Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde
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Study Programme

Learning to manage people and nature

Students learn to develop sustainability strategies by applying participatory and cooperative approaches. They gain knowledge on ecosystems and different concepts of land use in a context of unprecedented loss of biodiversity and natural resources under accelerated climate change and the resulting uncertainty. Cultural and socio-economic challenges as well as opportunities are identified and reflected upon.

The master course uses the current strategy of the ‘Man and the Biosphere' (MAB) programme, and uses the Lima-Action Plan, as a guiding principle. It emphasises three areas of competence:

Study Programme


Ecological and social systems
This area of competence deals with the understanding of complex and dynamic nature-human relations. This includes scientific, socio-economic, and ethical aspects of sustainable land use.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Governance and management
The principles and tools of adaptive governance and management processes are pivotal for effectively developing Biosphere Reserves and successfully steering the transformation processes. Project management, monitoring and evaluation, as well as education for sustainable development represent important aspects of this area of competence.
Cooperation, communication and learning
The master's programme enables graduates to act in intercultural contexts and conflict situations. Approaches to effective communication and personal development are therfore an integral part of the programme.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

You will find the Study and Examination Regulation here.

Overview about the curriculum:

1st SemesterStatusCredits
Communication and team buildingM6
Political, legal and international frameworks of UNESCO biosphere reservesM6
Fundamentals of system functionality and changeM6
Approaches and tools for research and monitoringM6
Project management and innovationM6
2nd Semester

Land use systems in socio-eocological and socio-economic contextsM6
Governance, administration and management for biosphere reserves and protected areasM6
Transformation and education for sustainable developmentM6
Ecological effectiveness of biosphere reservesE6
Sustainable tourism and cultural identiyE6
Stakeholder communication within Biospere ReservesE6
3rd Semester

Research ProjectM24
Internet based research colloquiumM6
4th Semester

Master thesis colloquiumM4
Master thesis and defenceM26

M = Mandatory module, E = Elective module