The new minor offering from Leiden, Delft and Erasmus will be visible in early March.

Sustainable development in a global context

About this course

This course introduces students to the concept of 'sustainable development' in a global context. Over the last four to five decades, this concept has become increasingly visible in global and regional policy, business and academic agendas. Students will learn to study ecological and socio-economic development of nations, regions and communities across the globe as integrated challenges.

These concepts will be discussed from three perspectives. The first perspective is to discuss the origins of thinking and practices of 'sustainable development'. The second perspective is to discuss mainstream thinking on and practices of sustainable development (such as ecological modernization; clean-tech innovation paradigm). The third perspective is to discuss some of the counter-currents and critiques on these mainstream approaches (e.g. deep ecology, no-growth perspectives, the anti-globalization movement).

The course will also introduce students to sustainable development practice and case studies on sustainable development in different parts of the world (both in developed and emerging economies). This consists of guest lectures and group work. Teachers and students will debate and interpret the cases and practices from the perspectives offered in the course, and reflect on their innovation potential for sustainable development, and where applicable look forward to relations with other courses in the major 'sustainable innovation'. Students will be introduced to recent debates on green growth and a green economy, and learn to apply the knowledge gained in this course for evaluating and taking position in these debates.

Learning outcomes


After successfully finishing this course students:

  • Have basic knowledge on the concept of sustainable development;
  • Can reflect on sustainable development meanings and practices in different geographical and socio-economics contexts;
  • Can debate and take position about cases, reports, practices, theories and strategies for sustainable development.


Student is able to:

  • recall which requirements a report must meet with respect to academic writing standards, including the layout that is required for the specific assignment
  • write a short report/essay in English based on assignments related to the content of the course that meet standards for academic writing and is tailored to the target group
  • find and evaluate various sources of information on relevance and validity and to adequately refer to them in written communication
  • reflect on own writing skills and to define an action plan accordingly

Required prior knowledge

You must meet the following requirements

  • Registered for a degree programme other than
  • HBO-TOP Applied Physics, Pre-Master

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of TU Eindhoven.
There are currently no offerings available for students of Utrecht University