation, writing and analytical skills  

At the end of your first semester, you will have chosen a Master’s thesis topic in close cooperation with your supervisor.   

After the second semester, fieldwork (usually 1-2 months) can be conducted in the Global South or Global North, including in Europe or Norway, with a globally oriented sustainability focus.  

Your second year will be spent on analysing your findings and completing the thesis with guidance from your supervisor.   

Read more about our Master’s students and their projects

More information below

Rouble Nagi


Our graduates benefit from practical and theoretical skills and highly relevant knowledge for understanding the complexity of global issues such as climate change, migration, urbanisation and sustainability.    

Typical jobs that our graduates go on to do are in 

  • Planning
  • Research
  • Regional development 
  • Environmental management  

These can be in public or private sector organisations or in NGOs, both in Norway and abroad. Many of our graduates continue in academic research by pursuing a PhD, while others work in the education sector.  

More information below

Admission requirements and how to apply

To apply for the Master’s Programme in Geographies of Sustainable Development you need a Bachelor’s degree of 3-4 years’ duration, or an equivalent educational background. The degree must include at least 1.5 years (80-90 ECTS) of full-time studies in geography, or other relevant background such as environmental studies, development studies or political ecology with a social science perspective.  

You also need to document: 

Follow the guidelines on how to apply, depending on which applicant group you belong to. 

All applicants with citizenship from outside the EU/EEA must pay tuition fees.

Study structure

The programme covers two academic years (four semesters), and starts in the autumn.  

First semester

  • GEO308 Theory of Science and Research Design for Geographers (10 ECTS)
  • GEO310 Writing Course and Project Description (10 ECTS)
  • GEO330 Theories of Sustainable Land Use (10 ECTS)
  • Milestone 1: Presentation of project description in December

Second semester

  • GEO306 Methods in Human Geography (10 ECTS)
  • GEO337 Discourses, Politics and People: Critical Perspectives on Environmental Governance (10 ECTS)
  • Milestone 2: Presentation of theory, research design and fieldwork plans in April/May

Choose one of the following courses:

  • GEO316 Practical Skills in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (10 ECTS)
  • GEO317 Special Topics in Geography (10 ECTS)
  • GEO324 Geographies of the Green Economy (10 ECTS)

Third and fourth semester

  • GEO350 Master’s Thesis in Geography (60 ECTS)
  • Milestone 3: Poster presentation of data, mail findings and methodology in October

See full list of courses

Study period abroad 

You can spend the second semester as an Erasmus+ exchange student at one of the department’s partner universities in Europe, or as an exchange student at one of UiB’s partner universities outside Europe.  

The application deadline is 1 September in the first semester.   

Further studies 

Many of our graduates continue in academic research by pursuing a PhD   

Questions about the study? 

Phone: +47 55 58 30 73

Mail: advice@geog.uib.no

Study plan 

Full list of learning outcomes