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The "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning Master's degree (held in German)

Qualification for positions at state-run and non-state institutions

Underdevelopment and erroneous trend are still the greatest problems that the world community is facing today. The concept of sustainable development, in sync with the Agenda 21 of the United Nations, is a key pillar in development cooperation. This master degree program trains graduates on a scientific basis for roles at state-run and non-state institutions and development cooperation organizations.

Target group

The two-year "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning master degree program is aimed at university graduates of any discipline with at least one year of professional experience. This course is ideal for full-time and part-time staff members working in development cooperations, as well as anyone seeking scientific preparation for a role in this field.

The course is held entirely in German.


Alongside introduction to the basics and concepts of sustainable development, various fields of development cooperation are highlighted and relevant sustainability concepts processed. The course has been intentionally designed for interdisciplinary learning and combines economic, ecological and social science-based content, all focusing on development cooperation.

The graduates of the "Sustainable Development Cooperationt" course are awarded the academic degree "Master of Arts" (M.A.).

Schedule and organization

The standard course duration for part-time, vocational study including examination time is four terms. It is also possible to take a break during the course and then return to complete it. The lectures, exercises and seminars of the "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning course are provided in the form of online study material (pdf files) specially developed for distance learning. A weekly commitment of around 20 hours is required to process the material. Further information about the application process can be found here.


On campus events

Compulsory on campus events takes place at the end of the three terms for all participants working towards the "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning  master's degree. The goal of these events is to reinforce the course contents through group work and workshops, discuss questions on the study material and debate the practical implementation of the program content. A written examination forms part of the on campus events held during the 1st and 2nd term.

In certain circumstances and based on a written application, students who are unable to attend the on campus events due to permanent overseas work commitments have the option of taking the written examinations at a Goethe Institute or a German embassy.


Program content

The "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning ,master degree course encompasses ten study modules. Among other topics, these modules cover the fields of sustainable development in development cooperations, sustainability in a regional context, sustainable management of resources, the politics of sustainability, food security and sustainable water management, sustainability evaluation, good governance & civil society and social safeguarding. You can find further information in the download area. This can be accessed at any time via the link in the download box at the top right of the navigation bar.


Authors & modules

The certificate course includes the following modules:

Modul Lehrbriefe, Titel Autoren/innen
EZ 0100 Nachhaltige Entwicklung in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
EZ 0110: Grundlagen nachhaltiger Entwicklung
EZ 0120: Strategien und Konzepte für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung
Prof. Dr. Michael von Hauff
Dr. Imme Scholz
PD Dr. Wolfgang Meyer

EZ 0200 Good Governance & Civil Society
EZ 0210: Good Governance
EZ 0220: Civil Society
Prof. Dr. Franz Nuscheler
Prof. Dr. Gesine Foljanty-Jost
Dr. Rainer Sprengel
EZ 0300 Die Politik der Nachhaltigkeit
EZ 0310: Die Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie des BMZ
EZ 0320: Die EU-Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie
Prof. Dr. Raimund Bleischwitz
PD Dr. André Martinuzzi
Ursula Kopp
EZ 0400 Nachhaltigkeit im internationalen Handels- und Dienstleistungsbereich
EZ 0410: Fair Trade
EZ 0420: Nachhaltiger Tourismus
EZ 0430: Nachhaltiger Konsum (geplant)
Prof. Dr. Michael von Hauff
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stradas
Prof. Dr. Ines Weller
EZ 0500 Nachhaltigkeit im regionalen Kontext
EZ 0510: Urban Sustainability – urbane Nachhaltigkeit
EZ 0520: Das Eco-Industrial-Park-Konzept für Industrieparks
Prof. Dr. Frauke Kraas
Mareike Kroll
Prof. Dr. Robert Holländer
EZ 0600 Ernährungssicherheit und Wassermanagement
EZ 0610: Nachhaltiges Wassermanagement in Entwicklungsländern
EZ 0620: Nachhaltige Landwirtschaft
Dr. Susanne Neubert
PD Dr. Brigitte Kaufman
Prof. Dr. Oliver Hensel
EZ 0700 Anforderungen an nachhaltige Systeme sozialer Sicherung
EZ 0710 Nachhaltige Systeme sozialer Sicherung
ET 0720 Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung
Prof. Dr. Beate Bergé
Prof. Dr. Gerd Michelsen
rof. Dr. Gerd Michelsen


EZ 0800 Nachhaltiges Ressourcenmanagment
EZ 0810: Nachhaltige Energieversorgung
EZ 0820: Nachhaltiges Ressourcenmanagement
Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke
Prof. Dr. Raimund Bleischwitz
EZ 0900 Sozial- und Umweltstandards in wirtschaftlichen Prozessen
EZ 0910: Sozial- und Umweltstandards
EZ 0920: Das CSR-Konzept in Unternehmen
Prof. Dr. Hermann Sautter
Prof. Dr. Michael von Hauff
EZ 1000 Nachhaltiges Projektmanagement und Evaluation
EZ 1010: Nachhaltiges Projektmanagement
EZ 1020: Evaluation von Nachhaltigkeit
Prof. Dr. Bernd Kochendörfer
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Stockmann



The compulsory scope of the "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning master's degree course requires a total of 90 credit points or, a student workload of 2,250 hours. The required credit points can be earned through submitted assignments, the successful participation in two esams, one case study, one essay, and a master thesis paper.

After all coursework and examinations have been completed as well as a review of the master thesis, the distance learning program concludes with the granting of the academic degree "Master of Arts" (M.A.). The successful graduation from the program is certified by the following documents:

  •     Diploma from the University of Kaiserslautern
  •     Degree certificate for the academic degree Master of Arts
  •     Diploma supplement (DS) in English



The study fees for the "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning certificate are EUR 740 per term., plus the mandatory social services fee of EUR 101 per term. A one time payment in the amount of EUR 500 is required for the master's examination. Starting from the third semester over the regular study time of six semesters, a reduced fee of 30 % of the semester fee is levied. The fee for the master’s thesis is not affected. These study fees cover all costs for the teaching material, participation in the on campus events, term exams and all administration expenses. However, they do not include any travel, accommodation or meal costs for the on campus events. The study fees are exempted from German VAT and are tax-deductible. 


Financial Aid

The state can support you in financing your studies with individual tax incentives. Based on your personal rate of taxation and your professional situation, you can for example offset the costs as professional or special expenses. Please get in touch with your local inland revenue office or tax advisor for more information on this. In certain circumstances, the German state can also support you in your professional further training with so-called training and qualification cheques (Bildungs- und Qualifizierungschecks). You can find information on this on the internet, for example at www.bildungspraemie.info.

Employers are often also willing to contribute to the costs of training for their workforce. And low-interest bank loans geared specifically to funding training courses and offered by the state and banks, such as the KfW Development Bank, represent another good option. However, financial support as per the rules of Germany's Social Security Code (SBG III) or Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) is unfortunately not possible.

We would be happy to speak with you about funding options, either on the telephone or in person.



The "Sustainable Development Cooperation" distance learning degree is accredited with the academic title of "Master of Arts". The agency responsible for managing the accreditation process is FIBAA (www.fibaa.de).



The application period for "Sustainable Development Cooperation," is from mid-May until the 31st August of the respective year. Courses begin at the start of October. The documentation is also available for download and submission in a written application.