Masters in English

Standardization, social regulation and sustainable development

This Master program is no longer accepting applicants, as it has recently been relaunched under a new name. Please visit the pages of the Master program in Sustainable Societies and Social Change.

Sustainable development, both economically, politically and socially, requires social regulation, which implies the coordination of the various actors. The master's degree covers these basic aspects of sustainable development, as well as ISO regulatory standards and the way in which the actors coordinate themselves. The master is the fruit of a partnership between the University of Geneva and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and collaborates with others international organizations.

Meet our students!

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120 ECTS    3 to 5 semesters
Language  English: compulsory classes

Assets of the master

As its name implies, the Master combines three thematic pillars in a single curriculum: standardization, social regulation and sustainable development. The idea behind the combination of these three pillars is related to a broad conceptualization of the notion of sustainable development. In fact, a series of recent evolutions (the financial crisis of 2008, the globalization process, new migratory flows,…) show that achieving sustainable development implies not only to consider its environmental implications, but also to take into account the economic, political and social dimensions associated with the transformation of our societies. A key element necessary to understand all these facets is the way individuals and enterprises manage to coordinate their actions in a sustainable way through the creation of regulations derived from participatory governance. It is also important to acknowledge and emphasize the role played by standard-setting processes in facilitating the coordination and monitoring of actors.

The combination of these three dimensions makes the Master in “Standardization, Social Regulation and Sustainable Development” a unique program. Most Master programs dealing with sustainability usually do not go beyond the environmental dimension of the concept. Only a few programs consider the social regulation facet, while not a single one takes into account the importance of standard-setting. Taking into account all three dimensions gives a perspective allowing examining sustainable development and its implications in a comprehensive way.

The Master program is structured at the intersection between the academic and professional world:

  • This cooperation between the University of Geneva and the ISO is enriched by the presence of numerous external professors working in organizations directly concerned with the different facets of sustainable development, participatory governance and standard-setting. Students have hence the possibility to complete the academic knowledge given by professors of the University with the one of external experts providing a direct link to the professional domain.
  • Students are asked to accomplish an internship allowing them to put into practice the knowledge acquired during the courses. The presence of several external professors and the Geneva environment (cf. below) makes it relatively easy to find very satisfying internship spots.
    At the end of the internship, the student can choose to either write an internship-based thesis suited for a direct transition into the professional world (possibly within the organization having hosted the internship) or an academic thesis independent of the internship thesis, suited for those willing to accomplish a PhD.

The nature of the Master makes it a highly interdisciplinary program where students from different fields and expertise are welcomed. The interdisciplinary character is directly related to the broad conceptualization of sustainable development at the core of the Master.

Alongside this interdisciplinarity, students have the possibility to create a tailor-made study plan suiting their profile and desires after the Master. The topics chosen to focus in the papers and assignments of every course, the internship, the thesis and an important number of elective courses leave students an important leeway to make the Master experience as useful as possible.

For every intake, we guarantee a low student-professor ration that allows us to follow the development, performance and needs of students attentively.

The Masters program is being relaunched as the Masters in Sustainable Societies and Social Change, please consult the new pages.