Sustainable Development Management, M.A.

By adopting Agenda 2030, the international community has sent a strong message by forming a new global partnership: Low-income, middle-income and high-income countries have jointly agreed upon 17 ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs). For the first time in history, the international community has assumed joint responsibility in order to achieve economic progress that is aligned with social justice and ecological sustainability. The implementation of Agenda 2030 requires not only more effective and efficient development policies, but also highly qualified professionals with a broad understanding of local contexts, global interconnections and latest methodologies, in order to identify, design and implement required policies.

The Sustainable Development Management master’s programme links and incorporates the relevant subjects of different academic disciplines, including economics, political sciences and project management methods. This provides our students with a broad perspective that is necessary to make a significant contribution to the academic debate about sustainable development, and prepares them with up-to-date methods in order for them to be able to implement successful development projects. To this end, our curriculum is aligned with the project cycle: the coursework delivers the required skills to not only successfully identify, design, plan, and implement development projects, but also to critically evaluate existing projects. This guarantees that our students are highly valuable assets for employers in both the public and private sector. The overall aim of the programme is to train future professionals, who are enabled to play a part in the implementation of the 17 sustainable development goals, thereby contributing to create a more equitable and sustainable world.

The international atmosphere and the mix of students from developing and developed countries enhances students’ intercultural and diversity management skills while they learn from each other. Moreover, the course design ensures that students have the chance to participate and conduct research in an actual development project during their studies.

Course Structure

The regular duration of study for this programme is three semesters. The first two semesters serve to impart advanced economics and political science approaches relevant to the issue of sustainable development and empirical methods. In the second semester, students gain profound knowledge of international law aspects as well as project management methods and evaluation in development cooperation. In both semesters, the possibility is given to bring one or more specific topics into focus by participating in elective courses.

The third semester serves the purpose of writing the master thesis, which can also be done as part of a specific development project. In preparation for the thesis, a research project is carried out within the field of applied development cooperation.

Career Paths

Graduates of Sustainable Development Management from Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences will be valuable employees who are highly sought after by various institutions in the fields of technical as well as financial development cooperation. Moreover, the strong focus of the master’s programme on project management gives our students an additional edge in the labour market. They will be able to pursue a broad range of careers in the following areas:

  • Public institutions: governments and ministries of developing countries (e.g. ministries of finance, commerce and industrial policy, rural development, education),
  • Multilateral development institutions, including the World Bank, IMF, the United Nations and other international and national NGOs (such as Oxfam International or the International Red Cross),
  • The private sector: in the fields of consulting and engineering (at firms like ICON Consulting Group, GFA Group and Lahmeyer International),
  • PhD: our graduates are also eligible for admission to international postgraduate programmes, including the Postgraduate Training Programme for Development Cooperation at the DIE (Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik) and the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) Doctoral Studies Programme at the University of Bonn, amongst others.


Language Requirements
English language skills at level B2 are required.

Academic Requirements
German entrance qualification for universities of applied sciences or equivalent 
( and a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) related to social sciences, economics or industrial engineering with a German grade of 2.5 or higher or an ECTS grade of A or B

Still need help or advice? Contact us!

Current information about the application process can be found on the page Application and Admission.

Contact address for your questions related to the application process, the program requirements and the enrolment:

Contact information for your questions related to the organization of the degree programme, the course guidance and the counselling service:

Lena Paßelewitz
Scientific Staff

Prof. Dr. Oliver Serfling
Professor for Economic Policy and Development Economics


Place of study

Campus Kleve

Start date

Winter or summer semester



Duration of study

3 semesters of full-time studies

Study model

Full-time studies

Degree awarded

Master of Arts

Restricted admission


When to Apply

Actual information on the application process can be found under Application and Admission.

Online-Application via uni-assist

Our postgraduate programmes start in both the winter and summer semesters. For the winter semester, applications are accepted between May and July; for the summer semester between October and November.

Team Sustainable Development Management, M.A.

Head of Degree Programme
Prof. Dr. Oliver Serfling
Professor for Economic Policy and Development Economics

Lena Paßelewitz
Scientific Staff