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Master of Science in Sustainable Development


The ICP Master in Sustainable Territorial Development has been designed as a research driven educational programme, mindful of ethics, gender and diversity, that prepares the sustainability leaders of the future. The main objective is to train students to become the agents of change that will imagine, trigger and build the sustainability transition of the twenty-first century in the Global South. Thus it will attend the shortage of sustainability experts in Global South countries and communities.

The distinctive strength of this Master is its interdisciplinary character bridging societal and ecological sustainability challenges. Its educational ambitions and activities go beyond the dualistic perspective on nature and society, which is still prevalent in contemporary education, research, development cooperation and public policy in the sustainability and resilience field.

This Master offers a transversal core programme on sustainable development and two tracks of specialization: a Space & Society track and an Ecology track. The common core involves building up and integration of fundamental expertise on sustainable development, including theory, methodology and practical applications in both ecology and social science. It comprises academic levelling training, courses covering different sustainability aspects, the formulation of an individual research portfolio, as well as a fieldtrip in the Global South, an internship, a thesis and a workshop on sustainable development in practice. The Space & Society track focuses on the societal component of sustainability transition, including social, economic, political and cultural dimensions. The Ecology track focuses on both the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biodiversity, at all organizational levels (species, genes and ecosystems). Integration between both tracks will mainly be done through sustainable development practice at the local community level.

The Sustainable Development Living Lab is the major methodological innovation introduced by this Master. This lab will be a mobile platform through which this ICP community will apply sustainability knowledge to problems of the Global South. This Living Lab is designed as a space of dialogue and co-learning between different agents and institutions involved in the creation, implementation, governance and assessment of sustainable development. Involving diverse stakeholders in the lab will contribute to achieve the transdisciplinarity goals in the Master’s curriculum. The lab will connect students, staff from the KU Leuven and Global South partner institutions from Africa, Asia and Latin America, but also practitioners and policy-makers, NGOs, representatives of the private sector, among others. In short, this Master programme embraces sustainability and development and engages with real world settings, localities and their communities in a still unachieved sustainability journey.

Intervention type

International Master Programme


01/03/2017 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Constanza Parra
Local partner institution KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Budget € 717.811