Masters in English

Innovation, Human Development and Sustainability

This highly multidisciplinary Master's program trains students to analyze problems in terms of the governance of sustainability. It focuses on defining and developing concrete solutions for the SDGs through hands-on, team-based and project-driven activities, in parallel with courses on the fundamentals of sustainable development in all its dimensions - human, environmental and institutional.

The IHDS can be taken as a stand-alone program including an exchange semester abroad (single degree track) or be combined with the Master of Public Policy for Sustainable Development Goals (MPP-SDG) offered by Tsinghua University (dual degree track).

 

The assets of the master

The Master's program in Innovation, Human Development and Sustainability (MSc IHDS) stems from a partnership between the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and International Organizations present in Geneva, focusing on the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Students will learn about international organizations and their strategic activities for the SDGs. Members of the UN system, global NGOs and State or regional administrations are strongly involved in the teaching and mentoring of students. Courses and workshops take place in the heart of International Geneva - the biggest concentration of international organizations in the world. This ecosystem provides many opportunities for internships.

The Master's degree comprises a high proportion of hands-on teaching. Half of the time is devoted to workshops during which students are invited by external partners (IGOs, NGOs, etc.) to address practical issues and challenges related to SDGs. Projects or practical cases are carried out in groups and supervised by mentors from these external partner organisations and UNIGE teachers and advisors. The outputs of the workshops are presented during public sessions.

Some of these workshops are combined with fieldwork, either in the Geneva region or abroad (San Francisco and Kenya in 2018; Dakar and Indonesia in 2019; Athens in 2020; Dakar in 2021).

This Master's program was created in 2017 in partnership with Tsinghua University (THU, Beijing), China’s top university. It is presently getting wider, aiming at becoming a global master program on the SDGs. It includes partner universities (Australia, Colombia, Korea, England, Sweden, Italy, Senegal) around the world that have strong competencies on sustainable development or more specifically the SDGs.

Students taking the single degree track do an exchange semester (the third one) either at Tsinghua University or one of the other partner universities.

Students taking the dual degree track spend a full year at Tsinghua University (Beijing or Shenzhen).

This program is part of the Geneva Tsinghua Initiative (GTI), a broader collaboration on the SDGs that includes online training, a summer school, an innovation bootcamp and an academic exchange program. 

Detailed study plan.

Basic courses 30 credits

Sustainable Development and Political Agendas
Culture and Education for Sustainability
Science, Expertise and Sustainable Development Workshop 1: Innovation for SustainableDevelopment

Specialization 30 credits

1 workshop per module:
Practice of Sustainable Human Development
Voluntary Standards, Governance and SDGs
Urban Futures

Other courses: 

Human Development, Concepts and Measures
Voluntary, Consensus-based Standards
Public Policies and Social Justice in the City, etc.

1 semester at a partner university 30 credits

Master's thesis or Internship's thesis 30 credits

Single degree track

  • Bachelor degree in various fields (including social and political sciences, economics, geography and environment, law, information technology, engineering and applied sciences)
  • Certificate in English (for non-Native speakers): valid test and minimum scores TOEFL 92, IELTS 7.0, or Cambridge Advanced Certificate 185
  • Strong interest in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in any form of innovation (technical, economic, cultural and social) aiming at reaching the SDGs
  • Experience in working and studying in intercultural/international contexts

 

Dual degree track

  • Bachelor degree in various fields (including social and political sciences, economics, geography and environment, law, information technology, engineering and applied sciences)
  • Certificate in English (for non-Native speakers): valid test and minimum scores TOEFL 92 or IELTS 7.0
  • Strong interest in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in any form of innovation (technical, economic, cultural and social) aiming at reaching the SDGs
  • Strong interest in the sustainable development issues related to contemporary China
  • Experience in working and studying in intercultural/international contexts

Single Degree Track: Tuition fees at UNIGE are 500 Swiss francs per semester, except for the semester spent abroad (65 Swiss francs). No fees required from the partner university for the exchange semester.

Dual Degree Track: Tuition fees at UNIGE are 500 Swiss francs per semester, except for the semesters spent abroad (65 Swiss francs per semester). At Tsinghua University, tuition fees are 120’000 RMB, plus 800 RMB (Administrative fees).